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Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Soil Temperature and Successful Planting of Sorghum, Corn, & Cotton

Soil Temperature and Successful Planting of Sorghum, Corn, & Cotton

                Planting season is upon us, and many good producers are getting very antsy about getting into the field, especially our sorghum producers who need to get that crop started and get as much development completed as possible before the dreaded sugarcane aphid arrives.  This morning I took a soil temperature reading 1 mile east of Cotton Center, Texas in southwestern Hale County.  It was at 60°F and in no-till with heavy corn stubble cover.  This is a pretty good soil temperature for planting corn or grain sorghum, but is far too cool for cotton. 
                The minimum soil temperature for corn is 56°F (preferably 58°F or with a warmer week ahead to emerge into) while sorghum requires a 58°F (preferably 60°F or with a warmer week ahead to emerge into).  However, most of the weather forecasts I can accumulate are calling for some moderately cooler temperatures later in the week and into early next week.  With those ‘moderately’ cooler temperatures likely not dropping the soil temperatures too much, I feel pretty good about getting a big chunk of our corn and sorghum planting done this week, especially if those ‘cooler days’ come with the predicted chance of rain they are predicted to be with.  On the other hand, we likely need to ignore the calendar date for a week or so longer this spring for our cotton planting needs.
                Cotton gets off to its best start when planted in a recommended 69°F consistent temperature soil (roughly 64°F bare minimum with high air temperatures in the upper 80’s to low 90’s for the following week to continue a steep soil warming trend).  Soil temperature can and does generally follow air temperatures with some lag time.  Higher moisture content in the soil usually slows the soil’s response to air temperatures while dryer soils respond quicker.  Likewise, soils with heavy cover will naturally be cooler through the shading of the soil by the cover.  The best time to take soil temperature reading in your fields would be between 7 AM and 10 AM.  That early morning period is when the soil temperature should be at its lowest, guaranteeing that the reading is accurately the minimum temperature we need to be watching. 
Good luck and good planting!

Blayne Reed

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Section 18 for Transform (Sulfoxaflor) Granted on Sorghum

Folks, we just got this word of this earlier this week.  The following was shared by Dr. Pat Porter, Texas A&M AgriLife district 2 entomologist, on the Texas Sugarcane Aphid News.

Section 18 for Transform (Sulfoxaflor) Granted on Sorghum

We have just received word from Dale Scott, Texas Department of Agriculture, that EPA has granted a Section 18 request to allow the use of Transform (Sulfoxaflor) on Texas sorghum for control of sugarcane aphid in 2016. The use directions are being revised now and specific use information will be forthcoming.

This is good news in that we now have two very effective insecticides for use on sugarcane aphid (Transform and Sivanto), and both preserve beneficial insects that have a major affect on controlling aphid populations after initial insecticide application. We would like to thank Dale Scott and the Texas Department of Agriculture for a lot of hard work in getting this Section 18 request approved.

Texas Section 18 Transform WG Label Specifics

The Section 18 label for Transform (Sulfoxaflor) use on sorghum to control sugarcane aphid has been released, and the official version will be posted on the TDA website today or tomorrow. A COPY OF THE LABEL MUST BE IN HAND WHEN APPLICATIONS ARE MADE. The Section 18 Emergency Exemption became effective on 8 April 2016 and expires on 8 April 2017.

Here are some specifics from the Texas Section 18 Label.

  • Rate range: 0.75 to 1.5 oz. per acre.
  • Application by ground or air (no chemigation).
  • Wind speed not to exceed 10 mph.
  • Droplet Size: Use only medium to coarse spray nozzles (i.e., with median droplet size if 341 μm or greater) for ground and non-ULV aerial application according to ASABE (S 572.1) definition for standard nozzles. In conditions of low humidity and high temperatures, applicators should use a coarser droplet size except where indicated for specific crops.
  • Boom height for ground application: Not to exceed 4 feet.
  • Carrier volume for ground application: A minimum of 5 to 10 gallons per acre - to be increased with increasing crop size and/or pest density.
  • Carrier volume for aerial application: A minimum of 3 gallons per acre, but a minimum of 5 gallons per acre is recommended.
  • Preharvest Interval: Do not apply within 14 days of grain or straw harvest or within 7 days of grazing, or forage, fodder, or hay harvest.
  • A restricted entry interval (REI) of 24 hours must be observed.
  • Do not make more than two applications per acre per year.
  • Minimum Treatment Interval: Do not make applications less than 14 days apart.
  • Do not apply more than a total of 3.0 oz of Transform WG (0.09 lb ai of sulfoxaflor) per acre per year.
  • Do not apply product ≤ 3 days pre-bloom until after seed set. 


Thanks Pat!  Do please make note of this year's Section 18 and the Restrictions compared to last season.