COLLEGE STATION – All of the state received rain during the last seven days, from 1 inch to 2 inches in most locations, according to the National Weather Service.
Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service county agent reports indicated there were instances of 6 inches — or even 10 inches — but according to weather service records, amounts more than 4 inches were extremely isolated events.
The good news came from the South Plains, Rolling Plains and Panhandle regions where the rains fell slow and steady, allowing the moisture to soak into soils and replenish soil profiles rather than run off.
Two-minute MP3 Audio of Texas crop, weather for July 23, 2013
The rain came too late in many areas to save dryland crops such as cotton, but it did come just in time for High Plains corn that was tasseling, allowing irrigators to let wells rest for a few days. The rain also quickly greened up pastures and rangeland and made another cutting of hay a possibility.
In the Central and Northern regions, where the drought hasn’t been so severe, the rains mainly improved crop yield-potentials.
Most Coastal Bend counties that border the Gulf Coast and were under extreme drought conditions on July 16, received from 1 inch to 2 inches.
The rains created a few minor problems along with the benefits. For example, Corrie Bowen, AgriLife Extension agent for Wharton County, southwest of Houston, noted that the rains, from 1 inch or less, not only slowed corn harvesting but caused some seed sprouting.
The rains of the last week continued the wetter-weather trend that started about 30 days ago. According the weather service, many parts of the state have received totals of 4 to 8 inches or even more during the last month.
Despite the rains, drought still reigns in Texas. According to the July 16 U.S. Drought Monitor, more than 94 percent of the state remained under moderate to extreme drought conditions.
More information on the current Texas drought and wildfire alerts can be found on the AgriLife Extension Agricultural Drought Task Force website at http://agrilife.tamu.edu/drought/.