As the ground temperature warms up, the planters roll out of the barn to hit the fields where they will spend long hours and nights over the next few weeks.
One crucial step in the planting process is to make sure the fields are clean. Spray rigs run in front of the planter to make sure the weeds are killed. This has become increasingly more important over the last few years with resistant weeds. This year is a little exciting because Fuston & Sons Farms is getting to utilize new technology on the farm.
This new technology allows them to spray a different herbicide over the cotton to better control the round up resistant weeds.
In a week’s time, nearly all of the irrigated is planted. With warm temperatures and abundant moisture, cotton is emerging in as little as 5-6 days.
On the second week, the weather turned hot and dry. The fields were blasted by high winds and 100 degree temperatures which dried out the soil moisture. It made it difficult to get the remainder of the irrigated cotton up. Pivots are started so that it can help keep the ground wet for the seed to properly grow.
As the irrigated is finished, there is an unusual pause in the planting season because there was not enough moisture for the seed to come up in the dry land. What appeared promising, quickly became reminiscent of the drought that hit the Caprock a couple of years ago. Planters are parked at the barn waiting on rain to plant the dry land.
Working on faith and toughing it out seemed almost inspiring to me, never realizing the challenges and how important mother nature is to have a good crop.
After a week of disappointment, the planters went back in the field to dry plant the remaining acres. The crops have to be planted and certified before June 20th. Luckily towards the end before the deadline, we get rain and what seemed like a slow summer turned into a race with cotton being picked up and weeds being sprayed.
As the rain comes and the seeds starts to sprout, I didn’t realize a crust can form making it difficult for the seed to come up. A rotary hoe is ran across to break up the crust allowing the sprouted seed to come up. This is called sand fighting and has the added benefit of keeping the field from blowing.
The cotton continues to grow!
All in all there are a few disappointing fields with thin stands, but for the most part most fields are up to a great stand!