Significant moisture still needed

Rainfall, although welcomed, remained spotty and mostly below average for the week ending Aug. 5, while temperatures were above average across much of the state, according to USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, Mountain Regional Field Office, New Mexico. Although there was some evidence of green-up in pasture grasses and row crops continue to be reported in mostly fair to good condition, a significant amount of additional moisture is needed to pull many areas out of prolonged drought. Overall, conditions rated abnormally dry or worse remained entrenched across virtually the whole state, compared with last year when 95 percent of the state was classified as drought-free. Topsoil moisture levels were reported as 25 percent adequate to surplus, compared with 26 percent last week, 74 percent last year, and a 5-year average of 44 percent. Precipitation was recorded at 37 out of 46 reporting weather stations, with Artesia, at 2.08 inches, reporting the largest accumulation during the week. Clayton, Cloudcroft, and Los Alamos had notable rainfall with totals over an inch during the week. Average temperatures ranged from 5 degrees below to 7 degrees above normal. Daytime highs varied from 75 degrees at Los Alamos to 101 degrees at Carlsbad, NMSU, and Santa Teresa. Pecan nut set was reported as 79 percent light, 19 percent moderate, and 2 percent heavy.