Category Archives: 2015

Wheat Planting Issues Continue with Wet Weather

by Dr. Clark Neely, Statewide Small Grains Extension Specialist, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Retaining Volunteer Wheat A unique situation is unfolding for many wheat producers across the state of Texas this fall, particularly for areas of the Blacklands, which started back in the spring. Torrential spring rains destroyed or otherwise prevented harvest of many wheat acres throughout Texas in 2015 providing a large seedbank of wheat seed in the soil. Once fields were abandoned or insured out, drought quickly set in for much of the summer months, allowing… Read More →

Wet Weather + Field Traffic = More Soil Compaction, Reduced Nutrient Use Efficiency and Yield

by  Dr. Jake Mowrer, Soil Nutrient and Water Resource Management Extension Specialist, Texas A&M Agrilife Extension; Dr. Dennis Coker, Extension Program Specialist II – Soil Fertility, Texas A&M Agrilife Extension We are approaching that time of the year when Texas row crop producers are preparing for Winter wheat planting or nutrient applications for next year’s cotton, corn, and sorghum. Producers will have a need to travel through their fields several times during the next few months. We are likely to experience a few substantial rainfall events over this… Read More →

Concerns in Farmer Saved Wheat Seed Quality for 2015-16 Winter Wheat Crop

by Emi Kimura, Assistant Prof., Vernon; and Clark Neely, Assistant Prof., College Station; Winter wheat in the 2014-15 crop year endured a wet spring, which caused pre-harvest sprouting and many head diseases (stinking smut, loose smut, and Fusarium head blight or scab infection) throughout the regions in the state. Some areas of the state had less than 30% germination on wheat acres planted for forage due to the low quality wheat seed. The wet conditions in the spring of 2015 lowered the quality of wheat seed… Read More →

Goss’s Wilt Of Corn In Texas

by Thomas Isakeit, Professor and Extension Plant Pathologist, College Station Goss’s wilt is a bacterial disease of corn, caused by Clavibacter michiganensis subsp. nebraskensis, which had been restricted for decades to Colorado and a few Midwestern states since its first discovery in 1969. In recent years, it appeared beyond this area, mostly in more Midwestern states, but additionally, in 2013, to the north and west, in Alberta and to the south, in Louisiana – a separation of 1900 miles and in growing areas each with very different climates… Read More →

“Why are there dead spots in my wheat?”—White Grubs

by Dr. Calvin Trostle, Extension Agronomy, Lubbock, 806-746-6101, Throughout the Texas High Plains and the Rolling Plains and beyond from about late September to the end of November this question is asked every year. AgriLife Extension entomologists and agronomists working with wheat and other small grain have gotten so used to this annual question we have to be careful to not assume the cause. Our questions will be: • “Are the spots getting larger? (Yes) • Is the field in continuous wheat? (Yes) White grub worms, most… Read More →


by Olufemi Alabi, Assistant Professor and Extension Plant Pathologist, Weslaco and Thomas Isakeit, Professor and Extension Plant Pathologist, College Station Southern corn leaf blight (SCLB), caused by the fungus Cochliobolus heterostrophus (also known as Bipolaris maydis), has been observed at several locations in the Lower Rio Grande Valley in the fall corn crop this past month. The typical symptoms are oval to slightly elongated lesions, ¼ inch to 1 inch long (Figure 1). On a particular leaf, the lesion sizes and shapes can vary greatly. Typically, the lesions… Read More →

Crop Decision Aide Available for 2016 Planning

As the crop harvest proceeds from South Texas to the Northern High Plains, farmers will begin focusing on what to plant in 2016. The crop analyzer tool is available online for producers to use in analyzing their options and packaging loan renewal requests to lenders. The Excel spreadsheet tool is designed to allow individual producers to input their own production inputs and cost. Producers can compare estimated returns from various crops and do “what if” analyses by changing crop or input prices, yields, or production inputs. The crop… Read More →

Cheaper Inputs Could Provide Relief from Low Crop Prices

by Dr. Levi Russell, Assistant Professor & Extension Economist The prices paid by farmers indices by sub-component shown in Figure 1 represent the average prices of inputs purchased by farmers and ranchers to produce agricultural commodities. The 2015 data shown in the graph represents the prices sampled in mid-July 2015 (the most recently available data), with previous years shown as annual averages. Most input price indices changed very little from the previous month, with the exception of nitrogen (down -4.2%) and potash and phosphate (down -6.7%). Diesel and… Read More →

Insect Pests Abundant as Planting Gets Underway for 2015-16 Winter Wheat Crop

Dr. Clark Neely, Statewide Small Grains Extension Specialist, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Dr. Allen Knutson, Extension Entomologist, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension   Figure 1. Armyworms can devastate young wheat plants and decrease fall stands (Texas A&M AgriLife Extension photo). According to the latest USDA report, Texas has 24% of its winter wheat in the ground, which is behind the normal 34% for this time of year. This is largely due to dry weather conditions intensifying across much of the state. Another source for concern among wheat growers in… Read More →

Texas Wheat Variety “Picks” for Grain

by Dr. Calvin Trostle, Extension Agronomy, Lubbock, 806-746-6101,; Dr. Clark Neely, State Extension Small Grains specialist, College Station, 979-862-1412, Continuing a long-time High Plains practice, Texas A&M AgriLife has extended our wheat “Picks” suggestions for Texas wheat producers across the state. Texas A&M AgriLife’s sister agencies for Research and Extension collaborate by region across the state to conduct extensive wheat variety testing in both research settings and on-farm sites. Our ongoing Picks criteria include a minimum of three years of data in AgriLife wheat variety trials… Read More →