Planting Off to Slow Start in Panhandle


Planting season is off to a slow start in the panhandle and across the nation.

Brittan Gruhlkey has farmed  in Deaf Smith County for years, but this spring, planting in the Panhandle has been put on hold. 

"This year with the cold snaps, it's pushed planting back a little bit," Gruhlkey said. 

Gruhlkey says this is normally the time he would be planting his corn and cotton. They've done a little, but hard freezes and cold overnight temperatures aren't helping.

"The issue for planting is soil temperature," Jourdan Bell, Agronomist with the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension said. 

Bell says we need to start seeing overnight temperatures sticking in the 50s for a least five days in a row.

Additionally, on top of the cold temperatures, Bell says the wind is hurting the soil.

"Because of the wind, we're seeing the moisture, you know dry down just as quickly as they're putting it in. The pre-irrigation's not very efficient," Bell said.

There is a silver lining - although the season is off to slow start, Gruhlkey says he's still got time.

"We like to get all the time we can, but right now, we're still in a pretty good time period for  planting," Gruhlkey said.

According to him, that time period will give him about 15 to 20 more days to finish planting.

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