Wednesday’s Ag News Roundup

For the most part, the central portion of the Texas Panhandle, including Amarillo, missed out on the rain yesterday and last night. But we shouldn’t give up hope as the National Weather Service’s seven-day forecast does give our area at least a slight chance of rain today and each day going forward through Tuesday.

We’d be happy for anything we could call significant rain right now, but we’re going to need a lot to truly help our farmers, especially those who raise crops dryland-style. On the positive side, the wet August and September we experienced just before drought conditions set in did leave us with good subsoil moisture. But, Texas A&M AgriLife agronomist Jourdan Bell says the longer we go without new precipitation, the deeper roots will have to go to reach that moisture down below the surface:

As for where rain did fall yesterday and last night, the measurements from the National Weather Service and Mesonet sites show some impressive totals in places like Childress (.91 inches), Tulia (.81), Canadian (.74), Dimmitt (.73), Lubbock (.69), Bootleg (.40), Friona (.39), and Hereford (.37). But, a lot of our recent rains are being escorted by hail, and Jourdan says that’s a threat to newly-emerged cotton:

It is indeed a delicate time for our new cotton, and hopefully damage will be avoided as much as possible.

Speaking of cotton, it’s Amarillo’s turn for one of those Texas A&M AgriLife meetings to help farmers learn more about the government’s new safety net program for cotton. Today’s session, led by Texas A&M economist Joe Outlaw, will be at 2 p.m. at the AgriLife Center on Amarillo Boulevard. More information here:

Special Ranger Scott Williamson has been with the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association for 31 years. Coming up soon, he’s a getting a big promotion. On June 1, Williamson will become the organization’s director of law enforcement and theft prevention services, replacing Larry Gray who is retiring after 23 years in that position.

In his new role, Williamson will oversee the entire Special Ranger force, which for well more than a century has been helping producers battle cattle theft and other crimes. As he looks to the future, Williamson says one thing the organization is doing for its Rangers is giving them better protection:

You can hear more of my interview with Williamson here:

If you’re in the ag equipment business, our current down economy in agriculture is surely a concern. But here’s some encouragement. Figures just released by the Association of Equipment Manufacturers show that combine sales in April were up 59 percent compared with the same month a year ago. However, tractor sales saw just a one percent increase

And, we want to offer congratulations to Texas Cattle Feeders Association Vice President Ben Weinheimer. He’s been named chair-elect of the U.S. Roundtable for Sustainable Beef. You can find out more about the Roundtable and its mission here:

Have a good Wednesday, y’all.

KGNC-AM devotes a full hour to ag news every morning from 5 a.m. to 6 a.m. with our Golden Spread Agribusiness Update. If you’d like to hear this morning’s show, go here:




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