All posts by Tyson Raper, Cotton & Small Grains Specialist

2022 Cotton Tour scheduled for Sept 21st @ 8AM

The West Tennessee Research and Education Center (WTREC) would like to cordially invite you to the 2022 University of Tennessee Cotton Tour.  This event is scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 21st at WTREC (605 Airways Blvd., Jackson, TN 38301).  Registration will begin at 8:00 a.m. with the tour departing at 8:30.  The tour will end at noon with lunch. University of Tennessee Extension and Research personnel from across the state will be presenting on a wide range of pertinent topics. Pesticide Re-certification and CCA points will be available. Check back on the blog for an agenda in the coming weeks.

Physiological vs seasonal cutout: Estimating the last effective bloom

It is hard to believe how different this crop looks now compared to the end of July.  Although our earliest planted acres and acres planted on ‘thin’ ground have mostly bloomed out of the top, many of our later planted acres and acres on moderate to strong ground have just passed peak bloom.  In 2022, the last effective bloom on many of our earliest planted, cutout acres flowered weeks ago.  In contrast, the last effective bloom of our later planted acres will likely be determined by the number of heat units remaining in the season.  You can easily see these two contrasting scenarios in the above video; the later planted cotton has blooms throughout the canopy and is riding 4-6 NAWF while the earlier planted cotton cutout weeks ago.  In this blog, I tackle the concept of last effective bloom, our predicted last effective bloom date and how we must use these concepts in 2022 to maximize our return on investment. Continue reading

Grain Bin Safety Awareness/Rescue Training Aug 20, 2022 in Dyersburg

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More and more farmers are looking to use on-farm grain storage to have the ability to produce more corn and take advantage of grain market price variations.  While on-farm storage offers the farmer flexibility in the harvest process, there is a need for grain bin safety training to help farmers and rescue squad members learn how they can knowledgeably respond to a potential accident.

The one-day training program is specifically designed for emergency responders who may be called to a person or persons trapped in a grain bin. Upon completion of this course, the responder will possess the specialized knowledge to function as a member of a grain rescue team. Local farmers and extension agents are encouraged to attend to learn how they can assist in the event of a grain bin emergency. Continue reading

The ‘shed’, the ‘switch’, and PGR management

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Rainfall was welcomed during the Milan No-till event last week and has continued since, with decent chances in the forecast over the weeks to come.  Questions this week have mainly concerned our first major fruit shed event, the ‘switch’, what to do about it. In this blog, I attempt to tackle plant growth management decisions as we quickly approach our last effective bloom date.

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Nutrient Management in Cotton During Drought Conditions

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Due to the ongoing drought, I’ve recently received questions along the lines of, “how much N is still available after the prill sits on the soil surface without rain for 35 plus days?” and, “should I begin a foliar fertilizer regiment to meet plant N/K/S/B demands?”  In this blog, I tackle both of these questions and share N response curves generated from Tennessee data over the past 5 years.

“I applied urea and it didn’t rain for a month.  Will my cotton crop have the N required to make close to maximum yields?”

For growers that have applied 60-90 lb as urea, the simple answer is yes; the amount of soil nitrate released from the urea you applied will likely meet cotton N demand without additional N fertilizers given plant available water increases significantly in the coming week. Generally, if surface applied urea fertilizer is not incorporated into the soil, some of the N may be lost as ammonia into the atmosphere depending on weather, soil properties and management practices. Continue reading

REMINDER: Milan No-Till Field Day THIS THURSDAY (7/28)

Climate-smart agriculture and hemp production are headlining the 2022 Milan No-Till Field Day, in addition to traditional no-till crop production topics. The Field Day is set for July 28 in Milan, Tenn. Featured presentations will include Understanding Climate Smart AgricultureHow Rainfall Is Changing and Affecting Water Management in TennesseeHemp Economics Outlook 2022, Does No-Till Mean Never-Till?,  and more. Continue reading

Cotton heat units, the Target Development Curve, and the drought of 2022

A friend of mine shared a picture over the weekend of a dead snake on a fence and he’s recently started closing emails with the line ‘PRAY FOR RAIN’.  As for me, all of my truck windows are down, the sprinkler is on in my yard, and I’ve got clothes hanging outside even though the dryer in the house works great.

Drought conditions have developed through much of West Tennessee and much of our cotton crop is beginning to show signs of stress.  Cotton is a drought tolerant plant which can tolerate water deficits, but we are reaching a point where yield has been impacted.  I’ve had numerous discussions over the past week on heat unit accumulations, Node Above White Flower (NAWF) counts at first bloom, and how we should think about insect thresholds when the fruiting positions currently on the plant may makeup the largest percentage of our yield at the end of the year.  In this blog, I cover heat units accumulated until today, spend some time describing the target development curve out of Arkansas and how the curve is developing in the 2022 TN crop.

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