December 31, 2003

It is time to request Cotton, Corn, Grain Sorghum, Forage Sorghum and other seed for 2004 result demonstrations. Please call or send an e-mail indicating your interest, I will get in touch with you and develop plot plans. The cooperating companies will be contacted in the near future.


I still plan to establish a Wild Oat Control Test in Taylor County and a Ryegrass Control Test in Brown County if the opportunity presents itself. Trying to spray herbicides at this time of the year is always a challenge. I try to wait for a window of opportunity to make the applications. The window I'm looking for has to meet two criteria; they are: 1) prior to the application--temperature remain above forty degrees for 48 hours, and 2) following the application the air temperature remain above forty degrees for 48 hours. Sounds simple enough but you don't get many opportunities to spray in January.

Many of the producers that planted in early September got some excellent grazing before the freeze and the insects set it back. The warm temperatures in October and November helped the wheat and weeds to develop quickly. By mid-December, hollow stems could be found in early planted wheat. Some mustard plants already had mature seeds.

About 100,000 acres of wheat was planted in December and the temperatures have remained low through most of the month. This will have a negative impact on the developing wheat plant. These plants will have a small root system and will require timely rain in the Spring in order to develop a grain crop with desirable test weight. Freeze damage can occur in young plants (two to three leaf stage) when air temperatures drops to the 10 to 15 degree range, especially if the soil is dry. If the top 1 to 2 inches of soil is wet it will serve as insulation to the young wheat plants.

I know that some producers are asking about fertilizing wheat. If they plan to apply a dry fertilizer such as ammonium nitrate or ammonium sulfate they need to be sure that the soil surface is dry. If I was making a choice in the type of fertilizer to apply, I would select ammonium nitrate since half of the nitrogen applied is already in a form the plant can readily absorb.


By now all of the cotton producing counties that sent samples to Lubbock for ginning this month should have received their summary of lint quality. I would like to get a copy of the final report as soon as possible so they can be forwarded to the seed companies that provided us the seed. Let me know how I can assist you in this endeavor.

The Beltwide Cotton Conference will be held in San Antonio, Texas, January 6 - 9, 2003. This is an excellent meeting for increasing your knowledge about cotton production. The Tuesday and Wednesday programs are more producer oriented. For more information go to the following URL

Pesticide Recertification Training

On Monday, January 12, there will be a training conducted at Abilene for producers needing to obtain a Private Applicators License. For more details and to register for the meeting call Gary Bomar at (325) 672-6048.

CEUs will be available at the West Texas Farm and Ranch Show held February 17 & 18, 2004 at Abilene, Texas. A pesticide applicator can earn 3 CEUs each day. Just have them call Gary Bomar at (325) 672-6048 for more information. If you are having a program in the next three months that offers CEUs please let me know.

Rangeland Restoration

Producers intending to establish grass in 2004 should already have their soil test results and hopefully made the necessary fertilizer applications. Seedbeds should be level, firm and free of rocks at the time of planting. The seedbed will need adequate time to build up soil moisture and become firm.

World Wide Web

Some web sites you may want to add to your favorite list include:

Monthly Calendar


January 5, District 7 Office, Office Conference
January 6 - 10 , San Antonio, Texas, Beltwide Cotton Conference
January 12, Taylor County, Meeting with AgriPro
January 13, Taylor County, Wheat Conference Planning Meeting
January 13, Howard County, Soil and Soil Fertility
January 16, Tom Green County, Professional Ag Workers
January 19, Dawson County, Multi-County Production Conference
January 20, Martin County, Multi-County Cotton Conference
January 21, Midland/Ector Counties, Soil and Soil Fertility


February 3, Annual Leave
February 4, Martin County, Multi-County Crop Production Meeting
February 2, District 7 Office, Office Conference
February 10, Callahan County, Multi-County Forage Conference
February 17 & 18, Taylor County, West Texas Farm and Ranch Conference
February 22 - 24, Stephenville, Texas ASA Meeting


Billy E. Warrick
Extension Agronomist
Texas Cooperative Extension
Texas A&M University System