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Here We Go Again In 2010 print email

Mark J. Nemec
MJN Consulting Services
Waco, Texas

2009 was one of the hottest and driest summers on record followed by some of the wettest weather anyone has ever seen in Central Texas. Producers in this area have finally hit the ground running in 2010. The rain we endured last fall and winter prevented pretty much all fieldwork preparation. After the long, wet winter, farmers headed to the fields with everything they had just to play catch up. Planters were pulling into the fields as the fertilizer equipment was leaving.

Now that most of the cotton is either planted, or being planted, it is time to manage the crop to its best potential. This year is shaping up to be a very weedy season. Because of all the rain we had last fall, many weeds matured and left a large deposit in our seed bank. With the spring rains come summer weeds, so I am asking growers to be proactive in their weed control. We do not have glyphosateresistant weeds here yet, and we need to try to keep it that way as long as we can. After starting with a pre-plant herbicide, treat when weeds first appear and do not wait for more to emerge. Using herbicides with multiple modes of action will be strongly recommended. If a grower waits, the weeds will get larger and very expensive to control.

Early season insect pressure will be a concern here as well. We have seen some of the prettiest wild flowers in years right along with many wild host plants. With all of the vegetation in the fields before planting this spring, we need to be watching closely for the possibility of cut worms. Thrips and fleahoppers need to be monitored as well as I want to see the cotton in this area grow off fast and fruit early to take advantage of the moisture before the summer heat slows it down.

We are still in an active Boll Weevil Eradication Program that is getting close to achieving its goal. I am encouraging producers to cooperate and help out in any way possible with the program to wrap it up.

We have a full soil profile of moisture this year. Most of our area is dryland production, but a few good rains and new vigorous varieties could lead to the need for some growth regulator usage.

Even with all the hard work the growers in Central Texas have had to do in order to catch up, there is optimism for this year’s crop potential.

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

• Independent crop consultant since 1994
• ASA Certified Crop Advisor
• Second generation consultant who consults on
  cotton, corn, wheat, soybeans, watermelons
  and sorghum
• Current President of Texas Association of
  Agricultural Consultants
• Member of Texas Ag Industries Association and
  Board Member of Texas Plant Protection Assoc.
• Married to Carol Nemec. Mark and Carol have
  one daughter, Cassidy Jean Nemec, 11.
• Enjoys family time in the great outdoors and
  taking his daughter hunting

Recap: Here We Go Again In 2010
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