Edwards Ag Consulting, LLC
Water Valley, Miss.
Looking back on 2009, I envision a year that was full of
trials and tribulations. And while yields were off some
from their potential, our growers were still able to persevere
through monsoon-like conditions and salvage a
decent crop. I hear people say all the time that “this will be
a year to remember,” but the 2009 season will truly be one
to remember. And, hopefully, we can forget it as well.
Looking ahead to 2010, growers and consultants alike
seem to be more optimistic about cotton than in past
years. There’s talk about planting more cotton, which
means more resistant weeds. Farmers need to start burning
down in a few weeks for resistant marestail, and the best
control we have for resistant pigweed is prevention. Use
several different herbicidal chemistries throughout the
year, including at least two residuals.
I am warning growers not to put too much emphasis on
how varieties performed in 2009. Try several of the new
varieties on small acreages. Also, take a closer look at the
varieties that have looked good in the past, both in the
field and in variety trials. Plant a healthy mix of early and
later-maturing varieties to spread out the risk.
The start of 2010 has seen some record-setting lows
across the southeastern United States. Hopefully, these
colder temperatures will give us some reprieve from overwintering
“bugs.” Be mindful of resistance in insects, as
well, and rotate chemistries to prevent resistance. With the
amount of corn acres still up from normal, growers should
take full advantage of all the Bt genes that they can.
We’ve seen two growing seasons in a row where heavy
amounts of mepiquat were needed, both at the end of the
growing season. One year was mostly dry, then a monsoon
rolled in. We hammered the cotton with mepiquat trying
to preserve and mature what we had and came out okay
for the most part. 2009 saw drought and monsoon play
flip-flop for the better part of the year, then the rains really
started. Mepiquat was used to control plant height, mature
bolls, prevent regrowth as well as condition the plant for
defoliation and “speed up” a little June cotton. While
mepiquat was used both years in heavy amounts, it was for
entirely different reasons. Don’t be afraid to put out heavier
shots later in the year when you’ve got the number of
nodes needed to make your crop.
Click here to ask Ty Edwards
a question or submit a comment about this month’s Cotton Consultant’s Corner.
• B.S. degree in Agricultural Pest Management –
Mississippi State University
• Member of Mississippi Agricultural Consultants
Association ( MACA)
• Licensed consultant for seven years
• Third generation consultant
• Manager of Yalobusha County Gin
• Married to Julie Edwards
• Two daughters: Abby, 3, and Katie, 1
• Enjoys hunting, fishing, skiing and anything
Recap: Farm Smart In 2010