For a second straight year, heavy spring rains have been tough on East Texas hay production.
"There were fields they couldn't get in to bale," Henderson County AgriLife Extension Agent Spencer Perkins said. "Now, that grass is getting pretty mature and lower in value the longer it sits out there. it starts to lay over and gets harder to cut and harder on equipment."
Hay production was low in 2018 and many ranchers used up their hay reserves.
"It's good to keep an extra year of reserve in stock," Perkins said.
Rainfall in April, May and June was about 10 inches above normal this year. Under the circumstances, Perkins doesn't see hay prices going down anytime soon.
"I also talked to local fertilizer dealers and people that put it out who said there were a lot a fields they couldn't get in or when they were getting in, were getting stuck," Perkins said.
Hay is not the only crop affected.
"Anywhere from your home vegetable gardens up to your commercial ones a lot of crops were flooded out," Perkins said. "With just he moisture we find other problems such as fungus and other issues. Production is going to be lower on a lot of crops."
Flooding that affected the corn production up north will drive up corn prices, Perkins said.
"That makes it tough on cattle producers," Perkins said. "it ups feed prices and lowers the price of calves.
The chance of rain continues in the forecast for the next few days. According to the National Weather Service in Fort Worth, isolated to scattered, mainly afternoon and evening thunderstorms are possible through Friday. East of Interstate 35 will have the greatest chance of daily thunderstorms. Most storms will not be severe, but the possibility exists for strong thunderstorms, small hail and frequent lightning.