High Plains Region On Fast Track To Planting;
Plentiful Rains Brighten Planting Prospects

Friday, April 16, 2010                                By Shawn Wade

      No matter whom you talked to before this week, the tone of just about every conversation about 2010 production prospects was optimistic, began with a smile, and included a comment about how the area's soil moisture profile has rarely looked better. After this week's plentiful, widespread rainfall the situation has only gotten better in most of the High Plains.

      Since it is the High Plains, though, those prior conversations also included the obligatory reminder that the area still needed a "planting rain" to replenish upper level moisture lost during pre-plant field operations and really get things started right.

      Following several inches of rain over a majority of the region, it appears the request for a timely "planting rain" have been filled beyond most expectations this week. With just 2-3 weeks remaining until planting operations normally begin, and soil temperatures on the rise, things are looking pretty good for the 2010 High Plains planting season.

      Rainfall amounts reported by the National Weather Service were lightest in the counties along the Texas-New Mexico border. Rainfall totals rapidly climb above the 1-2 inch mark moving eastward, however. Rain was still falling at 9:30 a.m. Friday morning when the NWS showed Post, TX, at 3.2 inches, with the highest rainfall total for the previous 24 hours.

      It's hard to imagine the current situation could have been scripted any better following multiple rainfall and snow events throughout the late Fall and Winter months. Early moisture already had High Plains producers whistling a happy tune when thinking about the opportunity for a solid start when 2010 cotton planting begins in late April and reaches terminal velocity in mid-May.

      About the only thing left on the 2010 checklist, other than to fill in the moisture gaps along the western edge of the region over the next few weeks, is to have soil temperatures reach optimum cotton planting levels.

      In order to help growers track soil temperatures and finalize 2010 planting plans, Plains Cotton Growers has reactivated the "Soil Temperatures" link on the PCG Weather pages at: http://www.PCGwx.com

      For the past several years, as a service to High Plains cotton farmers, PCG has made daily soil temperature information available on the PCG Weather Pages. Look for the "Soil Temperatures" link in the left sidebar.

      Growers can also go direct to this page and bookmark it by typing http://www.plainscotton.org/weatherdata/index.php into their internet browser.



The Hand That Feeds U.S.



REMINDER: WTACI Accepting 2010 Scholarship
Applications Through April 22, 2010

Friday, April 16, 2010                                By Shawn Wade

      Representatives of the West Texas Agricultural Chemicals Institute (WTACI) are reminding students to be sure to submit their application for 2010 WTACI scholarship awards by WTACI's April 22, 2010 application cut-off date.

      WTACI scholarships are open to students pursuing agricultural degrees in undergraduate and graduate programs at universities in the West Texas area, as well as students from West Texas that are pursuing an agricultural degree at the university of their choice. WTACI scholarship awards typically range from $500 to $1,500 per year.

      Since 2001, the WTACI has awarded $53,000 in scholarships. WTACI scholarships awarded in 2009 totaled $6,000. The 2010 Scholarships will be awarded at the Institute's annual meeting in September 2010 in Lubbock, Texas.

      Selection criteria for WTACI scholarship awards include:

(1) Agriculture-related major; (2) Classification - undergraduate - sophomore (with >30 hours), junior, senior or graduate (with at least one semester in the program); (3) Academic requirement - at least a 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale; (4) Plan to actively pursue a career in an agricultural-related field; (5) Recipient can qualify for scholarship only once per college degree; (6) Recipient must attend annual meeting to personally receive the award; (7) Scholarship funds must be used toward the advancement of the recipient's formal education (*failure to utilize received moneys in this matter may result in forfeiture of this educational scholarship); and, (8) Three letters of reference must accompany the application (areas to include academic performance, character, leadership qualities, etc.).

      Recipients will be notified by June 15. The application should be filled out completely and mailed along with official transcripts and letters of recommendation to the Chairman of the West Texas Agricultural Chemicals Institute Scholarship Committee:

            Gary Henniger

            Chair, Scholarship Committee

            West Texas Agricultural Chemicals Institute

            Texas AgriLife Research & Extension Center

            1102 East FM 1294

            Lubbock, TX 79403-6603

      For more information on West Texas Agricultural Chemicals Institute at: http://wtaci.tamu.edu/ A downloadable WTACI scholarship announcement and application is available at: http://www.plainscotton.org/rkh/WTACI/WTACI_Scholarship_Announcement_2010.pdf

      The West Texas Agricultural Chemicals Institute, founded in 1953, is a nonprofit organization of dealers, industry representatives, producers, scientists, educators, and agribusiness members who support educational and research programs promoting the safe and efficient use of agricultural chemicals.