Texas drought conditions improved significantly over the weekend.
Cotton farmers contacted by Southwest Farm Press last week in the Texas High Plains were hoping for several weeks of open weather following a weekend of rain that kept many from harvesting fields that were defoliated, open and ready to harvest.
Most were busy pulling as much cotton as they could before another round of precipitation predicted to hit later in the week.
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Producers in central Oklahoma, with whom we touched base at the annual Oklahoma State University Rural Economic Outlook Conference, were pleased to see a day-long deluge on Friday that eased drought conditions that had persisted since early summer.
Folks driving south following that meeting just hoped to make it home through sometimes driving rain.
Most of the region received significant amounts of rain from a system that came in on the coattails of moisture generated from Hurricane Patricia. Good news or bad depended on the crop mix, stage of harvest and vulnerability to flooding. South Texas was again hard hit by string storms and flooding.
The good news across the region is that overall drought conditions have diminished. In Texas, drought status changed significantly, down from 50 percent considered in moderate to exceptional drought the previous week to only 15 percent rated in drought status this week.
The state still has not reached the 0.65 percent level of three months ago but is well below the 49 percent at this time last year.
No areas were considered in extreme drought and few were considered in extreme drought status. Recent rains have also raise state reservoir levels by 4.5 percentage points according to the latest drought report from the Texas Water Development