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Irrigation Strategies – Part 2

The West and the Southwest are areas of the Cotton Belt that typically experience water shortages. Instead of giving up on trying to irrigate their crops, cotton farmers have adopted systems to make the most of the water that they have. “California is the only state that has to rely fully on irrigation to meet crop water needs,” says Bob Hutmacher, University of California Extension cotton specialist. “We are growing cotton in a dry environment with essentially no chance of rainfall during most of our cotton-growing season. Arizona growers may get growing-season water from monsoon rains, but there is little chance of that for most California producers. “In the past, when we had more consistent, favorable water supplies, better quality water, and weren’t competing as much with permanent crops, furrow irrigation was a typical system used by cotton farmers. Today, we still have large acreages of level basin irrigation – a type of border system – on land well suited for it, such as the finer-textured lake bottom land in the San Joaquin Valley. For these specific soil types, soil characteristics allow this ground to be irrigated quite efficiently at low costs with the level basin system.” Read More »

Irrigating For High Yields

By Guy Collins And Keith Edmisten North Carolina State University Authors’ note: These general irrigation guidelines were developed several years ago by other faculty at the University of Georgia. In some cases, deviating from this model may be appropriate. Much of this information is based on my (Collins) personal research experience while in Georgia. We recommend this model as a ... Read More »

One Ton Club Members Set New Yield Record

Seven-plus bales was the high. Cotton yield and quality records are made to be broken, and that’s just what FiberMax cotton growers did in 2015 to qualify for the elite FiberMax One Ton Club. During a celebration in Lubbock, Texas, Bayer recently honored 127 members who qualified for the One Ton Club during the 2015 crop year. The 2015 qualifiers included 40 new members and 87 returning qualifiers, making the total number of FiberMax One Ton Club members 848. The highest yield for those who qualified for the FiberMax One Ton Club in 2015 – 3,717 pounds, or 7.7 bales, per acre – was recorded on 32 acres by Vance and Mandie Smith, of Big Spring, Texas. The seven-year members of the One Ton Club topped their previous record by 400 pounds per acre. For the Smiths, that’s more than six times the Texas average in 2015, which was 614 pounds per acre. The highest acreage winners, Eric and Christy Seidenberger, of Garden City, Texas, averaged 2,054 pounds per acre on 564 acres. What makes the numbers posted by the 127 FiberMax One Ton Club members more remarkable is that 2015 was marked by rains that delayed or prevented cotton planting in some areas, notes Jeff Brehmer, U.S. product manager for FiberMax cotton. Read More »

Planting Into Green Cover Crops

cover crop

By Garret Montgomery University of Tennessee We have conducted research in Jackson, Tenn., on planting into green cover crops, and through trial and error, have found that it can be done effectively. Controlling and properly managing the cover crop are the most important things to consider when planting in a green cover (termination 0-7 days prior to planting). Less than ... Read More »

Texas Farmers And Ginners Have High Hopes For the 2016 Season

After a prolonged drought, rain finally fell in Texas. The much-needed water boosted the spirits of farmers and ginners, which was evident at the 109th Texas Cotton Ginners’ Association Annual Meeting and Trade Show. Attendees were upbeat and ready to learn more about the products and services being offered by numerous companies gathered at the Lubbock Memorial Civic Center. Tony Williams, TCGA executive vice president, says he received positive feedback during the show regarding the upcoming season. “Promising soil moisture appears to have generated a good attitude among the attendees who see enormous potential for the 2016 crop,” he says. “After going through a tough drought that began in 2011, conditions in 2016 are much improved. The South Texas crop is planted, and West Texas received timely rains to start the season. We have heard predictions that 5.5 million acres of cotton will be planted in the state this year. The general consensus is, ‘If we can’t get price, we can get yields.’” From the ginners’ perspective, Williams says farmers need to “bring bales to the gin.” Although the economic environment is tough, there is hope and good potential for that to happen in 2016. Read More »

Ginner of the Year: Barry Street

Barry Street grew up on a cotton farm in Kress, Texas, 60 miles north of Lubbock. In 1979, he and his wife, SuDe, graduated from Texas Tech University and decided to return to the family operation. Little did they know at the time that less than 10 years later, they would purchase a local, independent gin. Street was hesi­tant at ... Read More »

Appointments Reflect Increased Diversity

One cannot help but notice Ava Alcaida’s intense concentration as she is fed an almost unmanageable amount of information about the Cotton Research and Promotion Program as part of the orientation process for her new appointment as an adviser to The Cotton Board. Alcaida was appointed by the Secretary of Agriculture to an advisory position as part of The Cotton ... Read More »