December 1, 2006


Cotton

The rebuilding of the Lubbock gin has resulted in a delay in getting our samples processed. Hopefully, we will be scheduled in the near future.

Attached is a blank gin sheet that will need to be filled out and sent with your cotton samples. The seven digit sample number is a combination of three numbers; the county number is the first three digits, the producer or plot number is digits 4 and 5, and the sample is assigned a number between 01 and 99 which makes up digits 6 and 7. By using this code it helps to keep samples from getting lost. Try to have your gin samples between 600 and 650 grams. Thanks. If anything changes I will let you know.

Don't forget to send me your cooperators information. Attached is the information I need to help in writing up the result demonstration reports. It provides the information needed for the methods and materials section of the report. You should already have this completed; if not try to get the information when you are harvesting the plot.

The Beltwide Cotton Conference will be held in New Orleans, Lousiana, January 9-12, 2007. This is an excellent meeting for increasing your knowledge about cotton production. The shorten format should be more conducive to all participants.

Linked is the answers to all of the questions in your cotton handbook.


Wheat

I didn't get many of the Agripro Wheat Demonstration Seed Distribution Agreements back. Please get these filled out soon and send them back to me. Thanks! Linked is this years form, to make this easy, just list everything you are planting in the test plot; that way you know it is covered (Agripro Wheat Demo Seed Distribution Agreement).

Due to the lack of soil moisture, several producers have not planted. However, I would expect most of this acreage will be planted before December 15. Due to the impact of cooler temperatures on germination and emergence, planting depth will need to be reduced. The wheat seed should be placed 1.25 to 1.75 inches deep (depending on variety), and the seeding rate should be a minimum of 60 pounds per acre. The seedbed will need to be firm to keep air from reaching the developing root system. For the wheat already established, rainfall is needed to keep this crop growing. Several acres of wheat are growing very slowly due to moisture stress and/or lack of needed nutrients.

An inadequate amount of nitrogen is available in some small grain acreage. When the need for nitrogen is not met, small grain plant growth is slower than expected and plant coloration is light green to yellow. An application of nitrogen should be beneficial, however, producers should give special consideration to the type of fertilizer applied. The best choice is going to be ammonium nitrate because half of the nitrogen is in a form that is available to the plant at the time of application. This results in a quick response to the fertilizer applied. Other types of fertilizer have to be converted to a form used by the plant and this conversion is slowed by the cool temperatures.

Due to the limited soil moisture supply a number of weed control tests have been postponed until after the first of the year. If the opportunity to establish a test does occur, please let me know as soon as possible so necessary preparations can be made.

Considerations of late planted wheat:

  1. Late maturity: Late emerged wheat will mature later subjecting the wheat to higher temperatures and drought stress during grain fill. Disease organisms will usually be present at higher levels during the latter part of the growing season, causing more risk to the maturing crop from wheat leaf rust and/or stem rust.

  2. Poor Root System Development: Seedlings which emerge in December and January have a weak, shallow root system. The root system will not have the potential for moisture and nutrient uptake that wheat planted in the optimum time frame would. Hot, dry conditions at flowering and during grain fill would result in a significant yield reduction.

  3. Tiller numbers: Wheat grows very slowly at low temperatures and is essentially dormant below 40 degrees. Late emergence dates subjects the wheat to cooler temperatures which results in very few tillers being produced prior to winter dormancy. Higher seeding rates are commonly used to offset this reduction in tillering.

  4. Phosphorus inefficiency: Phosphorus availability is low in cold soils. P moves by diffusion from the soil solution to the root surface, and diffusion rates are inversely related to soil temperature. Root system expansion is slower in cold soils which results in lower phosphorus uptake by the plant. Phosphorus is an important nutrient in the development of the root system and ultimately a healthy plant.

  5. Vernalization: Winter wheat undergoes two important physiological changes in the fall. The processes that bring about these changes are known as vernalization and cold acclimation. Vernalization is required before heading will take place the next spring. If seeding takes place after the optimum date, vernalization will be affected and maturity delayed. Cold acclimation is necessary before plants can survive the low temperatures of winter. Vernalization and cold acclimation requires growth when minimum morning and maximum afternoon soil temperatures are below 45 and 50F, respectively. Winter wheats require a number of chilling hours to stimulate the formation of reproductive growth. These chilling hours are usually considered those above freezing, but below the temperature at which wheat growth goes dormant from the cold (between 40 and 32 degrees). Wheat varieties vary somewhat with respect to vernalization requirements. Late planting reduces vernalization on wheats, which may be significant, particularly in southern growing areas of District 7. Optimum planting dates for wheat grown for grain production in our area is between October 15 and November 15. Yield reductions can be expected when wheat emergence occurs after November 20, however, weather conditions will be a major influence to the extent of the reduction.

  6. Reduced Plant Vigor: Four to five weeks growth at temperatures higher than those required for vernalization and cold acclimation is necessary to ensure that plants have sufficient energy reserves available for a quick start in the spring. Seeding when maximum afternoon soil temperature is approximately 64F usually allows sufficient time for this growth and development to take place. Seeding later, when temperatures were lower, resulted in delayed germination, slow plant emergence, and a reduced rate of subsequent plant growth. This usually translates into a higher risk of winterkill, lower yield, and delayed maturity.

Weed Identification

For those of you looking for information on weed identification and control, the http://twig.tamu.edu URL may be one you want to bookmark. This site is intended to be a one stop site for information concerning weed identification, herbicide injury and weed control.

Applied Research and Result Demonstration Reports

Pesticide Recertification Training

On December 13, a five-hour CEU course will be held at the Taylor County Extension Office. This training is being hosted by Texas Cooperative Extension and the Texas Department of Agriculture. The target audience is ag producers and home owners. For more details and to register for the meeting call Gary Bomar at (325) 672-6048.

For Your Information

On Monday December 4, Old Timer and Friends of Extension Get Together and the Dutch Treat Luncheon will be held from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m at the Rio Concho Manor in San Angelo. I have attended this meeting every year for the last 17 years. It has been worth my time and effort to attend. If you want more information give me a call.

After many years of having computers around you take it for granted that everyone has some knowledge. In a conversation with a friend the use of a pickup for comparison purposes worked well to make a few points. The processor speed is like the engine--the more power the faster; so for most they would be looking at a 3 gHz speed desktop or a 2.2 gHz laptop. The hard drive is like hauling capacity--it is hard to load two tons on a half ton pickup; so get all you need (most of the desktops come with 160 gigs and laptops with 100 gigs). RAM is like the carburetor, you would not run a 400 horsepower engine using a one barrel carburetor so don't limit the computer processing (512 megs is good and 2 gigs is better). With a large electric demand a power supply should be selected to match your need, for most desktop systems that will be more than 400 watts. Like RAM for the motherboard (processor) you will need RAM to drive the video side also, 256 MB is a good starting point. Everything else is options. You will probably want a DVD reader/writer; a minimum of four USB ports, a great monitor, 3.5 inch floppy drive (if you still use them), digital card reader for the people using digital cameras, and the operating system will probably be Windows something. If they will throw in the Microsoft Suite that is a bonus. I'm not slighting Macintosh they are great machines used by a lot of graphic artist. You should be able to get the desktop with a monitor for $1,400. The laptop would be about $200 more.

If your looking for a digital camera you might want to read some reviews at one of the following sites: http://www.dpreview.com/ or http://www.steves-digicams.com/


Monthly Calendar

December

December 1, District Office, Southern Rolling Plains Gin Delegate Meeting
December 4, District Office, Office Conference
December 4, Tom Green County, Friends of Extension Luncheon
December 5 & 6, Brown County, Professional Board Meetings
December 13, Taylor County, Regional CEU Meeting
December 21 - 31, Potter, Randall, & Deaf Smith Counties, Christmas Holiday

January 2007

January 8 - 12, Brazos County, Ag Program Conference
January 16, Glasscock County, Result Demonstration Review
January 18, Taylor County, Soil and Soil Fertility
January 23, Howard County, Soil and Soil Fertility
January 24, Martin County, Permian Basin Cotton Conference
January 30 - Feb 1, Travis County, Cotton Physiology Meeting

Sincerely,


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