Planting Season Rapidly Approaches High and Rolling Plains

Soil temperatures are rapidly approaching the 60-degree mark in many areas and that means West Texas farmers are busy preparing for another whirlwind planting season.

Depending on the crops they will plant, some producers may have already put planters in the field. The rest are, for now, willing to wait for conditions to improve as they complete field preparations and get planting rigs and tractors ready to roll.

Regardless of their status, the one thing growers have in common this time of year is the need to keep track of the weather. From helping them determine when conditions are right to begin planting or when the next thunderstorm is likely to hit, having timely weather information is critical to their operation.

Whether they are waiting for a planting rain, for soil temperatures to warm a little more or both, the information growers need to keep track of current weather conditions and forecasts is easily accessible from one convenient location – the Plains Cotton Growers website at www.plainscotton.org

Just click the “PCG Weather Pages” link at the top of the home page and you are instantly transported to the pages.

There you will find 3- and 7-day forecast data, current conditions and a bevy of links on the left-hand side of the page through which growers can access data from the National Weather Service (NWS) in Amarillo and Lubbock, as well as Texas Tech Mesonet.

Of primary concern to producers this time of year are soil temperatures and Heat Units.

Growers can use the “Soil Temperatures” link on the left-hand side of the page to get Lubbock NWS soil temperature information excerpted from the daily NWS weather summary. To go directly to the soil temperature page use the following direct link: www.plainscotton.org/weatherdata/index.php

Also accessible through the PCG Weather page is information gathered by the West Texas Mesonet and provided courtesy of the Texas Tech University College of Engineering.

With more than 50 weather stations available across the High and Rolling Plains, growers and consultants can easily access locally relevant weather information from a location nearby to help manage the 2009 cotton crop.

Information available on the West Texas Mesonet site includes current weather conditions, soil data, daily summaries and links to the NWS.

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