Rains in parts of Texas during the third week of February stimulated winter-grass and small-grain growth, taking pressure off extremely limited hay supplies. Even so, according to the Feb. 22 Texas Agrilife Extension crop and weather report, livestock producers in most of the state still had to provide supplemental feed and hay to their cattle. Much of the hay being fed was coming from out of state.

“Recent rains have stimulated cool-season annuals to start to sprout, and it’s nice to see some green in the pastures for a change,” says Logan Lair, AgriLife Extension agent for Navarro County. “For the most part, supplemental feeding is still going on around the county for beef cattle, mainly hay.”

In Henderson County, the rains created muddy conditions and hampered field preparations for spring planting. “Cool-season grazing was decreasing the need for hay, which is severely short in supply,” says county agent Rick Hirsch.

Good rains helped growth of winter pastures in Gregg County, reports agent Hugh Soape. “Many are still overgrazed. Hay and feedstuff were still in short supply and expensive.”

Get more information on the Texas drought.