Texas South Plains Cotton: Alternative Crop Options After Failed Planting

Cotton plants hit by wind and sandstorm damage. Photo: Dave Freeze, University of Arkansas

With continued rains in much of the Texas High Plains, many farmers are far behind on planting goals for cotton and some other crops.  Some farmers began indicating by June 3 that after yet another rain they would no longer trying to plant cotton.

So, this places our High Plains of Texas farmers in a possible replant decision on a failed crop, usually cotton, or pushes planting back so much that cotton or other full-season crops are no longer viable.  What to do?  What are my options?

The guide is being updated the week of June 3, and the new edition will be posted by June 11 on the main website of the Texas A&M AgriLife Research & Extension Center, Lubbock, see hereThe 2018 edition remains on the same website if producers need information sooner.  The document is oriented to the Texas South Plains, but producers in the Concho Valley (south), the Rolling Plains (east), and north into the Panhandle may find this information useful in understanding options, especially on crops that you may less familiar with.

Features of the guide include:

  • Links for assessing current crop damage (leaf area, growing point, etc.) and viable plant populations for cotton, corn, grain sorghum, and sunflower. Remember that even thin stands, if healthy, for any of these crops may be a keeper.
  • If you decide to terminate the crop your applied herbicides may limit replant options.
  • “First things” information is provided for over a dozen possible replant/late plant crop. This will include agronomic planting dates, suggested seeding rates, and contractor information for applicable crops.  These crops include:
    • Grain Sorghum
    • Soybeans
    • Sunflower
    • Proso Millet
    • Guar
    • Sesame Higher input catch crops could be peanuts and corn for grain or silage
    • Black-eyed peas and other peas, beans, etc.
    • Forages:  summer annual sorghum/sudan, hybrid pearl millet, forage sorghum

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