High Plains planters are expected to be rolling next week – but continued lack of soil moisture will keep some tractors idle.
At Friday’s Plains Cotton Advisory Group meeting in Lubbock. Shawn Holladay, Lamesa-Dawson County grower and president of Plains Cotton Growers, Inc., said he’s “waiting on a planting rain” on many of his fields. However, parts of Eastern Dawson County still have a good soil profile, thanks to a few timely rains and above normal snow.
Tighter irrigation distribution is anticipated this year with growers planning to irrigate only 40 acres under a 120-acre pivot. Many growers are still unsettled on what crop to plant. Without a solid rain event, much seed may be returned.
• “There’s still some indecision on what will go in the ground,” said Jason Woodward, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension plant pathologist. “A lot of cotton will be watered up.” Fortunately, a 30-40% chance of rain is in the 10-day regional forecast. Other
• Steve Verett, PCG executive VP, said extreme wind and blowing dust the past month is another reason why “you can’t farm this land flat,” without a cover crop or residue to offset blowing.
• Temperatures in the 90s are expected to greet Rolling Plains growers the coming week. Some in that region received good rainfall recently.
• Crop insurance and good resource management “has saved this country” the last three drought years, noted Holladay, adding, that insurance money “has been put back into soil management to help hold it and prevent blowing.”
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Larry Stalcup is the editor of AgFax Southwest Cotton and associate editor of AgFax Peanuts. A veteran ag writer and editor, he is based in Amarillo, Texas.