August 2, 2007


The forage and grain yield information from Coke, Concho, Gillespie, Glasscock, Runnels, and Taylor Counties has been summarized and linked here. Wheat variety test results varied greatly due to location, timeliness of the rain, and impact of an April freeze. Information from small grain tests conducted in 2007 that is available.

Field preparation for planting small grains should be completed soon so the seedbeds have time to firm. Volunteer plants and weeds serve as hosts 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 price seed, for the last two years it has averaged around $10.00 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.

The following varieties are being considered for the uniform variety trials in the West Region. Jagalene, Cutter, Cutter CL, 2174, Stanton (Kansas), Jagger, Dumas, Coronado, Sturdy 2K, TAM 111, TAM 112, Kojack, Longhorn, WinMaster, and Abilene Ag Exp. #1.

If your producers are interested in forage production only and want a test established to compare differences between barley, oats, triticale and rye, that can be arranged. From the tests conducted over the past five years we have been able to narrow down the variety list. Annually, the performance of these varieties will need to be watched to determine changes in insect and disease pressures. As new varieties become available they will be included in several tests to determine if they have a future in our small grain testing program. If you feel that this approach is not in the best interest of the producers in your county, please give me a call.

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.

If you need assistance in securing other small grains (oats, barley, etc.) or ryegrass for tests please contact me soon.


The July rains were appreciated and the potential for a good cotton crop exists. To assist the cotton bolls 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; because the available nitrogen 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.

Cloudy weather can certainly impacted cotton plants that are 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.

How do you decide when to apply a growth regulator? No growth regulator is needed if the plant is:

  1. Moisture stressed or
  2. Approaching cutout (less than 5 nodes remain above the top white bloom in the first position)
  3. Averaging a combined length of less than 10 inches on the top five nodes and/or
  4. Averaging more than six half-grown bolls per plant

Producers are asking for late planted cotton strategies. You can't speed the cotton up since it is driven by heat. 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 were 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.

Harvest Aids

Some of the early planted cotton is progressing well and may be ready to be terminated by the middle of September. If your planning to conduct cotton harvest aid termination tests please let me know. Currently Rick Minzenmayer, Warren Multer, and Tommy Yeater are planning to establish tests this fall.

Pesticide Recertification Training

On August 13, there will be a training conducted at Abilene for producers needing to obtain a Private Applicator's license. For more details and to register for the meeting, call Gary Bomar at (325) 672-6048.

Monthly Calendar


August 6 - 8, Galveston County, TCESA State Meeting
August 9, Tom Green County, Silver Clover Award
August 22 & 23, Dallas County, Texas Small Grain Workers Meeting
August 27 - 30, Grimes County, Extension Soil and Crop Science Unit meeting


September 3, Holiday,
September 6, District Office, Sheep and Goat Field Day
September 7, Runnels and Tom Green Counties, Establish Harvest Aid Tests
September 10 - 15, Charleston, South Carolina, National ESP Meeting
September 17, District 7 Office, Administrative Meeting
September 18, Glasscock County, Crop Tour
September 19, Kerr County, Soil and Soil Fertility
September 20, Runnels County, Crop Tour
September 21, Tom Green County, Crop Tour
September 21, Howard County, Establish Harvest Aid Test
September 24, District 7 Office, Specialist Scheduling
September 25, District 6 Office, Specialist Scheduling


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