May agriculture update


We finally started receiving some spring rains at the end of the month. We really need this rain to continue if rangeland is going to make much improvement as we head into the summer. Unfortunately, we are headed into a “strong” La Nina pattern which will mean a warmer and drier summer.

These types of weather patterns are very normal, and natives of the Texas Panhandle will be quite familiar with this. Wheat harvest will be under way before we know it.

Due to the ongoing drought, our acres harvested this year will be down significantly which will not only pose a loss of income, but also holdover seed wheat for next year’s crop.

If you are facing this issue, contact the County Extension Office for additional information. Corn planting is wrapping up for the season and looks like we are starting out in good shape from an agronomy viewpoint.

Soon the early post herbicide applications to clean up any problem areas will begin, and cotton planting is starting to fire up. Everyone is tired of hearing about and reading about increasing input costs (fuel, fertilizer, herbicides, etc.) so we can focus on the positive. December 22 corn has been on a steady increase over the past 52 weeks.

As of this writing we are $0.50 off the season high (so far) of $7.64. There will be some very profitable opportunities if this price holds and with some weather issues in the “I” states we may see prices strengthened further when adding in the local basis things can look positive.

The risk due to increased production costs is also great, but if things hold and we have no significant weather events there is opportunity for a profitable year. Pencils will need to be sharp as cuts will be on everyone’s mind as far as fertilizer, herbicide, fungicide, etc.

Most of those decisions have been made already, but the things that we can adjust due to the season (fungicide, top dressing, preventative miticide) are still to be determined. This is where close field scouting and a good relationship with your agronomist will be most valuable this year. Along w/ any pre plant soil sampling, maybe picking a few fields out to look at tissue sampling this season could prove profitable.