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Take A Look Back To Plan For Upcoming Season

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• By Adam Hixson,  Lubbock, Texas • Weather is the most challenging obstacle that faces any farmer. Around planting time in any given year in the Texas South Plains, High Plains and Panhandle, about 4 million to 5 million acres of cotton goes in the ground. Cotton is king in this area. The 2018 season was probably the roughest planting year ... Read More »

Hurricane Harvey Is No Match For Texas Grit

COMMENTARY By Russell Boening Texas Farm Bureau President A challenge brings out the best in us, but a horrific natural disaster shows everyone just how strong they truly are. And here in the Lone Star State, we made a new category — Texas Strong. The heart, resilience and spirit of Texas, and of our farmers and ranchers, is second to ... Read More »

Chilling Injury: The Artful Dodger

By David L. Bush, Ph.D. LUBBOCK, Texas First, let me explain the title of this essay. Chilling injury is cellular damage to meristematic plant root tissues that often occurs when soil temperatures fall below 50 degrees Fahrenheit during the imbibition phase of seed germination. The Artful Dodger part of the title is a literary analogy. The Artful Dodger, a character ... Read More »

The Value Of Timely Defoliation


By Rusty Mitchell Louisville, MS The objectives of any cotton defoliation program are to remove cotton leaves, assist in boll opening and desiccate weeds that can interfere in harvest efficacy. Timing of a harvest-aid application is determined by the crop maturity. However, crop and weather conditions, as well as harvest schedule, have to be considered. Boll maturity is the most ... Read More »

How Far Can Technology Take Ag?

Drones used in agriculture

BY GLEN HARRIS TIFTON, GA. The fertilizer spreader truck rolls across the field spitting out a custom blend of N-P-K, secondary and micronutrients based on grid soil sampling, followed later by the sidedress rig equipped with sensors to measure plant height and greenness and apply the exact amount of additional N (and other nutrients that may be needed). Just before ... Read More »

Don’t Let Insects Spoil Your Picnic

We have made great strides in the last 20 years with the eradication of the boll weevil in almost all parts of the Cotton Belt and the adoption of Bt cotton varieties that substantially control caterpillar pests. However, there are still annual battles with insect and mite pests that require our diligence. Starting at the beginning, thrips management typically requires the use of at-planting insecticides. Almost everyone is using an insecticide seed treatment, and the option for Temik is no longer available. The spreading resistance of tobacco thrips to thiamethoxam, the active ingredient in Cruiser, caught us a little by surprise the last several years. In the Mid-South, this has essentially put an end to the use of Cruiser and other thiamethoxam- based insecticide seed treatments in cotton. We are concerned about going down a similar path with imidacloprid (e.g. Gaucho) as it is being used now almost exclusively. Read More »

Keeping Cotton King Of The High Plains

When I look back over the years since I first moved to Lubbock to begin my career with Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service working in cotton, several things are clear with regards to cotton production in the Texas High Plains and Panhandle regions. Producers in the region are highly progressive and always looking for and trying new technologies and varieties that enable them to continue to produce high yields of excellent quality cotton. Also, their faith in God is unwavering as proven by their resolve even when faced with less than favorable growing conditions in an ever-changing environment. As I have heard, and have repeated several times myself, “if you don’t like the weather in Lubbock, just wait a minute, it will change.” As we have witnessed over the years, each growing season is different with its own set of “challenges” that producers must overcome in order to have a successful cotton harvest. More recently, Texas High Plains and Panhandle producers have dealt with extreme drought conditions that have, just this winter, shown significant signs of improvement. Read More »