Reflecting on 2019
Most people in agriculture will tell you every year is different with different challenges than the year before. 2019 certainly bore that out. Most old-timers we talked to couldn’t remember a year that had started so wet due to continuous rains in the fall and then remained wet for so long through the winter and spring. Jay Wilder farms in Burleson County.
“We’ve got twenty-five hundred acres of farmland. We may have three hundred of that that’s been shredded and plowed. We have absolutely no rows up to start with. No fertilizer out. No herbicides out. Anything we would have done typically in the fall has not been done. So I don’t know what our game plan will really be because we’ve never been in this situation.”
Larry Herd is a Brazos County rancher and said that the excessive wet conditions hampered much of his day to day cow-calf operation.
“This year it’s been cow’s calving, she’s having problems. She’s stuck in the mud. I can’t get to her. I can’t get a truck to her. I can’t get feed to them. I can’t put out hay. I can’t feed cubes because they’ve got to have floats on them to even be able to be fed.”
When John Malazzo could finally get into his fields, it was too late to plant as much corn as he had planned and some corn that was planted in lower ends of fields stood in water.
“The water doesn’t have to be over the top of the crop for the crop to drown. If it covers the ground, the water covers the ground your roots are not getting any oxygen and it just literally starves to death. That’s why I think you see some of this corn that matured out at a very short height.”
There was a three or four-day window of opportunity to plant a little cotton but it then it began raining again. Most cotton was probably 45 days late.
“It seemed like for about three or four Wednesdays in a row we got three and a half inches and it was during planting season. So we had a very delayed planting season.”
Once it dried out a little and crops were finally planted, pastures greened up for ranchers and farmers managed to escape any untimely rains during harvest.
“We’re thankful even though it is almost Thanksgiving, very late for harvest, I feel like we have a lot to be thankful for.”