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Agriculture pros say Crossroads crops are doing well, but extra rain would help


May 8, 2012 at 12:08 a.m.

Rows of corn planted just off John Stockbauer Drive stand more than 5 feet tall. Extension agents throughout the Crossroads say this year's crops are doing well, but added rain would help.

As harvest draws nearer for Crossroads farmers, many crops fare better than in recent years.

Still, agriculture pros said this week's added rains could do some good for the plants' growth and development.

The wheat harvest is already under way in some parts of Jackson County and early reports are positive, said Mike Hiller, the county's extension agent. Some producers net 50 to 60 bushels an acre.

Livestock is also doing well, he said, noting the county has already produced hay, and it's only a matter of time until a second cutting.

Hiller said corn crops would still benefit from added moisture, as would livestock, which could graze on rejuvenated pasture land.

"If we could get an inch or two, it would be a big help," he said, adding that he hoped to forego high winds and hail, which could damage crops. "But, especially compared to last year, we're doing a whole lot better."

Goliad County's row crops are doing about as well as possible, said County Extension Agent Brian Yanta. The 8,000 or so acres benefited from rain throughout April, he said.

"They need moisture to get the crop up, but they also need April and May rain," he said Monday. "If we get this rain they've been talking about this week, it should be a bumper crop."

News wasn't quite as positive for Goliad County's rangeland condition, however.

The land never bounced back from drought conditions, he said, noting Bermuda grass could benefit from extra moisture.

"The jury's still out," he said. "We're kind of sitting there, a little antsy. It could turn out very good, but we don't know yet."

DeWitt County saw the best start to its season for the first time in several years, said Anthony Netardus, the county's extension agent. Still, last month's conditions were hard on row crops.

"I'm not saying we're doomed, but we did have a short rainfall month in April, and DeWitt County crops are stressing," he said.

Like the others, he said this week's predicted rains could turn things around.

"If we get them, we'll still be in pretty darn good shape," he said.



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