Rain gives some reason to be optimistic

By Emily Crowe

CMI staff writer

ecrowe@cnjonline.com

With more than 4 inches of rain in June and July, even dryland farmers have a reason to be optimistic.

“Most fields you drive by are in a lot better shape than we’ve seen in several years,” said Patrick Kircher, Roosevelt County Extension Office ag agent. “Any rain from above does a lot more good than anything you can pump out of the ground.”

“There’s some dryland crops out there this year where we haven’t had any in the last couple years,” he said.

Dryland crops, which include mostly sorghum and cotton, rely solely on rainfall.

According to National Weather Service meteorologist Christopher Luckett, eastern New Mexico is still considered to be in a drought, with most of Curry County in exceptional drought status. The majority of Roosevelt County sits in extreme drought status.

The current drought is marked by multiple years of below-normal precipitation, and even with recent rains, the first part of the year’s precipitation levels were far below normal.

Year-to-date, Clovis has received 6.69 inches of rain. On average, Clovis receives 9.81 inches of rain between January and the end of July, and 17.76 inches of rain annually.

“To get out of the drought criteria, we’re definitely going to need more rain,” Luckett said. “The process is pretty slow.”

Kircher also said the last few weeks of rain will also help farmers during the upcoming wheat crop planting at the end of September, especially if people can control their weed population and not let them rob the moisture out of the ground.

There is a slight chance of rain for eastern New Mexico the end of the month, Luckett said, though most of the rain will be focused on the central and western parts of the state.

Clovis rainfall amounts for 2013
June: 1.67 inches
July: 2.43 inches

Clovis rainfall amounts for 2012
June: 1.51 inches
July: 0.50 inches

Average annual rainfall: 17.76 inches
Source: National Weather Service

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