By Jessica Domel

March Madness. It’s not just basketball this year.

For agriculture in South and Central Texas, March Madness comes down to wet fields and delayed planting. I know my family’s farming bracket has already been broken.

We planned for a certain amount of corn this spring and penciled it into our March Madness “brackets.”

But Mother Nature stepped in with a full court press and rain wiped out our plans in the first round.

South and Central Texas are sloppy wet. Farmers in South Texas have been unable to get their cotton in. And our Central Texas farmers are waiting for fields to dry to plant corn.

So what happens next?

We hope the fields dry out before the upcoming plant deadlines. If not, we move on to the next crop in the bracket. OR, farmers can plant and risk growing a crop without insurance coverage. OR hope, as our Texas Farm Bureau President Russell Boening requested, that planting deadlines for crop insurance coverage are extended.

See, even when Mother Nature takes us out of the first bracket, there’s no giving up. We can’t just say “ho hum,” tear up our cards and wait for next year.

We have to move on to another bracket. Look for another crop to bet on. Another program to entrust our livelihoods.

It may not seem quite as electrifying to you as NCAA basketball and the battles on the court during the real March Madness.

But March Madness this spring for Texas farmers is just as intense. It’s full of excitement, stress, nail biting and difficult decisions.

And it’s eventually going to feel great when they realize they’ve picked the winning team!