Harvests hampered by recent rains

By Gabriel Monte and Thomas Garcia: Freedom New Mexico

Farmers in the process of harvesting their crops in the eastern New Mexico and West Texas region are playing the waiting game with the weather.

Muddy farm land from rain showers over the weekend have kept farmers from harvesting their crops, according to Curry County ag-extension agent Stan Jones.

“It does slow down harvests,” he said. “We’re a little slower in harvests right now, on corn, especially.”

But for farmers in the process of planting winter crops such as winter wheat, rain is much needed, he said.

“It’s been nice for it to set in and rain for three or four days,” Jones said.

Jones said the area has received uniform rain showers delivering between 1 to 2 inches of rain over the weekend.

Rain showers from Friday to Monday afternoon totaled 1.02 inches in Portales, according to Accuweather meteorologist Andy Mussoline.

The last time the area received significant rainfall was Sept. 11 when rain clouds unloaded about 0.30 inch of rain, according to Mussoline.

He said more rain showers are expected throughout the week.

Tim Black of Muleshoe said he hopes to resume harvesting his corn on 1,000 acres of land on Bailey and Parmer counties by Thursday.

“If the weather stayed good, we would have probably got through today,” he said.

He halted his harvest efforts that started two weeks ago. He said the delay has him concerned about his crops.

“Everything’s standing good right now, but if (the weather) keeps us out of the field and we get one of them old hard winds that we can get, there could be some major damage,” he said.

Black, who plans to plant winter wheat, said he believes the rains will be beneficial in the long run.

Peanut farmers in Roosevelt County stopped their harvest efforts because of the rain.

“I had not dug up my peanuts when the rain hit, but now I am playing a waiting game with the weather,” said Wayne Baker, a peanut farmer in Roosevelt County.

Road department officials in Curry and Roosevelt counties reported they did not have issues maintaining the county roads.

“Most all of our roads are in good shape,” said Curry County Road Foreman Steve Reed. “We’ve got a muddy spot or two here and there but we’re in good shape. It didn’t rain hard enough to wash anything out.”