Our Water: Inconsistent rains worry area farmers and ranchers


Too little rain in some areas, verging on too much in others

SAN ANGELO, Texas – Inconsistent rainfall in and around San Angelo is causing stress for some area ranchers and farmers. The National Weather Service says San Angelo is around four inches below average for this time of year for rainfall. Further afield, farmers planting cotton and sorghum grain, have had plenty of rain. Some are even concerned the ground will soon be too wet to run equipment through.

“We’ve been very fortunate here in the Mereta area,” said Gene Gully, a Concho Valley farmer. “We’ve had about seven inches now in the month of May. Before it started raining we were completely dry, thought we’d never get cotton up. At this point now we’re looking very good around Mereta. When we go south of here back towards 87, further south, those areas have had up to 12 inches of rain.”

Others, like farmer and cattle rancher Steven Hoelscher, are still trying to recover from the February freeze. Now a lack of rain is forcing him to plant more seeds to enhance growth. Hoelscher told CVHP, after losing some calves to the Febrary freeze, falling cattle prices and a lack of rain, are causing some anxiety for ranchers. “On Lake Nasworthy by the weather center and the airport,” explained Hoelscher. “We are really way below. All of our neighbors and us included here. We could use a more substantial amount of rain, especially in and around the San Angelo area. When you get in eastern Tom Green County and north eastern around Mereta, Vancourt, Vick… we’ve had substantial amounts over there.”

Some ranchers concerns are operating costs. The last time they went without enough rain, some were only 30 days from having to shut down. For more on area rain totals, click here.

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Water Conservation Status

Standard Conservation

San Angelo is in standard conservation, which restricts outside watering to twice every seven days at no more than 1 inch per week, no watering between noon and 6 pm. Runoff of more than 150 feet down any street, gutter, alley or ditch is prohibited.

Report watering violations by clicking on https://www.cosatx.us/departments-services/water-conservation/report-a-water-violation or calling 325-657-4409. Do your part; be water smart!