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Texas drought affecting winter wheat crop

POSTED: Monday, December 17, 2012 - 1:48pm
UPDATED: Monday, December 17, 2012 - 2:41pm

Despite a fairly wet summer and enough rainfall to get Central Texas officially out of the drought, we're once again back in one with moderate to severe conditions after one of the five driest October and Novembers on record since 1950 and now the winter wheat crop is in trouble.

This weekend's rainfall was a welcome sight for farmers but unfortunately it fell too hard and too fast to do any good.

And after one of the driest falls in history, farmers like Jay Wilder, are struggling to keep their winter wheat crop alive.

"You can look around here and see some that's three to four inches tall or there's some that hasn't even come up yet and throughout the whole year that'll affect the crop," said Wilder.

Drought expert and professor at Texas A&M's AgriLife Extension Service, Travis Miller, says the dry conditions and lack of rainfall this season has created the perfect storm for another drought like 2011.

"54 percent of the state ranges from severe to exceptional drought and there's a good chunk, like another 30 something percent, that's abnormally dry," said Miller.

Conditions Wilder is all too familiar with.

"Half of our annual rainfall comes in November, December, January and February," said Wilder."Here we are in December and we didn't get maybe but half an inch in November so we hope it catches up pretty quick."

Otherwise Wilder might not have a crop to produce this year.

"It's vitally important the wheat crop gets some moisture here in the near future," said Miller. "Otherwise the stands won't be able to survive."

But Wilder tells us he's staying positive, "You've got to be. There's no reason to be negative. That won't help."



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