Recent rainfall beneficial for corn and sorghum, could harm cotton yields

Local News

AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — The Amarillo area has seen more than 10 inches of rainfall so far in 2021. While it has benefitted several local crops, it could harm cotton producers.

An agent for the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension office in Randall County, J.D. Raglan,d said some of the rainfall prior to June benefited wheat yields.

“On the dry land situation, most of our wheat yielded somewhere around 30 bushels per acre on the dry land basis and then on our irrigated side, anywhere from 60 to 70 bushels per acre,” Ragland said. “So that’s up from years past.”

He also said the area saw about seven inches of rainfall in June alone, which should be beneficial for some recently planted crops, like corn and sorghum.

“Both corn and sorghum are crops that require rainfall and we’ve been beneficial to receive that,” Ragland said. “It’s made a huge impact on producers being able to water less. There’s less water that’s been pumped this growing season for those two crops.”

However, he said recent cooler temperatures, less direct sunlight, and excessive moisture do not bode well for recently planted cotton crops.

“So, with our cotton situation, we’re behind in terms of growth and development and we’re hoping that that much-needed sunshine and warm temperatures will benefit our cotton crop over the next couple of months,” Ragland added.

Ragland also said many cotton crops were affected by high winds and hail, forcing some producers to replant.

Chief Meteorologist John Harris said we can expect more rainfall because on average, the High Plains’ wettest months are June, August, and July.

“Now we’re into July and we have this heavy rain falling right now. So it looks good as we continue on through July and August,” Harris said. “And so those rain totals should continue to pile up for us.”

He said some warmer days could help the cotton to dry out.

“We want to give everybody the correct type of weather so that they can yield the most out of their crops as possible but in the end, we’re just at the mercy of mother nature,” he continued.

Ragland also said the rainfall totals are good for our pastures and grazing grasses.

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