You’ve been granted free access to this subscribers only article.
Early South Plains cotton yield reports very promising
COLLEGE STATION -- Despite so many cards being dealt against it through the growing season, South Plains cotton looks very promising, said Mark Kelley, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service cotton specialist, Lubbock.
The region had a cooler-than-normal spring and late freezes, and remained locked in drought by mid-summer, Kelley said. There were also the usual High Plains pitfalls of hail, high winds, and blowing sand that knocked out some fields. And many dryland re-plantings of hailed-out or blown-out fields were late, bumping right up against the crop insurance planting deadlines.
And the latest discouraging development was that winter came early this year to the area, with freezing or near-freezing weather shutting down late-set boll development on late-planted cotton that could have really used another couple of weeks to finish out, he said.
“They had their first freeze earlier this month farther north, but around Lubbock we just recently had 32 degrees for a little bit the other night,” he said. “This means any boll maturation is done, so we’re just waiting for harvest aides to go out and dry those plants down to get them ready for stripper harvest.”
Kelley said the average first freeze for the area is around Oct. 31.
“We had some cotton that was pretty late planted and pushed hard by irrigation and sure could have used the rest of October to finish up, and some warmer temperatures too, but we don’t always get what we want.”
Yet early yield reports have been very good.
“I have heard of some very good yields coming out of the better-irrigated cotton,” Kelley said. “Some producers south of Lubbock actually made the one-ton club, or harvested four bales of cotton per acre. I heard another producer making two and one-half bales per acre, and that wasn’t on his better stuff. His better stuff is yet to be harvested.”
Dryland cotton could have used another rain toward the end of the season, around the first part of August, he said. But in areas where the farmers got some decent rains, Kelley said he had heard reports of 500 to 550 pounds per acre.
“That’s on some really good dryland,” he said. “On the rest of it, I’m hearing 250 pounds -- a half bale per acre.”
Early reports on quality have been good too, Kelley said. But when some of the latest planted cotton is harvested, they may have low micronaire values, a measure of fiber characteristics that’s important for cotton classers and spinners, he said.
AgriLife Extension district reporters compiled the following summaries for the Oct. 22 report:
AgriLife Extension district reporters for the Southwest District, including Wilson, Gonzales, Guadalupe, and Bexar counties, reported that most counties received 0.5 inch to 4 inches of rain, which helped alleviate drought conditions. Days and nights became cooler. The moisture helped wheat, oats, and rangeland. Fall corn neared maturity and looked great.
AgriLife Extension district reporters for the Coastal Bend District, including Karnes County, reported pastures continued to improve with recent rains. Ponds were full in many areas, but some remained low. The harvest of early maturing pecan varieties continued with reports of low insect and disease damage. However, some pecan growers reported little or no crop due to the impact of squirrels and crows on what was already a low-nut load. Armyworm activity in some winter pastures was reported and producers continued to spray for armyworms to reduce forage losses. Some producers planted winter pastures before rain. Some producers expected to be able to take another hay cutting after fields dry out.
AgriLife Extension district reporters for the South District, including Atascosa County, reported rain continued to fall throughout the region, with the northern and western counties receiving the most. In some counties, the rains caused flooding, road closures, and halted field activities, but definitely benefited crops, rangeland, pastures, and livestock. Amounts ranged from a few inches to 11 to 13 inches in parts of La Salle County and 15 inches in Dimmit County.
Robert Burns has nearly 30 years’ experience writing about agriculture and agricultural-related research. He writes about Texas AgriLife Research and Texas AgriLife Extension Service activities at the Overton Center and centers in Stephenville and Temple.
Your Opinions and Comments
Be the first to comment on this story!
You must be logged in to post a comment.
Agriculture Today Archives
Bull Classic Dec. 5 (November 25, 2015)
Davidson: Reduce antibiotic use, dispel beef myths (November 25, 2015)
EPA proposes changes to pesticide applicator rules (November 25, 2015)
Farm Bureau responds to beef cancer claims (November 25, 2015)
Hay & Forage Report (November 25, 2015)
Livestock disaster funding available (November 25, 2015)
Livestock Market Reports (November 25, 2015)
Llama competitors shine in state, national shows (November 25, 2015)
Plan to attend grazing lands conference (November 25, 2015)
Plant cool weather veggies (November 25, 2015)
Rancher’s Choice bull sale Dec. 5 (November 25, 2015)
Skills team places sixth (November 25, 2015)
TPWD announces annual trout stocking (November 25, 2015)
All Breed Bull Sale Nov. 21 in Nixon (November 18, 2015)
Clean Water Rule continues to make waves in Congress (November 18, 2015)
Conservation Service: Tips for planting winter pastures (November 18, 2015)
County committee elections begin (November 18, 2015)
Hay & Forage Report (November 18, 2015)
Here’s the beef: Patterson wins FFA national title (November 18, 2015)
Livestock Market Reports (November 18, 2015)
Moczygemba: Angus group CEO (November 18, 2015)
Onion recommendations (November 18, 2015)
A river runs through it: River changes spark border dispute (November 11, 2015)
Cold-sensitive oriental hibiscus (November 11, 2015)
Gov. Abbott: EPA’s Clean Power Plan is ‘power grab’ (November 11, 2015)
Hay & Forage Report (November 11, 2015)
Knowles winner of mule deer hunt package (November 11, 2015)
Letter: A war on Texas: Bureau of Land Management vs. Texas ranchers (November 11, 2015)
Livestock Market Reports (November 11, 2015)
Palo Alto College hosts FFA leadership conference (November 11, 2015)
Rodeo athletes place in Hallettsville contest (November 11, 2015)
‘Old Iron’ club show canceled! (November 11, 2015)
Antique Farm Equipment Demonstration and Field Day, Nov. 14 (November 4, 2015)
Cattlemen’s seminar Nov. 14 in Kosciusko (November 4, 2015)
Hay & Forage Report (November 4, 2015)
Impacts of rural land loss (November 4, 2015)
Livestock Market Reports (November 4, 2015)
Rain can be blessing, curse for farmers (November 4, 2015)
Ranch Rodeo fun in Nixon (November 4, 2015)
Ranching event set for Nov. 11 in Panna Maria (November 4, 2015)
Tips for spraying broccoli, cabbage (November 4, 2015)
Wet winter, spring is good news for hunters (November 4, 2015)
November 2015 Gardening Calendar (November 1, 2015)