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Water

Farmers Unhappy With EPA’s Water Rule

Business owners around the country have joined with farmers and ranchers in speaking out on the Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) rule. More than 30 states also oppose the rule. Yet, even in the face of mounting opposition, the EPA still isn’t listening. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy has unveiled her latest, campaign-style WOTUS spin, calling the effort ... Read More »

Snowpack Slows In The West

An unusually warm, dry January slowed snowpack accumulation in much of the West, according to data from the second 2015 forecast by the United States Department of Agriculture’s National Water and Climate Center (NWCC). California, Arizona and New Mexico, as well as parts of Colorado, Utah, Oregon and Nevada, remain in prolonged drought. “January is usually a big month for snowpack accumulation,” NWCC hydrologist Cara McCarthy says. “But most of the West didn’t see significant gains this month. With isolated exceptions, only Arizona, New Mexico, Utah and Montana received near average precipitation last month.” “This is as low a snowpack as I’ve seen across the Sierra Nevada and Cascades for many locations at this time of year,” he says. Several Snow Telemetry (SNOTEL) sites in those ranges are snowless, which is very unusual for this time of year. Even the precipitation in the Southwest wasn’t enough to take these regions out of drought conditions. Read More »

Late Crop Needs to Play Catchup

Cotton has made up a lot of ground during the last couple of weeks in northern Alabama. Several fields had blooms the first week of July, and younger cotton fields are growing rapidly. I am seeing more sulfur deficiency symptoms on cotton this year than in years past. This may be due to the heavy rainfall in some areas and poor cotton rooting early in the season. We definitely need to pay more attention to sulfur fertilization on cotton in Alabama. Late emerging glyphosate-resistant horseweed is also a problem in several cotton fields I visited last week. These fields had pre-plant and pre-emergence herbicides applied, but new horseweed plants are continuing to emerge. Many of these farms will be using hooded sprayers to control these troublesome weeds. Read More »

Heavy Rains Didn’t Stop This Crop

Tommy Horton

This crop season appears to be moving along way too quickly. It seems like it was just yesterday that we were talking about how this year’s cotton might be delayed by rain events in the Mid- South. And simultaneously we were discussing the continuing drought in the West and Southwest. How quickly the scenario can change in a couple of ... Read More »

Water Management: Priority for Farmers

Every summer Cotton Farming takes a closer look at a topic that never seems to go out of date. It’s as relevant today as it was 10, 20 or 30 years ago. The circumstances have changed, but the message is still the same. Water management and the need for reliable water supplies are becoming even more critical for today’s cotton ... Read More »

Doing More with Less Water

Water is a precious and valuable commodi ty on the High Plains of Texas. As a farmer on the High Plains, I often wonder how many times over my career I will reflect upon the words, “If we had had just one more rain.” A longtime family friend told my wife, Kim, at church one day, “Your husband will pass ... Read More »

Understanding Water Science

This is my 34th year as an agricultural consultant on the Texas High Plains. As I look back over those years, I am amazed at the advancements that have taken place. The way producers farmed 34 years ago is certainly different from today. However, one thing that hasn't changed over all these years is that water is a yield-limiting factor, and there is no substitute for water. Read More »