Cotton Farming Peanut Grower Rice Farming CornSouth Soybean South  
spacer
topgraphic
HOME ARCHIVE ABOUT US CALENDAR LINKS SUBSCRIBE ADVERTISE CLASSIFIEDS

Cotton
Consultant's
Corner

Sponsored by
DOW AGROSCIENCES

ARCHIVES
In This Area, ‘ We Grow Cotton’ print email

Paul Pilsner
Coastal Ag Consulting
San Benito, Texas

We started 2012 surrounded by drought, with doom and gloom predicted at the coffee shops. A few timely rains later, the Upper Coast of Texas had record cotton and grain sorghum yields. My clients are not expecting a repeat for 2013, but I am. Although some four-bale dryland cotton and 9,000-pound grain may be hard to beat, we can always do better.

Why hire a consultant if he or she doesn’t push growers to higher yields and, more importantly, higher profits? For the past 25 years, I have been blessed to work for growers who have stayed committed to cotton even when prices were not allowing the profits of some other crops. Currently, cotton prices are making a solid comeback with forward contracts at a profitable level.

Crop prospects are bleak south of our region as the drought has depleted all subsoil moisture. Local infrastructure is depending on cotton and grain until rainfalls fill our central Texas lakes. Even though our row crop farms are dryland, with 40 to 50 inches of rainfall, much of this rain occurs at planting or harvest. This is high-input dryland with fertile soils, abundant weeds and changing insect pressure. Boll weevil eradication and WideStrike and Bollgard technologies have shifted my focus on variety selection, fertility issues and resistant weed control. Insect problems have become manageable with an occasional surprise.

Real-Farm Replicated Variety Trials

Most of my clients are receptive to new products and techniques as we push the yield window. I believe the most important decision we make is variety choice, partly based on replicated variety trials that we do each year. A local gin works with us to verify quality parameters. Replicated trials take time to plant and harvest, but these real-farm results are critical for next year’s decisions. Many of the new varieties do well under adequate moisture, but consistency under dry conditions is our main consideration. Along with an excellent Texas Extension variety trial program, we are able to confidently plant the best varieties as soon as possible.

Resistant Weeds And ‘Free Tax Advice’

Resistant weeds have been an issue for the past five years. I was lucky to have the first documented waterhemp in the state. So far, our fields have been harvestable with a program of rotation, old chemistry and careful spraying.

Paul’s Free Tax Advice for 2013:

1. Plant the best variety. Pay more taxes.

2. Sell for a profit. Pay more taxes.

3. Give your consultant a raise to lower taxes.

When I started 30 cotton crops ago, all we could do was schedule weevil and worm sprays and hope for the best. Now we grow cotton. Feel free to call me with any questions or comments. (979) 531-9889.

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

• B.S. in Entomology – Texas A&M, 1993 • Consults on cotton, grain sorghum, soybeans and corn

• Also conducts research on cotton varieties, insects, weeds and defoliation

• Texas Plant Protection Texas Consultant of the Year 2007

• Member of Texas Association of Agricultural Consultants

• Married to wife, Yolanda, who is a retired school counselor

• Has a dog named Sissy

• Enjoys surfing and traveling.

Recap: In This Area, ‘We Grow Cotton'

1. The Upper Coast of Texas had record cotton and grain sorghum yields in 2012.

2. Currently, cotton prices are making a solid comeback with forward contracting at a profitable level.

3. Boll weevil eradication and WideStrike and Bollgard technologies have shifted my focus on variety selection, fertility issues and resistant weed control. Insect problems have become manageable.

4. The most important decision we make is variety choice, partly based on real-farm replicated variety trials. The results are critical for next year’s decisions.

5. When choosing varieties, our main consideration is consistency under dry conditions.

6. Along with an excellent Texas Extension variety trial program, we are able to confidently plant the best varieties as soon as possible.

7. As far as resistant weeds, our fields have been harvestable with a program of rotation, old chemistry and careful spraying.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
email
Tell a friend:


 

end