Late 2009 rains have left some Houston area farmers with fields too wet to plow, according to the Houston Chronicle. In Liberty County, the story notes, no wheat was planted because rains caused farms to miss planting time.
Ron Holcomb, the county’s extension agent with the Texas AgriLife Extension Service, is quoted as saying, “The common practice is to get it in in October or before the first of November to avoid wet weather.”
The story adds that many of the farmers dealing with wet fields faced a severe to extreme drought from May to August.
However, late 2009 rains changed all of that:
After months of drought, rain returned to the Houston area in September. Many spots in the region received more than 10 inches of rain in October, according to a year-end report by the Houston/Galveston National Weather Service. Wet weather continued in November, with normal rainfall amounts ranging from one to 7 inches across the region, the report said.
In addition to winter crops being affected, many farmers in Southeast Texas haven’t had a chance to prepare their land for the corn, grain sorghum, soybean and rice planting season that’s approaching in March.
Fort Bend County farmer Alan Stasney is quoted as saying:
You drive out in the field, and they’re not where they need to be. It’s been raining since November, and it’s keeping us out of the fields. It’s kind of an unusual event when you can’t get at least a week of work in.
Ultimately, the bottom line of farmers may take a hit. The story notes, “When crops are planted late, there’s sometimes less yield potential and profitability.”
(Photo credit: Big Grey Mare ~ I Need One More Week!)