Agriculture & Natural Resources

National Cotton Council to Host Webinar: 2018 Seed Cotton Program

By Corrie Bowen
County Extension Agent
Wharton County

As you have probably seen in the recent news, the budget agreement passed last week by the U.S. Congress and signed by President Donald Trump included the Hurricane Disaster Supplemental.  Included in the Disaster Supplemental is the language that establishes a Seed Cotton program for 2018.  The effort to get cotton back in Title 1 of the farm bill is an issue that the cotton industry, led by the National Cotton Council with support from South Texas Cotton & Grain Association, has worked on for the past three years.

To share information of the Seed Cotton Program, the National Cotton Council will be hosting a webinar on Monday – February 19, 2018 from 3:00 to 4:30 p.m. at the Northside Education Center located at 707 Fahrenthold, El Campo, TX  77437.   Information will be provided on provisions of the Seed Cotton program including examples of support levels under various price scenarios and examples of generic base conversion options.  In addition, updates on the new farm bill will be discussed.  Participants will have an opportunity to ask questions at the end of each session. The Northside Education Center is just one site where the Webinar can be viewed.  For a complete list of webinar locations, contact Jeff Nunley with the South Texas Cotton and Grain Association at jnunley@stcga.org    If you have any questions about the webinar, please contact Corrie Bowen at the Wharton County Extension Office at 979-532-3310.

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Series of auxin herbicide trainings for area producers in February

By Corrie Bowen
County Extension Agent
Wharton County

The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service will conduct a series of auxin trainings for producers in the Wharton County area in February.  The Texas Department of Agriculture has required a special auxin-specific training in 2018 for those applying the new auxin formulations of dicamba.  The auxin training is required for all applicators including licensed applicators and unlicensed applicators who spray Engenia, Fexapan, or Extendimax under a licensed applicator.

Why is this training important?  In response to an elevated number of off-target movement claims in many states in 2017, this training has been mandated by the EPA for application of newly formulated dicamba products.  XtendFlex® cotton acreage in 2017 accounted for 65% of all cotton planted in Texas, and that number is expected to increase for 2018.  It is important to understand the potential impacts these products can have on sensitive and susceptible plants.  It is extremely important to understand the factors that can cause off-target movement and how to effectively manage it. EPA has set an expiration date for these labels of December 2018.  Renewal of these labels will depend on the success demonstrated in 2018.  As a weed management tool, the loss of this technology would be detrimental to cotton growers in Texas.

The training is not required for those using range and pasture dicamba products.  The Auxin Specific Herbicide training is an annual training, so licensed applicators and unlicensed operators will need to complete the training again next year, in 2019.  Auxin training is not required to purchase seed or chemistry, it is only required prior to applying Engenia, Xtendimax or Fexapan herbicides.

 

Dates, times and locations for the trainings, which all share the same curriculum are:

– Thursday – February 15, 2018  9 a.m. – 10 a.m. , Wharton County Extension Office

– Thursday – February 22, 2018  9 a.m. – 10 a.m. , Wharton County Extension Office

– Thursday – March 1, 2018  9 a.m. – 10 a.m. , Wharton County Extension Office

 

Each program will be one hour and will provide one Texas Department of Agriculture laws and regulations continuing education unit (CEU) and will meet the annual Auxin training requirement for 2018.  An applicator or operator must attend only one of the three available trainings.  The Wharton County Extension Office reached 220 pesticide applicators in the past month with the required Auxin training, however, there will be more cotton and soybean producers who will need to complete this annual training.  Therefore, I’m providing these three trainings on Thursday mornings through March 1st.  The Wharton County Extension Office will continue to provide these trainings through the growing season as needed.  The Wharton County Extension Office is located at 315 E. Milam, Suite 112, Wharton, Texas 77488.  For any questions regarding the Auxin trainings, contact Corrie Bowen at 979-532-3310.

 

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