Murilo Maeda, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Cotton Specialist, Lubbock:
“We’re planting trials at Halfway today (5/19), and many growers are trying to get seed into the ground. Parts of the South Plains welcomed scattered showers this past week. Lubbock and areas to the northeast received a few good showers, as did Castro County.
“Most areas south of Lubbock are dry. Yoakum, Gaines and Terry counties need rain. There is subsoil moisture and there are scattered chances of moisture later this week. We need for those showers to materialize.”
Stu Duncan, Kansas State University Crops & Soils Specialist, Manhattan, Kansas:
“Southwest Kansas is dry, and there’s already a lot of irrigation where cotton has been planted. That area needs rain for dryland. Elsewhere, soil hasn’t been as warm as needed for planting or getting a good stand.
“I talked to guys in south-central areas last Thursday (5/14). A few were iffy on what to plant. A few sent seed back, but the long-term cotton guys have theirs in the ground. Growers still have a couple of weeks of planting season left in the southern part of the state. The tough part is looking at the prices.
“Wheat looks decent across the state. It’s probably an average crop from what I’ve seen. More northern areas suffered freeze damage around Easter. There’s still time for later tillers to make grain.
“We’re preparing for virtual wheat variety plot tours. That makes for a lot of driving to get pictures made. Thank goodness for the technology that allows us to communicate with growers during times like this.”
Aaron Turner, All-Terrain Ag Management, Victoria, Texas:
“Victoria and Refugio counties received timely rain in recent days, while Jackson County had up to 10 inches and flooding. Most of the Upper Coast had 2 to 4 inches.
“Most cotton is from just squaring to first bloom. We had a heavy thrips season and had to spray most cotton. Fleahopper pressure has been light, but to prevent major outbreaks, many farmers are applying cheap generic insecticides in their regular trips across the field.
“Herbicide applications are holding so far, and we hope not to see weed flushes after the wet weather. To stay ahead of weeds, growers will be spraying residuals, along with the post applications of Enlist, Xtend or other technologies. Outlook, Dual and Liberty are also going out.
“Common waterhemp resistance remains a problem. Early on, Fort Bend County was ground zero for glyphosate resistance for much of Texas. Growers here have been fighting it a long time. That county was also the center of bollworm resistance to Viptera 2 Bt cotton. We have Vip 3 technologies on 80% of our cotton and corn acreage. It has worked well so far. Hopefully, the new technologies will hold.”
Suhas Vyavhare, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Entomologist, Lubbock:
“We’re still in the process of getting research trials planted. Like area farmers, we need rain. There are plenty of thrips around fields, and they are heavy in drying down wheat. Growers can expect to see thrips pressure. With low cotton prices, they need to consider thrips damage and how it will impact yields and input costs.
“I haven’t heard of any wireworms so far. But with the unusual amount we had last year, there’s a good chance they will be a problem this year. Guys need to watch closely for wireworm damage early on.”
Seth Byrd, Oklahoma State University Extension Cotton Specialist, Stillwater/Altus:
“We’re a little wet in the southwest, but that’s not the worst problem to have. A lot of folks are waiting for fields to dry out to finish planting. Rain is forecast later this week and into next week. The irrigated planting insurance deadline is June 10. We still have until June 20 to get the dryland crop planted.
“A few irrigated stands are up in the Panhandle. They look good. A large chunk of irrigated was planted in the last 10 days. We’ll start seeing those stands within the next week. We just need to dry out to complete planting.”