|August 1, 2005
The grain yield information from the West Region Uniform Variety Trials conducted in Callahan, Concho, Gillespie, McCulloch, Reeves, and Taylor Counties have been compiled and linked here. Complete test summaries have been received from Coke, and Concho Counties.
Information from other wheat tests are available.
Field preparation for planting small grains should be completed soon so the seedbeds have time to firm. Volunteer plants and weeds serve as host for insects and disease and need to be terminated a minimum of two weeks before planting. The use of a burndown herbicide will also work, but it will be challenging to kill moisture stressed weeds.
The time to contact me for planning small grain tests is now. I will attempt to find the lowest priced seed and secure them. For the last two years it has averaged around $9.00 per bag. Some of the limited varieties have cost as much as $20 for a fifty pound bag. Variety tests can be designed to look at grain production, forage production or both. Seed may be needed for grazing studies looking at planting date and/or livestock removal date, seed treatment studies, and small grain comparison tests. Other types of demonstrations include fertility and weed control tests. For weed control we will be looking for plots that have problems with Wild Oats, Ryegrass, or Rescuegrass.
Similar to last year, my guess is that Agripro will require an "Agripro Wheat Demo Seed Distribution Agreement" form to be signed by you and the cooperating producer of the result demonstration plots. Basically, the agreement form is to prevent anyone from saving or selling any seed grown within the county demonstration plots. TAES is also considering a similar form for its experimental lines currently in Foundation Seed. I will keep you updated.
The following varieties are being considered for the uniform variety trials in the West Region. Jagalene, Cutter, TAM 111, Jagger, Dumas, Coronado, TAM 110 CL, Longhorn, Sturdy 2K, WinMaster, Hardeman Grain 9, and Abilene Ag Exp. #1.
If you need assistance in securing other Small Grains (oats, barley, etc.) or Ryegrass for tests please contact me soon.
How do you decide when to apply a growth regulator? No growth regulator is needed if the plant is:
The July rains were appreciated and the potential for a good cotton crop exists. To avoid delays in cotton plant development producers should consider making a foliar application of nitrogen. This is important if the soil is more sand than clay and have received 3 inches of rain. The available nitrogen in the small cotton may have leached below the root zone. By applying 5 to 6 pounds of actual nitrogen the plant can continue to develop and eventually will be able to extract needed nitrogen from the soil. Urea is used by a number of producers for this purpose and their primary question is how much? The cotton plant can absorb about 5 to 6 pounds of nitrogen per application. So a producer would be applying 10 to 12 pounds of urea per acre. If a higher rate of nitrogen is applied, leaf burn can be expected. The foliar applications can generally be made on a weekly basis without any injury to the plant. Due to cost, most producers won't make more than three applications.
The cloudy weather certainly impacted cotton plants that were blooming. Total cloud cover for more than 72 hours causes a carbohydrate stress and the plant aborts all bolls under 4 days of age until the stress is relieved. This gap in fruit load will cause a problem at the end of the season as we try to time harvest aid applications.
Producers are asking for late planted cotton strategies. You can't speed the cotton up since it is driven by heat. The cool temperatures in July cost us a little time but I expect that August will be hot. The cotton plant functions at maximum level if the temperature remains between 72 and 95 degrees Fahrenheit. As daytime temperatures get above 95 degrees we are losing plant development time. Square retention on cotton impacted by high air temperatures in August will be a challenge. Cotton plants will not develop enough leaf canopy to shade most of the soil surface. As the small squares (less than five days of age) are developing, the heat generated from the soil surface is high enough to result in pollen sterilization. Generally, if there was only one or two days of these hot temperatures, most producers would not even notice the loss of bolls at flowering. However, with a week of these temperatures, we will have an obvious gap in the cotton fruiting pattern and producers will want to blame it on a flush of insects or something. The biggest problem will be apparent by September 5th. For quality lint the cotton needs to bloom in our region by that date. After that date, it may make lint, but the micronaire and yield per boll will be low. To help reduce the impact of low micronaire, producers may want to reduce plant development by applying mepiquat chloride during the first week in September. This will reduce the amount of low quality lint by reducing the number of immature bolls harvested at the end of the season. The cotton will need a lot of heat units in September and October and a late freeze if it is going to make it.
If your planning to conduct cotton harvest aid termination tests let me know. Currently Rick Minzenmayer, Warren Multer, and Eddie Bynum are planning to establish tests this fall.
Five weed control tests were established last fall and the summaries of these tests are linked here.
Producers should be reminded not to make management decisions based on one test.
On August 8, 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.