Armyworms, wild hogs and horn flies causing problems in Texas

Armyworms have been spotted marching across the state.
Armyworms have been spotted marching across the state. Star-Telegram archives

There’s nothing like the Texas crop and weather report to fully understand what’s happening in the Lone Star State.

Here are highlights from the most recent report written by Adam Russell with the Texas A&M Extension Service, with a smattering of commentary from the Star-Telegram.

The peanut harvest is well underway in West Texas and while experts have heard of no insect issues, diseases such as pod rot and leaf spot are causing some problems. The three types of peanuts being harvested are Valencia, Spanish and Virginia. We like the ones that are roasted and salted.

In North Texas, stock ponds — also known as tanks — are three to four feet low in many areas. Ranchers are keeping an eye on livestock for signs of illness. To no one’s surprise, wild hogs are still running amok and “fly and mosquito numbers were high.”

In Central Texas, pecans are “looking good in managed orchards” and cattle “are in good condition.” Is that an upgrade from stable?

In the Rolling Plains, “armyworms continued to give wheat producers problems.”

In East Texas, most counties still are needing rain as the soil is dry and “pastures were drying up.” It’s also worth noting that horn fly numbers are on the uptick on cattle and those pesky little chinch bugs are causing damage to home lawns.

In the Panhandle, Deaf Smith County producers are harvesting “corn and grain sorghum fields as quickly as possible” and “cotton was coming along even with the cooler temperatures.” Cattle looked good.

In West Central, “pasture conditions were good with the exception of broomweed” and “livestock producers have not planted winter wheat for fear of armyworm infestation.” Seems those armyworms are a problem across the state.

In South Texas, the cotton harvest is mostly finished. We’re not sure what this means, but “body condition scores on cattle remained excellent.” Cattle prices are down, with “500-pound steers averaging 96 cents per pound down from $1.14 reported the previous week and down from $1.65 per pound at the start of the year.” That’s going the opposite direction of gas prices.

Until next time, remember that life is simpler when you plow around the stump (not sure who said it first, but it’s genius).

Lee Williams: 817-390-7840, @leewatson