Author Archives: ahairston1

Soil Testing Principles–Part 1 of 7, Texas A&M AgriLife

This item is adapted from an AgriLife submission to Texas Grain Sorghum Association’s “Sorghum Insider” Calvin Trostle, Ph.D., Professor & Extension Agronomist, TAMU Dept. of Soil & Crop Sciences, Lubbock, (806) 746-6101, March 6, 2023   Part I (Part 2 in the next Texas Row Crops Newsletter)   Seven Soil Test Pointers for Texas Crops: Part I: What is your soil test lab’s philosophy of nutrient provision? What does your soil test lab base fertilizer recommendations on? Do you use a soil test lab that is out… Read More →

Wheat Topdress Nitrogen Update for Texas

Nitrogen and Texas Wheat Grain Production—Topdress N Timing is Critical:  Twelve Common Grower Questions about N for Texas Wheat Grain   Calvin Trostle, Ph.D., Professor & Extension Agronomist, TAMU Dept. of Soil & Crop Sciences, Lubbock, (806) 746-6101, Jake Mowrer, Ph.D., Associate Professor & Extension Soil Nutrient & Water Resource Management Specialist, TAMU Dept. of Soil & Crop Sciences, College Station, (979) 845- 5366, March 6, 2023   Much of Texas wheat has entered jointing and reproductive growth.  This includes regions into the northern Rolling Plains… Read More →

Hessian Fly and Their Impact on the 2023 Wheat Crop

D. Tyler Mays Extension Agent-IPM, Hill and McLennan Counties Email: David Drake, Extension Agent-IPM, District 4 – Commerce, TX Email:   I have received numerous questions and concerns over the last couple of weeks about Hessian fly in wheat, and after their impact on the 2022 crop producer concerns are fully justifiable (Figure 1). It is not news that Hessian fly are once again present across the Texas Blacklands but compared to the 2022 wheat crop their severity is not as bad. There are a couple… Read More →

Two (Uncommon) Foliar Diseases Seen on Fall Corn

In October, I visited a field of corn in Jackson County.  Plants had dark brown, circular spots on stalks and the midribs of leaves (Figure 1).  Associated with the dark spots on the midrib were smaller spots on the leaf blade that looked like southern rust.  There also was a repeating pattern associated with these spots.  The disease was Physoderma brown spot, caused by the fungus Physoderma maydis.  I confirmed it by examining spores from spots under the microscope.  Previously, the only time I’ve seen this disease was… Read More →

Texas A&M AgriLife Sorghum Tips

If it Finally Rains—Late Seeding Sorghum/Sudan for Hay The drought across Texas is acute.  I travelled across the state July 20-22.  Only near Beaumont did pasture and range look somewhat satisfactory.  Reports indicate forage is in short supply in Texas.  Prices for hay are up and may climb more.  Some livestock producers are reducing herd size or even selling all cattle. We do not know when it will rain.  The long-term National Weather Service forecast for Texas projects continued dry conditions into Fall.  For the next 7 days… Read More →


2021-2022 Cropping Season in Review The wheat season was brutal to wheat growers in the Texas Rolling Plains.  Depending on the planting timing, many fields received very little rainfall during the growing season until May 2022.  The yield potential was set for wheat by the time we received the first significant rainfall for the season. Forage production was drastically reduced or completely lost in the small grain pastures, while many dryland wheat fields were abandoned due to the severe drought condition.  Increased incidents of spider mites were reported… Read More →

Industrial Hemp Update

Next Texas A&M AgriLife “First Tuesday” Hemp Zoom Update Our next meeting is Tuesday, July 5, 5:15-6:30 PM. Register in advance for this meeting: After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. It has been a hot summer for hemp… Temperatures in much of Texas couple with lack of rainfall in many areas is making hemp production tough.  What we are experiencing this year in cannabinoid, fiber, and grain hemp is not unlike conditions in the Yuma, AZ area in 2021. … Read More →

Late Planting of Grain Sorghum Across Texas?

This item was first prepared for Texas Grain Sorghum Association’s “Sorghum Insider” South & Coastal Texas With record high prices on grain sorghum in much of Texas, some have wondered if the prices might stir interest in Central & South Texas of planting a mid-and late summer sorghum crop for fall production.  Texas A&M AgriLife does not have data on the potential for these crops if planted in Central Texas, the Coastal Bend, and far South Texas.  Historically this has never been a practice.  AgriLife Extension agents Vidal… Read More →

Pricing for 2022 Summer Texas Crops—Some at Record Highshs

This document provides recent market and contract pricing and contacts for a dozen Texas crops.   Prices for major commodity crops corn, cotton, and grain sorghum are especially strong at this point in 2022.  AgriLife Extension economists Dr. John Robinson, cotton, and Dr. Mark Welch, corn and sorghum,, are writing and speaking frequently on high prices and strategies for crop marketing.   The February 2022 invasion of Ukraine has shaken world markets especially for wheat.  Ukraine is a large exporter of winter wheat.  The country also… Read More →

Nine Considerations to Guide 2022 Fertilizer Decisions in Summer Crops

Fertilizer prices across Texas have nearly doubled since this time last year.  High natural gas prices and high commodity crop prices do not appear to explain fully the price increase for N, P, and other fertilizer nutrients.  P fertilizers may have supply issues.  Nitrogen fertilizers appear likewise.  Transportation / distribution costs and delays have also contributed to the problem.   Also, according to Dr. Mark Welch,, AgriLife Extension grains economist, College Station, high commodity prices often enable farm suppliers to justify raising prices on inputs.  Depending on… Read More →