March 1, 2002


The cold front that came through the last week of February may have caused some injury to the wheat plants. Several fields I have observed have shown signs of stress and others have leaf tips that are showing evidence of the freeze. The low temperatures burned the mustard plants and some of the other broadleaf weeds. The weeds will need several days of favorable growing conditions before they will be impacted by herbicide applications.


I'm working on the variety tests for Districts 6 & 7 and should have a rough copy for your review in the near future. The testing of Roundup Ready cotton should demonstrate how and when to apply Roundup, determine the weed species that can be controlled or suppressed, and determine the economic impact that occurred from controlling the weeds. If you forgot to request seed for your county variety test(s), you are about out of time. Seed requests are being made now.

Producers are faced with some tough decisions for the 2002 growing season and reducing financial risk is a priority. The first thing I would suggest is to take a soil sample and submit it for testing. We need to see what the nutrient level is in the soil. If a producer has 20 pounds of available nitrogen in the upper 6 inches of soil this will meet the cotton's need until one-third grown square stage. By that time, the producer should know if an adequate crop is established and growing and what the soil moisture situation is. The producer can then side-dress the crop using a chisel rig or wait until bloom and apply nitrogen using foliar applications. The soil applied fertilizer is less expensive than a foliar program, however, the application should be completed by the time the first squares are one-third grown. The cotton plant roots need to have time to recover from the fertilizer application before it begins to bloom.

Grain Sorghum

Seed supplies should be adequate this year. Most of the seed for test purposes will be obtained from local seed dealers. Some important considerations are: 1) make sure that all hybrids are in the same maturity group, 2) if a plated planter is used, make sure that all the seed are close to the same size (number of seed per pound), 3) establish the test after favorable environmental conditions are reached.

If we don't get a rain until late April we may see some of this acreage switched back into cotton.

Pesticide Recertification Training

On Monday, March 11, 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 (915) 672-6048.

An Agricultural Waste Pesticide Collection Event has been scheduled for April 15, 2002 at Ballinger. The pesticides will be collected at the City of Ballinger Recycling Center (from Hwy 67, turn south on Hwy 83, go two blocks, located on east side). Collection of materials will be from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. The TNRCC contact person is Ronnie R. May 512/239-4749, site contact persons are Tommy New 915/365-3511 or Tom Guthrie 915/365-2219. For more information go to the TNRCC Website.

Monthly Calendar


March 1, Dist. 7 Headquarters, Southern Rolling Plains Gin Delegate meeting
March 4, Dist. 7 Headquarters, Office Conference
March 12, Runnels County, Runnels County Ag Day
March 15, Tom Green County, Professional Ag Workers
March 19, San Saba County, Master Gardener Program
March 26, Brown County, Brown County Ag Day
March 27, Glasscock County, Establish Weed Control Test
March 28, Burnett County, Master Gardener Program


April 2, Nolan County, Multi-County Cotton Conference
April 3, Jones County, Multi-County Cotton Conference
April 4, Callahan County, Multi-County Forage Field Day
April 6, Tom Green County, Christmas in April
April 10, Uvalde County, Agent Training for District 10
April 15, Runnels County, Agricultural Waste Pesticide Collection
April 16, Schleicher County, Field Crops
April 23, Ward County, Multi-County Forage Production Meeting
April 23, Brazos County, New Faculty Orientation


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