Texas: Come-and-Go Field Day Moved to June 10 in Weslaco

    Due to soggy fields, the Grain Sorghum/Cotton: Come and Go Field Day has been rescheduled for 8-11 a.m. June 10, according to field day organizers.

    The field day, sponsored by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and Texas A&M AgriLife Research, will be held at Hiler Farm, located north of Mercedes on Mile 2 West, three miles north of U.S. Expressway 83, about a quarter mile north of Mile 10 North.

    One Texas Department of Agriculture continuing education unit will be available in the general category for licensed pesticide applicators.

    Danielle Sekula-Ortiz, an AgriLife Extension integrated pest management agent in Weslaco, said heavy rains overnight May 31 forced organizers to move the field day from its original June 3 date.

    “Rainfall was fairly heavy throughout the Valley Tuesday night, with most areas getting anywhere between 2 and 6 inches of rain, depending on locations,” she said. “The Weslaco area got about 2 inches, so that’s just too wet for a field day.”

    Sekula-Ortiz said while rainfall is generally a good thing for Valley agriculture, the timing of it was not necessarily ideal for some growers.

    “Some grain sorghum growers are anxious to get into their fields to harvest this week and next, so depending on future rainfall, those who are ready to harvest may be delayed, which can be very frustrating,” she said. “Cotton growers welcomed the rain, but those who had irrigated and didn’t have a chance to apply growth regulators may get more plant growth than they’d like.”

    Ideally, cotton plants should be compact with lots of cotton bolls, she said.

    “Until now, we were seeing lots of excellent cotton fields — short plants with heavy fruit set,” Sekula-Ortiz said. “Hopefully, those field conditions will hold up until harvest begins in July.”

    With all the expected activity by growers, Sekula-Ortiz said she opted for a ‘Come and Go’ field day, as opposed to a half- or full-day event.

    “We’re hoping that growers can take 15 or 20 minutes to stop by and take a quick look at our demonstration trials,” she said. “They can scan our sorghum variety trial of 11 tolerant varieties, our efficacy trials of eight different spray treatments for control of sugarcane aphid, our cotton variety trial and the sunflower efficacy trial.”

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    AgriLife personnel will be on hand to assist visitors. Water, soft drinks and breakfast tacos will be available.

    Sekula-Ortiz said growers will likely be highly interested in evaluating the results of different insecticide treatments for control of sugarcane aphids, an insect which has quickly become grain sorghum’s No. 1 pest.

    “Populations of sugarcane aphid were low early in the season, peaked in late April and May, then crashed dramatically last week,” she said. “That’s due most likely to their life cycle, which also means we can expect another peak in populations the last week of June and early July in late-planted sorghum. That’s why we recommend growers try to plant early in the season to avoid this second, late-season outbreak that can severely affect harvest yields.”

    For more information, contact Sekula-Ortiz at 956-968-5581.

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