Ag Impacts and Benefits from Hurricane Beryl

The first hurricane of 2024 to make landfall on the US mainland, Beryl brought with it the usual impacts associated with such tropical systems as it reached the Central Texas Gulf Coast, impacts such as storm surge.

“With some four to five foot storm surge totals occurring in that landfall area, northeastwards to at least Galveston Island and flooding concerns East Texas, we expect to see widespread five to 10 inch rainfall totals, and some of those isolated totals could be in the one foot to 15 inch range, likely causing extensive flash flooding because of some saturated soils across eastern Texas, we could see a multi-day flood event unfolding across East Texas.”

But what about possible impacts to agriculture? USDA Meteorologist Brad Rippey starts with the immediate landfall area and parts of East Texas during day one of Hurricane Beryl’s trek inland.

“There are a few cattle and a small amount of rice and also cotton. Some of that cotton may be starting to see some open bowls, but from even a statewide perspective, it’s a pretty small portion of the overall rice cotton crops, not to mention the livestock inventory. So from an agricultural footprint, a relatively small concern with Beryl in the landfall areas.”

As the remnants of barrel make a trek to the north and east of East Texas during the week.

“Tuesday, midday and afternoon, the system likely by then, a tropical depression will be moving through the northern Mississippi Delta. By mid-week, the remnant low pressure system at that point will be moving through the eastern Corn Belt into the lower Great Lakes region. Likely at that point, any remnant moisture from that system will be absorbed by a cold front. As we move into Thursday and Friday still will see some fairly widespread showers, tropically enhanced, moving into the northeast.”

Two to six inch local rain totals could be recorded in the eastern Corn Belt and northeast.

“We will see as that track moves more to the northeast, more of a positive impact, as we’ll be seeing that rain falling on soils that have really dried out in the last several weeks, across parts of the Ohio Valley into the eastern Corn Belt, the lower Great Lakes region.”