February 1, 2003


It is time to consider making an application of fertilizer. Only a small percentage of the total nitrogen used by the crop is required prior to jointing (usually around 20 to 30%). Evaluate fields as growth begins in the spring and apply nitrogen prior to jointing. In fields where tiller numbers are low, producers will want to apply the fertilizer early. The quanity to apply should be based upon the amount of nitrogen present in the field and yield potential. Ungrazed wheat will utilize about 1.7 pounds of nitrogen per bushel of yield. Base rates on projected yield considering: 1) the crop condition, 2) availability of moisture, 3) residual nitrogen at planting (from soil test), and 4) amount of fertilizer applied preplant. Source of nitrogen has little to do with yield response. Apply the source that can be most efficiently and economically applied. To reduce leaf burn with high rates of liquid applicator, consider using dribble nozzles.

In some wheat fields, Wild oats are in the three- to six-leaf growth stage. At this stage, the Wild oat plants will be difficult to control using Assert and only limited control using Hoelon. We have about two weeks remaining for the application of Puma for Wild Oat control. It will be important that the following conditions exists to get the best possible control using Puma: 1) check the weather forecast and make sure that night time temperatures will be above 40 degrees for two days prior and following the application, and 2) have adequate soil moisture at the time of application. Preferably, producers will apply the at least 20 gallons of water per acre.

If the opportunity occurs in February, I will be trying to establish a Wild Oat control test. The growing conditions will need to improve, however, the wheat may be too mature to make an application. Just have to wait and see.


Due to practices used by several of the larger cottonseed companies the way we design and conduct tests have changed. I still attempt to include the varieties that the producer wants and varieties that preform well in the county. Our main focus continues to be the elimination of varieties that don't preform before they make it into large scale production. To do this we have to put varieties into a wide range of tests. We are serving our producers well if we can identify what genetically superior lines are available and what their growth and development traits are. Contact me soon and let's design your 2003 Result Demonstrations.

The cotton producers that like to plant in marginal soil temperatures should plant cottonseed with a cool-warm vigor index above 155. Both Delta and Pineland Seed Company and Paymaster Seed Company conduct a cool germination test and a warm germination test on every seed lot to be sold. Producers can request a copy of that information and by combining the numbers obtained from both tests determine the cool-warm vigor index for the seed lot. Only those varieties with a high vigor index (above 155) should be planted when cool soil temperatures exist at planting time.

For your information there will be a cotton production conference held at San Angelo on March 25, 2003. There are a number of specialists from across the state involved in this activity. This will be a training meeting for agents in cotton producing counties. The agents that are unfamiliar with cotton production will be asked to attend the introductory session which is designed to provide basic information. This will give you the opportunity of asking all those questions that you will be answering for producers in 2003.

Grain and Forage Sorghum

It is time to request Corn, Grain Sorghum and Forage Sorghum seed for 2003 result demonstrations. If you need additional information about the varieties and hybrids available I have compiled a list of company web sites and the URL is: http://sanangelo.tamu.edu/agronomy/newsltr/company.htm. Companies need to be contacted in the near future to acquire the seed you need for testing.

Conservation Tillage

I have had a quick education on conservation tillage equipment and thought I would share some of it with you. Two important attachments for the planter are residue managers in front of the double disk openers on the planter and closing wheels that cover the opening made by the planter. Even though there are more than ten types of residue managers the four most popular are Dawn, Martin, Yetter, and a new one by Sunco. Shown is a picture of each.

Residue Manager

Residue Manager

Residue Manager

Residue Manager

Of the closing wheel available the four most commonly used are Yetter, May-Wes, Martin, and Barbee-Nuehaus. A number of producers have been asking for additional information on the Barbee-Nuehaus closing wheels which can be obtained from the Barbee-Nuehaus John Deere Dealership at Weslaco (956) 968-5576, Bill Huddelson is the Parts Manager. A picture of each is shown below.

Closing Wheels

Closing Wheels

Closing Wheels

Closing Wheels


The current contract on Sesame is $0.22 to $0.23 per pound. Contracts will be offered to previous growers first and then opened up to other growers if additional acreage is needed. For information about sesame production refer to the following URL: http://sanangelo.tamu.edu/agronomy/factshet/sesame.htm .

Pesticide Recertification Training

There will be a meeting conducted February 6, 8:30 a.m. at the Cross Plains Community Center. The educational meeting will be worth 5 CEUs (1 IPM, 1 Laws/Reg, 3 General) for TDA license holders that complete the paperwork. For additional information contact Robert Pritz at (915) 854-1518.

On Monday February 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 (915) 672-6048.

There will be a meeting conducted during the West Texas Farm and Ranch Show (Abilene, Texas) on February 18 & 19, 2003. The educational meeting will be worth 3 CEUs on February 18 and 6 CEUs on February 19 for TDA license holders that complete the programs and the paperwork. For additional information contact Gary Bomar at (915) 672-6048.

There will be a meeting conducted February 26, starting at 3:00 p.m. at the Texas A&M Agricultural Research and Extension Center north of San Angelo, Texas. The educational meeting will be worth 5 CEUs for TDA license holders that complete the program and paperwork. For additional information contact Marvin Ensor at (915) 659-6522.

Don't forget that your TDA pesticide applicators license will expire the end of February. If you have not gotten your paperwork for renewal you may want to contact the TDA.

Monthly Calendar

February 2003

February 3, Traveling, Mobile Phone (915) 650-1486
February 4, Martin County, Permian Basin Cotton Production Meeting
February 6, Callahan County, Multi-County Forage Meeting
February 11 & 12, Tom Green County, Drought Symposium
February 18 & 19, Taylor County, West Texas Farm and Ranch Show
February 21, Tom Green County, Professional Ag Workers
February 24 & 25, Randall County, Texas ASA Meeting
February 26, Tom Green County, CEU Course
February 27, Brown County, Brown County Ag Day
February 28, Haskell County, Multi-County Crop Production Meeting

March 2003

March 3 - 5, Travis County, Physiology Study Group Meeting
March 21, Tom Green County, Professional Ag Workers
March 21, District Office, Southern Rolling Plains Cotton Growers
March 25, Tom Green County, Cotton Production Seminar


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