As the wind has blown and blown the last few days, we don’t think it is a surprise to anyone to learn that Terry County remains in the Extreme Drought area on the Drought Map.
Even with the moisture we had last week and the snowfall, our area is just so dry that all that precipitation served to do was to get us out of the Exceptional Category, but that line is again edging close. Yoakum County is about half in the Exceptional Category.
This is the time of the year when our guys are busy preparing their land for planting and with this wind, it has just been dang near impossible to get anything done and get any of the land tied down. The relentless winds do a number on even prepared ground, so that it, too begins to blow.
This is a year of unknowns for producers and much of what they do know is not all that great.
We have the drought to contend with. We have rising fuel prices. We have rising seed and chemical prices. We have a new administration that seems to be a little more concerned with ecology rather than economy. Even the new Ag Secretary has shown in the past that he is not cotton farmer friendly. We have a gentleman on the Ag Committee that has said he is pushing for a “beefless” America!
We are just over a month away from planting beginning in earnest and it will be interesting to see how much seed actually goes in the ground, if the rains do not start coming.
On the good news side of things, the cotton market is up a bit, but will it stay there is there million dollar question. Literally.
The South Plains Underground Water Conservation District reported just over a quarter-inch of rain in the last rainfall event last week. Some areas of the County did receive closer to an inch, but again, with our current drought situation, it is going to take a whole lot more than that to get us where we need to be on the water table.
Local producer and President of the West Texas Young Farmers Association Kirk Martin stated, “It is not looking good. The wind keeps blowing and we can’t get enough rain to tie everything down. There is just not a dang thing you can do about it. We were able to list early after that first snow, but with virtually no rain since then, it is just blowing like everything else.”
Kirk did say he is looking forward to planting. “We are going to plant every acre and fertilize the irrigated and work really hard to at least have an irrigated crop, if the rains don’t come. I am hoping that the cotton market holds. My grandfather always said we should just get up everyday and do the best we can. After that, it is in God’s hands.”
So, we watch the skies and pray for rain. As the saying goes, “He who plants a seed beneath the sod and waits to see, believes in God.” And we do believe our God will take care of all that is in front of us.