Some farmers like Tom Mayo, who farms in Refugio and San Patricio counties, started planting earlier in February while most start during the first of March.
Mayo said he planted about 250 acres in Refugio County in early February and had another 50 to finish up.
Up to four inches of rain fell in mid-February halting any planting or preparations for planting because the fields were too muddy to take a tractor in.
“We’re going to have to have some timely rain because we don’t have the bottom moisture –the deep moisture that always helps,” Mayo said.
He said he planted grain in Refugio, but the rain will determine what crop he finishes up with.
“Grain and cotton has worked the best for us,” he said.
“Last year, I did better in San Patricio. In Refugio County, I didn’t do too well. It was too dry,” he said.
Mayo farms 1,500 acres in San Patricio County.
Mayo said he started farming in 1978.
“It was family land I started farming with,” he said.
Refugio County farmer Robert Kloesel said a long time ago, his 200 acres would have been considered a lot. Now, that amount of acreage is not much.
Kloesel said he’s been farming those 200 acres off Lebien Road near Bonnie View for 50 years.
“This year, I think I’ll plant all grain. It doesn’t cost so much to plant grain,” he said.
Last year, Kloesel planted grain and wheat.
“Wheat didn’t work. The drought hurt me. I took a pretty good hit,” he said.
Kloesel said he was going to start planting around March 1.
“And I’m going back to something I can depend on,” he said.
Dewey Bellows has been farming for 33 years and farms mainly in Refugio County.
“I farm a little bit in Victoria County,” he said. “It’s all cotton there.”
He farms a total of about 7,500 acres.
Bellows also plans to plant grain and cotton but mainly grain.
“I did well last year with cotton,” he said.
Bellows said he doesn’t want to take a chance on corn. And lots of farmers are following suit.
“If corn is bad, they won’t take it, or they’ll penalize you for it,” Bellows said.
He said unless the rainfall is just right, the corn stands a chance to get aflatoxin, a fungus. If enough parts per billion of the fungus infects the corn, it can be dangerous to livestock.
And aflatoxins usually affect crops after prolonged high humidity or damage from drought.
“The weather has been really funny. The weather pattern is not like it used to be,” he said.
For that reason, corn becomes a risk. And grain is more dependable.