Agricultural Information for Lamar County
LOCATION, SIZE, AND HISTORY
Lamar County is in Northeast Texas approximately 105 miles Northeast of Dallas. It has a total area of 579,840
acres of which 9,490 acres is water. Paris, the county seat, has a population of 25,498. An additional 16,658
live in the rural areas surrounding Paris.
Lamar County is bounded on the north by the Red River and Oklahoma, on the east by Red River County, on the
west by Fannin County, on the south by Delta County, or the Sulphur River. The economy is based on farming,
ranching, and industry. Cotton was the main crop for almost 100 years, but during the last 50 years, much
of the cropland has been converted to hay and pastureland for livestock. Today the principal crops are Milo, wheat, soybeans, hay, and livestock forage crops.
Soils have played, and continue to play, a most significant role in the agricultural development of Lamar County.
Soil survey mapping units have been identified for 55 different soil types capable of growing a wide range of adaptable crops.
Using U. S. Highway 82, which runs east and west through the county, as a dividing line, soils in the North half of the county are primarily sandy
or clay loams while those in the South half are clays.
Predominant upland clay soils include Houston Black, Heiden and Leson with Trinity clay being the predominant bottomland soil.
Loamy soils include Annona, Freestone, Woodtell, Wilson, Normangee and Crockett. Bottomland soils along the Red River include Severn,
Caspinana and Desha with Trinity clay being the major soil type along the Sulphur River.
General and detailed information regarding soil types is available from the Soil Conservation Service.
Pasture and hay are important to the economy of Lamar County. A wide variety of warm and cool season grasses are adapted to the soils and climate of the area.
Coastal and common Bermuda grass are the most commonly used perennial warm season grasses. There are also small acreage's of
Bahi grass, Klein grass and King Ranch Bluestem. Some acreage is used for cool season perennial Fescue.
The most commonly used legumes are Vetch, Singletary peas White clover, Arrowleaf clover, Crimson clover and lespedeza.
Big and Little Bluestem, India grass and Switch grass are some of the more desired native grasses.
Trees common to the county include Pecan, Walnut, Hickory, Oak, Ash, Sweetgum and Cottonwood. Pine are adapted only to
certain soils mainly located on the uplands of Northern Lamar County.
Additiona1 information regarding adapted plants and trees is available from the County Agriculture Extension Service.
Lamar County has two major watersheds - the Red River and the North Sulphur. There are various smaller watersheds with
many intermittent streams and creeks. A few natural springs exist in scattered areas of the county.
Water storage for agricultural use is obtained primarily through surface runoff. There are estimated to be about 4500
ponds on private lands in the county utilized for livestock and recreational use.
Underground water supplies are limited for large-scale agricultural use. The approximate depth to usable water in the
Blackland Prairies Resource area is over 400 feet and is usually salty. The water table in the north half of the county
is sometimes as shallow as 30 feet but is not sufficient for a large amount of irrigation.
Contact should be made with the Texas Department of Water Resources, P. O. Box 12396, Capitol Station, Austin, Texas 78711 for information regarding Texas water laws.
RELIEF AND DRAINAGE
The topography of Lamar County is excellent with elevation varying from 400 to 61 feet.
Situated on the divide between the Red and North Sulphur Rivers, the majority of the county has nearly level to
gently sloping soils which promotes good surface drainage. Some soils along the Red and North Sulphur Rivers tend to
benefit, however, from open type surface drains due to near level conditions.
The use of grassed water-ways, terraces, and contour farming is beneficial on cropland from a conservation and
production standpoint on sloping soils in the county.
Winter temperatures are mild. Minimum temperatures of 32°F or below occur on about two out of three nights. The daily maximum temperature fails to exceed 32° F on an average of about four days each year.
Paris and Lamar County experience frequent surges of cold continental air in winter. Cold fronts moving down from the north often are accompanied by strong, gusty winds and sudden drops in temperature;
however, cold spells are of short duration, rarely lasting longer than 48 hours before rapid warming occurs. Precipitation may fall as rain, freezing rain, sleet, or snow. Occasional heavy
snows bias the snowfall data with the result that the arithmetic mean is a poor estimate of expected snowfall. A monthly total of 15.5 inches of snow fell at Paris in March 1942.
There have only been two measurable snowfalls at Paris in the month of March since 1942.
Summer: Daytime temperatures are warm, particularly in July and August. There is little variation in the day-to-day weather during these months.
Sunshine is about 75 percent of the total possible during the summer. Refrigerated air conditioning is recommended for maximum comfort indoors.
Spring and Fall are delightful seasons in Paris and Lamar County, characterized by warm days and cool nights. Cloudiness and showers are slightly
more frequent in the spring than in the fall. Average wind speeds are stronger in the spring also.
The growing season (freeze free period) averages 228 days. The mean dates of the last freeze in the spring and the first in the fall are March 26 and November 9, respectively.
Electric power is available in all sections of Lamar County. This power is supplied by the Texas Power & Light Company, the Lamar
County Electric Cooperative Association, and the Community Public Service Company. The service areas of these three electric utilities were
established by the Texas Public Utilities Commission.
Prospective land buyers should contact the proper utility prior to actual purchase. In some instances an advance payment for electric service
or payments "in aid-of-construction" may be required before service can be rendered. This is dependent upon the type of load to be served
and the distance the utility must build in order to serve it.
Additional information pertaining to transportation (rail, motor freight, bus lines and air), Agriculture Markets serving Lamar
County agriculture (livestock sales, cotton, grains & soybeans, peanuts, and availability of fertilizer and chemicals) is available upon request.