Rain could impact planting season

Posted at 6:36 PM, Jan 08, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-08 20:03:20-05

The record-breaking rainfall last week may impact the upcoming planting season.

According to Texas Farm Bureau President Ronnie Dowdle, the planting of winter wheat and oats was already delayed due to flooding in October.

"We've got thin stands. We have water on the fields and that is going to impact the yields, I'm afraid," Dowdle said.

McGregor farmer Rodney Schmalriede planted those crops a month late but he is still hopeful the crop will turn around.

"Hard to say what it would do," Schmalriede said. "You never know what mother nature is going to throw at you. It may be just fine. We'll just wait and see."

He is also waiting for the wet fields to dry out to start preparing them for planting corn next month. In the meantime, he is making sure equipment is in good shape when the time comes.

 "If [there] would be sunshine, breeze blowing, dried out a little bit. We could get some work done. We could get some fertilizer out and get ready to go," Schmalriede said. 

However, last spring he would have welcomed more rain to help his corn crop.

"Last year with the corn, we had a beautiful crop going and then the rain quit. We ended up with a pitiful corn yield last summer," Schmalriede said.

He said he doesn't want that to happen again but if he delays planting, his corn yield could be affected.

"The later you plant the corn, it gets into the summer season," Schmalriede said. "Anything that gets over 90 degrees corn starts shutting down."

If that happens, the farmer said his bottom line profit could be impacted. 

"Bottom line is money. That's what we try to produce most of the bushels we can and try to sell it at a decent price," Schmalriede said.

However, the weather may still dry out the fields before planting starts in five weeks.

"We just need moderate rain, not the heavy rains like we've had and if we can get the good, windy, sunshiny days, they'll dry the moisture out of these fields," Dowdle said. "We are going to need a few days like that. We don't normally ask for wind but this spring we are going to need some wind to help us dry these fields out because we are going to have some low places that don't get planted if we don't."

Central Texas is not in a drought at the moment and the First Alert Weather Team is forecasting heavy rain for Friday afternoon.

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