October 2, 2004


In the Southern Rolling Plains, mid-October until mid-November is the ideal planting time for wheat intended for grain production. With excellent soil moisture and warm soil temperatures the plants should germinate uniformly if they are planted at the correct depth in a firm seedbed. Most of the bearded varieties need to be planted from 1.25 to 1.75 inches deep. Beardless varieties can tolerate being planted deeper, however, anything over 2.5 inches is too deep. Trying to plant wheat at a uniform depth is very difficult in freshly worked soil. Producers need to develop a mind-set that wheat ground should be worked early and allowed to settle for several weeks before planting.

Producers need to pay close attention to weed problems. With favorable growing conditions, a high population of weeds could develop rapidly and the larger the weeds the more expensive they are to control. Producers will need to be reminded not to use 2-4,D until tillering is complete. They might consider using products like Ally or Amber that are reasonably priced and give favorable broadleaf weed control for several months.

The August rains prompted the emergence of volunteer wheat which can serve as a host to several problems. The wheat curl mite is associated with the distribution of Wheat Streak Mosaic Virus. The wheat curl mite find the early emerging wheat a good home and then move to the planted wheat as it emerges. Hessian fly will have an opportunity of getting started early which will allow multiple generations to develop and this can be a big problem. Also, the volunteer wheat can serve as a host to leaf rust that can become a serious problem if the wet cycle continues this fall.


Two harvest aid demonstrations were established this month. The first one was established in Runnels county by Marty Gibbs for the September 23 Runnels County crop tour. You can take a virtual tour of the plot by reading the final report (linked here). Pictures of each treatment are linked from Table 1. The second plot was established in Tom Green County by Rick Minzenmayer, Steve Sturtz, and Rodney Ripple for the September 30 Tom Green County crop tour. The Tom Green County test has 18 treatments with three replications. You can take a virtual tour of the plot by reading the final report (linked here). Pictures of each treatment are linked from Table 1. The information obtained from these plots were useful in discussing harvest aid selection for boll opening, defoliation, and/or desiccation. Regrowth is an important consideration this year and producers should know that Ginstar, Aim and ET do a good job in suppressing regrowth. Coverage is critical in getting the regrowth suppressed. The use of drop nozzles and increased application volumes has certainly improved defoliation and boll opening.

The biggest decision for producers is whether to defoliate. The leaf grade discount are high enough that most producers are concerned. In most cases they can't afford to kill the leaves and have them remain on the plant. For defoliation, some producers are applying a light rate of desiccant while others are applying defoliants. After the leaves have fallen off the plant, then a desiccant is applied at a high rate.

I did not get much of a response from last month's request concerning the number of cotton samples that will need to be ginned at Lubbock in November. I still need your best guess to determine the number of days we will need the gin. The ginning dates for Districts 6 and 7 will be in late November. Don't forget, when you are preparing the samples for ginning, the best weight size has been approximately 600 grams. If you need a copy of the ginning sheet [Click Here].

Pesticide Recertification Training

On October 11, 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.

November 30, a six hour CEU course will be held at Eldorado.

December 6, a five hour CEU course will be held at Burnet.

December 9, a five hour CEU course will be held at Brady.

December 15, a five hour CEU course will be held at Abilene.

For Your Information

On the first Monday in December the Old Time Friends of Extension luncheon is held in San Angelo. I have attended this meeting every year for the last 15 years. It has been worth my time and effort to attend. If you want more information give me a call.

Monthly Calendar


October 4, District Office, Office Conference
October 5, Fisher County, Ag Day
October 12, McCulloch County, Soil and Soil Fertility
October 15, Tom Green County, Professional Ag Workers
October 19, McCulloch County, Plant Growth and Development
October 21, Howard County, Crop Tour
October 6 & 13, Tom Green County, Establish Harvest Aid Tests Plots
October 7 & 14, District 7, Perennial Weed Control Test Establishment


November 1, District Office, Office Conference
November 19, Tom Green County, Professional Ag Workers
November 25 & 26, Holiday
November 30, Schleicher County, CEU Course


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