Category Archives: 2020

Fall Concerns about Prussic Acid & Nitrate in Sorghums

Dr. Calvin Trostle, Extension Agronomy, TAMU Dept. of Soil & Crop Sciences, Lubbock, (806) 746-6101, ctrostle@ag.tamu.edu When our next Row Crops Newsletter is published in early November, a large portion of Texas will have seen heavy frost and a freeze on some sorghums.  So, this is good time to update Texas on prussic acid (a plant form of cyanide) and nitrates in sorghums.  These include sorghum/sudans (haygrazers), forage sorghums, and also grain sorghum where cattle will graze after harvest or on drought-failed grain sorghum (Fig. 1).  Sorghum after… Read More →

Cotton foliar symptoms in western Texas driven by weather, not disease

Reagan Noland, Assistant Professor and Extension Agronomist Tom Isakeit, Professor and Extension Plant Pathologist   Cotton across much of western Texas has recently displayed varying levels of premature defoliation and foliar discoloration following a drastic shift from hot and dry to abnormally cold and wet conditions in early September. The stark visual symptoms raised many questions and concerns regarding potential impacts to yield and quality, whether the situation could have been prevented, and whether intervention would have yielded any benefit. Producers and industry professionals have suspected foliar disease… Read More →

Guar & Crop Insurance:  USDA-RMA Feasibility Study

Dr. Calvin Trostle, Extension Agronomy, TAMU Dept. of Soil & Crop Sciences, Lubbock, (806) 746-6101, ctrostle@ag.tamu.edu September 9, 2020 Guar is arguably the most heat-tolerant, drought-tolerant summer annual row crop grown in Texas.  Current production regions are the South Plains and the northern Rolling Plains.  For information on guar production resources for these drier regions of Texas view https://lubbock.tamu.edu/programs/crops/other-field-crops/guar/   In Fall 2018 USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA) initiated a review of ~100 minor fruit, vegetable, and other crops for possible study for federal program crop insurance.  AgriLife… Read More →

Crop Progress Report

USDA Crop progress report for peanuts in the US showed an improvement of 3 points from last week between Excellent and Good.  Excellent and good conditions improved from 72% to 75% (Graph 1).  This condition is also 6 points better that last year at this time of the season.  On the other hand, Texas crop report is 6 points below the US average (69%), mostly due to the dry and hot weather during this summer.  Crop condition in Texas at this time of the year is below 2019… Read More →

TEXAS ROLLING PLAINS PICKS LIST FOR 2020-2021

Emi Kimura, Assistant Professor and Extension Agronomist Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, Vernon, TX Emi.kimura@ag.tamu.edu   2019-2020 Cropping Season in Review Texas Rolling Plains wheat season started with hot and dry conditions in the fall 2019.  Soil temperature was not optimum for planting wheat until the first week of October.  Dry months continued to the end of December, which reduced winter forage productivity throughout the Texas Rolling Plains.  Dryland wheat gradually improved with the spring precipitation during January to March.  Late-freezes in mid-April resulted in the freeze injury… Read More →

Grain Variety Picks for Texas High Plains, 2020-2021 & Texas High Plains Wheat Production Summary, 2019-2020

Jourdan M. Bell, Assistant Professor and Agronomist, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension and Research, Amarillo, (806) 677-5600, jourdan.bell@ag.tamu.edu 2019-2020 Cropping Season in Review Variable rainfall in August and September resulted in varying planting conditions across the Texas High Plains. Some fields were planted with replenished soil moisture while other fields were dry sowed. October 2019 rains delivered valuable moisture for the region’s wheat crop. There was minimal winter precipitation through the central and northern Panhandle resulting in another dry winter. A prolonged winter drought resulted in many producers pulling… Read More →

Remaining Crop Stubble after Harvest—Your Options and a Myth

Dr. Calvin Trostle, Extension Agronomy, TAMU Dept. of Soil & Crop Sciences, Lubbock, (806) 746-6101, ctrostle@ag.tamu.edu August 13, 2020 Producers across Texas know that field crop stubble on fields offers potential benefits.  There is erosion control, the reduction of raindrop impact (protection of the soil surface), potential protection to a subsequent crop that is fragile in the seedling stage (e.g., cotton), etc.  USDA-NRCS often uses a rating scale for fields with stubble to estimate the erodibility.  Other programs through FSA may require at least 30% of the soil… Read More →

When it comes to cover crops in Texas:  Timing is key.

Jake Mowrer, PhD Cover cropping has many benefits in dryland farming in eastern and central Texas.  Weed suppression, crop diversity, soil organic matter buildup, and more.  Many Texas farmers have an interest in getting into or improving their cover crop inclusive systems.  But cover cropping is not a simple thing.  It takes some time and patience to get it right here.  AgriLife Extension recommends that farmers start experimenting on a small portion of the farm, and expand to more acreage as specific practices show success. This article covers… Read More →

Update on Industrial Hemp for Texas—July 2020

Dr. Calvin Trostle, Extension Agronomy, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension/TAMU Soil & Crop Sciences, Lubbock, TX; (806) 723-8432, ctrostle@ag.tamu.edu July 8, 2020   Texas Department of Agriculture Hemp Licensing   The TDA hemp page, https://www.texasagriculture.gov/RegulatoryPrograms/Hemp.aspx, has further new items of interest.  In a June 19, 2020 Texas A&M AgriLife Extension webinar TDA assistant commissioner Dan Hunter noted to date TDA had issued: 861 producer licenses 351 crop permits 84 handler/sampler licenses (but only 73 listed as of July 7 at https://www.texasagriculture.gov/Portals/0/Files/ACP/Hemp/Handler_Sampler_List.pdf 158 handler licenses 19 processor licenses (as of… Read More →

Corn Diseases in South and Central  Texas, So Far

This season has been unusual for corn diseases.  Early in the year, starting in south Texas and progressing north, the fungal disease, northern corn leaf blight (Figure 1), has been very prevalent.  Usually, a few lesions of the disease are seen on the lowest leaves and the disease never progresses.  Disease development is driven by frequent rain and temperatures lower than 80°F.  In a typical Texas growing season, infrequent rain, but moreover increasing temperatures will hinder the fungus.  Weather conditions early in the season supported disease development.  There… Read More →