Last month, cotton farmer Lloyd Arthur was kicking up what looked like dust from his field.

He said it was too dry to take care of what needed to get done ahead of planting season. He wanted to tillage plow, turn the soil and add fertilizer. But he said very few people were doing that because it would damage so much equipment and simply lift dry soil into the wind.

Lubbock hadn't received any measurable rainfall for 94 days when Lloyd was talking to A-J Media; growers were starting to get nervous looking at the forecasts.

“We’re kind of just waiting, but there’s only so long you can wait,” Arthur said in February. “We haven’t done any pre-fertilization, we haven’t done any pre-weed control. It’s all because, right now, the topsoil is so dry and we wouldn’t get good incorporation."

That dry-spell continued and through this past weekend the area was experiencing dangerously dry conditions.  Several times during Lloyd's interview in February he brought up 2011, which brought the area's last extreme drought clearly on the minds of cotton growers.

The saving grace back then was it was early. January and February are typically dry months, so Arthur said so long as the area received some significant rain ahead of planting season growers would be in good shape.

Farmers got some of that needed rainfall Tuesday evening.

Wednesday morning, the day after the National Weather Service said Lubbock got nearly an inch of rain during the past 24 hours, Arthur said it's hard to overstate the significance of that rainfall. He farms near Ralls, which was reported to have gotten 0.85 of an inch of rain.

"We're in a lot better shape as of last night than we have been in a long time," Arthur said. "It was getting critical. This will help us tremendously. It's a great start this close to planting time."

Arthur said the rain fell well, too, meaning it was slow and steady. He expects most growers will let the rain soak in before they start that preparation — tillage, fertilizer and weed control — before planting at the end of April and beginning of May.

"A lot of people's minds and attitudes changed overnight," said Arthur. "Folks are feeling better. It was just so dry and hard — now we have the opportunity to get things done. It was very timely, very necessary, and very appreciated. "

Arthur said his only complaint from last night's rain is the area could have used more of it.

Arthur was detailing last night's rain from a cotton farmer's perspective. Corn gets in the ground ahead of cotton, so many corn farmers had already begun irrigating their fields. The rain helped replenish some of the moisture already lost. Fall's wheat harvest was probably too far gone, unfortunately.

Steve Verett of the Plains Cotton Growers said the line of storms Tuesday evening touched much of the South Plains. But, as is typically the case, it missed some areas, particularly in the northwest portions of the Texas Panhandle. 

"It was just great," Verett said of the rain. "Everybody knows how long it's been since we had any real measurable precipitation. It was great to see the amount of rainfall and how it came, for the most part there wasn't severe weather. As always, it's difficult to get a rain across our whole area, and we know we have some areas that didn't get much, if any. But I think all would agree it's good to see it raining somewhere on the plains."

Verett and Arthur both said a few more inches during April is needed, with Verett adding that, hopefully, the rain this week is a sign of good weather to come.