From The Ground Up: The Unusually Cool Spring Growing Season

By: KBTX Staff Email
By: KBTX Staff Email

Most farmers will tell year that there are no two years that are exactly alike. Mother Nature usually presents some surprises, and such was the case this spring. Joe Wilder has been farming for 50 years.

“I don’t think I’ve ever seen one like this where we had as much cool weather, as much wind, not just from one direction, but north, east, south, and west.”

John Malazzo also farms in the Brazos River Bottom.

“We were unable to spray our herbicides in a timely manner because of such strong wind that we had every day. I think there were two nights in the month of April that we actually got down to about thirty two and a half degrees or thirty three degrees.”

That took a toll on some of Malazzo’s cotton.

“I had to replant 800 acres of cotton because of those two frosts. I had cotton that tall and it got burned off and then we had high winds which blew the sand which cut it off at the top of the ground.”

The cold temperatures made Wilder wait to plant.

“The temperature was so cold, so we kept putting it off. The ground was so cool, and so we kept putting it off and we waited until the temperature got right before we planted and that way we figured we’d get everything up which we did.”

But Wilder also had to replant some cotton that dried out after it had come up. Malazzo said the cool weather not only delayed plants’ emergence from the soil, but also affected growing, once it did come up.

“Last year we had our best corn crop ever and our corn was eight, nine, ten foot tall, well, eight or nine foot tall. This year we’re planting the same variety and our corn is probably six or seven feet tall which is an indication of growth rate earlier in the year. It was a much slower growing plant than it was in the previous year.”

Despite the rocky start, farmers are optimistic about this year’s yields, but the proof in the pudding will be at harvest time.

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