Weekend Rain Has Farmers and Ranchers Overflowing with Joy

- Even if the weekend rain did not boost the lakes much, most Texomans got a good soaking for their yards and plants as the spring growing season approaches.

Although there was already a high chance of rain Saturday and cloud seeding plane still took flight twice to increase the rain chances and amount.

The signs of Saturday's rain are still plentiful around Wichita County, especially in stock ponds which have not held water for quite some time.

Before the rains came many ranchers struggled to water their cattle and and some took advantage of the empty ponds to remove silt build up so when rains came their cattle would not be in any danger while trying to get a drink.

"You get that real deep mud in there, you get cattle or horses that go out in there to drink and they can get stuck in that mud and then you got a real issue," says David Graf, Wichita County agriculture extension agent.

And besides refilling stock ponds, the rains could not have come soon enough for the wheat, which Graf says was quickly moving into the danger zone.

"Our wheat was really becoming stressed.  In fact, some of it may have already been stressed to the point where we may see a little bit of damage or death in some of the roots," Graf explains.

But Graf says for now, the rain has eased the stress.

"That's really gonna help us get some sub-moisture in there and help these plants but it's not gonna last us a long time but it will carry us until the next rain comes along," Graf says.

Graf says Saturday's rain got the wheat crop off to a fair start but he says the wheat needs to average about a half-inch of rain each week from now to early April.

And he says the amount of rain the area actually receives will determine just how tall the wheat will grow.

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