Rainfall continues to be spotty with most areas extremely dry

Beneficial rain fell in many locations during the week ending July 29; however, hot temperatures coupled with extremely dry soils prompted quick absorption, leaving little moisture available to jumpstart grass growth in native pastures or relieve the drought stress evident in some row crops, according to USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, Mountain Regional Field Office, New Mexico. Topsoil moisture levels were reported as 26 percent adequate to surplus, compared with 27 percent last week, 39 percent last year, and a 5-year average of 35 percent. Comments from across the state indicated that rainfall continues to be spotty, with parts of individual counties still extremely dry. In Union County, reports noted that the corn crop was showing signs of heat stress, while sorghum looked good. Elsewhere, portions of the southwest need large amounts of additional rainfall to pull the area out of prolonged drought. Precipitation was recorded at 44 out of 46 reporting weather stations, with Mountainair, at 3.99 inches, reporting the largest accumulation during the week. Thirteen additional weather stations also reported rainfall totaling more than an inch during the week, with Clovis, Las Vegas, Ocate, and Pedernal receiving at least 2 inches. Average temperatures ranged from 7 degrees below to 11 degrees above normal. Daytime highs varied from 82 degrees at Cloudcroft and Los Alamos to 108 degrees at Hachita. Overnight lows ranged from 37 degrees at Los Alamos to 70 degrees at Carlsbad.