January 1, 2005

It is time to request Cotton, Corn, Grain Sorghum, Forage Sorghum and other seed for 2005 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, 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.

The early planted wheat was looking good until the cold temperatures occurred on December 23. The cold temperatures would have been more damaging to the area wheat crop if we had not gotten the snow cover that we did. Snow is an excellent insulator. With each inch of snow, it provides about 10 degrees of protection to the wheat.

Wheat that is well tillered should be able to withstand temperatures in the -5 degree range for at least a short period of time. The longer it stays this cold, the greater the risk of killing the growing point. If the top 2 inches of soil is wet, this will help insulate the wheat growing point. I have already seen significant leaf burn on some of the lush wheat that had not been grazed. As new growth occurs, the damage will be concealed.

For more information about freeze damage in wheat refer to this linked site. http://sanangelo.tamu.edu/agronomy/wheat/whtfreez.htm


I want to thank Warren Multer, Randall Rakowitz, Raymond Quigg, Marty Gibbs, Rick Minzenmayer, Steve Sturtz, Chris Sansone and Steve Estes, for their assistance in ginning cotton on December 13 at Lubbock. We were able to process 440 samples in seven hours due to the effort made by all counties. The gin sample sizes between 550 and 600 grams processed quickly with very few problems. Thanks again for taking the time to weigh and prepare your samples. I expect to receive the textile lab information in the near future. I will get these run through the spreadsheet and out to you as quickly as possible. It will be sent to you in an electronic format by e-mail. That will allow you to insert the data tables into your result demonstration reports. I would appreciate it if you would send me a copy of the complete result demonstration report by e-mail. Thanks.

The Beltwide Cotton Conference will be held in New Orleans, Louisiana, January 5 - 7, 2005. This is an excellent meeting for increasing your knowledge about cotton production. For more information go to the following URL http://beltwide.cotton.org/.

Pesticide Recertification Training

On Monday, January 10, 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 22 & 23, 2005 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.

Monthly Calendar


January 4 - 8, New Orleans, LA Beltwide Cotton Conference
January 10 - 13, Brazos County, Ag Program Conference
January 14, Brown County, Establish Ryegrass Control Test
January 17, Glasscock County, Result Demonstration Review
January 18, Martin County, Permian Basin Cotton Conference
January 18, Howard County, Soil and Soil Fertility
January 20, Taylor County, Establish Wild Oat Control Test
January 21, Tom Green County, Professional Ag Workers
January 25 & 26, New Mexico, State Cotton Production Conference


February 1 - 3, Travis County, Texas - Oklahoma Cotton Physiology Study Group
February 8, Callahan County, Forage Seminar
February 9, Jones County, CEU Course
February 10, Tom Green County, CEU Course
February 22, Taylor County, West Texas Farm and Ranch Show


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