A total of 197 Texas counties hit by drought have been authorized for emergency haying of Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) acres by USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA).

According to FSA, eligible farmers and ranchers must receive approval before haying any CRP acreage and have modified conservation plans from the Natural Resources Conservation Service. Emergency haying is allowed between July 2 and Aug. 31 in approved counties.

Extremely high temperatures in much of the state the last few days of June stressed row crops, pastures, rangeland and livestock, according to Texas A&M Ag Extension’s July 2 crop and weather report.

Historical records were broken at the end of June in some areas. In San Antonio, a 108-degree day was the highest since the 1800s when records were first taken, notes Aaron Treadway, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in New Braunfels, TX. Just a few days later, record lows were set in some areas.

“It’s been pretty much a rollercoaster ride of extreme temperatures,” Treadway says. “It’ll warm back up as we get into the middle of July, and we’ll see temperatures back in the century mark.”

Cutting and baling were in full swing around the state, although growers in some areas were working around scattered showers, noted USDA’s Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) Market News in its June 28 Weekly Hay Report. “These rain shows are very welcome, but more is needed to end drought conditions,” read the report.

TDA reminds buyers and sellers to check out the Texas Hay and Grazing Hotline.

Learn more:

Late-Crop Options For The Midwest

How To Put Up Hay Faster

Franken Asks USDA For Forage Harvest Waiver