Thursday, June 13, 2013

"If Only...": Even GMO Cottonseed Can't Survive A Desert Downpour

If only...the Farmer I Kiss was finished planting...It had been a stressful few weeks because the moisture was disappearing at a rate faster than the tractor could plant.  So the longer he planted, the deeper he had to push the seed into the soil.  With the first day of planting finally just peeking out of the soil, the rest of the seed were sitting about 2 1/2 inches deep...too deep to be planting cotton but doing it anyway to chase the last of the moisture.  Then it happened.  A 3 1/2 inch rain in about 30 minutes.  A Desert Downpour.
This was a field of planted cotton.
 If only...That's what Daniel kept saying as he shook his head, looking at the fields of standing water and buried cottonseed.  If only that rain had came 3 weeks earlier, then he could have planted very shallow, the seed would have emerged in just a few days, life would be good.  If only that rain had came 1 week later, the seed he had planted would have already been emerged and happily drinking it all up.  But "If only" didn't happen.  So now, the seed has too much soil washed in on top of it, the sun has baked it and even the very expensive GMO/Crossbred/Favorite cottonseed can't push through that.
Load # 2
If only...we didn't have to go back to the seed dealer for a new load of seed.  Most seed companies have a replant policy that allows the farmer to buy new seed at a discounted rate, so at least it won't cost quite what the first round did.  And our TOPGUARD fungicide for the Cotton Root Rot (which I have wrote about in previous posts Serendipity and No Fungus Among Us) should still be there waiting to protect the new seed.  Since this is only the second year that TOPGUARD has been used for Cotton Root Rot, a lot is still left to learn and this will be a great way to know how a Desert Downpour affects it for future crops.  Daniel is watching closely and jumping from field to field where spots dry up so he can get back in them and replant almost every acre.  Chihuahuan Desert 1...Wilde Farms 0...
TOPGUARD should still be waiting for the new seed.
 Bright side:  Even though the cotton will be a little later, it will now have a really good start, which is about 50% of the battle out here.  That rain will carry it through several weeks before needing another good drink.  We don't need a lot of rain to grow cotton out here next to the largest desert in North America, we just need it to fall at the right times.  If only...the Farmer I Kiss had a crystal ball... 
That seed costs WHAT!!!


  1. Good luck to you and Daniel on the second planting.

  2. Suzie, What an experience. Sorry you had to get new seed :(
    I know you already saw that I named you as one of my 14 most appreciated readers, but I also want to nominate YOU for this same award if your choose to go through with it. Thanks for reading and keeping us up to date on what goes on at a dry land cotton farm! My son is in Texas right now, touring with a drum and bugle corps :)

    1. Thanks Julie! We were not thrilled about buying new seed, but thanks to the entire situation, we have a great cotton crop growing. So you have a musician son?? So do I!! Never a dull moment with one of those around, right? I would love to be nominated! I am in the middle of my most important deadline here a work and will have to do it in a couple of weeks, but I think it looks like a great project! I love you blog! And thanks for reading mine!