By Argen Duncan: PNT senior writer
Recent rains have helped crops in Roosevelt and Curry counties, but farms and ranches still need more, producers said.
Allen Deen, who dryland farms southeast of Floyd, said his family is planting hay grazer and milo.
“We’re just marginal on our moisture, but we’re kind of running out of time for milo to be planted,” he said.
The crop has enough moisture to grow, Deen said, but that’s “a long way from making a crop.” He needs more rain soon.
“We’ve been too dry too long,” Deen said.
Frank Blackburn, who farms northwest of Clovis, said his farm received just more than an inch of rain late last week.
“It really helped us,” he said.
However, Blackburn said because the area had 2.45 inches of rain so far this year, as opposed to the usual 7 inches by July, underground water reserves are low. He is hoping for more rain to fall on the newly planted crops.
Blackburn is planting dryland milo and harvesting wheat. He has already planted irrigated milo, and said it looks good.
With the heat, Curry County Extension agent Stan Jones said the topsoil will dry out soon after the rain, but it is moisture.
Much of the milo in Curry County has already been planted, Jones said, and the rain will help it come up. The rain may also allow farmers who haven’t planted milo or haygrazer to do so.
Farmers need more rain every week or two until harvest, which is September for corn and late October or November for milo, Jones said.
Ranchers need 2-3 inches of rain for grass to grow for their cattle, he said. One inch only makes the grass greener.
“Everything needs moisture this time of year,” Jones said, adding that even irrigated farms need precipitation to finish the crops.
The rain came too late for the wheat crop.
Blackburn said it just delayed the harvest, and Deen had already cut his wheat. Both men reported yields a fraction of the normal amounts.
Houston Lee, who farms northwest of Floyd, said his area had still received almost no rain. His family used all of their irrigation water on corn, which he said looks good.
Lee hasn’t planted any other crops this summer.
“If we get some rain, we’ll plant some haygrazer,” he said.