Forecast rain too late for some crops

Posted at 5:35 PM, Jun 12, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-12 18:35:43-04

Farmers are excited that rain is finally in the forecast, but they say it’s too late to save some of their crops.

Throughout the Coastal Bend thousands of acres of crops sit dry, they’ve been waiting for rain.

"Everybody’s pretty elated that there’s finally some rain in the forecast," said San Patricio Extension Agent Bobby McCool.

But when it comes to farming, it’s all about timing.

Bobby Nedbalek farms 6,000 acres near Odem. Half cotton and half sorghum. He says rain will come too late to save his grain.

"Those places where it was too dry, the grain is terminated and it’s dry enough to harvest now so rain won’t help that kind of a stage in it’s growth," said Nedbalek.

He’s not alone. Nueces County and San Patricio each will lose from 30 to 40 percent of grain crops.

For those crops, the rain comes to late.

That’s not the case for cotton. Flowers on a cotton plant are a good sign for farmers.

"Numerous flowers, and so it is a stage that will benefit from a rain," said Nedbalek.

When cotton crops don’t get enough rain, what should’ve grown to be a cotton boll is instead a dry shriveled shell which falls off the plant.

You can see large cracks in the soil where the ground has been thirsting for water.

The cotton field near Odem has had less then three inches this year. Any rain now would help develop the existing plants.

"More bolls, bigger bolls, and that equates to more production that we can sell," said  Nedbalek.

Now farmers are fertilizing their land before any rain starts to fall.