RIO GRANDE VALLEY, Texas (ValleyCentral) — Although some areas of the Rio Grande Valley received rain relief over the last couple of days, agriculture experts say drought conditions continue to pose a threat to local crops and farms. 

“We’re not out of the woods. We’re going to need more rain as we continue through the season,” Danielle Sekula, extension agent with Texas A&M AgriLife Extension said.

“It can get us another 2, 3, maybe 4 weeks down the road to the next rain,” Webb Wallace, the Executive Director of Cotton and Grain Producers of the Lower Rio Grande Valley said.

Sekula said the recent rains helped some growers with planting their crops. 

“We got a chance here to go ahead and finish whatever acreage was left unplanted right now,” Sekula said.

Although the recent rain provided some relief, experts said it’s still not enough. 

“It’s not going to last very long, two weeks or something, it just depends on how fast we get back up to the 90s,” said Sekula.                                        

“Not enough rain can be just as bad as too much rain. If you say you need another 12 inches of rain, you don’t want it all in one rain. You want it to be spread out over a period of several months. So, it would have to be consistent rain. Two or three inches every month, every few weeks,” said Wallace.

Wallace explained that aside from the drought limiting crops from being nourished, access to water specifically for irrigation is limited under the water treaty between the United States and Mexico.             

“According to the treaty, the U.S. is supposed to receive one-third of that water that flows in from the Rio Conchos,” said Wallace.

He said that water has not been shared appropriately, leaving U.S. agriculture with not enough water for irrigation. 

“You can almost never have too much rain for the Rio Grande Valley, because again, it helps to supplement the schedule of reservoir water coming out of Mexico,” said Valley Storm Team’s Chief Meteorologist, Bryan Hale.

Hale said it would take tropical storms and hurricanes to fill watershed regions in order to provide an overflow of water for irrigation but that may not be in sight.  

“Hopefully we’ll have a more regular schedule of rain from mother nature with us going back from La Nina to El Nino, that’s one hope at least. Otherwise, no, there is nothing in the short range, 7 to 10 to 14-day forecast that looks good for the growers,” Hale said.