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Assessing Impact Of 2012 Weather Conditions print email

Chris Tarno
Tarno Crop Management
Piggott, Ark.
(Consults in Clay County, Ark.; Dunklin and
New Madrid Counties in Missouri)

It is the middle of November; the entire cotton crop has currently been picked, and a majority of it has been ginned. For the weather conditions that we had for this year’s crop, I am very pleased with the yields that were produced.

Last winter was unseasonably dry and warm in southeastern Missouri and northeastern Arkansas. That warmth and lack of moisture carried into the early spring season, allowing us to plant seven to 10 days ahead of the previous years. The higher-than-average temperatures also germinated quite a few pigweeds. Fortunately, we were able to kill them during the planting process, rather than relying on pre-emerge chemicals, in hopes of keeping down the first initial flush.

The dry spring and summer also tied up some of our mixed fertilizer, causing us to see several fields with potash deficiencies. This lack of available potash affected yields, causing them to run anywhere from 100 to 200 pounds less than in those fields where potash was not lacking. Compaction problems were also noticeable due to the dry conditions, but we are currently ripping these fields for next year’s crop.

Root-knot nematodes seemed to be in higher numbers than normal in areas where the soil was lighter due to the warmer winter along with the loss of Temik. Spider mites in our area are generally a very spotty, mid-tolate season pest. However, this year many of the fields had to be treated three times, starting on very small cotton.

The warmer winter and spring temperatures had advantages as well as disadvantages. We were able to plant earlier, and a lot of our pigweeds germinated prior to planting, allowing us to kill them at or just after planting. We also saw where all of our compaction problems were, permitting us to be able to address the issue through deep tillage.

If we get into another dry year like last year, we will topdress our fields with the lowest potash levels according to our soil samples. We did this to a few fields this year with 100 pounds of potash at or around the tenth node. The K soil tests in these fields were 100 to 150 pounds per acre, showing very few deficiencies.

Going into the 2013 season, we will be optimistic that we will have a little cooler crop season and may be able to get a little more rain. However, all we can do is to take what we get and apply the things that we have learned from this year’s crop to next year’s crop.

Click here to ask Chris Tarno a question or submit a comment about this month’s Cotton Consultant’s Corner.

• Has worked in the crop consulting business
  for 15 years
• Consults on cotton, corn, soybeans, wheat,
  grain sorghum and rice
• Married to wife Heather
• Four children: Sydney Tarno, 16; Bailey Davis, 11;
  Holden Tarno, 10; and Emmah Davis, 6
• Enjoys hunting and attending athletic activities in
  which his children are involved

Recap: Impact of
2012 Weather Conditions

1.This year’s warmth and lack of moisture that carried into the early spring season allowed farmers in Tarno’s consulting areas to plant seven to 10 days ahead of the previous years.

2. The higher-than-normal temperatures germinated quite a few pigweeds in a first initial flush that farmers were able to keep down at planting.

3. The dry spring and summer tied up some of the mixed fertilizer, resulting in yields being affected in several fields with potash deficiencies. Yields ran anywhere from 100 to 200 pounds less than in those fields where potash was not lacking.

4. Compaction problems were noticeable due to the dry conditions, but these fields are currently being ripped out in preparation for next year’s crop.

5. Higher-than-normal numbers of root-knot nematodes appeared where the soil was lighter due to the warmer winter along with the loss of Temik. Many fields were treated three times for spider mites.

6. Next year, Tarno will recommend topdressing his clients’ fields with the lowest potash levels according to the soil samples.

7. Looking for a cooler crop season with a little more rain in 2013.

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