|May 5, 2007
The harvest of wheat will soon begin. As you harvest samples from variety tests, please record the information on the foot of drill row(s) harvested and the number of inches from drill row to drill row. I will need this information to calculate the yield per acre. The thrasher is located at the Research and Extension Center at San Angelo. You may want to team up with another county to thrash samples. It takes at least two people to do the job efficiently. After the thrashing of grain is complete, the grain weights can then be entered into a spreadsheet and the information you want determined. Also, at the time of harvest you may want to get the production information from your demonstration cooperator.
Producers that are keeping seed for planting purposes next year need to closely inspect the acreage being harvested. If weeds or diseases are a problem, they will need to have the seed cleaned, bagged and treated with the appropriate fungicide. Be sure to review the laws concerning seed being saved for planting. Producers can find themselves in trouble due to the Plant Variety Protection Act (attached is information on the topic).
Nolan and Haskell Counties have been added to the list of counties with Hessian Fly. For the counties that have Hessian Fly, you may want to let producers know of cultural practices they can use to reduce the population of the insect pest: 1) Don't spread the problem--be sure that harvesters are clean before they leave the field. 2) Turn the residue under, 9 or more inches is needed. 3) Planting wheat after November 1 helps reduce the problem. 4) Select resistant varieties to plant next season. Linked is a list from 2006 that gives a rating of the resistance of wheat varieties to Hessian Fly, Leaf Rust, and Stem Rust. This information will be updated as we evaluate wheat plots in May. NOTE: The heat of a controlled burn is not hot enough to kill the insect at or below the soil surface. Burning wheat stubble would only get rid of the organic mater--not the insect.
I have had reports of several fields with loose smut problems in wheat and oats. Producers that are keeping seed for planting purposes next year need to closely inspect the acreage being harvested. If loose smut is a problem, they will have to have the seed cleaned and treated with the appropriate fungicide.
There were a few changes in the tests being conducted from what was originally posted on last month's newsletter. Attached is an updated copy of the result demonstrations planned for 2007. Except for two FiberMax varieties and one Americot variety all of the seed for test plots in 2007 have been delivered. I want to thank Ed Bynum, Warren Multer, Rebel Royall, and Tommy Yeater for their assistance in obtaining, sorting, and distributing cottonseed for District 6 and 7 variety tests.
The attached sheet should assist you in getting the information that you need about the preparation and establishment of test plots (Rich Text Format). It can be saved to your hard drive and opened by most word processors.
The soil temperature this season has been close to average. The minimum temperature for planting cotton is a ten day average of 60 degrees F at the eight inch depth. This temperature is taken at 8:00 a.m. each day. Cotton planted in warm soil, usually germinates and emerges faster resulting in healthier plants. The weather stations located east of San Angelo, east of Rowena, and southwest of St. Lawerence records soil temperature and that information is posted on the web. The URLs are http://sanangelo.tamu.edu/weather/sjt/2007/, http://sanangelo.tamu.edu/weather/runnels/2007/, and http://sanangelo.tamu.edu/weather/glasscock/2007/ .
From all indications we better be ready for insect pressure this growing season. As the wheat dries down there will be a significant increase in thrip. The wild host plants growing in the ditch provide a good home for a number of insects.
What is the proper planting rate of cotton? The desired plant population for cotton is three emerged, uniformly spaced, and healthy plants per foot of row (on 40 inch rows). This results in a plant population of approximately 39,000 plants per acre. If the cottonseed only germinated 80 percent of what is planted then 49,000 seeds per acre needs to be planted. If the seed size is 5,600 seeds per pound, you would have to plant 8.76 pounds per acre to get the desired plant population. If you are planting into a firm seedbed with good soil moisture, then the proper seed placement should be from 1.5 to 2.0 inches. Be sure that the seed-to-soil contact is firm.