Area Crop Report Still Favorable Although
Weather Wildcard Could Still Change Outlook

LUBBOCK, June 25, 2004                   By Shawn Wade

      For aregion that averages an abandonment rate of 18-20 percent, growers and cropobservers alike are hesitant to talk much when things are generally headed inthe right direction.

      That'sthe position many producers on the High Plains find they are in as the areacollectively keeps its fingers crossed and hopes for the best. So far the2004-crop is rated as good to excellent in most areas and off to a start thatis being guardedly compared to some of the best in recent memory.

      Adding to the undercurrent of excitement is the fact that a significant numberof dryland acres have been established and are growing off well.

      Withirrigated and non-irrigated acreage set to take advantage of a favorablesub-soil moisture situation capable of carrying the crop well into the summer,prospects are bright.

      That'snot to say, however, that everything is wine and roses on the Plains in 2004.As of this writing growers in northern portions of Floyd County, and in theadjacent counties of Swisher and Briscoe, are picking up the pieces from theseason's largest single hail event. The storm, which ravaged the area June 21,is estimated to have logged an estimated 60,000 more acres into the losscolumn.

      Theworst part of the story, though, is that this same area has now lost threepromising crops in a row to hail.

      Despitethe devastation of the June 21 storm, the overall outlook for the High Plainsregion remains positive. Of the estimated 3.6 million acres planted to cottonthis year it is hard to account for more than 300,000-400,000 acres that couldultimately be abandoned at this time.

      Theprimary causes of loss to date have been a lack of moisture to establish astand on dryland acres, which accounts for around 250,000 acres, and acombination of hail, wind or flooding that have tallied another 100,000-150,000acres to date.

      Withabout 3.2 million acres standing at the end of June the 2004-crop still hastremendous potential. Maturity-wise the crop has everything from very early tovery late and some of it will need plenty of open weather this fall to reachits true potential. With luck the season will continue to provide the necessaryingredients to make the crop a success.

      Weatherforecasts showing an increased chance for scattered thunderstorms through theend of the month mean producers still have a stressful time ahead. Despitelooking forward to the possibilities, they know that this time of year anystorm can deliver good in the form of rain and bad in the form of hail and highwind that threatens old and young cotton alike.

      Growerswho receive damage and need to assess the situation have several good resourcesavailable to them through the Texas A&M Research and Extension Center atLubbock.

      TheCenter's website has publications that provide detailed information onevaluating damaged stands that can assist growers deciding of they should keepor fail a severely damaged cotton crop.

      TheLubbock Center website is: Among the available documents,producers will find the following extremely useful:

Making Replant Decisions(Supak/Boman)

Effect of Standloss on Yields(Supak/Boman)

2004 Alternative Crop Options AfterFailed Cotton and Late-Season Crop
Planting for the Texas South Plains (Trostle)


TDA Approves Special Local Need Label for
Lock-Onš To Control Pink Bollworm in Texas

LUBBOCK, June 25, 2004                   By Shawn Wade

      Forproducers facing a potential fight against the pink bollworm, the Texas Departmentof Agriculture has provided another weapon that can be used in the fight.

      Theproduct is called Lock-Onš and is produced by Dow AgroSciences. TDA announcedthe approval of the EPA 24(c) Special Local Need registration (registrationnumber SLN TX-040023) June 24. Use of Lock-Onš is regulated according to thesupplemental labeling and is subject to all use precautions and limitationsimposed by the label affixed to the container for Lock-Onš.

      Theapproved application rate for the supplemental registration is 2 pints peracre. Treatments are also limited to no more that six applications of Lock-Onšor other chlorpyrifos containing products, not to exceed 3 lbs activeingredient per acre during the growing season.

      Applicationsmay be made using aircraft or ground spray equipment using no more than 10gallons per acre total spray volume. Application of Lock-On through any type ofirrigation system is prohibited.

      Otherrestrictions include no applications within 40 days of harvest, no secondapplications of Lock-On or other chlorpyrifos products within 10 days of theinitial application. Livestock grazing and feeding of gin trash or treatedforage to livestock is also prohibited. Personal protective equipment is alsorequired for worker entry into treated areas before the end of the 24-hourrestricted entry interval.

      Lock-Onšis a reformulated version of Lorsbanš and provides extended residual activityagainst target pests following treatment. For more information contact theTexas Department of Agriculture, Texas Cooperative Extension, chemical dealersor local is kAgroSciences representatives.