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Good News for Cotton

Want some optimism about the local ag scene? Go to cotton. Mary Jane Buerkle of Plains Cotton Growers says farmers who grow that commodity are feeling fairly upbeat as planting time nears.

"One of the things we're hearing is we're in better shape with regard to soil moisture than we have been in in years. And at this time of the year. Going into planting season when you're talking about preplant moisture which is extremely important in assuring that a new crop gets off to a good start. That is certainly a positive going in to the 2015 crop year."

Wheat Dangers: Damage to Flag/Freezing

When you have the ability to bounce back from a really hard time, people might say that you’re resilient.

Well one of the most resilient crops there is is winter wheat. It’s just extremely durable. But that becomes less true as the crop matures and moves closer to harvest, and right now this current wheat crop that has been coming along so well is in a vulnerable time. Many area wheat fields are at the stage where plants have had their flag leaf emerge, and Texas A&M AgriLife agronomist Jourdan Bell says this means our wheat is now more susceptible to hail damage.

"If that flag is damaged from a hail storm, the yield potential can really be reduced," Bell said. "The flag leaf is very important for yield. About 75% of the carbohydrate load, or what is being produced by photosynthesis, that's required for grain yield is actually produced by that flag leaf."

A major freeze right now would also be a big problem, and the one that hit parts of the southwest Texas Panhandle Monday has caused concern.

"Temperatures were reported by our county agent in Deaf Smith, Rick Okkerman, and he said that early morning temperatures in Hereford were below freezing," Bell said. "I did check the mesonet, and temperatures there were 27 to 28 degrees for two to four hours on Monday morning. That's really a point where we can see some damage."

Whether that freeze did any damage won’t be known for several days.

Rain Good for Wheat, But Also Rust

There was a touch of irony in the weekly report from Texas Wheat Producers’ Steelee Fischbacher on the KGNC Golden Spread Agribusiness Update.

With drought conditions present throughout much of the state, more moisture is needed to keep the current wheat crop going strong. But recent rains have also triggered renewed concerns about rust.

"We thought we were moving out of that danger area by decreasing our humidity and getting higher temperatures," Fischbacher said. "With some of the recent weather events, we have that danger come back for rust. Especially when we talk about south of Amarillo and the South Plains and then on into central Texas, around Abilene."

Nevertheless, the wheat crop continues to do well statewide – with 52% rated good to excellent, 36% fair, and just 12% poor to very poor.  

Hemphill County Beef Conference and Ag Tour

The Hemphill County Beef Conference and Ag Tour will be held Tuesday, April 28 and Wednesday, April 29 in Canadian. The event is presented by Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service. For complete details, go here:

Farm Payment Limits Proposed

USDA has issued a proposed rule that would implement additional limits on farm payments made to non-farmers. For more information and to offer comments about the proposal, go here



Dietary Guidelines Report

Want to submit a comment on the report issued by the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee? Beef and cattle organizations have been very critical of the Committee's recommendations regarding meat consumption. See what you think by reading the report, which is available by clicking on the link below. The link also provides a way for you send comments about the report to the federal government. 



KGNC Golden Spread Agribusiness Hour

The KGNC Golden Spread Agribusiness Hour is your daily opportunity to hear from agriculture newsmakers from around the region. The program airs Monday through Friday from 5 a.m. to 6 a.m. on KGNC-AM.

In addition to bringing you the insights of ag experts from around the High Plains region, our show also offers up-to-the-minute market information, veterinary news, wildlife reports, and features that explore the daily endeavor of those good people – the farmers and livestock producers – who provide us with the food and fiber we all need.

If you are unable to listen to the Agribusiness Hour live, remember you can hear recordings of past programs in podcast form by going here:

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