Texoma farmers are facing what could be classified as a weather-related disaster this harvest season.
Grayson County Agrilife Extension Agent Marshall Tolleson said the rains have caused turmoil for area farmers qualifying the county farmers for disaster relief under the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
In a news release on the USDA’s website, the agency said it will be providing $16 billion in relief to support farmers who have been impacted by disasters and other hardships, including the trade dispute with China.
U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue said the nation’s farmers are facing significant challenges in recent months.
“Given the size and scope of these many disasters, as well as the uncertainty of the final size and scope of this year’s prevented planting acreage, we will use up to $16 billion in support for farmers and the $3 billion in disaster aid to provide as much help as possible to all our affected producers,” Perdue said.
Tolleson explained how this year’s weather affected local growers.
“In general, it was really wet during the spring,” Tolleson said. “That kept a lot of people from being able to plant all of their acres. Most people got about 70 percent of what they intended to plant actually planted.”
Corn yields are looking to be fairly well all things considered. Tolleson said the yields are between 100 bushels per acre up to 130 bushels per acre. The average is 100 to 150 per acre.
“It dried up during the end of the summer,” Tolleson said. “That wasn’t affecting yields as much as it was affecting whether or not there would be this toxin called aflatoxin. All the farmers I have talked to said they aren’t having problems with aflatoxin.”
Tolleson said going into the summer there was a little dry spell with a couple of good rains, and the late summer drought didn’t hurt the farmers in the area for the most part.
The biggest concern is fall army worms. Tolleson said those have been eating crops as well as Bermuda grass in neighboring counties.
While the rains were good for the farmers looking to plant wheat for grazing, Tolleson said the farmers who are intending to harvest grain are still waiting for the second or third week of October to avoid the army worms.