Questions Regarding Cotton Stalks Standing from the 2018 Crop

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Questions regarding cotton stalks standing from the 2018 crop

April 12, 2019
Corrie Bowen
County Extension Agent
Wharton County

This past week there have been complaints about cotton that is still standing in fields from last years’ crop – with a reference to cotton stalk destruction.  With the crazy, wet weather we experienced from September through February it’s understandable that some fields could not be harvested, and that some stalks were standing through the winter.  But now the ground is dry, and farmers have been in the field for the past several weeks.

To best address this concern I should probably begin with an explanation of what is required for  Texas Department of Agriculture’s Pest Management and Cotton Stalk Destruction Zone 3.  Wharton County is in Zone 3. What the TDA regulations say in Chapter 20 Cotton Pest Control , it that in Zone 3 “all cotton plants must be rendered non-hostable by the stalk destruction date of October 31.   Destruction shall be performed periodically to prevent the presence of hostable fruiting structures.”  Due to the weather that we had last year, a Blanket Extension for stalk destruction extended the October 31st deadline to December 1st.  One key event this past Fall was the November 13th frost/freeze event that rendered any remaining cotton stalks or cotton plants non-hostable.

A cotton plant that is hostable to the boll weevil is a cotton plant that has squares, blooms, or green bolls.  A standing cotton plant after the December 1st deadline is not hostable unless it has squares, blooms, or green bolls.  Any cotton at pin-head square stage to green boll is considered hostable for the boll weevil.

What’s important to note is that stalks or cotton plants from last year that were not destroyed can begin to regrow, put on new leaves, and  develop hostable structures.  Under the TDA laws, destruction methods must be complete by emergence of the new cotton crop.  It is critical to prevent last years’ cotton plants/volunteer cotton plants from reaching this stage for the overall success of the Texas Boll Weevil Eradication Program and to prevent the levying of any fees or fines for non-commercial cotton found in fields.

Tillage is probably one of the most effective tools for managing volunteer cotton in fallow situations or prior to planting any crop. However, in-season crop cultivation will leave approximately 15 to 25% of the area undisturbed where cotton plants can survive.  Various herbicides will provide excellent volunteer cotton control during either the fallow period or growing season.  To ensure the highest herbicide efficacy and eradicate boll weevil hostable plants, volunteer cotton should not exceed the 5 leaf stage at the time of herbicide application. Cotton plants at or beyond the 5 leaf stage have a high probability of surviving the herbicide application and becoming hostable plants.

The El Campo office of the Texas Boll Weevil Eradication Foundation is calling those with standing stalks to make sure they are aware of the rules if it comes back hostable.  The ones they have talked to so far say they will go back with cotton within the next week or so.  These fields with standing stalks are disappearing daily. If anyone has questions or concerns regarding the Texas Boll Weevil Eradication Foundation and cotton stalk destruction, contact Michael Hester the East Texas Maintenance Area office at  979-543-7770  or send an email to hesterm@txbollweevil.org

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Small Grains Field Day Apr 17

Small Grains Field Day in Egypt, TX – April 17, 2019

 By Corrie Bowen
County Extension Agent – Agriculture/Natural Resources
Wharton County

Texas A&M Agrilife Extension will be hosting a Wheat Field Day at Krenek Seed near Egypt, Texas on Wednesday, April 17, 2019.  The Krenek’s have cooperated this year by providing ground for Dr. Clark Neely, Extension Small Grains Specialist to conduct our Upper Gulf Coast wheat variety trial.  The tour will offer us the opportunity to view not only hard red winter wheat varieties, but also soft red and spring wheat varieties.

The program will begin at 9:00 a.m. at the wheat trial plot located at the Krenek Seed headquarters near Egypt.

Dr. Clark Neely, Extension Small Grains Specialist will begin the field day by providing information on variety selection and performance traits of certain wheat varieties.  Other topics to include Rust Management in Wheat—Dr. Tom Isakeit, Extension Plant Pathologist; Insect Pest Management, Stephen Biles – CEA, Integrated Pest Management; Weed Problems and Management in Wheat, Dr. Josh McGinty—Extension Agronomist; Wheat Market Outlook – Mark Welch, Extension Economist; Canola Market Situation Update – Josh McGinty .

The field day will conclude at 11 a.m.  We’ll be done just in time if you want to make it over to the Antique Tractor Show and Hot Dog Fundraiser ($1.00 hot dog and drink supports the local FFA) at Superior Motor Parts at 214 N. Mechanic in El Campo (lunch 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.).

There is no cost to participants to attend the small grains field day. 2.0 CEUs will be offered to all TDA Pesticide License Holders.  CCA credits will be offered to certified crop advisors, pending course approval.  Anyone wanting to attend is asked to contact Stacey at the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service office in Wharton County at 979-532-3310  to pre-register.  You can find a complete program flyer by clicking on EVENTS at https://wharton.agrilife.org

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Corrie Bowen, MS
County Extension Agent – Agriculture
Wharton County
315 E. Milam, Suite 112
Wharton, Texas 77488
(979) 532-3310

South Texas Ag Symposium Apr 16

South Texas Agricultural Symposium in Wharton – April 16, 2019

 By Corrie Bowen
County Extension Agent
Wharton County

A web-based producer training, or webinar, is scheduled for Tuesday, April 16, 2019 at the Wharton County Extension Office in Wharton.  The Wharton County Extension Office is located at 315 East Milam, Suite 112, Wharton, Texas 77488.  1 CEU in the IPM category and 1 CEU in the general category will be offered to Texas Department of Agriculture Pesticide License Holders.  There is no fee to attend this program.   The Texas A&M University System, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the County Commissioners Courts of Texas Cooperating.  The members of Texas A&M AgriLife will provide equal opportunities in programs and activities, education, and employment to all persons regardless of race, color, sex, religion, national origin, age, disability, genetic information, veteran status, sexual orientation or gender identity and will strive to achieve full and equal employment opportunity throughout Texas A&M AgriLife.

Registration will begin at 7:30 a.m.  Our first presentation at 8:00 a.m. is titled Baitfish in Demand: Are you prepared to provide it? -Dr. Andrew Ropicki, Marine Economics Specialist.

At 8:30, Hemp: A new worthy enterprise or will it “mellow” out? -Dr. Joshua McGinty, Extension Agronomist.

At 9:00, Feral Pigs: A problem with solutions! -Dr. Maureen Frank, Extension Wildlife Specialist.

At 9:30, The Bermudagrass Stem Maggot: What is it and What can you Do? -Luke Pruter.

At 10:15, Pasture Weed Management: The latest and greatest -Dr. Joshua McGinty.

At 10:45, What’s new with Herbicide Brush Control?– Dr. Megan Clayton, Extension Range Specialist.

At 11:15  Drought Insurance: How to make dry weather work in your favor -Mac Young, Extension Risk Management Specialist.

At 11:45, Identification of and Control Methods for External Parasites of Livestock – Dr. Joe Paschal, Extension Livestock Specialist.   The entire program will adjourn at 12:15 p.m.

Participants are encouraged to contact Stacey by April 15th at the Wharton County Extension Officer at 979-532-3310 to let us know that you’ll be attending.  A copy of the program flyer can be downloaded by visiting https://wharton.agrilife.org

Individuals with disabilities who require an auxiliary aid, service or accommodation in order to participate in any Extension activity, are encouraged to contact the County Extension Office for assistance 5 days prior to the activity.

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Corrie Bowen, MS
County Extension Agent – Agriculture
Wharton County
315 E. Milam, Suite 112
Wharton, Texas 77488
(979) 532-3310

Wildlife Tax Valuation Workshop Mar 22

Wildlife Tax Valuation Workshop – March 22nd – Wharton

 

This workshop will provide a general overview of the wildlife tax valuation guidelines and qualifications, wildlife management plan development and applicable management practices.  Workshop begins at 8 am with presentations until noon.  Upon conclusion of the presentations, biologists will be available to assist landowners with management recommendations and developing management plans.   The workshop is being held at the Wharton Central Appraisal District, 303 E. Milam St., Wharton, TX 77488. Please contact Clinton Faas at clinton.faas@tpwd.texas.gov or (832) 595-8999 with any questions.

 

Register for this event with TPWD’s online Wildlife Tax Valuation Workshop Registration Form — event details are on the Form.

https://tpwd.texas.gov/forms/wildlife/wildlife-tax-valuation-workshop-registration

 

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Corrie Bowen, MS
County Extension Agent – Agriculture
Wharton County
315 E. Milam, Suite 112
Wharton, Texas 77488
(979) 532-3310

2,4-D deadline for Wharton County extended until Mar 25

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The Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) has granted the suspension of a rule regarding the application dates of 2,4-D in Wharton County – Section 7.53(oo)(1) and (2) of the special provisions for Wharton County.  The suspension allows for both the ground and aerial application of 2,4-D and 2,4-D containing herbicides by permit on the east and west sides of the Colorado River in Wharton County beginning March 10, 2019 and ending on March 25, 2019.  All other applicable rules for Wharton County continue in effect.  Pesticide applicators are urged to pay special attention to 7.53(oo)(4) “In no case shall 2,4-D be used to treat any area that is nearer than two miles to any susceptible crop.”  Also, in a regulated county no person shall spray regulated herbicides (2,4-D, dicamba, MCPA, or quinclorac) when the wind velocity exceeds 10 miles per hour or as specified on the product label, if the label is more restrictive.  Regulated Herbicide Spray Permit forms, or applications are available at the Wharton Co. Extension Office, or by logging-on at http://texasagriculture.gov/Portals/0/forms/PEST/Applicator/spraypermitq820.pdf

TDA Pesticide license holders are required to submit a regulated herbicide spray permit when 2,4-D, dicamba, MCPA, or quinclorac will be sprayed in Wharton county.  The submission of the regulated spray permit does not only apply to 2,4-D, but also when spraying dicamba, MCPA, or quinclorac in Wharton County.  Completed Regulated Herbicide Spray Permit applications can be faxed to the TDA Regional Office in Houston at (888) 223-5606.