Pre-Season Cotton Preparation

Preparation for the 2017 cotton crop has been underway for the last couple of months with Fuston & Sons Farms.  I never realized how much preparation went into getting the field ready for planting.

Fuston & Sons Farms uses two systems on the irrigated and a portion of the dry land, which are No-Till and Strip-Till, and on the rest of the dry land is Conventional Till.

For the irrigated fields, the process is as follows:

  1. Once the field has been harvested, rye will be drilled to act as a “cover crop.”  The rye helps the field with wind and water erosion, and the roots help add organic matter to the soil which helps in the fertility.  Once the rye is well established, the stalks from the previous year will be removed.

  2. Soil samples will be taken to determine the amount of fertilizer that will be needed for next years crop.  After the determination of how much fertilizer will be needed, the field will be spread with the fertilizer.  Our cat, Oreo, thought that he had a new jungle gym to play on!

  3. After the fertilizer has been spread, its watered in.084092

  4. A strip-till plow will be used to clear a spot for the planter.

  5. Next, the sprayer will get rid of the winter weeds. Once the rye starts maturing out, the rye will be terminated by the sprayer.  The reason for killing the rye is so it does not use the moisture or fertilizer in the soil.  At this point the field will be ready for planting.FullSizeRender (10)FullSizeRender (9)FullSizeRender (8)

For dry land fields, the process is as follows:

  1. Once the field has been harvested, the stalks will be cut and dirt work will be done if there has been water erosion.

  2. The ground will then be chiseled to break it up and prevent it from blowing.  

  3. A field cultivator will smooth the field out and incorporate a yellow herbicide.

  4. Next, the field will be listed, where beds are created.  At this point, the field is ready to be planted.

We were fortunate and have received approximately five inches of rain over the past few weeks.  Here is a field that shows the recent rainfall, that is ready to be planted!FullSizeRender (11) newFullSizeRender (13) newFullSizeRender (12) new

This completes the process of getting the field ready for planting. There is a lot of work that has to be done, but it is worth every bit of it!  I am grateful and proud of my husband, father-in-law & brother-in-law for all they do.

Planting will begin mid May.  I will have a blog that covers the planting process during that time!


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