TULIA, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) – Swisher County’s Texas A&M Agrilife Extension announced that it will hold a drought management meeting on Thursday, June 9, in the Swisher County memorial Building in Tulia. During the event, participants will be able to hear from specialists regarding managing both crops and cattle during a drought.

The event’s schedule was published by organizers, and included:

  • 9:30 a.m. – Check-in
  • 10 a.m. – Dr. Tim Steffens Q&A Session
    • Rainfall patterns, trigger dates and managing the precipitation you get
  • 11 a.m. – Dr. Jason Smith
    • Culling decisions as well as other strategies for managing cattle during a drought
  • 12 p.m. – Lunch, and noxious weed information from Cynthia Finck

The Texas A&M Agrilife Extension Service has also discussed recent drought conditions with MyHighPlains.com, as producers were preparing to plant crops in April. It was noted by the service’s Dr. J.D. Ragland that producers would need to consider making adjustments if the drought continued.

At the time of the April interview, Chief Meteorologist John Harris noted that the outlook for the coming months was negative.

“Right now, it looks like La Niña will continue all the way through may which means we are going to be drier than normal, and may starts our traditional wet season up here in Amarillo and the viewing area and then we might get back into a neutral phase as we get into the summer months, which can go either way when it comes to rainfall. But we may be going into June this year with a drought continuing,” said Harris.

It appears that Harris’ advisory was correct. As of the beginning of June, the High Plains have remained under near-continuous drought conditions for a number of months. In March 2022, the conditions had already been considered record-breaking by the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB), with the drought covering the largest area in the state of Texas since 2013.

According to the TWDB’s “Water Weekly” report for the week of May 30, Swisher County was among those in the Texas Panhandle experiencing “severe” drought levels. The majority of the High Plains were also reported to be experiencing drought levels ranging from “moderate” to the most severe “exceptional” drought levels.

Although difficult decisions might have started months ago for many regarding how to care for crops and cattle with less water, the Texas A&M Agrilife Extension Service has continued to offer resources on its website, as well as information events such as the management meeting, in an effort to support agriculture on the High Plains.