Farm Director, KC Sheperd, is visiting with BASF Senior Agronomist in Oklahoma and Texas, Rick Minzenmayer, about the 2022 cotton crop and this year’s cotton crop.
As cotton planting conditions were similar last year with a lot of wet soil, Minzenmayer talked about planting conditions for this year.
“In the southern part of my territory, we will plant up until the 20th of June,” Minzenmayer said.
Cotton plantings in Oklahoma and Texas are not behind schedule by any means, Minzenmayer said, but by the first of June, farmers will need to “get serious” about putting seed into the ground.
Last year, Minzenmayer said the biggest issue cotton producers faced was the drought. Many growers planted, Minzenmayer said, and the seed never came up.
“In some situations where it did come up, it was a real skippy stand, and basically, fortunately, we have crop insurance, and the adjusters just ‘disastered’ it out,” Minzenmayer said.
The first thing growers need to concentrate on this year, Minzenmayer said, is having a clean field.
“We have been very fortunate, got a lot of moisture in places, and that is going to bring on weeds,” Minzenmayer said. “So, a top priority for growers to get started is to get in there and get a burndown and get a residual herbicide down prior to planting. We always want to start clean and stay clean.”
Planting into a clean field, Minzenmayer said, allows small seedlings to grow without competition.
“When we come back with our herbicides, post-emergent, be sure to add a residual to your Roundup or whatever herbicide you are using,” Minzenmayer said.
Looking at last year’s cotton crop, Minzenmayer said there is not much to talk about.
“Keep in mind that Lake Altus, which supplies irrigation water to the water district there in Oklahoma, was dry, so all that irrigated ground around Altus and the southwestern part of the state was dry land,” Minzenmayer said. “It came up and died. What few farmers were able to get their crop up and established and have well water had an average crop.”
Recent rains around the state have left many cotton growers with optimism about this year’s crop, Minzenmayer said, as it is starting out with better conditions than 2022.
“We are getting some good underground moisture, we are going to plant into a good seed bed, we are going to get the crop up, and I think with weather patterns that the weather people are telling us are changing, for the better, they are very optimistic that we will have a good to excellent crop this year,” Minzenmayer said.
Minzenmayer also talked about what BASF has to offer for cotton producers.
“We have got several varieties that have performed extremely well in Oklahoma,” Minzenmayer said. “FiberMax 2398 GLTP is a smooth leaf variety, mid-maturing, somewhat vigorous. So, you want that especially early on, getting that seed popped up out of the ground and growing. It’s got a very good disease package that goes with that, as well as a very good fiber package.”
For growers who aren’t able to plant until later in the season, FiberMax 1730 GLTP is an early maturing variety that works well in situations where farmers have to delay planting or re-plant later on.
“When it comes to drought, varieties play a significant role,” Minzenmayer said. “In the selection process, you are going to have to have a variety and a drought situation that is pretty indeterminant that will come up out of the ground, sit there, and wait for conditions to get better. Then, once they get that rainfall event, it will go on and make cotton.”