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Agricultural News

Southwest Oklahoma Cotton Crop Off to a Dry Start

Wed, 26 Jun 2013 16:20:46 CDT

Southwest Oklahoma Cotton Crop Off to a Dry Start
Randy Boman and Jerry Goodson of the OSU Southwest Oklahoma Research Center in Altus offer a crop update in the latest Cotton Comments newsletter:

The 2013 Oklahoma cotton crop is off to a tough start in many places. The bad news is that for the month of May, Altus's normal rainfall is 4.81 inches, but we received only 1.29 inches in 2013. Thus far in June we have obtained only 1.35 inches of precipitation, compared to the normal of 4.32. Rainfall has generally been considerably better east of Altus. Dryland areas have encountered spotty thunderstorms which have resulted in a mosaic of variable stands from excellent to poor across the southwestern corner of the state. Rainfall at Altus remains subpar with only 8.2 inches of rainfall received thus far in 2013, compared to the 30-year normal of over 15 inches. Higher rainfall amounts have been noted closer to the Oklahoma City area. May and June are critical months for stand establishment. The struggles of our growers with respect to stand establishment in many areas have been significant. In addition, Altus has experienced 6 days of 100 or greater - 4 in May, and 5 thus far in June. During May, Altus also experienced 6 days in May and 3 days in June (through the 24th) with wind gusts over 40 mph. A total of 20 days in May and 16 days in June (through the 24th) brought wind gusts greater than 30 mph. Planter adjustment for many growers during that period was difficult at best. Seedling disease issues in most areas have not been noted in the 2013 crop. From May 1 thru June 24, cotton DD60 heat unit accumulation totaled 906, about 19% above normal for that time period. Lugert-Altus Reservoir is about 15% of capacity. Even though we have had some rainfall in the watershed, there has not been enough inflow to improve the situation. June is an important runoff month and we have thus far not observed much inflow.

Groundwater-sourced irrigated cotton generally has good stands. The crop is somewhat later than usual with many of these acres planted from mid- to late May because of the cool conditions which lingered well into the first week of May. Some earlier planted cotton is up to the 8-9 leaf stage, with some pinhead squares being found. Later May planted cotton is typically in the 5-7 leaf stage. According to the June 17, 2013 National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) report, Oklahoma had planted 69% of its acreage, compared to a 5-year (2008-2012) average of about 90%. In this report, the Oklahoma crop condition was rated as 11 percent very poor or poor, with 39 percent fair, and 50 percent good.

You can read the full Cotton Comments newsletter by clicking here.



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