Thirsty Crops a Concern for These Iowa, Texas Panhandle Farmers

Dancing Trousers

Cotton can be a finicky plant. “It can be planted shallow — at a extremely specific knuckle to a knuckle and a single-half knuckle deep,” Wieck kidded, making it possible for that farmers usually however feel in such regular measurements, even though planters today are armed with precision engineering.

“We’ll start the sprinklers up exactly where we have h2o (irrigation) and make absolutely sure the humidity satisfies the seed and focus on having a great stand,” he stated.

“Cotton is tricky to get out of the floor and once it is, that very little seedling is just on the lookout for a reason to die. But then, the insane point is once it will get about 4 to 5 inches tall, you are unable to rarely get rid of it,” Wieck explained. Those without cotton encounter are normally surprised to study it is a perennial crop with a woody stem that behaves extra like a bush than a plant if left to mature.

Cotton is also a tropical plant and cold temperature is one more aspect delaying the 2021 time, Wieck described. The morning very low dipped underneath 40 levels Fahrenheit throughout the 2nd week of Could, and there have been other chilly commences to the working day this 12 months.

Planting by the thermometer, not the calendar, is significant simply because the cotton seed desires a constant soil temperature of 64 degrees to jar it awake. “We heat up for a pair of times, and then we get a chilly snap. The very first 48 several hours is the most vital time for cotton, in my belief. We actually have to have 5 great times of warm weather conditions in a row to steer clear of chilly damage and germination troubles,” he claimed.

The planting window is so compact that probabilities to replant cotton are handful of. “Our closing plant day is June 1. So, by the time you recognize you have a crop failure, there’s typically not time to go back,” he claimed.

“Dryland is a just one-shot deal. Irrigated cotton could offer us a replant chance if it receives planted early enough,” he stated.

Cottonseed normally expenses $300 to $400 for each bag — depending on the manufacturer and the characteristics within the seed giving. Wieck mentioned half of the charge is for the seed and 50 percent for technological know-how expenses. There are 230,000 seeds in each bag. Wieck drops 30,000 seeds for each acre on dryland fields and from 45,000 to 60,000 seeds for each acre on irrigated acres. Some firms have replant provisions, but the incentive remains to get that crop started off correct the first time.

On the other hand, these cold temperatures have performed tiny to scare away another pure enemy. Wieck waylaid a 2.5-foot-long rattlesnake in the property this week. It was the third rattler he is tangled with this calendar year, but very likely not the previous.


Occasionally you just require to get absent and length will not seriously subject. Very last weekend, Kellie Blair and her loved ones packed up and went tenting — about 15 miles down the road.

Like several households who have a tendency livestock, taking a holiday of any size can be a chore in itself. A nearby camping spot allows them to slip back to the farm to feed cattle and hogs or look at on a cow that could be calving and still get back in time to toast a marshmallow.

School may be winding down, but kid actions such as baseball and softball are finding up.

“We know we need to have to grab these times and treasure them although we can,” stated Blair. “The farm is insane active right now, but spouse and children time is essential way too.”

With the corn and soybean crop in the guides, Blair was planning to scout fields for weed breaks this week. Her spouse, AJ, has been on the sprayer — trying to get preemergence residuals down, with an eye toward controlling waterhemp. The small showers they have been given have been a massive offer as they go herbicide down to make speak to with weed roots.

The farm grows non-GMO soybeans for Corteva. “Weed stress is one of our concerns in that program as it does restrict our submit-emergence selections. It would make overlapping residuals essential. We also obtained a lot of progress on our cereal rye protect crop this calendar year, and we are genuinely counting on that rye to assistance weed command,” she stated.

Getting beans up and canopied promptly is another piece of that weed regulate puzzle. Regretably, Blair is reporting some delayed emergence because of to chilly, dry conditions in the two corn and soybeans.

“It is random fields and, so much, I you should not truly see a pattern. We want corn, in particular, to arrive up with each other for the finest start out, so we are having very careful stand counts,” she stated. Soybeans are better at compensating, but she’ll be scouting emergence on them too. The very last soybeans planted need to be peeking through this week.

Walking fields ranks next only to embracing newborn calves on Blair’s most loved factors listing. This earlier week quite a few great heifer calves arrived that will be stored as replacements, she claimed.

The farm deliberately pushes calving again to acquire advantage of hotter temperature due to the fact they never have a ton of constructing house for rearing calves in cold. “We’ve been culling our herd tricky the past couple of a long time to preserve moms that will not trigger us a large amount of challenges.

“We do have a calving pen and a dry ton that will allow them entry to the barn for the duration of calving time. But 1 benefit of it staying so dry this year is there has not been a great deal of mud to contend with throughout calving. We like it when they fall the calf, we tag and vaccinate, and they really a great deal choose treatment of the rest.” The breeding schedule has also shifted to some degree to meet client demand for immediate beef income.

Maintaining the freezers stocked and inventory recorded from immediate gross sales is however a studying curve, Blair admitted. She’s already found building deliveries to buyers wasn’t sustainable. A number of community internet marketing prospects have emerged a short while ago, and she’s experimenting with doing work by way of these to facilitate orders.

In the meantime, she’s warning AJ to hold the sprayer useful. She’s observing the alfalfa for pests this kind of as weevil and leaf hoppers. “The amazing temperatures have slowed alfalfa advancement, but we’re having near to cutting and hope to get by with out treating for weevil,” Blair said.

The oat crop got seeded a little bit later on than they would have preferred and certainly could use the predicted rainfall this coming 7 days. Time for a rain dance.

To examine far more about Ryan Wieck and his Texas Panhandle farm, go to….

A profile of Kellie Blair and far more about Blair Farm is posted at….

Pamela Smith can be arrived at at [email protected]

Adhere to her on Twitter @PamSmithDTN

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