Cotton Links


Residual Herbicides Take
Top Spot


In the March Web Poll, we asked our readers what type of adjustments, if any, did they plan to make in their cotton production system this year. Use of residual herbicides came out on top.

One reason this weed control strategy has regained popularity in many areas is due to the presence of glyphosate-resistant Palmer amaranth, or “pigweed.” This troublesome weed, which first appeared in Georgia in 2004 and was confirmed in 2005, has now been identified in Arkansas, Mississippi, Tennessee and North Carolina. Potentially, it can be devastating to a cotton crop.

Research and field experience have shown that residual herbicides are helpful in controlling glyphosate-resistant pigweed by attacking it early. Based on the Web Poll responses, many cotton farmers are taking this strategy to heart.

After the votes were tallied, the overall results of the March Web Poll show that 36 percent of the respondents intend to include residual herbicides in their weed control program. Twenty-eight percent say they will make “other” adjustments. Based on the comments that were posted, planting fewer seed per acre, utilizing no-till systems and planting earlier varieties appear to fall into this category.

Sixteen percent of those who voted cite changes in their irrigation practices, while 12 percent plan to adjust their planting date, followed by eight percent who are looking at reassessing harvest-related factors.

Following is a sampling of the comments, some tongue-in-cheek, that we received in the March Web Poll. Due to the large amount of responses, we are unable to print all of them, but we do appreciate the feedback.

• “I will try to cut back on every possible aspect of the crop, including tillage, seeding rate, technology, fertilizers (site-specific), insect control (raised thresholds) and harvesting. I will plant earlier varieties that will be easier to defoliate and harvest one time. We have to accept that we are in survival mode now.”

• “With the cost of inputs and the poor economy, this is going to be a maintenance year.”

• “I will try to find ‘cheaper’ seed and plant fewer seed per acre. I will also cut back on fertilizer. That might not be too smart, but if I’m not in business in 2010, it won’t matter anyway!!”

• “I plan to plant fewer seed and farm more conventional cotton.”

• “I am pushing my farming operation toward more minimum till and all technology. Little or no available labor leads me to do that. I will plant fewer seed per acre and use more fertilizer. Making fewer trips across the field will save money and help pay for the increased fertilizer.”

• “As a Westlands Water District grower in California, our adjustments will be directed toward how to make a living from the Delta Smelt.”

• “I plan to do everything the same way I have for the past 44 years. That’s the way Daddy did it. I’m not changing anything, hoping I will go bankrupt since I don’t have enough sense to quit on my own!”

Some areas of the Cotton Belt experienced excessive rain and/or cool temperatures during optimal cotton-planting dates this season. In our May Web Poll, we are asking our readers that if they fell into a late-planting situation because of weather factors, what most helps them compensate for it.

Please cast your vote, then post your thoughts on this subject in the “Comments” section.

To participate in this month’s Web Poll, go online at www.cottonfarming.com. The results of the May poll will be reported in the Cotton Farming July issue.

Web Poll Results

In March, we asked: If you intend to make adjustments in your cotton production system, which of the following areas would be the most affected and why?

• Planting date — 12 %
• Use of residual herbicides — 36 %
• Irrigation practices — 16%
• Harvest-related factors — 8 %
• Other — 28 %

Web Poll Question

If you experienced late planting because of weather factors, what most helps you compensate for this situation and why?

(1) Scout fields vigilantly for insects moving into young cotton
(2) Plant early/mid-maturing varieties
(3) “Push” the cotton plant by using PGRs earlier and at higher rates
(4) Avoid conventional varieties because of late-season grasses
(5) All of the above

Register your vote at www.cottonfarming.com.

Return To Top