Southwest Extension crop specialist offer warnings this week of weather, disease and insect threats to crops in the field and crops yet to be planted. Too much rain, too little rain, stripe rust in wheat, cutworms in wheat, and south Texas inundated with rain keep farmers busy scouting fields and watching the weather channel.
A lot of rain in Texas
Wet weather continues to deter corn planting
By Robert Burns
Frequent rains and the resultant soggy field conditions continued to keep producers from planting corn and other crops in some parts of the state, according to Texas A&M Extension Service personnel.
“We just had cold weather that kept people from getting started early, and then the last several weeks we just had a lot of rain that kept people out of fields,” said Dr. Ronnie Schnell, AgriLife Extension state cropping systems specialist, College Station.
On the morning of March 17, Schnell was having the same problem as many corn growers. He was trying to get his corn test field plots planted before afternoon forecasted rains came.
And even more rain in south Texas
South Texas ag under severe weather threat
By Rod Santa Ana
For the second year in a row, cold wet weather is hampering the Lower Rio Grande Valley’s billion dollar agricultural industry, only this year the prolonged conditions are posing a much more serious threat, according to Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service experts.
Cotton and sugarcane, two of the area’s most lucrative crops, are currently among those most threatened, according Brad Cowan, AgriLife Extension agent in Hidalgo County.
More rain needed in Southwest Oklahoma and parts of Texas
Randy Boman, Oklahoma State Research Director and Cotton Extension Program Leader says the drought that began basically at the end of 2010 continues for the heart of cotton country in southwestern Oklahoma. He takes a look at the 214 cotton yield and quality results and with other cotton specialists offers other observations on Oklahoma cotton in the latest Cotton Comments Newsletter.
Wheat faces disease and insect threats
AgriLife Extension expert warns of possible rust epidemic in Texas wheat crop
By Kay Ledbetter
Early sightings of stripe rust in wheat could indicate 2015 might see an epidemic in infections, according to two Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service specialists.
Texas producers and AgriLife Extension specialists and agents have observed leaf and stripe rust throughout a large swath of the state from South Texas north into Oklahoma and in the San Angelo, Abilene and Chillicothe areas, said Dr. Clark Neely, AgriLife Extension small grains and oilseed specialist in College Station.
“Right now, stripe rust appears to be more prevalent than leaf rust, and in some cases, it has started to move into the upper canopy,” Neely said.
“Generally speaking, when stripe rust is observed before March, a large stripe rust epidemic is likely for the Southern Great Plains,” he said.
Neely said producers will need to take extra steps to protect against the disease, which left unchecked could result in as much as 70 percent reduction of yields in susceptible lines.
Cutworms in Oklahoma
Oklahoma State Dr. Tom A. Royer, OSU Extension Entomologist warns wheat producers of a potential infestation of cutworms, which unlike the fall armyworm, overwinters in Oklahoma, tolerates cold and feeds throughout the winter months. Adult army cutworm moths migrate to Oklahoma each fall from their summer residence in the Rocky Mountains. They seek bare or sparsely vegetated fields (like a newly prepared field ready for wheat planting, or a field that was “dusted in” and had not yet emerged) and lay eggs from August through October. See the full report.