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MISSION — Sunflowers are blooming in Hidalgo County and sugar cane is being actively irrigated.

According to Texas AgriLife Extenstion experts, growers in Hidalgo County are preparing to harvest sunflowers and grain sorghum as well as actively irrigating sugarcane, cotton and citrus crops. Over in Willacy County cotton began opening and 75 percent of sorghum was harvested.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Texas Crop Progress and Condition report for June 24, nine percent of corn was in excellent condition, 51 percent good, 30 percent fair and 10 percent either poor or very poor. Five percent of cotton was rated excellent, 31 percent good, 40 percent fair and 24 percent either poor or very poor. Ten percent of sorghum was in excellent condition, 47 percent good, 28 percent fair and 15 percent poor or very poor. And as much as 37 percent of pasture and rangeland was rated as being in poor or very poor condition.

Texas AgriLife Extension program leaders and associate head of the Texas A&M University soil and crop sciences department said even though crops are doing reasonably well in Central Texas, much of the rest of the state is quickly backsliding into drought.

In the Coastal Bend area cotton is blooming and sorghum is changing colors while producers bale hay. But in the southern part of the region, extremely dry conditions exist and many corn and grain sorghum fields were total losses. Pastures were dry, with only one cutting of hay taken as of June 24. Herd liquidation is ongoing and ranchers are supplementing the feeding of hay where stocking rates are high and pasture conditions low. However, Pecans looked good.

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