Spring Has Brought Grower Challenges


This spring has been particularly challenging for growers with weeks of rainy cool weather followed by hot, dry weather. Dr. Alan York, NC State Extension Weed Science Professor Emeritus talks about some of the questions he’s been getting:

“I guess any year’s got it challenges, but this one thus far has been a challenging year with all the rain that we’ve had to delay planting, to delay being in the field when we’ve needed to be spraying for something.  We’ve had all this excess rain, we’ve lost stands in places, and having to replant, and that’s created a number of issues of replanting what crop behind what crop, and what the herbicides are going to do. 

“A major one this year has been cotton, and the use of Warrant pre-emergence on cotton.  Warrant is a very good herbicide, it does a good job on our Palmer Amaranth situation, but it’s an encapsulated formulation, so once it lays in the ground for a little while, those capsules break apart and release the active ingredient.  Cotton doesn’t like that active ingredient. 

“If we have to replant cotton, we get into issues of how long the wait is between plantings and they type of tillage needed.  That’s been a headache, and now we’re still facing the same issues, again, lots of rain the last week or two, and I’ve talked to people that are replanting their replanted cotton. 

“And, to tell the truth, Monsanto has been no help on this situation in terms of trying to give the growers some of their technology feedback if they want to switch to soybeans given the date.  And so lots of questions around that.

“Also, it seems that every year we get lots and lots of questions, questions on mare’s tail and producers that didn’t do a good job of killing it, and we’re going to have to learn that we do burndown in March, not in May.  If we have mare’s tail out there knee high or bigger, we’re going to have difficulties with it. 

“Another very common question that’s been popping up the last week or so, is that thrips have been thriving very well on cotton.  We’re getting into situations where producers want to make one pass with weed control and thrips control, say Orthene, if we start mixing combinations of say Orthene and Warrant, or Orthene plus Dual, and we’ve got Liberty or RoundUp in with it, quite often that becomes a hot mixture, and we can get a lot of damage with that.  Whether or not that damage is permanent or not remains to be seen, but it will hurt your feelings when you see it.”

We’ll hear more from Dr. Alan York tomorrow on Inside Agriculture.

A native of the Texas Panhandle, Rhonda was born and raised on a cotton farm where she saw cotton farming evolve from ditch irrigation to center pivot irrigation and harvest trailers to modules. After graduating from Texas Tech University, she got her start in radio with KGNC News Talk 710 in Amarillo, Texas.