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Specialists Speaking

Focus on 2018 Variety Selection

CALIFORNIA Heading into winter, the question of uncertain irrigation water supplies in California’s San Joaquin Valley is again creeping into conversations due to the warm, dry fall of 2017. For many SJV growers who during the extended drought invested in improved groundwater wells and increased capacities, this mostly affects the degree to which they may have to rely on groundwater ... Read More »

Overall Performance Looks Good

ARKANSAS The National Agricultural Statistics Service October Crop Production Report estimated Arkansas cotton production at 1 million bales, unchanged from the September forecast but 160,000 bales more than last year. Yield is expected to average 1,096 pounds per harvested acre, unchanged from last month but up 21 pounds from 2016 and slightly less than our five-year average of 1,101 pounds ... Read More »

Defoliation Tips and More

ARIZONA Harvest season is upon us. As pickers enter the field, questions related to heat stress effects begin to be answered. Several consecutive days of heat stress during late June and mid-July had a significant impact on boll retention and pollination. Higher incidence of “hooked-beak” bolls has been observed across the state. This phenomenon is a result of poor pollination ... Read More »

Pre-Harvest Decisions

ARIZONA As the cotton-growing season winds down and final irrigations have been made, we begin to look at decisions for harvest preparation and harvest aids application. There are two main components of this decision, and each can be influenced by a variety of factors. The two components are timing and material. Both can be influenced by many factors including crop ... Read More »

2017 Cotton Crop Progress

  ARIZONA In my travels around the state over recent weeks, I have observed cotton fields at all stages of development. The crop in western Arizona has now been terminated and is being prepped for harvest. The remainder of the state is at varying stages from peak bloom to cut-out. For the most part, as of this writing, the crop ... Read More »

Bloom Period Considerations

The National Agricultural Statistics Service October Crop Production report estimated Arkansas cotton production to be at 1,088 pounds lint per acre, unchanged from last month but down 4 pounds from 2015. This exceeds our 5-year average of 1,073 pounds lint per acre by 15 pounds. Our crop continues to be ahead of schedule. As about half of our crop has been harvested this season, the 5-year average for the same date was just shy of 30 percent harvested. Reports of fiber quality have been good. Lack of rainfall during much of the harvest season has resulted in excellent color grades. Just over 45 percent has received a color grade of 31 or better. About 80 percent of the bales classed have a leaf grade of 4 or less. Micronaire values this season have averaged 4.6 with less than 17 percent in the discount range of 5 or greater. In Arkansas, we generally expect to see our early crop outyield our later crop. This is not what most farmers are experiencing this season. The extended wet and cloudy August weather came just as our early crop was starting to open. Reports of 1.25 to 1.5 bales per acre were heard from our early cotton as the occurrence of boll rot and hard lock was great. Fortunately, yields improved as harvest progressed. Our good fields are yielding in excess of 3 bales per acre. The 4-bale yield potential we had in many fields the first part of August slipped away. Read More »

Early Season Management

CALIFORNIA California Central Valley farmers have finally been blessed with some decent rain, snowpack and irrigation water supplies for this year. Although we have water, variable cool weather periods mean a limited acreage of cotton seed was in the ground and coming up in late March. More planting is expected in April as warmer weather heads our way (we hope). ... Read More »