Larry Stalcup, Field Editor

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Planting remains in a rut. Priority One is getting seed in the ground.

Wet fields are predominant over much of our coverage area, which goes hand-in-hand with weed concerns.

Preplant herbicides are being pushed hard. Some growers in the Waco area will be applying burndown as they plant, says Mark Nemec.

More widespread rain is in the forecast. Lubbock, South Plains expect temperatures in the 40s this week, possible 30s around Amarillo. 

Thrips scouting is ongoing.

Temik name has changed. Scroll down to the AgFax News Links in case you missed the details.

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Gaylon Morgan, Texas A&M AgriLife State Cotton Specialist, College Station:

“We’re still seeing heavy rain activity preventing many from planting in the Blacklands. The Brazos River Bottom is level with the banks and fields are flooded everywhere.

“We’re expecting more rain through next Tuesday. If we can get the seed in after that, we should be okay. Our final planting date for crop insurance is May 31.

“Some fields that did get planted are being hit with packing rain. Stands will be questionable and stuff that’s up is growing slowly. It’s small and puny looking, which makes it more susceptible to thrips and other issues. The crop can’t grow out of these problems as quickly.

“We expect some weed issues after the rains and may see some aerial applications of labeled herbicides. Remember, aerial treatments are not legal with Auxin products.

“I haven’t heard much about seed quality issues, but there is some concern. Based on the wet fall last year, I know the seed companies were having to closely check their quality control.”


Rex Friesen, Southern Kansas Cotton Growers Co-op, Winfield:

"With all the rain we’ve had, everything is on hold. It’s too wet to plant. We had 3 inches at the Winfield gin last night (5/5), which was from some straight-line storms. The gin at Anthony didn’t get anything.

“We’ll have a lot more cotton in our area if people follow their plans. We’re still getting calls from growers who want to try it. Our acres should be significantly higher. Cotton will replace a lot of soybean and corn acres.

“There are going to be plenty of weed issues with all of this rain. Some growers were not able to apply burndowns. For those that have, there might still be some wooly fields again.

“Right now, our biggest concern is being able to get planters running. We need to get seed in the ground.”


Kerry Siders, Texas A&M AgriLife IPM Agent Hockley, Cochran & Lamb Counties:

“There have been a few planters running as you get north of Littlefield due to the shorter season there. But in general, we have not started planting in earnest. The weather has us bumfuzzled. We really need a gentle rain before planting. We still have a chance of rain, but showers have been extremely isolated.

“Some guys are doing some pre-irrigation. It’s just highly variable. Soil temperatures are good, about 65 degrees. But the air temperatures have been cool. Daytime highs have barely been in the 60s and nighttime lows are way down.

“Even though we’re slow in getting started, that is typical. It may be early next week when we really get started.

“Wheat looks pretty good and a lot has been cut for hay in southern areas. Most guys won't grow it out to grain. We usually have a lot of no-till cotton planted into terminated wheat or top stubble, which puts pressure on post-emerge herbicides. As long as they use a good preplant herbicide program, guys should have a good start on weeds. That’s important because marestail really loves no-till and is difficult to control with post-emerge herbicides. Sometimes growers don't recognize marestail until it bolts and gets 1-foot tall.”


Murilo Maeda, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Cotton Specialist, Lubbock:

“The weather is still holding us back on planting. I don't see a whole lot going on. Scattered showers plus cold temperatures are stalling most people. Temperatures are projected to drop to the 40s this week in Lubbock and parts of the South Plains area.

“Right now, the biggest thing is soil temperature. Temps are in the low 60s, but the cooler air temperatures are causing soil temps to drop. People are itching to get out into the field, but this weather isn't the best for planting. 

“There are definitely some weeds coming out. But overall things looks fairly good. There will be a flush coming with the rain, but most everyone is doing a good job with their herbicide programs, so far.”

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Randy Norton, University of Arizona Extension Cotton Specialist, Safford:

“We’re cooling off here. We’re in the mid-80s but typically we’re in the mid-90s. And, we’re supposed to see highs in the 70s next week.

“I’m planting a variety trial in Goodyear, west of Phoenix, today (5/6). Statewide, there’s still a little bit of cotton yet to go in. We’re probably near 75% planted across the state.

“I just looked at some cotton planted a week ago that was double-cropped behind wheat. It’s barely at cotelydon. When you irrigate wheat stubble, the added residue causes the soil to cool off more, which can slow emergence."

“Out around Yuma, plants are 2- to 3-leaf, with some maybe 4-true-leaf. But all of it was also planted late. The good thing is that I haven’t heard of a lot of replants.” 


Mark Nemec, MJN Consulting, Waco, Texas:

“We’re wet. That’s where we’re setting. There has been very little cotton planted in the Blacklands area. It’s pretty thin even in the Brazos Bottom. They were trying to plant last week but it was still too wet for many growers. Unfortunately, they’re calling for another 2 to 4 inches of rain this week so we’re just on hold.

“Since we’ve had so much rain, all of the yellow herbicides have played out and the weeds are coming. We’re going to have to get serious and aggressive just to clean it up. We’ll have to apply burndown when we're planting.

“We got most of the corn planted and a lot of it looks pretty good. We need to get in for a sidedressing but we’re having a hard time due to the wet weather.”


Seth Byrd, Oklahoma State University Extension Cotton Specialist, Stillwater/Altus:

“It has been so wet that most guys haven't been able to do anything, so we’re really slow to get planting started. We got more rain over the weekend and there is more in the forecast this week. There’s just not a whole lot of progress being made.

“When it dries out, we’ll really hit it pretty had. We’ll have to get planted and also take care of weeds that will follow the rain.” 


Jourdan Bell, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Agronomist, Amarillo:

"We’re very slow getting started with planting this year. We’ve been getting good moisture in some places. Unfortunately, the northwest Panhandle has missed a lot of the 4-inch rain.

“In between rains we’ve been planting some of our plots in the Dumas area. Producers are also getting into the field. However, a cold forecast has a few producers a little concerned. Temperatures are projected to drop back into the 30s later this week.

“When we look at our average soil temperatures in the last few years, we’re still setting about the same – low 60s and 50s. We have a lot of no-till and strip-till soils, which tend to warm up a little slower. 

“As a whole, fields look very clean. Good rains have activated preplant herbicides, which has been a positive early on, so we hope to see good residual herbicide activity.  The rain has also been very beneficial for our dryland cotton ground.

“Our wheat is looking really good, but we’re hearing reports of some stripe rust in Potter and Castro counties. We need to be able to spray fungicides on time to protect our yields.

“Heavy storms Sunday night (5/5) likely caused some hail damage to wheat. Corn planting is underway and I’m hearing positive reports about grain sorghum.

"We could see increased acreage in forage sorghum, and we look for some irrigated wheat to be cut for silage.”

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Clyde Crumley, Crumley Agricultural Consulting, El Campo, Texas:

“We’ve had some challenges in getting cotton planted due to periods of heavy rain and dry weather in the Upper Coast. My last guy finished planting today (5/7).

“We have some thin stands and will have to manage them from here on out. Plantings from mid-April on down look pretty decent. The overall crop is improving, and we got some rain to help it. A good general rain of 1.5 inches was a God send this weekend after we had been dry.

“But we’re looking at anywhere from 3 to 8 inches of rain in the next 7 days, which could cause problems for newly planted cotton. Heavy rain forms a crust and makes it difficult for seed to push through. But if we get some open weather, cotton will take off.

“There have been some apparent seed quality issues with lower seedling vigor. Growers and seed companies are monitoring it closely. Insect-wise, a few thrips are being seen. During the dry spell, we even had a few spider mites.

“The corn really perked up after the rain, as did grain sorghum. We have good soil moisture for all crops.”


Gary Beverage, Nutrien Ag Solutions, Artesia, New Mexico/Southwest Texas:

“We’re planting late this year. The biggest bulk of the planting started last week. It will continue through this week and we’ll hopefully finish by the middle of next week. Some cotton planted about 2 weeks ago has come up and looks good.

“We had some good winter moisture which brought along a decent population of weeds. There is some early pigweed and Russian thistle. A good burndown and preplant herbicide plan is helping.

“We will keep an eye out for thrips, but most of my cotton has in-furrow insecticide cotton protection, which should help it get past thrips and fleahoppers.”


Mike McHugh, Southwest Texas Ag Consultants, Uvalde, Texas:

“We’ve finally just about finished planting after lots of rain. Some guys started planting in mid-March. Most of that got replanted after weather problems.

“Some fields are just now at the 4-leaf stage. Most is at cotelydon or still coming up.

"For cotton that is up, more rain and below average temperatures are holding back some growth. The stands look good. We're just behind.

“Wheat is drying down and thrips are moving into cotton. We’ll be watching that closely.

“We’re trying to stay ahead of weeds. We have some Liberty going out and will be making dicamba applications next week if it dries out. We had to do some aerial Roundup treatments to try and buy some time.”


Danielle Sekula Ortiz, Texas A&M AgriLife IPM Agent, Weslaco/Lower Rio Grande Valley:

“Our cotton looks pretty good. The majority of the crop is at the first week of squaring with other fields close to it.

"We are seeing some insect pressure. Fleahoppers are full blown so a lot of guys are spraying for them and for cotton aphids.

“This is the first week we’re seeing a sugarcane aphid buildup in sorghum. Sprays will go out this week, for sure. It had been quiet until now. There have been good predator populations, but I don't think they can keep up with the large buildup of aphids.

“Corn is looking really good but needs some water in Wallacy County.”

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