Category Archives: Agriculture

Fall Armyworm Control in Pastures

Dalton C. Ludwick, Holly Davis, Sonja L. Swiger, and David L. Kerns Extension Entomologists, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service Recent rainfall events have been a major problem this summer. As a result of this rainfall, fall armyworms (Spodoptera frugiperda) are thriving across the northern, central and eastern portions of Texas. Below is some information on the biology of the pest, how to scout for them, and control options to mitigate damage. Biology and Damage There are two strains of fall armyworms (FAW): the corn strain and the grass… Read More →

Iron (Fe) Deficiency in Texas Crops Made Worse by Wet Weather

Dr. Calvin Trostle, Extension Agronomy, TAMU Dept. of Soil & Crop Sciences, Lubbock, (806) 746-6101,; June 9, 2021       Much of Texas has experienced heavy rains, cloudy conditions, and water-logged soils since early May.  Many crops will show signs of nutrient deficiency under such conditions.  These include iron (Fe) and nitrogen.   Symptoms for N and Fe nutrient deficiency may be confused with each other.  Nitrogen is mobile within the plant.  N deficiency leaf symptoms are expressed in older leaves.  This is usually a broad… Read More →

2021 Alternative Crop Options after Failed Cotton & Late-Season Crop Planting for the Texas South Plains

Dr. Calvin Trostle, Extension Agronomy, TAMU Dept. of Soil & Crop Sciences, Lubbock, (806) 746-6101,; Dr. Murilo Maeda, Extension Cotton Specialist, TAMU Dept. of Soil & Crop Sciences, Lubbock, (806) 746-6101,; This annual guide will be posted at by Monday, June 14.  Last year’s guide is essentially the same (see below) except crop prices for most crops are much higher, even 50% in cases.  The information remains applicable to the week of July 5th for a few late planting decisions like sunflower, grain sorghum, and… Read More →

On-Line Calculator to get Texas A&M Soil Test Recommendations based on Other Labs’ Test Values

Dr. Calvin Trostle, Extension Agronomy/TAMU Dept. of Soil & Crop Sciences, Lubbock, (806) 746-6101, Dr. Tony Provin, Extension Soil Testing,/TAMU Dept. of Soil & Crop Sciences, College Station, (979) 845-4816, May 4, 2021 Texas farmers have many choices for laboratories conducting their soil analyses.  If you work with a fertilizer dealer, they may collect your soil samples, pay for analysis, and draw from the information to make recommendations.  This is fine, just know there is a possible conflict of interest (sales).  If someone does your soil… Read More →

Guar & Crop Insurance—USDA-RMA Feasibility Study:  Follow-up

Dr. Calvin Trostle, Extension Agronomy, TAMU Dept. of Soil & Crop Sciences, Lubbock, (806) 746-6101,   Last September I noted the process underway to study the potential for guar to be added as a program crop for federal crop insurance.  That earlier report is at   USDA Risk Management Agency is currently administering a contract with Agralytica, Alexandria, VA to evaluate the feasibility of a guar crop insurance program.  This has included face-to-face visits with farmers, documenting perils the crop may face, etc.  Texas A&M AgriLife… Read More →

Next “First Tuesday” Statewide Hemp Zoom Update from Texas A&M AgriLife

  Dr. Calvin Trostle, Professor & Extension Agronomist/AgriLife State Hemp Specialist, TAMU Dept. of Soil & Crop Sciences, Lubbock, (806) 746-6101, April 26, 2021 We will continue the statewide Zoom updates we began in March.  I originally planned for “Third Thursday,” but there was a major conflict.  The May update will be Tuesday, May 4, 5:15-6:30 PM Central Time.  We will continue this throughout the summer at the same time on the first Tuesday.  (If this is a poor timing for many hemp growers and industry staff,… Read More →

Freeze Injury, Low Temperature Stress and Chill Injury in Corn and Sorghum

  Dr. Ronnie Schnell Cropping Systems Specialist – College Station       Introduction Recent cold weather has affected newly planted, emerging or emerged corn or sorghum throughout south and central Texas. Corn and sorghum will experience similar types of injury although tolerance to low temperatures does differ between the crops to some degree. Sorghum generally requires warmer soil temperatures. Three types of injury may be observed, depending on stage of growth and temperatures experience above and below ground. This includes imbibition injury, cold stress, and frost/freeze damage…. Read More →

2020 Hemp Variety Testing Wrap-Up & 2021 Trials

Hemp variety trial results at San Angelo (cannabinoids) and Lubbock (cannabinoids and fiber) will be completed shortly after the first of the year.  I will detail results in my January hemp newsletter.  Results will also be posted at  AgriLife will update program information for the 2021 round of variety trials in January.  In addition to test sites offered in 2020 (Lubbock, San Angelo, College Station, Commerce), at least one additional fee-based test site will be offered in South Texas mostly likely Weslaco in the Lower Rio Grande… Read More →

Key Considerations about Phosphate Applications in Agriculture

Worldwide, mother nature is not making new phosphate deposits to meet agricultural demand.  The reserves in premium rock phosphate deposits are decreasing.  Thus, it might require the processing of, for example, 125 tons of rock phosphate raw material to obtain the same amount of P derived from 100 tons previously. Phosphorus is the second most limiting nutrient in crop production.  But its behavior in soils limits its availability and can make adequate crop P nutrition an essential management issue. Fertilizer for monoammonium phosphate (MAP, or 11-52-0) is currently… Read More →

Grain Sorghum Pricing for 2021 & Managing Your Crop

Updated from the November ‘Texas Sorghum Insider’ (Texas Grain Sorghum Assn.)   Prospects for grain sorghum acreage in Texas in 2021 are more favorable than the past several years.  Pricing is up with adjustments relative to Dec21 corn ($4.18/bu as of this writing).  Depending on your Texas location this puts the hundredweight price in the range of $8.00/cwt and even $9.00/cwt near the Texas Gulf Coast.  Of course, there is a lot that can happen between now and planting time let alone harvest time in 2021.   These… Read More →