LUBBOCK–Ways individual cotton producers can adjust their production systems this season to better manage boll weevils will be presented during a special three-hour workshop April 17 at the Texas Cotton Ginners Conference and Trade Show at the Lubbock Memorial Civic Center.
Without a coordinated weevil eradication program in operation on the Texas High Plains, individual growers are on their own this season in battling what is shaping up as a heavy onslaught by the insects, said Dr. Randy Boman, cotton agronomist with the Texas Agricultural Extension Service.
To help them and growers across Texas and in neighboring states mount the best possible attack on boll weevils, the Extension Service and Plains Cotton Growers, Inc., are conducting the special workshop from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. the final day of the ginners conference. Producers who participate will receive continuing education units needed for state certification of pesticide applicators.
“On the South Plains, the state’s largest and most concentrated cotton production region, we’re looking at record numbers of weevils that went into overwintering habitat last season,” Boman said. Surveys by scientists with the Texas Agricultural Experiment Station and the Extension Service are finding the survival rate of these overwintered weevils is very high, he noted. “What this points to is probably a record year for weevils in the Southern High Plains,” Boman said.
The seminar will open with an overview of the weevil situation across the state by Dr. James Supak. He is the associate head of the department of soil and crop sciences at Texas A&M University and former Extension Service cotton agronomist at Lubbock. Brant Baugh, Extension integrated pest management (IPM) agent in Lubbock County, will identify weak links in the weevil’s biological structure.
Boll weevil management from start to finish will be covered by Phillip Kidd, Extension IPM agent in Terry and Yoakum counties. Proper timing of control efforts will be chronicled by Clyde Crumley, Extension IPM agent in Gaines County. Lubbock County Extension agricultural agent Mark Brown will discuss the importance of planting for an early crop.
In-season management will be covered by Dr. Dan Krieg, Leidgh Professor of Crop Physiology at Texas Tech. Boman will discuss timely termination. A panel of crop consultants will present their perspectives on crop management for the 1998 season. Panelists will be Dana Palmer, John Hunter, Donald Kitten and Bob Glodt. Following a question and answer period, Dr. John Abernathy, dean of the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources at Tech, will summarize the situation.