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San Angelo Standard-Times, Texas Jerry Lackey column

By Jerry Lackey, San Angelo Standard-Times, Texas
McClatchy-Tribune Information Services

May 18--Last week's cold front managed to bring teasing amounts of precipitation to the Concho Valley and greater amounts to Central and Northeast Texas.

From 3 to 6 inches of rain fell east of Interstate 45, according to the weekly crop and weather report issued by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service. West of 1-45, many areas received substantial rain, too -- more than 2 inches. But the Panhandle, parts of the South Plains and Far West Texas regions remained largely dry. In the Panhandle, more than 100 homes were lost to a wildfire.

Corn in Burleson County's Brazos Bottom looks good, but looks can be deceiving, said Ronnie Schnell, the state cropping system specialist at College Station. The plants were entering a rapid-growth stage, leading to the most critical flowering stages on May 5.

The upper Gulf Coast, the Blacklands and North Texas had good moisture at planting times, he said. Planting was in early March in the central and north regions and mid- to late-February in the Gulf Coast area.

Schnell said some freezes delayed planting in some areas, as well as some late freezes that damaged corn in the northern Blacklands and resulted in replanting of other crops.

On a trip through northeast Texas, the eastern half of Oklahoma and south central Missouri last week, I observed some beautiful crops and green pastures -- the result of ample rainfall even before last week.

Wheat damaged by the late freeze as April ended is being baled from McCulloch, Brown and Eastland counties and well into parts of North Texas.

Ron Hayes, farm broadcaster for Radio Oklahoma Network in Oklahoma City, reported poor weather conditions in the winter and early spring hammered both winter wheat and canola in part of that state.

He said after insurance adjusters have appraised a crop, farmers have the option to leave some strips so they can use it before it is disastered out for hay purposes or grazing.

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The county agents reported soil moisture as fair in Central Texas with rangeland and pastures, as well as livestock in good condition.

Topsoil moisture in North Texas ranges from short to adequate after the region received 2 or more inches of rain. Windy weather during much of the month dried out soil moisture, so the rain was much needed.

For those of us on a bus trip to Branson, Missouri, last week, the sight of green pastures and lots of water was a rare treat. On Highway 69, Eufaula Lake started appearing on both sides of the road north of McAlester, Oklahoma, and continued for miles into Checotah, south of Muskogee.

Eufaula Lake is a reservoir located on the Canadian River, 27 miles upstream from its confluence with the Arkansas River and near the town of Eufaula. It has a depth in part of it at 23 feet and a shore length of 600 miles.

A brochure reports catfish in Eufaula Lake grow as big as whales and present fishermen the challenge of a lifetime to land them.

Meanwhile, Lake Taneycomo at Branson advertises the clear and cold waters -- average water temperature 48 degree year round -- provides some of the finest trout fishing available anywhere in the world.

More than 750,000 trout are stocked there each year.

Unlike my Lackey ancestors who would rather fish than eat, I want to eat fish already caught. I enjoyed a trout at a window table at Joe's Crab Shack on the shore of Lake Taneycomo last week.

Lake Taneycomo is a man-made lake on the White River in the Ozark Mountains of Taney County, Missouri.

About 66 percent of Missouri's land is used for agriculture.

The state's Menfro soil has a dark brown silt loam surface layer and covers 780,000 acres in Missouri. Top crops include grain, sorghum, hay, corn, soybeans and rice.

Missouri also ranks high among the states in cattle and calves, hogs and turkeys and broilers. Livestock and livestock products make up more than half of the Show-Me State's production agriculture.

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Jerry Lackey writes about agriculture. Contact him at [email protected] or 325-949-2291.


(c)2014 the San Angelo Standard-Times (San Angelo, Texas)

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Distributed by MCT Information Services



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