Wet winter blessing for farmers - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Wet winter blessing for farmers

By Bob Hallmark - bio | email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - bio | email

GREGG COUNTY, TX (KLTV) - Through torrential fall rains to an unusual heavy snowfall in winter, researchers say it has been one of our wettest in over a decade.

"It has been a very wet fall and winter," said Dr. Vanessa Corriher, an assistant professor at Texas A&M Overton. "It has inhibited some producers from getting winter crops in, because the ground maintains wet. I think it benefits everyone especially when it comes to agriculture and farming."

In dry years, producers were selling off stock because there was not enough water to grow much needed hay.

"We've went through some winter times where we've had real dry winters and come spring time if our soil moisture is not in good shape it really effects that first cutting of hay," said Dennis Smith, a Gregg County Ag Agent.

"People were having to sell animals or buy supplemental feed," said Corriher. "Considering we had a dry summer and a large majority of the state was in extreme drought condition."

Snow is the best case scenario for Texas and more snow is a benefit.

"The penetration of that moisture into the ground is much slower so more of that moisture is going to go into the soil," said Corriher.

"We're in great shape right now thank goodness," said Smith.

But, it's not enough to rest on, more is needed in case of a dry summer.

"We could have a dry summer again but we're kind of setting the stage building up that water table so if we do head into a dry summer we're kind of more prepared so to speak our soil has some moisture," said Corriher.

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