AUSTIN (KXAN) — Agriculture experts say recent rain supplemented an overall dry summer but the effects of the scorching season could extend into this winter.
The Texas A&M Agrilife Extension Service said in Central Texas, rainfall has had little impact on ending exceptional drought conditions. While pastures have greened up, it is uncertain if enough foliage will be produced to bale before it is too cold to harvest.
The agency said growers also planted wheat and oats in hopes that wetter conditions will prevail in early fall and return a yield before winter. The extension service also said the price of cattle has dropped going into the fall season.
Brant Wilbourn, associate director of commodity and regulatory activities at Texas Farm Bureau, said another big challenge for farmers and ranchers other than weather is inflation.
He said the intense summer reduced growers’ ability to produce hay and grain, which they stockpile for winter. With a lower yield and the cost to grow it going up, Wilbourn said farmers’ return on investment is in jeopardy.
“Commodity prices are decent, the issue is the cost to grow those crops. Anything that farmers are using to grow those crops is just more expensive. That’s a huge impact on the bottom line,” Wilbourn said.