The rainfall events of the last two weeks have certainly hurt the mature grain sorghum crop, but cotton has been a beneficiary to some extent. Yes, there have been cotton squares shed, and this can be alarming when one looks at the edge of a field and finds numerous squares washed out on the end of the turn-row, but those squares are coming from second and third fruiting positions. The most valuable squares and bolls are located in the first position on the plant.

Some of our early planted cotton will be nearing time to begin defoliation around the first week of August based on heat unit accumulations. To address critical management issues during this time of crop development, a Coastal Bend Cotton Management Workshop will be held on Wednesday, July 21, 2010, with the focus on “Cutout to Harvest.” The workshop will be held at the Texas AgriLife Research and Extension Center at 10345, State Hwy 44, just west of the Corpus Christi Airport.

Registration will begin at 1:00 p.m. followed by the program at 1:30 p.m. and will conclude by 4:30 p.m. Workshop topics and speakers will include the following: Overview and Current Crop Conditions by Dr. Juan Landivar, Resident Director of the Research Center; Insect Management to Harvest, Dr. Roy Parker, Extension Entomologist; Post-Eradication Boll Weevil Management, Dr. Mike Brewer, AgriLife Research Entomologist; Environmental Factors affecting Defoliation and Boll Opening by Dr. Carlos Fernandez, AgriLife Research Scientist; and the science behind How a Cotton Leaf Drops and Bolls Open by Dr. Landivar.

Using Computer Online Tools, namely the weather station network, to help schedule defoliations will be discussed by Jeffrey Stapper, County Extension Agent - Agriculture/Natural Resources, while Dr. Larry Falconer, Extension Ag Economist will review the Outlook for Marketing the 2010 Cotton Crop and the economics of using pickers vs. strippers at harvest. Other topics to be discussed will include Harvest-aid Recommendations, including rates and timing.

Participants in the workshop will be awarded CEU’s toward their Pesticide Applicator and Certified Crop Advisor Licenses. The workshop is being sponsored by the Texas AgriLife Extension Service and Texas AgriLife Research. More details are available from the Nueces County Extension Office at 361-767-5223.