|September 3, 2003
By now, the producers planning to plant for forage production should have plowed their land so the soil can store any rainfall received. This early land preparation allows the emerged volunteer plants to die and dry, reducing problems with disease and insects. It also allows the soil time to firm up, this helps to support the weight of the drill allowing producers to plant seed at a desired depth of 1.5 to 2 inches. Planting depth is usually shallower (1.5 inches) in hot, dry soils and is planted to a depth of 2 to 2.25 inches in the mid-October time frame. The planting depth is reduced to 1.5 inches when we get to the mid-November time frame.
Also, with the rain received in late-August we can expect to see volunteer weeds emerge. If the land is ready for planting, the weeds can be controlled with a herbicide--plowing results in soil moisture loss.
In the near future, you will start to see the impact of the recent rains. Due to the four days of solid cloud cover in late-August / early-September an increased amount of red and purple color should be seen in the cotton leaves. The plant's survival mechanism resulted in the breakdown of chlorophyll in the plant leaves. This will result in reduced efficiency of sunlight and extend the boll maturity period. This is bad news for those bolls set after mid-August. You will have to look at the plants closely to see the next problem. That gap in fruit set was not caused by some insect infestation that went undetected. The gap of boll set was due to the cloud cover and carbohydrate stress that resulted. The bolls 1 to 4 days old were aborted by the plant. There is not anything that the producer can do about this. What needs to be watched closely is the plants reaction to the reduced fruitload and the increased amount of soil moisture. If the plant growth is out of control an application of Pix may be needed. The sooner it is put on, the less that will be needed to get the job done. Basically, you have to get the amount of Pix to approximately 10 parts per million to stop plant growth; the larger the plant the more growth regulator needed.
Due to drought stress, the dryland crop set bolls for a short period of time before cutting out. This will result in cotton being ready for harvest by mid-October. From October 15 until a freeze may be 15 to 90 days and once the cotton opens, its quality is impacted by environment and insects. The application of harvest aids may be the choice of many producers this season. The harvest aid used by most producers is paraquat. I use that active ingredient name because Syngenta has change the name again. For years paraquat was sold as CycloneŽ, a 2 pound material; then it went to CycloneŽ Max, a 3 pound material; and now it is called GramoxoneŽ Max, which is a 3 pound material. GramoxoneŽ Max use rate is not to exceed 21 ounces per acre. From tests previously conducted with paraquat, an application of the product in the late evening provided the highest level of desiccation. For defoliation purposes the chemical needs to be applied in the middle of the day.
Your seeing a lot of press on ETTM, a product marketed by Nichino America Inc. it was in test plots in Tom Green County the last two years as ET-751. It worked well but had no advantage to AimTM, AppealTM or InspireTM which work basically the same way. If your familiar with AimTM then you have a good idea of how ETTM works.
At this time, we are planning to establish cotton harvest aid tests in Reagan, Runnels and Tom Green counties. Stephen Biles will be establishing tests in Jones, Mitchel, Nolan and Scurry counties. If you need assistance in obtaining materials, designing the test, or in plot establishment please let me know as soon as possible. To prepare for the questions you will receive concerning cotton harvest aids please take time to review the harvest-aid recommendations for West Central Texas. This information is also available from the following web address: http://sanangelo.tamu.edu/agronomy/harvest/index.htm
I would appreciate it if you would estimate the number of cotton samples that will need ginned. Once the total is determined I can book the gin at Lubbock for one to three days.
On September 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 (915) 672-6048.