Weeds and weather thwarted producers from prior to planting through July 1, according to the results of our July Web Poll. Insect pressure, water management or other situations accounted for the remaining 16 percent of our readers’ votes. Following is a sampling of the comments we received on the subject from around the Belt.
• “North Alabama. Weeds, weeds, weeds. Plenty of rain through June, but water is the concern now. Some weeds are there and will be there at harvest time. Some bolls are dry opening. Looks like a repeat of 2007.”
• “Palmer amaranth has moved into south Alabama, and growing cotton will never be the same. I`m going to plant Bronco3971 – conventional cotton from Texas for $45 a sack – and go back to ‘the old way’ of farming.” Wiley Farrar – Canoe, Ala.
• “Getting cheap cotton seed and breaking out the hooded sprayer. Here in southwest Oklahoma, the issue for us is marestail.”
• “(Our greatest challenge) is the uncertain water supply in the San Juaquin Valley.”
• “Weather is always the big factor since it influences and essentially
drives all of the other issues. It’s a little bit of a stretch to connect weather with herbicide resistance in weeds; but I think the two are definitely linked in the long-term.”
• “Here in northeast Arkansas, we knew that glyphosate-resistant amaranth would be THE issue we had to contend with. We overlapped residuals, used Ignite where we could and hired dozens of choppers. As of early August, some fields still had to be plowed up, and I am certain many more will be unharvestable. If you don’t have resistance yet, do everything possible to prevent it because everything we have tried is barely making a difference. It looks like corn and sorghum may have to be planted fence row to fence row so that we can slow this tidal wave down.”
• “We had cool temps holding us back after a very late start with planting. In mid-June, things seemed to improve. We may be off a little in the end, but with great Pima prices we should come out about the same.”
• “Pigweed was brought into our fields by pickers last year, and we have spent all this year trying to get rid of it. I agree with Mr. Farrar that the price of cotton seed is ridiculous.” J.R. – South-central Ga.
• “In the Coastal Bend of Texas, we have been dry for the last two years, but have really been dry the last 10 years. We need a good year. Infra-structure needs a good year, such as gins and warehouses. Buyers, bankers and farmers need a good year, too.”
• “Resistant weeds are definitely the hot topic this year. Everything else has taken a back seat. We’ve tried to overlap residuals, but as most know, they have to be activated in order to work. We’re already talking about next year and any new strategies that we can try to fight the Roundup-resistant weeds here in northeast Arkansas. I expect to see more Liberty Link and more PhytoGen varieties in this area next year.”
• “In central Texas, we had the worst outbreak of fleahoppers we have seen in the last 40 years.”
This month, we’re asking our readers whether they are now participating or plan to participate in any of the conservation programs available to farmers. To cast your vote and share your comments, please go to the Web Poll on www.cottonfarming.com. The results of the September poll will be reported in the Cotton Farming November issue.
Web Poll Results
In July, we asked: From prior to planting through July 1, what was your greatest challenge up to that point in the season?
• Weather conditions — 41 %
• Weed pressure — 43 %
• Insect pressure — 7 %
• Water management — 4 %
• Other — 5 %
September Web Poll Question
Do you currently participate or do you plan to participate in any of the
conservation programs that are now available to farmers? If so, why or why not?
Register your vote at www.cottonfarming.com.