Agricultural Outlook: Texas Crop Reports and Popular Types of Soil

Texas leads the nation in the number of farms and ranches, with 248,800 farms and ranches covering 130.2 million acres. In total, statewide agricultural cash receipts average $20 billion annually.

If you’re considering breaking into the Texas agricultural industry, whether you’re planning on starting a large farm or just running a small garden outside your home, you have to understand the importance of soil. There are 60 different soil types throughout Texas.

Each kind of soil affects the foundation of homes, gardens, and farms in different ways. Here are some of the most common types of Texas soil:

  • Vertisols — These are soils that have a large amount of expansive clay that leads to large cracks during dry periods of time. Vertisol can be found in Eastern and Southern Texas.
  • Aridisols — This kind of soil is dry and inhospitable and supports all kinds of minerals within a garden. Aridisols can be found primarily in the desert and resides in the far western part of the state.
  • Mollisols — This soil has plenty of nutrients and is fertile for vegetation and plant growth. Fields and slight hills across Texas have mollisol soil, which is also rich in calcium and magnesium.
  • Entisols — This is new type of soil that has been developed due to leftover deposit from moisture flow. After major storms and landslides, entisol can be found — close to aridisols — across Texas, especially on the coasts.

According to AgriLife Today, Dr. Larry Stein, a Texas AandM horticulturist announced recently that good chill hours and soil moisture index have set up for a great agricultural year in Texas, but spring freezes could be on their way.

“It was an awesome chill-hour year,” Dr. Stein said. “We have 850-hour peach varieties with active buds starting to swell, and that is good news. The challenge will be avoiding a serious freeze through mid-March. Buds are breaking in some areas, and so we will just have to see what the weather does. Growers are on pins and needles and hoping it will be OK.”

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