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Record Rainfall Creates Surprises

One reason I like production agriculture is because no two years are ever alike. You have to muster all your agronomic skills to deal with the crazy situations that Mother Nature hands to you. This year’s craziness has been continuous rainfall at planting time when we were supposed to be experiencing a drought. We received so much rain that fields were planted piecemeal as opportunities arose. In many cases, planting opportunities boiled down to having only a few hours in which to plant rather than several consecutive days. This is the first time in my 35 years as an agricultural consultant in the Plainview, Texas, area that rainfall has delayed cotton planting to the extent that many producers made the decision to switch from cotton to sorghum or corn because the probability of maturing an irrigated cotton crop that was planted in June was significantly diminished.So, what’s next? On the positive side, most areas are starting with a full soil profile of moisture. This will be beneficial to all crops we grow. But, if drought conditions do arrive later in the season, a full soil profile at planting will be of little consequence without timely in-season rains or irrigations. Read More »

Acreage May Increase In 2014

The NCC Planting Intentions Survey shows less than a one percent increase in acreage for Missouri. Based on past reports, this may or may not happen with a lot depending on the weather. In the past, I have noticed that the Missouri intentions are usually overestimated. Read More »

It Was A Winter To Remember

Our northern friends will claim that southerners moan and groan way too much during the winter months. We simply don’t know what cold weather is all about, or so the critics say. When the weather forecasts call for two inches of snow, we panic and clean out the grocery stores. Our critics may be right about that. Read More »

Miraculous Crops Give Farmers Hope

Remember back in December when I was talking about some remarkable cotton crops produced last year in the Mid-South, Southeast and Southwest – even though weather conditions were less than ideal in those regions? Well, we stumbled onto one of those success stories in an area north of Lubbock, Texas, near Hale Center. Read More »

Texas Industry Stays Optimistic

BY TOMMY HORTON EDITOR When it comes to optimism about a new crop season, nobody exudes a positive attitude better than Texas cotton producers and ginners. Yes, the state is still in the midst of a three-year drought, but there are some encouraging signs as everyone prepares for 2014. Tony Williams, executive vice president of the Texas Cotton Ginners’ Association, ... Read More »

Time To Start Planning For 2014

For all practical purposes, the 2013 cotton has been harvested. There may be a few isolated fields that haven’t been harvested, but these would be on the heavier, wetter soils that are prone to flooding. More importantly, the modules have been taken to the gins. I haven’t seen a module truck on the road for at least three weeks. Read More »

Virginia Farmers Survive Heavy Rain

BY TOMMY HORTON EDITOR Can torrential rains keep a cotton crop from surviving and delivering any kind of yield? If you had talked to the Doyle farm family in Emporia, Va., last July, you would have heard that question. As a matter of fact, the weather situation was so bad in the southeastern part of Virginia that Payton Doyle and ... Read More »