Extension Agent: Victoria County crop report
By By Peter J. McGuill
June 25, 2013 at 1:25 a.m.
Rainfall over the past month has been a true blessing for those who were fortunate enough to receive it in ample quantities. It appears as though most areas of the county received plenty of rain with the exception of the southeastern parts of Victoria County.
This area is the primary crop production region and has missed most of the rainfall events that have passed through. Some locations have received no significant rainfall since late April. As one might imagine, the crops in these areas look less than ideal, and the yield potential that they have is disappointing to best.
The condition of our area crops was a point of discussion recently at the Victoria County Crops Tour in the DaCosta area June 13. This annual event provided a close evaluation of the area crops and an opportunity to view applied research trials and field crops first hand.
Extension specialists and various seed company representatives provided those in attendance with a bigger picture of the drought's effects along the gulf coast. Many of these speakers noted that the crops in the upper gulf coast areas are in much better condition than those in our area, but the opposite can be said as you continue to move down the coast to the Corpus Christi and Kingsville areas.
Many farmers in these more southern growing regions did not have enough soil moisture in the spring to even establish a crop, resulting in barren fields and pastures.
Relief from the dry conditions for many of those that were under a productive rain cloud has been short lived. In agriculture, the solution to one problem often brings another challenge that must be addressed. Pastures and hay meadows that began to green up and produce much-needed foliage have become a prime feasting ground for grasshoppers.
This insect, with its chewing mouthparts, has moved into recovering pastures in great numbers. Insecticide treatment of the affected pastures and hay fields has proven to provide good control of grasshoppers and has resulted in increased forage production and utilization.
It is recommended that ranchers scout their pastures and hay fields regularly for insects and treat for these insects when they are at an economically significant level. The widely accepted level of infestation that is needed to economically justify the used of insecticides for control is eight grasshoppers per square yard.
For more information on insect control in pastures and hay meadows, call the Victoria County office of Texas A&M AgriLife Extension.
Pesticide applicator training, testing Thursday
A pesticide applicator training and testing will be Thursday at the Victoria County 4-H Activity Center. Registration is at 8 a.m., and the training will begin at 8:30 a.m.
Texas Department of Agriculture will conduct the testing at 1:30 p.m. Call the Victoria County Extension office for more information or to preregister at 361-575-4581.
Peter J. McGuill is the Victoria County extension agent - ag and natural resources. Contact him at 361-575-4581 or firstname.lastname@example.org.