Some pockets of dryland crops remain in Texas

Jul 29, 2011
by WLJ

Though most dryland crops have failed due to the drought, there were scattered pockets of production, according to a Texas AgriLife Extension Service expert.

“There will be some dryland crops harvested in Texas,” said Dr. Travis Miller, AgriLife Extension program leader and associate department head of the Texas A&M University soil and crop sciences department, College Station. “The best areas are going to be from Corpus (Christi), TX, north to Victoria, TX, and along the coast a little ways, and then from Hill County north and east.”

Miller predicted cotton yields in the area from Corpus Christi to Victoria will be in the 350- to 400-poundper-acre range. Sorghum yields were reported as being in the 3,000- to 3,700-pound range while corn yields were about 35 to 40 bushels per acre.

But the situation varied widely not just from one region to another, but county to county, he said.

“If you get a little farther north, say to Matagorda County, they just missed those rains, and there’s some 25- to 30-bushel corn,” Miller said. “Then Hill County and to the north had some pretty good rains. I think there was some 75-bushel corn, and I believe there will be 3,800- to 4,000-pound sorghum. With the current price scenario, they can probably do a little better than break even on that.”

But for most of the state, the dryland situation was just plain dismal. From Uvalde (south-central Texas) north to Spearman (the upper Panhandle), nearly all dryland crops have failed, he said. There is not going to be much of anything harvested on dryland fields in the southwest Texas area, the Edwards Plateau, the Rolling Plains and the High Plains.

It almost looks desertlike, he said.

“You can’t even tell they planted anything,” Miller said. — WLJ