“If we can keep the hogs out,” complained Bee County farmer Troy Berthold.
“There are some good and some that are very bad,” farmer Jim Sugarek said. “It just depends on where you’re standing.”
Such is the state of Bee County’s grain crop this year as harvest season approaches in a few weeks.
Sugarek said Mathis has not received the rainfall that parts of Bee County have had.
“We’re waiting on the price right now,” Berthold said. He added that he would welcome some hog hunters on his place east of the city. He said the feral hogs already are hitting his crops hard.
Many farmers in South Texas lose hundreds of acres of grain to the wild porkers.
“We got an inch of rain on Friday,” Berthold said. “Overall, I’m really happy.”
For Berthold, 2013 could have come a couple of years earlier. His crops have been hit hard by drought in recent years, limiting the yield in grain sorghum (milo), corn and cotton.
“We zeroed out a lot of cotton in April,” Bochat said. “The sorghum should do well. Corn? We’ll probably make about half a crop, if that.”
The county agent agreed with what the other farmers were seeing in the Coastal Bend. If you go east, the crops look pretty good. But if you go south, some of the grain in the fields looks poor.
Sugarek farms across a good swath of the area and he confirms what the others are saying. His crops around Beeville are looking pretty good this year. Not so much around Mathis.
“Some of the crop down south came up late,” he said. And a lot of that simply never got enough rainfall to catch up with the crops in areas that did get some moisture.
Beeville was one of those areas that received rainfall just at the right times.
Sugarek said he planted about half his crop in milo and about half in corn. Both crops look good in the Beeville area.
But the crops south of Tynan just did not have the same chance this year.
Berthold said farmers are still three or four weeks from being able to harvest. Now would be a good time for the rain to stop falling.
In some years damp weather right before harvest time caused grain heads to sprout, reducing the quality of the crop.
Berthold worried that the grain in his fields is far enough along that it could sprout now.
Bochat said he would have liked to have seen the good conditions occur across more of the area this year.
“It has a lot to do with timing and where they got the rainfall,” he said.
Gary Kent is a reporter at the Bee-Picayune and can be reached at 358-2550, ext. 120, or at reporter@mySouTex.com.