July 1, 2006


Runnels, Taylor and Concho Counties harvested wheat variety tests this year. As the summaries from these tests are completed, I would appreciate receiving a copy. These summaries are sent to the companies that market the seed so they can determine which varieties perform best in each region. The companies that receive summaries early tend to support our programs favorably each year.

August 17 is the date of the Big Country Wheat Conference that will be held at the Taylor County Extension Office. The conferences target audience is mid- to upper-level wheat producers. This meeting will be useful in increasing their knowledge in wheat production and marketing. An agenda for this meeting will be sent to you in the near future. Make your plans now to attend.


Hot, dry and windy are factors that are a reality so far this year. Looks like we may set a lot of records this year. The conditions make it difficult to determine what to do. Producers that usually side-dress fertilizer will have to decide if it is worth the investment. The side-dress application needs to be made before the 1/3 grown square stage. At this growth stage, the uptake of moisture and nutrients is increasing sharply and will peak out when it reaches full bloom. The root system will need time to recover before reaching the stressful moisture and nutrient uptake period. Soil applied fertilizer applications made after 1/3 grown square stage usually results in yield reductions due to root damage. After the 1/3 grown square stage is reached, producers will need to delay applying nutrients until the crop begins blooming and then apply the nutrients as a foliar application.

Producers will have a difficult time controlling Johnsongrass that is in a stressed condition. In tests conducted under similar conditions the level of control obtained ranged from 15 to 75 percent. Even the high level of control left a lot of grass and the producers felt like they had wasted their money.

The late emerging cotton crop has a chance of making an average yield if the environmental factors change. Historically, July and August are our hottest and driest months, if we don't get into a period of frequent rainfall this crop is done before it gets started. If a wet pattern does develop, our phones will be ringing off the wall with producers wanting to know how to maximize production on a crop that had a late start.

Three of the 23 tests planned for this year have been lost due to weather conditions. If you loose a plot please let me know; seed company representatives often want to visit the tests during the summer.

Forage Sorghum

I have had several questions about nitrate and prussic acid poisoning concerns due to forage being baled as hay or eaten by livestock. Linked is information on nitrate and prussic acid poisoning.

Grain Sorghum

Late planted grains still have a window of opportunity but it is shutting fast. The linked information was compiled by Calvin Trostel the Agronomist at Lubbock. It provides a lot of the information that you need to consider.

At this time, the older grain sorghum is reaching the growth stage where the uptake of moisture is rapid. A late side-dress application of fertilizer could reduce the yield potential of the crop unless adequate amounts of water are applied. The application of nutrients should have taken place earlier in the season for the most impact on yield. The only item of growth that will be impacted at this time is seed size and that is not the primary component of yield. However, for the later planted grain sorghum the applications of nutrients can still be made prior to the seven- to ten-leaf stage (depending on maturity group). Water stress prior to the seven- to ten-leaf stage will result in less grain being produced by each head and this cannot be corrected with rainfall received later.

Pesticide Recertification Training

On July 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.

Monthly Calendar


July 6, Runnels County, Conservation Tillage Meeting
July 10, District 7 Office Conference
July 11 & 12, Midland and Glasscock Counties, Cotton Training Meeting
July 13, San Saba County, Regional Hay Show
July 14, Taylor County, Cotton Turnrow Meeting
July 21, Reagan County, Grazing Opportunities


August 7 - 9, Bexar County, Specialists Association Meeting
August 10, Coke County, Wheat Production Meeting
August 10, Tom Green County, Silver Clover Award Program
August 15 & 16, Dallas County, Small Grains Workers Meeting
August 17, Taylor County, Big Country Wheat Conference
August 18, Tom Green County, Professional Ag Workers
August 24, Brown, Mills, and San Saba Counties, Stocker Cattle Meeting
August 28 - 30, Ruidoso, New Mexico, Cotton Production Meeting


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