August Heat Leaves Texas Thirsty For Rain

Some relief came in later part of August but the prolonged drought and extraordinarily hot temperatures left the state parched

Published on: Aug 27, 2012

Scattered rainfall - and often in only light amounts - gave some parts of Texas brief relief from the drought heading into late August. But for many, the damage already had been done.

As of mid-August, only 12% of Texas was categorized as "drought-free," according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.

After last year's historic Texas drought, the prolonged extreme heat and drought this year left much of Texas brown during August, with farmers and ranchers hoping that relief might be around the corner this fall. But it will take a lot of rainfall to even begin to offset the damage already done over the past two years. The extreme temperatures during August just baked a lot of the state.

HEAT HURTS. Steven Sparkman, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service agent, Quanah, says extreme heat and drought that continued during August has taken a major toll on crops in his area.
HEAT HURTS. Steven Sparkman, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service agent, Quanah, says extreme heat and drought that continued during August has taken a major toll on crops in his area.

In Hardeman County, Texas, the temperatures just soared in the Quanah area during August. Steven Sparkman, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service Agent for Hardeman County, reported near-record heat there during August with four-straight 112-degree days during the month.

Sparkman says the August heat was hard on already highly drought-stressed crops. In fact, all dryland cotton in Hardeman County has been abandoned. Even as much as one-fourth of the irrigated cotton acreage also has been abandoned due to this season's merciless drought and heat.

Other Texas areas recorded impressive high temperatures during August such as Brownwood at 110 degrees and Fisher County at 109 degrees. Dallas/Fort Worth posted record-breaking temperatures of 108 and 109 degrees.

In Central Texas, that has received more rainfall than many parts of Texas, corn and grain sorghum yields were good, according to the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service.

Meanwhile ranchers in Texas continued to feed protein supplement or hay. Some producers were weaning any market-ready calves earlier as part of their drought-coping strategy. This was helping to take pressure off of their cows. But creeks and stock tanks were in desperate need of rain in much of Texas.