Pilsner said one of the most damaging factors for south Texas crops the past few years has been a feral hog infestation. “They are wearing out milo and corn,” he said. “Feral hogs can wipe out a corn field.”

Some corn acreage may revert to cotton this year because of hog damage, he said.

“Farmers in south Texas are also looking at Pima cotton. Some new varieties look really good.”

Baugh said climate remains the number one yield limiting factor for High Plains cotton producers. “If we get 1 to 2 inches of rain in July and August, we usually make high yields,” he said.

Variety selection is the second most important factor, Baugh said. “We have new ones coming, but farmers tend to base variety decisions on too little information, especially regarding nematode and Verticillium wilt tolerance. Losing Temik will be a factor,” he said. He cautioned farmers to keep track of nematode infestations.

Baugh said farmers too often base fertility decisions on the price of fertilizer. “It should be based on field need. Dryland fields last year that had been fertilized for the first time in five years made two bales per acre.”

He also recommended growers take deeper samples, 18 inches to 24 inches. “We can sustain yields with deep nitrogen.”