What is in this article?:
- Timely rains help Okla. cotton
- Late start
Oklahoma cotton got off to a late start with a cool spring, but timely rains have made a decent yield possible, if those rains continue.
JOHN SCHIEBER, Union City, Oklahoma, farmer is sorry he didn't plant more cotton this year. Before planting season, he, along with many cotton growers, believed continued drought would prevent another good cotton crop. A wet, temperate summer now causes Schieber to wish he had planted more cotton.
"My cotton came up in scattered bunches," he says. "It took awhile before the rows were filled in and all of the cotton was growing and in good shape."
Schieber is seeing pigweed in his fields with resistance to Roundup. "I can look over my fields and see several huge pigweed plants growing where I applied Roundup earlier in the year," he says. "Banvel and Roundup will take care of the resistance problem now, but I have to apply the mixture of herbicides at the right time."
Schieber likes to grow cotton in rotation with corn in no-till fields. "The cotton benefits from fertilizer applied earlier to the corn crop grown before the cotton. My corn and soybeans are growing well now."
He watered cotton from center pivot systems twice this year, applying one inch of water each time. Timely rain helped to fill in needed moisture.
Schieber also owns a module-building cotton harvester he uses to harvest his own crop as well as for other farmers around the state.
"We could see some two-and-a-half bale per acre cotton this fall," he said. "Maybe even some three-bale cotton."
Randy Boman, Oklahoma State University cotton research director, says "most of the 2013 Oklahoma cotton crop is blooming or nearly blooming. Where irrigation is adequate, fields are progressing well, he says in the Cotton Comments online report.
Dryland fields planted close to the final planting date of June 20 — to qualify for insurance — are a little late this year. Triple digit temperatures with high winds have returned to the far southwestern corner of the state for the past week, he adds. This has resulted in high crop evapotranspiration and is taking depleting toll what soil moisture is available. The Mesonet precipitation map (available at the Cotton Comments website) indicates although there has been some timely rainfall in July, it will be necessary to obtain additional rainfall soon in order to keep cotton crop progress moving in the right direction.
Farther southwest, Texas A&M University agronomists report conditions remain favorable for crops. Recent rains and temperatures in the high 90s to 100 degrees gave crops a boost during the past few weeks in the Rolling Plains. However, more rain will be needed if daytime highs continue to be near 100 degrees. Cotton plants grew more than a foot in the past week, the report states, and were squaring in some areas. This year's cotton crop will be a little late, but producers were hopeful for a late freeze to let the crop mature.