Recent rainfall a plus, but more needed?

Reported by: Rebecca Rivers

Reported by: Andrew Wood
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Updated: 5/15/2013 10:26 am
Lubbock County Extension Agent Mark Brown has been gathering the levels of rainfall the county received over the past week and said that this area is still dangerously below average for total 2013 precipitation.

"It's a critical time in the growing season right now," Brown said. "We had producers right here in Lubbock County that got anywhere from .3 of an inch to some very isolated areas that got upwards of 1.5 inches. What we've received so far this year, we've only received about 2.5 inches of rainfall for the first five months of the year."

2010 was the last wet year we saw, with annual moisture reaching 26 inches total. But the good news is that the recent rains were the right type of moisture, slow and soaking. Plus the wind and heat have been relatively low since.

"We're standing at the edge of the area covered by the center pivot and if we look at that and we run a push probe we can see that they've got about three or four feet of moisture which is really good. That's a good way to start," Brown said. "In this area here, we're in the dry land corner that is not covered by the center pivot and whenever we look at this, even though the field has been worked up some and the soil is fluffy, that's about as far as I can push the push probe, only about a foot or so. There is a little bit of moisture here, but that won't take very long to dry up."

Going into planting, producers of course like the water table full. But the surface moisture is most critical for seeds to emerge.

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