June 2, 2004

Wheat

A few of the wheat tests made it to harvest this year. Counties with wheat plots remaining include: Callahan, Coleman, Concho, Jones, McCulloch, Runnels and Taylor. Just let me know when you want to thrash the hand harvested samples. If there are other counties that need to process samples, please let me know as soon as possible.

The wheat variety information is updated each year to reflect changes in disease and insect ratings in our region. A copy of this information is linked here.

Cotton

Cotton planting is challenging this year due to the marginal moisture combined with high temperatures, winds and low humidity. The big problem is retaining enough soil moisture for germination and seedling development. The hot, dry winds are causing the soil to dry out quicker than expected. So plant populations have been lower than anticipated. The plant population can be as low as two plants per foot without reducing yield, as long as the plant spacing is uniform and the number of skips are limited. It is not uncommon to see numerous skips in acreage that had limited soil moisture at the time of planting. Two publications on stand loss and replanting are linked below.

Effects of Stand Loss and Skips on Cotton Yields
http://soil-testing.tamu.edu/publications/800792-skips_ne.pdf

Making Replant Decisions
http://soil-testing.tamu.edu/publications/800824-replant_.pdf

Linked is an information sheet on cotton growth and development that was prepared for the insect scout school held June 1. It can be used to refresh your memory concerning cotton plant development and to assist you in answering producers questions (click here for a copy).

The Southern Rolling Plains Conservation Tillage Tour has been scheduled for July 8. The tour will be conducted in Runnels County if you need additional information contact Rick Minzenmayer at 325-365-5212.

Grain Sorghum

If grain sorghum is stressed in the seven- to ten-leaf stage (depending on maturity group) the grain production potential is reduced. The reason for this reduction is because the sorghum plant is in the plant development period that the growing point differentiation occurs. Water stress at this time period will result in less grain being produced by each head. This cannot be corrected with rainfall received later. The only factor that can be influenced by rain after the number of grains per head is determined is the seed size.

We will get a lot of phone calls due to the numerous environmental problems that have impacted this crop. We have plants with 8 leaves that are only 10 inches tall. They are old enough for head differentiation to have occurred. Once we reach that point in plant development, the use of 2,4-D needs to be terminated. The problem is that the label indicates that the material can be applied until the plants are 12 to 15 inches tall. That is a correct statement for grain sorghum that develops under unstressed conditions. Two problems that I have seen occur from a late application of 2,4-D is the grain set was drastically reduced (about 90% reduction). Also, brace root development was reduced and the percentage of lodged plants increased.

I looked at some grain sorghum two weeks ago that was having a problem developing brace roots. The soil was too hot and dry to allow for the roots development. So the plant has a lot of short inactive roots that provide no moisture and nutrient uptake. These plants will lodge easily and will need to be the first acreage harvested when mature.

Pesticide Recertification Training

On June 14, 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.

Of some 66,000 pesticide applicators in Texas, nearly 40,000 have either a certificate that expires on December 31, 2005 or a license that expires on February 28, 2006. Those who have yet to meet their continuing education requirements will create intense demand for programs that fulfill those requirements. Please keep me informed of programs conducted that provide CEUs. THANKS.

Weed Identification

Linked is information provided at the CEA training conducted May 26, 2004.

Monthly Calendar

June

June 1, Tom Green County, Insect Scout School
June 7, District 7 Office, Office Conference
June 11, Callahan County, Forage Production Meeting
June 18, Tom Green County, Professional Ag Workers
June 23, Nolan County, Field Bindweed Turnrow Meeting

July

July 1-7, Annual Leave
July 8, Runnels County, Conservation Tillage Tour
July 12, District 7 Office, Office Conference
July 16, Tom Green County, Professional Ag Workers
July 21, Tom Green County, Western Region Ag/NR Data Summit
July 22, Tom Green County, Western Region Water Issues Data Summit
July 24 - 27, Galveston County, TCESA State Meeting


Sincerely,


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