East Texas rain, how much is too much? - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

East Texas rain, how much is too much?

By Holley Nees - bio | email

HUNTINGTON, TX (KTRE) - The rain has been coming down across East Texas, and while it's good for some trees it's not so good if you still have hay to cut.  

Harold Jones is waiting on the weather.

"It's disagreeable, but a farmer's life is sort of disagreeable on account of the weather," said the Huntington farmer.

He said he's got the bulk of his hay bailed, but there's still some to be cut, and the rain isn't helping.

"I'd like to have ten straight days of dry weather with a north wind, low humidity," explained Jones.

"We hate to complain about rain because there's been so many times in the year that we don't have enough," said  Angelina County Extension Agent for Agriculture and Natural Resources Cary Sims.  "The problem with this much rain [is] if we do have our last hay cutting that we're trying to get in."

However, the rain isn't all bad.   One East Texan said the water makes for healthier trees and drives some insects away.

"There were certain insects we call pine engraver beetles...that were attacking those trees...and the rain has been a huge help in that category," said Texas Forest Service Entomologist Joe Pase.

Pase said it probably would've been better if the rain would've come sooner.  For Jones, the rain just means a longer wait until he can go back to work.

"We'll we're going to need two or three more days to dry it out just before we can get on the ground, then four or five days for it to cure after I cut it," said  Jones.

For now, he's just thankful he doesn't have to rely on his rain-soaked crop to make ends meet.

"I'm just glad that I don't totally have to make my living off cows and hay bales," said Jones.

He knows in Texas dryer days are always just around the corner.

"I heard an old timer say several years ago, I was fussing about the rain, he said boy it's better to have too much rain than not enough rain and he's right," said Jones.

Sims said you also have to make sure you store your hay correctly in all this rain.   Make sure you bale it tightly and try to get it covered.

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