Eastern NM farmers could plant less this spring

Star-TelegramThere's a good chance fewer acres of crops will be planted in eastern New Mexico and West Texas, according to agriculture officials. Parmer County, Texas, Agriculture Agent Benji Henderson said farmers will likely be planting a lot less corn this spring. "With our water situation the way it is with the drought, we're trying to find a substitute for corn silage," Henderson said. "We're planting a lot of sorghum silage instead of corn silage. And I think we'll still see a lot of cotton planted." Henderson said cotton is much more tolerant of the drought, because it can tolerate less water whereas corn cannot. He said green beans and black-eyed peas are the main vegetable crops in Parmer County. "We gotta have some help to make them (vegetable crops) work. It takes a lot more emphasis and a lot more water to grow a vegetable crop," Henderson said. "There will be some planted but who knows. We learned last year we don't have enough water to go with 100 percent irrigation. We need some help from Mother Nature." Henderson said green bean and black-eyed pea crops should still be able to fair this season. Eastern New Mexico received a little more than 10 inches of precipitation in 2011, according to Accuweather.com, which is way below the historical average of with 19.11 The dry weather has continued in 2012 with .25 inches of moisture through March, with the normal amount being 1.88 inches. Across the border in New Mexico, farmers are taking a wait-and-see approach. Read More News New Mexico

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