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Recent rains could damage crops of Brazos Valley farmers

Excessive precipitation spells trouble for farmers
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Posted at 4:51 PM, Jun 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-03 17:51:47-04

BRAZOS COUNTY, TX — While the recent deluge of rain has kept a scorching summer sun at bay, the excessive precipitation is threatening much of the area’s farmland.

Texas A&M AgriLife Extension scientists reported that the storms covering the state since the end of April have dropped more than a dozen inches of rain in many areas. While this water is beneficial for drier locations like the Panhandle, Darren Carter, a farmer in the Brazos Valley, said the weather has threatened all of his plants.

"The only thing that’s benefited from the rain so far has been our ducks that we raise," said Carter.

Carter's Hollydew Farm, located east of Franklin, produces a variety of vegetables and is home to berry and grape vineyards, along with numerous fruit-bearing trees.

"When the roots of the fruit trees get saturated like that, they can drown in a few hours of complete saturation," the farmer noted.

The Carter family relies on the income they make from selling their crop at the Brazos Valley Farmer’s Market. The flooding of their maturing plants could pose a financial threat. Darren Carter said the farm is prepared for a hot and dry summer, with irrigation systems in place. He commented that he would even welcome those conditions.

"Heat actually would help us tremendously on drying things out.”

It’s not just Hollydew Farm that is concerned with the recent precipitation. Reagan Noland, faculty and extension agronomist at Texas A&M, said much of the Lone Star State is desperate for drainage and more sun.

"We have saturated conditions that aren’t conducive to good root development," Noland stated.

Noland explained that certain crops which would be harvested later in the year -- like wheat -- have also been oversaturated, which could affect their overall quality.