Late planted cotton, a cool spring and abundant September rains convinced the Texas Department of Agriculture's (TDA) to extend the cotton stalk destruction deadline for portions of some Coastal Bend counties.

TDA program specialist Dr. Robert Crocker acknowledged a request for extension had been received from the Chair of the Zone 2 CPAC. Crocker indicated that the Texas Boll Weevil Eradication Foundation (TBWEF) commented that in their opinion there was negligible risk in granting the request.

San Patricio County Extension crop specialist Bobby McCool reported on September 12 the TDA granted the blanket extension of the destruction deadline for Pest Management Zone 2, Area 3, which includes Aransas County except for that part north of Copano Bay, including but not limited to Lamar and Blackjack peninsulas, and San Patricio County south, and east of U.S. Highway 59 in Bee and Live Oak counties.

The area continues to receive substantial rain this week as a result of extensive Gulf moisture fueled by tropical weather systems. Over the last 30 days, the National Weather Service's Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Center indicates heavy rainfall amounts ranging between 4 to 9 inches have fallen across broad areas of the Upper Coastal Bend.

While cotton crop development has been slow in adjacent areas, and especially north stretching into Zone 3 (Areas 1, 2 and 3), officials say stalk destruction deadlines in those areas is later than for Zone 2. However, because of late planting and continued rain this month, a good chance exists that a request for extension may be forthcoming in those areas as well.


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Zone 3, Area 2, includes Austin, Brazoria, and Fort Bend Counties and that portion of Wharton County east of the Colorado River. The standard deadline for cotton stalk destruction in Zone 3, Area 2, is October 15.

Zone 3, Area 3, includes Chambers, Colorado, Fayette, Galveston, Gonzales, Harris, Jefferson, Lavaca, Liberty, Orange, Waller, and Washington counties. The standard deadline for cotton stalk destruction in Zone 3, Area 3, is October 20.

In 2012, TDA announced stalk destruction extensions for Zone 3 for many of the same reasons. According to Texas Boll Weevil Eradication Foundation (TBWEF) guidelines, an extension may be requested for mitigating circumstances such as crop and subsequent harvest delays.