Sunday, November 16, 2014

Let It Snow

Yesterday, I shared a few photos from Royce, who is at home on the farm while I'm traveling in the Dakotas for work. Here in the Dakotas, it snowed most of the day yesterday, and today it was snowing off and on with a good gusty wind blowing it around. It definitely was not my ideal weather. Back home in Texas yesterday, it was just abnormally cold, but today, it started snowing there too, which is great!

Why the change in attitude between snow at different locations? Because in Texas, we really need the moisture! Whether it comes in rain, ice or snow, we'll take it! When it warms up again (as it is bound to do because it's Texas), the snow will melt, releasing a steady amount of moisture for the soil to soak up. Along with the moisture, snow also contains more nutrients than rain. For instance, nitrogen: a very important nutrient for our winter wheat. Now the nitrogen from the snow doesn't add up to a whole lot, but we'll take whatever we can get, especially when it is coming from nature.

Having a blanket of snow is also helpful for providing insulation to our winter wheat. We've been frigidly cold in Texas, especially for this early in the season. We rarely see single digit weather in the Panhandle during the winter, much less in the first half of November. That hasn't been good for our wheat, and we are concerned about the possibilities of winterkill, or damage from getting too cold. Winterkill is more prone to happen when the ground is dry and without a cover of snow. Previous to this snow, it had been a couple of weeks since we had gotten any rain so our wheat was a little thirsty. We are hopeful the snow came soon enough to keep us from much damage, but we will have to wait to find out. I'll keep you updated.

With that, I'll leave you with a few photos Royce sent me today.

Looking out our front porch. Obviously, Royce did not want to venture out into the "blizzard."
Ranger (and Rori's butt). This was Ranger's first snow, and I'm pretty sure he's thinking, "Uh, Dad, what's this white stuff? Am I OK to go out in it?" 
Ranger (and Royce) helped Granddad feed the cows this morning because the cattle need to eat, especially when it is snowing.

This is the 16th day of my 30 Days of Texas Panhandle Agriculture series. To read more, please visit this introduction postIf you have questions or ideas you'd like me to write about concerning Texas Panhandle agriculture, I'd love to hear from you!

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