Crop development is behind last year. “Most cotton is in the cotyledon to two true-leaf stage compared to three to four true-leaf stage for the same time last year. Crop moisture demands remain fairly low, but will soon rapidly increase, especially in corn.”

Anderson says crop development varies widely in Gaines County and ranges from “seed just planted to squaring cotton, with most cotton in the cotyledon to two true-leaf stage. The cotton is a little behind where it normally is this time of the year. Usually most of our cotton is in the two to four true-leaf stage at this point.”  

She says peanuts look good, but farmers may have a challenge to get a good canopy. “Large canopies will be essential to this year’s production,” she says. “A larger canopy will be more conducive to higher humidity during the blooming period. High temperatures, moisture stress, and low humidity during blooming can have a severe impact on the flowering response, limiting the number of flowers produced and reducing flower pollination. “A lot of challenges remain, she says. “The drought, blowing sand and weeds continue to be young plants’ worst enemies.”

Trostle says grain sorghum acreage will be up this year but not as much as initially expected. “Some growers waited to plant because it was so dry,” he says. “They may be right in assuming they can trade 30 days of dry conditions now for the possibility of more moisture in September.” He says September is typically the area’s second wettest month.

Mark Kelley, Texas AgriLife Extension cotton specialist at Lubbock, says later planted irrigated cotton and the dryland locations where significant rainfall fell should fare very well as a result of the storm.  Crusting could be an issue, however. “Seedlings that were still in the ‘storm shelter’ below ground when the storm came might need some help getting the cellar door open.”


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