South Plains Farmers Thirsty for Rain - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

4/22/03

South Plains Farmers Thirsty for Rain

Just to give you an idea of just how dry the soil is, normally farmers want moisture near the top but you have to dig down several inches to hit any moisture at all. That's bad news because the further down they have to plant, the more difficult it is for the seed to come up and without rain it will not come up at all putting them behind schedule for the rest of the growing season.

That has many farmers doing everything they can to keep the ground wet berore planting time, like running a pivot system but that can ends up costing them money in the long run. Without rain they spend about $40 to $50 an acre on irrigation alone before cotton ever goes into the ground.

Lubbock cotton farmer Doug Hlavaty gave us his perfect recipe for rain and what farmers need to get their cotton off to a good start. "We need about three inches probably. Three to three and a half inches for it to fill the profile course we're doing alot with irrigation right now but our dryland we need three inches or better to be able to plant. The soil temp needs to be about 60 degrees at the eight inch depth. We need morning lows to be in the mid 50s or 60s and day temps in the 80s."

Doug says if we get a few inches of rain that would save cotton farmers about two weeks of irrigation work.

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