Texas Agriculture November 6, 2015 : Page 10

/DWH2FWREHUUDLQVNHHSIDUPHUVRXWRIÀHOGV&#0f;GDPDJHFRWWRQ By Jessica Domel Field Editor In what could be described as a precursor to the full effects of El Niño, Hurricane Patricia arrived in late October and brought with her as much as 20 inches of rain in some places. Although the rain was a bless-ing for most Texans, in some areas, too much rainfall kept farmers out of fields and damaged some cotton crops. “Navarro County got hammered by 20 inches of rain. Corsicana got 21 inches of rain over a course of three days. To put that in perspec-tive, through the end of October, the city of San Angelo has only received 21 inches of rain for the entire year,” Mark Fox, meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Fort Worth, said in an interview with the TFB Radio Network. Although his area didn’t see any-where near 20 inches of rain, Lamb County cotton farmer Ricky Yantis reports the rain that fell in his area did damage some cotton. “We received about 3.5 inches up here over a couple of days,” Yantis said in a report with the TFB Radio Network. “It fell pretty good for the most part. Most of our cotton acre-age has been treated with chemicals and is ready for harvest.” The effect of rain on the treated cotton is yet to be seen. In areas that received heavy rainfall, cotton is re-portedly strung out in the burr. And additional rainfall is in the forecast. “That’s the problem we get into in this area this time of year,” Yantis said. “You get these fronts coming through every 10 days. Usually they’re dry in this part of the coun-try, but this year with the conditions we’ve been having, it seems like they’re loading up with moisture.” Extended periods of moisture on harvest-ready cotton affect its grade and potential to be harvested when fields dry out. Yantis said it’s like watching a newspaper in the driveway on a rainy day. “The first day, it’s just wet, but it’s all right. You can bring it in and dry it out,” Yantis said. It’s the following days that cause the most concern if the area doesn’t see sunshine and dry days. “That paper is going to deterio-rate and start losing color,” Yantis said. “It’s going to start losing tex-ture to the paper. That’s the way cotton reacts. As the days continue to be wet, it will deteriorate.” Moisture can stain cotton and affect farmers’ ability to clean it. If rainfall is too heavy, the weight of moisture on the cotton could cause it to string out and eventually fall out of the burr, which means lost yields for farmers already battling a tough year in some places. “We had a lot of rain early and then it kind of got hot and dry in August. That kind of hurt us,” Yantis said. “It matured us out pretty fast. It wasn’t going to be a record crop in this area west of Lubbock.” Yantis estimates that dryland cotton in his area will bring about a bale to a bale-and-a-half per acre on average. Irrigated cotton is esti-mated to bring less than three bales per acre, but more than two. Cotton in other parts of the Plains was looking better before this last rain storm with some rumors of five-bale per acre cotton. “That’s going to be on the very up-per end of a lot of this cotton,” Steve Verett, executive vice president of Plains Cotton Growers, said. “Most of the cotton is coming in at about what they thought. It’s about aver-age to a little above average.” For the High Plains of Texas, the crop was expected to be the biggest harvested since 2010. “That’s barring any weather event between now and the time we get it off the stalk,” Verett said. “It’s going to be an important crop. It’s going to be very much needed by our infrastructure and farmers as well.” Although some farmers were able to get in their fields to harvest the Harvest was in full swing when rains hit the South Plains in late October. (Photo by Mary Jane Buerkle/Plains Cotton Growers) last week of October, others were still waiting as of Oct. 28. Harvest in the Plains usually begins around the middle of October and runs through the first of the year, depending on the area. (O1LxRFRXOGEULQJ1RYHPEHUUDLQV By Jessica Domel Field Editor Although much of Texas received some much-needed rainfall in late October, the state could be in for more rain if meteorologists’ El Niño predictions come through. “You don’t start seeing an uptick in average rainfall during El Niño until November—especially with the stronger ones,” State Climatologist John Nielsen-Gammon said. El Niño, a warming trend of waters in the equatorial Pacific Ocean, could also bring with it cloudier days and cooler temperatures. But additional rainfall is not guaranteed. “The two strongest El Niños in the past actually ended up being near-normal for Texas,” Nielsen-Gammon said. “The only thing off the table is anything substantially drier than normal. That hasn’t happened in recorded history with a decent strength El Niño.” El Niño weather patterns can last six months to two years. This specific weather pattern is forecast to end sometime in the spring or summer. “Unfortunately, it will not only end, but temperatures are forecast to keep going down,” Nielsen-Gammon said. “There’s a very good chance of seeing a La Niña next fall.” La Niña typically brings with her a warmer, drier winter. “Unfortunately, when we have things swinging in one direction like El Niño, it really does have to swing in the other direction eventually,” Nielsen-Gammon said. Nielsen-Gammon cautions that the regional average is for more rainfall in an El Niño and less in a La Niña, but it is always possible for individual locations to be more or less lucky as the systems continue through the hemisphere. 10 N OVEMBER 6, 2015

El Niño Could Bring November Rains

Jessica Domel

Although much of Texas received some much-needed rainfall in late October, the state could be in for more rain if meteorologists’ El Niño predictions come through.

“You don’t start seeing an uptick in average rainfall during El Niño until November—especially with the stronger ones,” State Climatologist John Nielsen-Gammon said.

El Niño, a warming trend of waters in the equatorial Pacific Ocean, could also bring with it cloudier days and cooler temperatures.

But additional rainfall is not guaranteed.

“The two strongest El Niños in the past actually ended up being near-normal for Texas,” Nielsen-Gammon said. “The only thing off the table is anything substantially drier than normal. That hasn’t happened in recorded history with a decent strength El Niño.”

El Niño weather patterns can last six months to two years. This specific weather pattern is forecast to end sometime in the spring or summer.

“Unfortunately, it will not only end, but temperatures are forecast to keep going down,” Nielsen-Gammon said. “There’s a very good chance of seeing a La Niña next fall.”

La Niña typically brings with her a warmer, drier winter.

“Unfortunately, when we have things swinging in one direction like El Niño, it really does have to swing in the other direction eventually,” Nielsen-Gammon said.

Nielsen-Gammon cautions that the regional average is for more rainfall in an El Niño and less in a La Niña, but it is always possible for individual locations to be more or less lucky as the systems continue through the hemisphere.

Read the full article at http://texasagriculture.texasfarmbureau.org/article/El+Ni%C3%B1o+Could+Bring+November+Rains/2318254/280024/article.html.

Late October Rains Keep Farmers Out of Fields, Damage Cotton

Jessica Domel

In what could be described as a precursor to the full effects of El Niño, Hurricane Patricia arrived in late October and brought with her as much as 20 inches of rain in some places.

Although the rain was a blessing for most Texans, in some areas, too much rainfall kept farmers out of fields and damaged some cotton crops.

“Navarro County got hammered by 20 inches of rain. Corsicana got 21 inches of rain over a course of three days. To put that in perspective, through the end of October, the city of San Angelo has only received 21 inches of rain for the entire year,” Mark Fox, meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Fort Worth, said in an interview with the TFB Radio Network.

Although his area didn’t see anywhere near 20 inches of rain, Lamb County cotton farmer Ricky Yantis reports the rain that fell in his area did damage some cotton.

“We received about 3.5 inches up here over a couple of days,” Yantis said in a report with the TFB Radio Network. “It fell pretty good for the most part. Most of our cotton acreage has been treated with chemicals and is ready for harvest.”

The effect of rain on the treated cotton is yet to be seen. In areas that received heavy rainfall, cotton is reportedly strung out in the burr. And additional rainfall is in the forecast.

“That’s the problem we get into in this area this time of year,” Yantis said. “You get these fronts coming through every 10 days. Usually they’re dry in this part of the country, but this year with the conditions we’ve been having, it seems like they’re loading up with moisture.”

Extended periods of moisture on harvest-ready cotton affect its grade and potential to be harvested when fields dry out.

Yantis said it’s like watching a newspaper in the driveway on a rainy day.

“The first day, it’s just wet, but it’s all right. You can bring it in and dry it out,” Yantis said.

It’s the following days that cause the most concern if the area doesn’t see sunshine and dry days.

“That paper is going to deteriorate and start losing color,” Yantis said. “It’s going to start losing texture to the paper. That’s the way cotton reacts. As the days continue to be wet, it will deteriorate.”

Moisture can stain cotton and affect farmers’ ability to clean it. If rainfall is too heavy, the weight of moisture on the cotton could cause it to string out and eventually fall out of the burr, which means lost yields for farmers already battling a tough year in some places.

“We had a lot of rain early and then it kind of got hot and dry in August. That kind of hurt us,” Yantis said. “It matured us out pretty fast. It wasn’t going to be a record crop in this area west of Lubbock.”

Yantis estimates that dryland cotton in his area will bring about a bale to a bale-and-a-half per acre on average. Irrigated cotton is estimated to bring less than three bales per acre, but more than two.

Cotton in other parts of the Plains was looking better before this last rain storm with some rumors of five-bale per acre cotton.

“That’s going to be on the very upper end of a lot of this cotton,” Steve Verett, executive vice president of Plains Cotton Growers, said. “Most of the cotton is coming in at about what they thought. It’s about average to a little above average.”

For the High Plains of Texas, the crop was expected to be the biggest harvested since 2010.

“That’s barring any weather event between now and the time we get it off the stalk,” Verett said. “It’s going to be an important crop. It’s going to be very much needed by our infrastructure and farmers as well.”

Although some farmers were able to get in their fields to harvest the last week of October, others were still waiting as of Oct. 28.

Harvest in the Plains usually begins around the middle of October and runs through the first of the year, depending on the area.

Read the full article at http://texasagriculture.texasfarmbureau.org/article/Late+October+Rains+Keep+Farmers+Out+of+Fields%2C+Damage+Cotton/2318264/280024/article.html.

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