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Recent conditions serving area crops well

By Scott Harvey

Commerce – Growing season is in full force in Northeast Texas, and so far the outlook is pretty positive. That's due in part to consistent rain, and the avoidance of any dry spells. Agriculture Agent with Texas Agri-life Extension Service in Hunt County Sara Allen says now is the time for harvesting wheat, and is projecting a good turnout of about 60 bushels per acre. She says a great wheat yield would be anywhere from 70-80 bushels per acre.

Part of the growing season has however been delayed slightly, in response to the colder temperatures staying colder longer, and then warmer temperatures getting warmer faster. That's because up until a couple weeks ago, the soil temperature wasn't high enough for crops, such as cotton, corn and soybeans to grow. Allen does say however things are now on track with the consistently warm temperatures we've had recently.

Rains have also played a factor in home gardens as well. The only drawback, according to Allen, would be that cool wet weather resulting in some plant fungus. This forces gardeners to spray their crops to avoid rots and fungi.

One of the negatives for famers not only in Northeast Texas but the nation would be on the economic side. According to Allen, contributing factors come from the increase in seed costs, fertilizer and the rising cost of diesel fuel for tractors. Farmers may have to rely on offsetting those input costs by raising their selling costs.

Overall, conditions have been good for growing, according to Allen. She says the rain seems to be falling just about when needed. If this trend can keep up through the summer, Northeast Texas should be in good shape this growing season.