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Moisture Famine To Feast In Texas

After years of drought or near-drought conditions, the skies have opened in Texas. “From what I can gather, talking to people around here, it’s been 20 to 25 years since we’ve had this kind of winter,” said David Graf, AgriLife Extension agent in Sherman County, in the northern Panhandle.

On Feb. 22, the Panhandle got more snow. Though not as severe as the winter blizzard a couple of weeks ago, the snow covered up wheat pasture and made tending livestock difficult, Graf said.

“It’s kind of tough on the guys with livestock, but all his producers welcome the moisture,” he said. “It’ll mean they won’t have to pre-water their ground before planting corn. That means a substantial savings.”

Nearly 400 miles to the southeast, it’s also been one of the wettest years in recent history, said Clint Perkins, AgriLife Extension agent in Wood County, north of Tyler.

Perkins said that he recorded 63 inches of rain at his house for 2009. The average is about 40 inches. During the first month and a half of 2010, the area has received substantial rainfall and snowfalls.

Wood County got from nine inches to 11 inches in the last snow, which resulted in downed power lines. All fields were muddy, making it hard on livestock producers throughout his region. The cloudy conditions have also stalled winter pasture drought. But all-in-all, it’s better to have too much moisture than too little, he said.

“Just a couple of years ago, we were praying for rain,” Perkins said

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