Rain brings farmers relief

By Thomas Garcia: Freedom New Mexico

Recent rainfall has interrupted stretches of high temperatures and brought some relief to area farmers.

The average high temperature in Roosevelt County has been relatively cooler the past few days, said Earl Breon, meteorological technician with the National Weather Service in Albuquerque.

From June 10 through June 20, temperatures in Portales, were in the mid- to upper-90s with some triple digit days, Breon said.

“The temperature in Portales has not risen above the upper 80s since July 6,” Breon said.

Temperatures in Curry County have also seen a decrease since July 6, said NWS meteorologist Jonathan Suk.

There was .56 inches of rain reported from Curry County area from July 3 to Thursday, Suk said,

“There is no consistency in the rain totals being reported in Curry County,” said Curry County Extension Agent Stan Jones. “There is a farmer north of where I live saying he got two and a half inches of rain last night (Wednesday).”

Different parts of the county have seen different amounts of rainfall, Jones said.

Portales received 1.01 inches of rain June 29-30 and another 1.17 inches Wednesday and Thursday, Breon said.

“Any rainfall is welcomed in Roosevelt County, considering that we are still below the yearly average,” Roosevelt County Agricultural Agent Patrick Kircher said.

“We are abnormally dry this year,” Kircher said. “Moisture in the ground has been evaporated with the combination of the dry fall and winter with a hot dry spring.”

North of Portales, peanut farmer Richard Robbins received one and a half inches of rain Wednesday night.

Robbins said the cooler days and rainfall are helping area farmers with the irrigation of their crops.

“This rainfall has been fantastic help,” Robbins said. “The cool days have made irrigation amounts lower.”

The high temperatures and wind lead to evaporation, which means more water is needed for irrigation.

Robbins said that he had started irrigation full time on his crop of peanuts, which is in its bloom stage.

“The amount of irrigation is going to increase from this point on,” Robbins said. “The inch and a half of rain that I got Wednesday night will help to counteract irrigation cost.”

“I am hoping this is a turning point for the spring,” Robbins said. “The spring started out so terrible, but it looks like it is getting better.”