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Cotton Consultant's Corner:
Water Use Efficiency

Sponsored by
D&PL
 

Click here to ask Bob Glodt a question or submit a comment about this month’s Cotton Consultant’s Corner.

  

   

 

  
Water Use Efficiency
Recap:
     

   

1. Monsanto has teamed up with an Australian company, AquaSpy, to better understand water use efficiency in cotton production.

2. There is no doubt in my mind that Monsanto will discover which gene or genes contribute to water use efficiency in cotton.

3. Monsanto is already researching the effects of drought and limited water availability on cotton growth and yield.

4. Water use efficient varieties of the future will provide a benefit to those producers who know how to manage water in relationship to the crop demand.

5. In the past 10 years, the varieties on the market have outyielded and outperformed far beyond our expectations. These varieties require a greater level of management to reap the benefits they offer, and managing water is top of the list of inputs we are better learning to manage.
 

  

Bob Glodt
Agri-Search, Inc. – agricultural consulting
and contract research
Plainview, Texas
 

• BS degree in Entomology – Texas A&M University
• Commissioned Officer, United States Army – 1972-75
• Worked for Texas Agricultural Extension Service
  IPM programs from 1976-80
• Consults on cotton, grain sorghum, wheat, soybeans
  and sunflowers
• Member, current board member and past president –
  National Alliance of Independent Crop Consultants
• Member and past president – Texas Association
  of Agricultural Consultants
• Member and past president – High Plains Association
  of Crop Consultants
• Certified Professional Crop Consultant – Independent
  (CPCC-I) certification
• Married to wife, Barbara; two grown children
• Enjoys long-range competitive shooting, black powder
  cartridge rifle silhouette


Monsanto’s D&PL business has teamed up with an Australian company, AquaSpy, in an effort to better understand water use efficiency as it relates to cotton production. AquaSpy Group Pty Ltd 2007 sells soil capacitance probes that can be used in determining soil moisture at 4- inch intervals to a depth of 40 inches. The data for each depth – 4 inches, 8 inches, 12 inches and so forth down to 40 inches – is displayed separately in a graph. This company also markets probes that will measure to a deeper depth; however, for our area 40 inches is ideal. This is very innovative technology, which has given me and many of my producers a whole new perspective on water management and water use of the crops we grow.

As far as the future is concerned, there is no doubt in my mind that Monsanto will discover which gene or genes contribute to water use efficiency in cotton. Monsanto has already demonstrated that it can achieve this in corn and is researching the effects of drought and limited water availability on cotton growth and yield. The take home message is this: The benefit from water use efficient varieties won’t just be for producers with little or no capacity to irrigate, but also for those who have good water resources as well.

In my view, the water use efficient varieties of the future will provide a benefit to farmers who know how to manage water in relationship to the crop demand. In essence, the capacitance probes allow you to watch the crop use water. Understanding how crops use water will be crucial for consultants in the very near future.

Seed companies, such as Monsanto, have recently delivered some of the most advanced cotton genetics we have seen come along. During the past 10 years, these varieties have outyielded and outperformed far beyond our greatest expectations. Producers, as well as consultants, understand that these new varieties require a greater level of management to reap the benefits they offer, and managing water is at the top of the list of the inputs that we are better learning to manage.

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