Texas Agriculture May 6, 2016 : Page10

7H[DVIDPLOLHV&#0f;IDUPVEDWWOHÁRRGV By Jessica Domel News Editor Mother Nature is taking its toll on the Lone Star State. Just weeks after parts of East Texas and Louisiana flooded due to too much rainfall, the same has happened to farmers and families across much of North, Cen-tral and Southeast Texas. Some lost their homes, vehicles and businesses. Others lost their lives. In Houston, major thoroughfares were closed as they looked more like rivers than roadways. In Central Texas, fields of growing cotton, corn and wheat were being checked with small boats and rain boots instead of four-wheelers and trucks. Fayette County farmer Gerard Hajovsky received more than a foot of rain April 18. He lives “down river” from the Colorado River south of La Grange and ended up using a boat to check his land and pecan orchard that week. “We’ve got a lot of corn underwa-ter. It goes anywhere from a couple of inches to several feet. It’s slowly “As the water recedes off the corn, draining off, but the river’s not go-ing down fast enough. It needs to get the silt that’s left on it, we could use off the corn crop pretty quick here,” a little rain to wash it off and maybe Hajovsky said in an interview on the that will help it grow and get started Texas Farm Bureau (TFB) Radio Network. This isn’t the first time Hajovsky’s farm near La Grange has flooded. In fact, last May, Hajovsky and his fami-ly battled another flood in their pecan orchard and fields. “We’ve seen this several times already Photo courtesy of Gerard and Loretta Hajovsky in the last 20 years. You’ve got to take it as it comes,” Ha-again,” Hajovsky said. Hajovsky was fortunate and did not jovsky said. The effect the water will have on lose any cattle in the flooding. Others weren’t so lucky. his pecan trees is yet to be seen. Ellis County farmer Lee Calvert “They were just starting to polli-lost five cows and two calves in a light-nate. The rain might have hampered some of the pollination, but that’s our ning storm early Sunday morning, biggest problem right now,” Hajovsky April 17. “There was a lot of lightning before said. and after the rain,” Calvert said. “I As rivers continue to swell and leave their bounds, rain remains in had a vet come out to check if it was something else. They were all facing the forecast. 10 the same direction. Their babies were right beside them, which tells me they were on the side the rain wasn’t coming down. They all had their rear ends the same direction. They were all standing there and lightning struck. It could have been a ground to cloud lightning, which is actually worse for livestock.” Calvert had heard of lightning striking cattle in other places, but had never seen it. “I wouldn’t wish this on anyone,” he said. This loss, paired with the flooding his area also endured last May, has made things difficult for farmers in the area. Calvert received more than six inches of rain in mid April. Wheat in some areas is lying down, but could still stand back up if things dry out. Calvert may not be so lucky with his sunflowers. “Think about the plant breeding the opposite of the way we do. We breathe in from the top and carbon dioxide is our waste. Theirs is the op-posite. They need oxygen below the ground. When water fills an empty space, there is no oxygen available to the root. You choke off oxygen supply,” Calvert said. Without access to oxygen, sunflow-ers will turn yellow and die like they did last May. “In the Hill Country, you get more roll to the hills and more terraces, so the water drains. Right up here, we’re on the edge where the plains start. When it is flat, there’s no room for the water to go. It can’t evacuate fast enough,” Calvert said. Corn, too, could die if things don’t dry out soon. “Just stressing the plant out during that week is bad because this time is critical for growth,” Calvert said. “If the plant was a foot taller, it would be better. The timing is off.” Timing is everything when it comes to crops. “I’d rather have less rain at a good time than more rain at a bad time,” Calvert said. Gov. Greg Abbott declared a state of emergency in nine counties due to the deadly flooding. M AY 6 , 2016 Photo courtesy of Gerard and Loretta Hajovsky

Texas Families, Farms Battle Floods

Jessica Domel

Mother Nature is taking its toll on the Lone Star State. Just weeks after parts of East Texas and Louisiana flooded due to too much rainfall, the same has happened to farmers and families across much of North, Central and Southeast Texas.

Some lost their homes, vehicles and businesses. Others lost their lives.

In Houston, major thoroughfares were closed as they looked more like rivers than roadways.

In Central Texas, fields of growing cotton, corn and wheat were being checked with small boats and rain boots instead of four-wheelers and trucks.

Fayette County farmer Gerard Hajovsky received more than a foot of rain April 18. He lives “down river” from the Colorado River south of La Grange and ended up using a boat to check his land and pecan orchard that week.

“We’ve got a lot of corn underwater. It goes anywhere from a couple of inches to several feet. It’s slowly draining off, but the river’s not going down fast enough. It needs to get off the corn crop pretty quick here,” Hajovsky said in an interview on the Texas Farm Bureau (TFB) Radio Network.

This isn’t the first time Hajovsky’s farm near La Grange has flooded.

In fact, last May, Hajovsky and his family battled another flood in their pecan orchard and fields.

“We’ve seen this several times already in the last 20 years. You’ve got to take it as it comes,” Hajovsky said.

The effect the water will have on his pecan trees is yet to be seen.

“They were just starting to pollinate. The rain might have hampered some of the pollination, but that’s our biggest problem right now,” Hajovsky said.

As rivers continue to swell and leave their bounds, rain remains in the forecast.

“As the water recedes off the corn, the silt that’s left on it, we could use a little rain to wash it off and maybe that will help it grow and get started again,” Hajovsky said.

Hajovsky was fortunate and did not lose any cattle in the flooding. Others weren’t so lucky.

Ellis County farmer Lee Calvert lost five cows and two calves in a lightning storm early Sunday morning, April 17.

“There was a lot of lightning before and after the rain,” Calvert said. “I had a vet come out to check if it was something else. They were all facing the same direction. Their babies were right beside them, which tells me they were on the side the rain wasn’t coming down. They all had their rear ends the same direction. They were all standing there and lightning struck. It could have been a ground to cloud lightning, which is actually worse for livestock.”

Calvert had heard of lightning striking cattle in other places, but had never seen it.

“I wouldn’t wish this on anyone,” he said.

This loss, paired with the flooding his area also endured last May, has made things difficult for farmers in the area.

Calvert received more than six inches of rain in mid April. Wheat in some areas is lying down, but could still stand back up if things dry out.

Calvert may not be so lucky with his sunflowers.

“Think about the plant breeding the opposite of the way we do. We breathe in from the top and carbon dioxide is our waste. Theirs is the opposite. They need oxygen below the ground. When water fills an empty space, there is no oxygen available to the root. You choke off oxygen supply,” Calvert said.

Without access to oxygen, sunflowers will turn yellow and die like they did last May.

“In the Hill Country, you get more roll to the hills and more terraces, so the water drains. Right up here, we’re on the edge where the plains start. When it is flat, there’s no room for the water to go. It can’t evacuate fast enough,” Calvert said.

Corn, too, could die if things don’t dry out soon.

“Just stressing the plant out during that week is bad because this time is critical for growth,” Calvert said. “If the plant was a foot taller, it would be better. The timing is off.”

Timing is everything when it comes to crops.

“I’d rather have less rain at a good time than more rain at a bad time,” Calvert said.

Gov. Greg Abbott declared a state of emergency in nine counties due to the deadly flooding.

Read the full article at http://texasagriculture.texasfarmbureau.org/article/Texas+Families%2C+Farms+Battle+Floods/2473671/300782/article.html.

Previous Page  Next Page


Publication List
Using a screen reader? Click Here