The very thing that farmers need to grow crops is now making it difficult to do so.
Texas farmers in the panhandle face new difficulties harvesting following significant rain.
Vast amounts of rain have accumulated across the western portion of the state following several waves of showers and thunderstorms. The National Weather Service in Amarillo told The Dallas Express that this past May has been one of the wettest on record for many regional areas.
“Many areas in the Panhandle have gotten measurables, from our observation sites, about 8 to 12 inches, some areas a little more than that, but some rare estimates could be high as about 15 to 18 inches of rain in some areas, especially in the southern part of the Texas Panhandle,” said Luigi Meccariello, with the NWS in Amarillo.
Meccariello said some of these areas were previously in “extreme” drought and had persisted for over two years. Several rounds of storms had passed over the region since the first week of May, and the organization has since received reports of flooding, with some lakes and riverbeds overfilling.
While the rain has eliminated drought in some areas, its amount has created complications for some farmers.
Brady Buxkemper, a resident of Lynn County, posted images on Twitter last week showcasing the effects of heavy rainfall in the area.
Buxkemper showcased images of flooded roads and fields, reporting that they had received 9 inches of rain in the last 10 days and had received nearly 4 more on that day.
9" of rain in the last 10 days
3.8" just today pic.twitter.com/vp5qQH9DTv
— Brady Buxkemper🌵 (@BradyBuxkemper) June 2, 2023
Wesley Spurlock, a farmer in Sherman County, told Dairy Herd Management that the heavy rainfall has prevented him from planting most of his crops.
“We still have about 80% of our acres to plant,” said Spurlock, according to Dairy Herd Management.
“We had about 2,500 to 3,000 acres of cottonwood aimed at planting, and the final planting date on cotton was May 31st,” he continued.
Farmers are facing planting and harvesting issues due to the flooded fields. Spurlock said that the inability to harvest wheat and Triticale forces his family to make difficult business decisions as it relates to local dairies.
“Do we let those choppers and trucks on those fields and destroy them? Or do we buy ourselves out of that contract and keep this and harvest our as grain, and so there’s multiple decisions but that one is one that’s really hard right now because we’re contracted to the dairy for about 3000 acres of wheat for silage,” said Spurlock, according to Dairy Herd Management.
Spurlock and his family plan on switching to planting corn and continuing that endeavor through the month.
Meccariello said that a chance for showers and storms remains in the forecast for the region for the next few days and that, due to saturation, flooding will remain possible.