Farmers Seeing Record Crops Thanks To Recent Rains - KYTX CBS 19 Tyler Longview News Weather Sports

Farmers Seeing Record Crops Thanks To Recent Rains

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(KCEN) – All week central Texas farmers and ranchers have been praising above average rainfall for this time of year.  Some are even expecting record crops thanks to the recent rains.

“Oh it’s good. I love it. I’m not complaining what so ever,” Robert Fleming said. “The rain has been a big relief to everyone. We are in a lot better shape than a few months ago.”

Fleming ranches and farms several crops in Bell, Falls and Freestone Counties. So seeing the storm clouds rolling in is a welcome sight, especially since his livelihood was seriously threatened from the historic 2011 drought. Just last year more than half of his water tanks were empty. Now they are all completely full.

“In 2011 we practically ran out of water,” he said. “This year, corn looks excellent and we’ll have I believe a record breaking crop.”

Gene Hall with the Texas Farm Bureau says other farmers across the state are also enjoying that success. I believe we’re looking good this year,” he said. “I just back from a major meeting of farmers all over the state and their attitudes are good. Rain will do that.”

And when farmers are doing good, so are the local economies. “When prices are good that means maybe a new pickup truck, or a family car, or maybe some more cows to build those numbers back up,” Hall said.

And building those herds is still a priority among ranchers. During the 2011 drought cattle numbers reached an all time low as ranchers were forced to cut down their herds due to skyrocketing feed prices and little water.

“It was heartbreaking to see, but it also reduced our numbers to the point to now there are very few cattle out there,” Hall said.

In turn, that means beef prices will continue to rise until herd numbers start to level out. “The prices have no where to go but up. It’s supply and demand,” Hall said.

And while significant rainfall has brought McLennan and Bell counties out of severe drought to now a moderate drought, Fleming says they’re not in the clear just yet.

“A lot of folks out in the west still need a lot of rain, and the lake levels show that here locally we need it as well,” Fleming said.

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