The holiday weekend is coming to a close, but there's still plenty of fun to be had around the Brazos Valley, particularly at local farms, who are benefiting from all the recent rainfall, and they're passing the benefits on to their customers.
Royalty Pecan Farms are having a record crop this year due to recent rainfall totals. 6 July 2014
Recent rainfall means good news for places like Messina Hof and Royalty Pecan Farms.
"Pecans use a lot of water," said Royalty Pecan Farms Orchard Manager Andy Sherrod.
Messina Hof Owner Paul Bonarrigo agrees.
"It looks like a real booming crop this year for the Texas wine industry," Bonarrigo said.
Royalty Pecan Farms can provide the equivalent of 1 inch of rainfall each week through irrigation, but pecan trees need about 2 inches to thrive.
In fact, the folks at Royalty shut their irrigation systems off in May because of all the rain.
"We're back to irrigating now, just to maintain that soil profile," Sherrod said.
Rain is a great thing for farmers, but if they ever receive too much, Messina Hof has grass planted in between its vine rows to soak up that extra moisture.
"If you did get a two-inch rain and you had no grass, the vines would get too much water, they'd get over-soaked," Bonarrigo said.
For pecans, they say too much water is just enough.
But with rain, comes clouds. Which means less photosynthesis to create food for the plants.
"One of the things we noticed during a drought year in 2011 is that without the cloudy days, the photosynthetic activity was just at a peak, and we came back with a strong crop in spite of the drought the following year," Sherrod said.
And it's not just the rain that's helped out.
"The temperatures have really been fairly moderate, too. I mean, anything under 103, 104, the grapevines themselves continue to grow, which is really great for the plant," Bonarrigo said.
With lots of rain, means lower temperatures.
"Those hot temperatures for many many days in a row do stress a plant. And what we don't want for these trees right now is stress," Sherrod said.
What they do want is plentiful crops and the resulting boom in business.
"I think we're pretty close to ideal this year, it's been pretty perfect," Bonarrigo said.
Now is a good a time as any to get out for a tour and see the robust crops for yourself.