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Drought Condition ImprovesDrought condition improves with rain By MELISSA SULLIVAN Eagle Staff Writer Recent rains have pushed the Brazos Valley out of a severe drought that has caused headaches for ranch- ers and farmers this summer, experts say. The Bryan- College Station area has received nearly 5 inches of rain this month, which is above normal for July, said Debby Helvy, a forecaster with the National Weather Service in Houston. "Technically, we are in a moderate drought," Helvy said, adding that drought con- ditions would be updated Thursday. "Before this rain, College Station was in a severe drought, and with all this rain, we might even go from moderate to slight." So far this year the area has received 21.60 inches of rain, which is only slightly below average, Helvy said. "So we're doing good for this time of the month," she said. r il Area ranchers — whose cat tle had no more grass o which to graze — have wel- comed the recent rains and said that three weeks ago, things were not looking too promising. Steve Densmore, cattle See RAIN, Page A4 Rain From Al manager at Circle X Land and Cattle Co. in Bryan, said that a few weeks ago, he was consid- ering options for feed supple- ments to give his livestock. Now, he said, he is in "much better shape." "The grass is growing, and it's green," he said. "Right now it's looking good, as long as the weather stays this way and we keep getting showers." Texas Cooperative Exten- sion program leader Travis Miller said the rains really have not helped area crops, because some — especially corn — were doomed by previ- ous dry weather, no matter how much rain fell recently. "The rains were pretty widespread," he added. "Some areas benefited a great deal, others much less. We can't draw a sharp line and say, `OK, the drought is over with.' But we're gonna go about our business." Some areas of the Brazos River bottom received 3 inch- es of rain from recent storms, while others recorded up to 5 inches, he said. Dusty Tittle, a Texas Coop- erative Extension agent in Burleson County, said although rain is good, too much can impact crop yield. +The sorghum and cotton crops should end up doing well, he said, but if the area gets much more rain, it could cause problems. "All this rain now cou . cause a limited quantity," T: tle said. "It just adds som thing else [farmers] have take into account." Helvy said the area has a percent to 30 percent chance rain through Tuesday. As for Densmore, his poE tion is simple — the mo] rain, the better. "It's sprinkling right now he said from his ranc Wednesday afternoon. "We'i getting a little more moistur ... I hope it stays that way." • Melissa Sullivan's e - mz address is melissa.sullivan theeagle.com.