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Despite change in typical climate, Brazos Valley farmers are loving the recent rain showers

Posted at 7:26 PM, Jan 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-20 19:53:18-05

BRYAN, TEXAS — They say rain is a good thing, but it's not something a ton of us see often in the Lone Star State.

With all the rainy weather in the upcoming forecasts... farmers, certainly are appreciative. In what are normally dry conditions in Texas though, how are crops fairing?

Rain isn't always in the forecast here in Texas, and experts say, there's a reason for it.

"Early on by November and October last year, it was anticipated that La Niña would have a severe effect on the growing conditions on most of the seasonal crops," Fernando Guillen, a Small Grains and Oil Seed Crops Specialist at Texas A&M said.

La Niña, a phenomenon and weather pattern, brings warmer temperatures that cause a lack of precipitation to our area.

Guillen says, he saw a decrease in numbers of winter wheat being planted over the last year.

"Some reports that I got from Central Texas, indicates, that probably about 20-25% of dry land winter wheat, was never planted in the area," Guillen added.

At the same time, however, Guillen says, across the State, in the last 3-4 weeks, most of the area has received some form of precipitation, either rain or snow. The increased precipitation has helped the overall situations of local farmers, including Bryan business-owner, and local farmer, Brian Light.

"If we had more stuff in the ground, I would be far less worried about the rain itself now, with these big rows.
If it weren't for the big rows, I think we would have water damage from the rain we are about to get," Light commented.

A two-year commercial farmer, Light says he's seen drastic droughts in the past, but he thinks it's been a pretty normal year so far. The recent rain, alongside what is being predicted this week, certainly helps supply his farm-to-table restaurant, Ronin, located in downtown Bryan.

"It helps our food cost, massively, when we are doing great over here (at the farm), if we have a bad year, and bad drought, that's more money to buy the food. The quality we get is above and beyond," Light said.

Experts says, La Niña could have an impact throughout the growing season, but Light says, right now, his crops are fairing just fine.

"I think they are doing fine, for the ones we got in the ground, at the right time, they are doing great. We didn't get as much in, because, we are doing a lot of revamping, but if I had gotten everything into the ground during September, like we were supposed to, I think we would be doing just great really," Light added.

Rain, certainly a good thing for all forms of life that require it, but in Texas, it's hard to tell what's to come, or how much we can expect to see.

"These recent precipitations that we are seeing over the last few weeks, obviously, are helping, but it's hard to predict what is going to happen from now, until it is harvesting time," Guillen said.