Interest in no-till is increasing in Texas

in Southwest Farm Press

by Ron Smith, Southwest Farm Press

Texas cotton farmers are beginning to show more interest in no-till production, says Bobbie McMichael, and he advises that keeping residue on fields will improve soil health.

The Texas Tech University biology professor, speaking at the recent Beltwide Cotton Conferences in Dallas, said residue from cover crops and from previous plantings with no-till and reduced tillage systems, offers numerous benefits to the soil, including reducing water runoff, improving infiltration, and limiting soil erosion. It also benefits the soil and crop in a less visible way, improving microbial activity, especially fungi, which he says are more beneficial to soil and plant health than bacteria.

Read the rest of the story in Southwest Farm Press.

Use all tools available for weed control

In Southwest Farm Press

by Ron Smith

Herbicide-resistant weeds are no longer a problem that could cause trouble for Texas farmers sometime in the future — rather, “Weed resistance is real and a problem across Texas, the country, and the world,” says Pete Dotray, professor of weed science at Texas Tech University and a Texas AgriLife Extension specialist.

Pest resistance, including resistant weeds, isn’t new Dotray said at a recent Ag Technology Conference on the Texas A&M-Commerce campus. More than a hundred years ago — in 1908 –resistance to an insecticide was first noted; fungicide resistance was identified in 1940; and weed resistance to herbicides was confirmed in 1957, when spreading dayflower was identified as resistant to 2, 4-D. Continue reading