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Summer storms take toll on crops

Area farmers continued fighting the wind and weather this week after several days of severe storms exacted a toll on many fields.

For many farmers, last week’s storms produced much needed rain, but also produced hail and high winds that blew out or damaged tens of thousands of acres of cotton crops. 

The replanting process began Monday and Tuesday, even as sand fighting equipment moved across almost every field on the South Plains. Farmers worked throughout the weekend to get control of the blowing sand. 

Despite farmers’ best efforts, some fields, crusted by recent rainfall, turned loose and blew, severely damaging tender cotton.

Friday night, storms north and south of Levelland dumped torrential rainfall in areas, but also produced devastating hail, some as large as tennis balls.

Over two inches of rain was recorded north of Levelland, flooding U.S. Highway 385 with water and mud, and filling low- lying lakes and rural roads. Texas Department of Transportation employees responded to the sudden storm with flashing signs and pickups to warn motorists of water over the roadway.
A pivot was overturned on County Road, utility poles were sheared off and crops were damaged or destroyed.

Huge hail stones poxed the soil, destroying plants, along Farm-to-Market 41 between Highway 385 and Ropesville.
Integrated Pest Management Extension Agent Kerry Siders estimated between 70,000 and 90,000 acres of crops have been severely banged up by last week’s storms.

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