By Julie Tomascik
After the blows dealt by 2020, farmers knew 2021 was going to be different. It was going to be a good year. And while many things have gone right, Mother Nature hasn’t played nice.
Texas had a wet spring followed by a wet summer. The unusually wet year proved challenging for farmers and ranchers. It was difficult to get crops planted between rains, and now, at harvest time, it’s raining again.
In South Texas, the Rio Grande Valley and along the Coastal Bend, some farmers reported 10 inches in a week. Others nearly 20 inches. It’s led to flooding and damages to a promising crop. After several consecutive days of rain on already saturated soil, fields of grain sorghum ready to harvest are standing in water.
The sorghum crop has started to sprout, which lowers the quality of the crop and could result in a total loss. It happens when there is prolonged rainfall and high humidity—the conditions parts of Texas have seen a lot of lately.
The increased rain and cooler temperatures also has led to an increase in fungus and pests.
The weather created ideal conditions for armyworms to thrive. They’re marching across Texas, eating their way through hay fields and green pastures—everything livestock need to eat in the summer and have for the winter.
It’s convenient to get down when things aren’t going your way. Sure, they’ve lost sleep. They’re worried. And they’re tired. But farmers and ranchers aren’t losing hope, yet. Because hope floats amid the floods.
Farmers are bringing their combines to the fields, trying desperately to get their crops in between the rains and cause as little damage to their fields as possible.
Farming and ranching is always a gamble with Mother Nature calling the shots. But farmers and ranchers keep doing what they know best—farming and ranching. It’s what they love. It’s in their blood, and it’s often a family tradition.