In looking back a couple of years, 2009’s rain-drenched harvest season had a big effect on fall burndown. Weather conditions led to burndown being pushed back and even getting into the field with tillage equipment to smooth out the ruts was a challenge for producers.
This year, conditions are quite the opposite in many areas. Instead of a wet fall delaying burndown, producers who experienced, and are still experiencing, extreme drought in some areas of the Belt are not planning a fall burndown this year.
From the sound of several of the comments posted in this month’s Web Poll, many producers are “burnt up” with the weather as are their crops and even their weeds. They say Mother Nature already has cruelly provided her own dose of burndown.
After the votes were tallied, 33 percent of the Web Poll respondents say they plan to include a fall burndown in their upcoming weed control program. Sixty percent say they are not, and seven percent are still trying to decide.
Following is a sampling of the comments that we received from Cotton Farming’s Web Poll respondents who wished to share their thoughts regarding how they voted.
• “I won’t be using chemical burndown to control weeds this fall. That would just be more money poured into a poor crop. I will plant winter grain (oats, rye and wheat), then disc the rest. Drought got my corn crop, and what looked like a great crop when the peanuts were turned up, turns out to be pops and immature pods.”
• “In West Texas, the drought was so severe that weeds didn’t even grow.”
• “My weeds will be burned off with defoliation applications.”
• “Using a fall burndown has been a good way to control marestail and other winter weeds. I’ve had several messes thinking there weren’t any weeds and waited until right before planting to try to control them. I can do it cheaper and better early.”
• “Fall burndown, what’s that when drought took 100 percent of my crop to the big number of zero pounds? No weeds to spray, and, right now, the biggest weed problem we will face in the future will be all this ‘volunteer cotton’ that didn’t sprout this year. Talk about problems. ‘WOW’.”
In looking to the 2012 season, producers are pondering what varieties they will plant in the spring. With this in mind, Cotton Farming provides as much information as possible in the November issue to assist them with their decisions. In fact, the Cotton Farming Seed Guide, which appears annually in the magazine, begins on page 9. Please check the Table of Contents for several other variety-related articles.
Also, see page 30 for an interesting article by Fred Bourland, Keiser, Ark., titled “Landscape Has Changed For Varieties.” In addition to all of the transgene varieties that are being offered by the cotton seed companies, he points out that there are several new conventional varieties available in 2012 as well.
Although Bourland doesn’t “expect a major shift to conventional varieties to occur,” he does note that “these public varieties provide cotton producers another choice and will likely be an effective alternative in some areas.” With this thought in mind, Cotton Farming is asking its readers if they intend to include any conventional cotton varieties in their mix next year.
Go to cottonfarming.com to cast your vote and share your comments. While expressing your thoughts on this month’s question, please include where your farming operation is located, so readers can better relate to what you are talking about.
Results of the November poll will be reported in the December issue of Cotton Farming.
Web Poll Results
Are you planning to include a fall burndown in your upcoming weed control program?
• Yes – 33 %
• No – 60 %
• Maybe – 7 %
November Web Poll Question
Do you intend to include any conventional cotton varieties in your mix next year? If so, please explain your decision in the “Comments” section and identify, in general terms, where your operation is located.
Register your vote at www.cottonfarming.com.