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Recent rains helpful to farms, but drought damage still possible
Despite recent rains and improved drought conditions, according to the U.S. Drought
One Clint pecan farmer, Alan Surrat, told KFOX 14 Surratt he called the brief, heavy downpours in July and August a blessing because it looks to be one of the worst growing seasons in decades.
So even those few bouts of rain, which have dumped more than an inch, have helped the Surratt pecan farm, in Clint.
It was back in February that Surratt said for the first time in 50 years, he would have to use well water.
That process is very expensive and potentially damaging to the pecan tree because of the water's high salt content.
But the monsoon season, dumping sometimes more than an inch of rain at a time, could help save the trees.
That's because in the short term, the downpours provide clean water and wash off bugs.
"Ideally, we'd love to see the rain upstream, above Elephant Butte, N.M. Colorado, I believe Colorado has been getting some rain. That's the ideal situation. But when you don't have an ideal situation, an inch or two of rain is really a blessing," Surratt said.
The harvest for Surratt's pecan farm is just after Thanksgiving and lasts until about Christmas.
It's during the harvest that Surratt said he will know about how big the nut inside the shell is.
That will tell if the rains helped or even if the salty groundwater hurt his crop.