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.”