Texas Sorghum Insider

September 3, 2015

Lesser Prairie Chicken Removed from Threatened Species List–On Sept. 1, Senior U.S. District Judge Rob Junell struck down the threatened species designation of the lesser prairie chicken. Junell ruled that the Fish and Wildlife Service acted “arbitrarily and capriciously” by not giving the regional plan a chance before making the threatened species listing in April 2014.

Water Weekly Week of 8/31/15, provided by Texas Water Development Board–There was a slight decrease in overall drought
in Texas from 25 percent to 23.5 percent
with improvements in East Texas but drought development in Central Texas and the Rio Grande Valley downstream of Del Rio. Statewide reservoir levels decreased to 83 percent, but are still higher than normal (about 79 percent) for this time of year.

Drought conditions

  • 23% now
  • 25% a week ago
  • 5% three months ago
  • 61% a year ago

weather snap1


El Niño  and Seasonal Precipitation TrendsThese maps show rainfall tendencies in July-August-September and October-November-December. Just as we’ve seen in July and August, El Niño conditions favor drier than normal conditions in East and Central Texas and wetter than normal conditions in the Panhandle.

weather snap2


WOTUS Now in Effect–The EPA’s clean water rule, also known as Waters of the United States went into effect Aug. 28. There are many factors weighing into the legal battle with EPA to stop the rule. In total, there are 28 states who have filed lawsuits in various jurisdictions. The various cases by request of EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers have mostly consolidated to one court, the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Sixth District. This was strongly opposed by states and industry. Plaintiffs have stated the rule will cause harm before legal challenges can be posed even with the requests for emergency injunctions. Most attorney generals have asked EPA to delay implementation by at least nine months to allow legal proceedings to proceed. The agency chose not to respond to the request. Tiffany Dowell, Texas A&M Assistant Professor and Extension Specialist recently wrote a blog regarding the new law and provides her perspective as it relates to agriculture. To read the article click here.