Hunt County – Area crops are showing somewhat positive signs so far this summer. Just last month, wheat harvesting came to an end. However, no preliminary numbers have been released.
Agriculture Agent with Texas Agri-life Extension Service in Hunt County Sara Allen says weather conditions proved decent for wheat. That's due to the amount of precipitation received in the winter and spring, and lack thereof in the summer, which is the trend that helps produce a good wheat crop.
Other area crops still in their growing seasons are soybeans and cotton. While some officials have said that Hunt County is currently under a drought, Allen doesn't believe so.
Current conditions, according to Allen are adequate at best. ''However, we are not in danger of a drought just yet,'' says Allen. She says we definitely do need some rain soon.
The average rainfall for July and August in Hunt County is 2-3 inches or less. So far, not even one-tenth of an inch has fell in Hunt County in July. ''But every day we continue to see 100 degree temperatures and sunshine all day obviously that's going to take us down hill really quick. If we go two more weeks with no rain then that will be a whole different story. Today, we're in ok conditions.''
One reason, according to Allen, there is no drought is because area water levels have remained steady. She says that's typically a good indication as to if an area is experiencing a drought.
For the most part, area farmers and gardeners have been seeing decent weather conditions during the growing and harvesting seasons. Allen does say, however, that warmer nighttime temperatures have caused some problems for vegetables.
Certain crops like tomatoes, according to Allen, aren't making because the nighttime temperature is too hot for the blooms to set. Nighttime temperatures have consistently been above 80 degrees at night. Ideal conditions for vegetables like tomatoes grow better in 60 to 70 degree temperatures.
Of course one issue facing farmers across the nation are rising costs.
''Farmers have record prices right now for their fuel, for their seed, for all the different input costs that the operation requires,'' says Allen. ''So while they're going to bring in more money, they've put out more money as well.''
One way farmers are avoiding such high prices is by eliminating under producing livestock, because it costs so much to feed them. They're also looking at several other options to be more efficient.
The Agriculture Income Report, a total report for all crops in Hunt County is expected in mid-December. The report will show accurate numbers from acres for each crop and average prices for each crop.