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Crossroads producers hope for rain in coming weeks

By BY ALLISON MILES - AMILES@VICAD.COM
Jan. 29, 2013 at midnight
Updated Jan. 28, 2013 at 7:29 p.m.

Water pooled in the rows of a farmer's field after the rain had stopped  along Nursery Road.

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The Victoria area had received 2.73 inches of rain for the year as of 3 p.m. Friday. That's slightly more than the 2.07-inch average, said Waylon Collins, a senior forecaster and meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Corpus Christi. Forecasts call for slight precipitation throughout the week, he said, but nothing significant.

April showers might bring May flowers, but some say earlier rains would be even better.

Crossroads producers hope to start the year off right with a bit of moisture in the coming weeks.

The grain market remains strong for corn, grain sorghum and soybeans, said Peter McGuill, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension agent for Victoria County. A worldwide carryover of cotton last year, however, means cotton prices are somewhat off.

He said he expected that to translate into fewer cotton acres throughout the Crossroads but an increase in the others.

Still, he said, weather dictates everything.

"Always remember," he said, "it's not how much it rains but when it rains."

Ricky Konvicka, who manages Goliad Feed Co., agreed. Now through February or early March is the optimal time for showers, he said, explaining the time frame allows spring grasses to get their start.

His business relies on the cattle industry and, while prices are holding steady, most ranchers will wait to see what the weather does before laying out plans for the year.

More rain means more people stocking up, while dry conditions will likely lead to people selling off their herds.

"Mother Nature still holds all the cards right now," he said.

Leo Heinemann manages the DeWitt County Producers Coop., which focuses primarily on pastures and hay production. He described current standings as a "wait and see" situation.

The Crossroads received a healthy shower several weeks ago, he said, but needs another soaking rain to replenish the subsoil moisture.

Heinemann said he wouldn't describe himself and others as optimistic about the situation, but said they remained hopeful.

"We can do everything else we want, but unless we have moisture, we can't move forward a whole lot," he said.

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