Low temperatures and a light frost during the last few days may have affected Ellis County crops.
Larry Eubank, Ellis County Farm Service Agency county executive director, said the damage would be minimal but that the wheat crop may take 48 to 72 hours to show the damage.
“I’ve talked to some producers and looked at some corn and wheat,” Eubank said. “Apparently the corn didn’t have much damage, if any; the wheat was the concern.”
Eubank said the temperatures were in the middle 30s to low 40s over the weekend in the low-lying areas. The hope is that the temperatures were not low enough for a long enough time to hurt the new crops.
“We’re hoping the wheat is good,” Eubank said. “At present crop conditions look good. The wheat crop is further along, but on track for the end of May/first part of June to begin the harvest. The yield potential is average.”
Rainfall has been adequate and in some areas more than adequate, Eubank said.
“What we really need right now is sunshine to dry things out,” Eubank said.
Eubank hopes for some warmer weather and 80-degree days to help the drying so remaining crops can be planted.
“We’re pretty well on schedule,” Eubank said of the normal April 10-15 planting dates. “But we had these cool spells off and on, and that’s keeping soil temperatures down.”
Very little cotton is planted at this time. The soil temperature is still too cool for the warm weather plant.
Eubank predicts if the rain holds out and the temperatures climb into the mid and upper 80s this weekend that many of the farmers will be out planting cotton.
The corn crops are 95-100 percent planted.
Grain sorghum (milo) crops are up and more are growing.
Most soybeans have been planted. Eubank said continued planting in low-lying areas might be delayed until there are drier ground conditions.
Hay/Sudan is planted and some is growing. Eubank said grasses and pastures are looking better. The livestock water supplies are full because of the adequate water supply from the rain.
Prices for the crops if today are high, but Eubank said the prices might change drastically by harvest time.
“Wheat is very high,” Eubank said. “We haven’t seen that kind of price in eight to 10 years.”
Eubank attributes the high price to low U.S. and world stock prices driving up the market price.
“This year, the markets look favorable,” Eubank said. “We hope to finish getting crops planted and up and growing and hope that mother nature will be kind to us.”
E-mail Bitty at firstname.lastname@example.org