Most crops escape major hail damage

Argen Duncan

Crops are growing well in much of Roosevelt and Curry counties, although hail and excessive rain have caused problems in several places.

Tom Dannelley of Eastern Plains Insurance Corp. said he’d received about 10 claims for hail damage to crops in Roosevelt County, which is about normal.

“There have been some scattered around, but they’re not really concentrated in one area yet,” he said.

Bruce Lee, who has dryland and irrigated fields northwest, southwest and east of Floyd, said hail damaged his wheat and cotton a little more than a week ago, but it seems to be growing back. Rick Ledbetter, who farms with irrigation near Portales, said his crops haven’t seen hail, or rain.

Curry County farmer Frank Blackburn said his farm northwest of Clovis had escaped major hail damage, but that wasn’t the case everywhere.

“The eastern part of the county has been hit pretty hard,” he said.

Texico, Grady and Pleasant Hill had hail damage to crops and work delayed because of excessive rain.

Heavy rain leaves water and mud in low places so equipment can’t get in the fields, delaying the wheat harvest and any planting, Blackburn said. Farmers must also wait for the wheat to dry.

However, Blackburn said crops in areas that weren’t hit by hail or excessive rain are doing well. His wheat, which was being harvested Friday, is better than average, and the corn and milo were growing well, he said.

Ledbetter and Lee both said their crops were looking good but needing rain as well as irrigation.

“It’s hard for us to pull it off without a little bit of help from Mother Nature,” Ledbetter said, adding that is even more true with temperature above 100 degrees.

June 12, Lee said, some of his fields received a half-inch or more of rain in spotty showers, but he hadn’t gotten significant rain for three or four weeks before that.

Both men are raising cotton and corn, and Lee is growing peanuts and preparing to plant milo.