Home Farm Equipment Cotton farmer aims for quality, not quantity

Cotton farmer aims for quality, not quantity

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Hale County, Texas, producer Glenn Schur says he is aiming for high quality reasonably than quantity this season, particularly in his cotton.

“If you look at our heat units, we’re about seven to 10 days behind. Unless it catches up, we’re going to be looking to mature our crop a little earlier and focus more on quality instead of quantity, simply because of the price of cotton and what we’re doing.”

Schur farms cotton and grain sorghum in a area the place irrigation water availability is diminishing, and drought appears to be commonplace. All through 2020, his farm solely obtained about 6 to eight inches of rain. Up till the top of Might, it seemed to be one other dry 12 months. However then it started to rain. Within the final two-and-a-half months, Schur’s farms have obtained 17 to 18 inches of rain.

“We have a good prospect of a cotton crop and grain crop,” he says. “That’s probably the most encouraging thing we’ve had over the last three years.”

Weed flush

Whereas Schur is grateful for the moisture, he says the weed battle that is adopted has been a problem. “A lot of our preemerge herbicides didn’t work because it was so dry. And then when we started getting all this rain, and we’ve had quite a bit through here. It’s been good, but it’s also created challenges as far as chemicals and herbicides and their effectiveness.”

Even Louie, Glenn’s canine, helps with weed management. (Shelley E. Huguley)

Weed flushes coupled with the lack to deal with fields in a well timed method, led Schur to revert to previous tillage practices.

“We started cultivating some cotton for the first time in three years. It still works and it’s still looks good.”

Sometimes, Schur makes use of minimal until and strip until. “However any more, we’ll most likely have to take a look at some form of tillage on a field-to-field foundation, particularly since we have got some chemical resistance in pigweeds and others.

“Our chemicals are not as effective as what they have been. We may have to start looking at a lot of different variants and maybe go back to some of the old school things and try some new things.”

Cowl crops

Schur, who farms along with his spouse Dena and son Layton, additionally makes use of cowl crops in his system, however says weeds have been a problem there as nicely.

swfp-shelley-huguley-rick-kellison-dena.jpg

Rick Kellison, left, visits with Glenn and Dena Schur on their Hale County farm. Kellison is challenge director of Texas Alliance for Water Conservation. 

“We have tried some cowl crops, and we have taken some hay grazer and millets, cow peas, and a few of these issues, and actually what we have gotten into is a weed downside, despite the fact that they’re very, very thick. And with the rain, it introduced a number of undesirable weed strain from it, in order that’s been our important problem this time.

“As far as tonnage, I think it’s going to produce a lot. And we’re grazing some of it currently, so it’s made our pasture situation better and given our permanent pasture a chance to recover from the last two or three years.”

Sorghum

Schur additionally grows dryland sorghum and a “little bit” of irrigated. “We planted most of our irrigated sorghum early in the season because we were planning on having to irrigate a lot. Normally, we plant sorghum early to try to be through with it early enough to divert our water all to cotton. This time, the rain has helped. Some of the early sorghum looks good cause it caught all the rain.”

Schur additionally produces seed sorghum and seed millet. “Generally speaking, everything looks good, but we could use some rain.”

Whereas Schur is conscious of some sugarcane aphids in his sorghum, he stated head worms have been a much bigger situation. Typically, head worms equate to cotton bollworm, he says.

Early within the season, Schur handled his cotton for flea hoppers. “We stayed on top of all those issues, but I do think we’re probably going to have an issue with bollworms, especially on some of the Bt cotton.”

However even when he should deal with the worms extra aggressively this 12 months, he says the Bt expertise has saved him cash. “In the last several years, we’ve probably only treated less than 20% of the cotton in a year. So, dollars and cents wise, I’m probably ahead, even if we have a real bad year this year.”

 

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