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West Texas Agriculture Update

By August 8, 2018 No Comments

Texas A&M AgriLife releases Texas Crop and Weather Report.

In late June, Texas A&M AgriLife published a new Texas Crop and Weather Report based on findings from Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service expert, Monte Nesbitt. The principal result was that Texas is expected to have a solid pecan crop this year.

Texas could produce 70 million pound pecan crop.

According to Nesbitt, “Texas is capable of producing 100 million pounds if everything were to go perfect, but we never seem to get there because of drought or pests, or one region will do poorly because of too few chill hours or a spring frost or any number of odd scenarios,” he said. “This year everything appears to be lining up to put us back on track for the 70 million-pound production level.”

The level of production that Texas is on track for this year is significantly higher than past crops. According to the report, Texas has produced 60 million pounds twice, in 2009 and 2014, and 70 million once in 2010. Outside of those years, Texas produced 28 million to 39 million pounds.

What West Texas farmers need to watch for.

West Texas orchards continue to be the top producers of pecans. But, it’s still early in the growing season. To ensure a healthy crop, growers will need to think strategically about crop management. First, they’ll need to watch out for pecan scab and the second round of pecan nut casebearer. It’s up to farmers whether they try to fight casebearer and go for maximum production, or let the pest naturally thin the crop.

Nesbitt recommends making careful observations of the percentage of fruiting branches with nuts on them. Trees bearing 80 percent or higher should be thinned down to 50-60 percent in late July to early August with the same shaker they use at harvest.

Agriculture Updates by Region

The Texas Crop and Weather Report also noted weather conditions, ranching conditions and agriculture updates in district summaries. In general, West Texas needs more rain, but crop still has large profit potential.

Rolling Plains

  • Wheat harvest is complete
  • Cotton planting is nearly done
  • Pasture and rangelands are in need of more rain
  • Hay grazer is not growing
  • Wildfire risk has returned

South Plains

  • Dryland cotton improved with recent rainfall
  • Dryland cotton that didn’t emerge was re-planted with sorghum
  • Irrigated cotton is on track
  • Irrigated corn is doing well
  • Pasture, rangeland, winter wheat need rain

Panhandle

  • Temperatures are normal
  • More moisture is needed
  • Storms caused crop damage
  • Wheat harvest began
  • Sorghum planting has been delayed

Far West

  • Need some moisture
  • Cotton stands are poor
  • Pecan crop looks strong
  • Wildfire threats are high
  • Alfalfa was cut and baled

West Central

  • Cattle market is steady
  • All crops are in need of rain
  • Hay is in short supply

If you are a producer in the West Texas area, see if Watermaster Irrigation can help find irrigation solutions for your land. Contact Watermaster online or call 806-797-9044.

 

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