Manda Cattaneo, Extension Agent – IPM, Gaines Count
Gaines County is the number one cotton and peanut producer in the state of Texas, with approximately 280,974 and 41,710 planted acres of cotton and peanuts in 2010, respectively. These producers are being faced with increased crop production cost, increased scarcity of water, increased plant disease prevalence, and on‐going insect management issues. Water and economic development are two of the top three critical issues identified by the Texas Community Futures Forum for Gaines County. The number one top agriculture issue is agriculture profitability.
The Texas AgriLife Extension Service Gaines County Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Program is part of the Texas IPM Program and serves as a multi‐purpose education effort to provide Gaines County agriculture industry with up‐to‐date information on all aspects of IPM. The Gaines County IPM Steering Committee consists of five producers, two agriculture industry representatives, and one private agriculture consultant, and it serves as the fundamental local support unit for the Gaines County IPM Program.
The Gaines County IPM Program 2010 target audience is cotton and peanut producers, and agriculture industry representatives. By providing education on current crop and pest management tools and techniques, our goal is that the target audience will implement pest management strategies to maintain yields and net profit.
Based on priorities identified by the Gaines County IPM Program steering committee, the following educational programs were developed and successfully implemented in 2010:
♦ Alternative Crops and Profitability Workshop held on January 26, 2010 in Gaines County. This workshop was attended by 20 people.
♦ 2009 Gaines County, Texas Cotton Peanut, and Wheat Research Reports Book was compiled and dissemination to cotton gins and local business for distribution to their growers, ginners, and agriculture
industry representatives. This book consists of the IPM Program research reports and the reports from
research trials that were conducted in Gaines County by Texas AgriLife Extension and Research Specialists. The research reports were also posted on the Texas AgriLife Extension Service Gaines County website http://gainesco.tamu.edu.
♦ Power point presentation entitled 2009 Gaines County IPM Research Trial Results at the 2010
SandyLand Ag Conference held on February 2, 2010 in Seminole. This conference was attended by more than 190 people.
♦ Posters presented at the 2010 Beltwide Cotton Conference entitled Evaluation of Variety Tolerance and Chemical Management of Southern Rootknot Nematodes and Developing an Action Threshold for Thrips
in the Texas High Plain.
♦ The Gaines County IPM Survey Scouting Program was utilized to gathered information on pest and beneficial insects, weeds, and cotton and peanut development. Fields were selected based on irrigation availability, farming practices, landscape, and location, which enabled us to gather information on all aspects of crop production throughout Gaines County. The information gathered from the survey scouting program was used to write the Gaines County IPM Newsletter, which is an effective way to distribute the information gathered from the survey scouting program to our target audience.
♦ The Gaines County IPM Newsletter was one of the main educational components. In 2010, 14 editions were distributed to more than 270 recipients and posted on the Texas AgriLife Extension Gaines County website, http://gainesco.tamu.edu and the Texas Pest Management Association website, http://tpma.org.
♦ Participated in the weekly IPM Radio Program on Fox Talk 950 from 12:30 p.m. ‐ 1:00 p.m., which is broadcast out of Lubbock, TX. According to the local radio station listener data, there are 50,000 listeners of this program.
♦ The Gaines County IPM Program Steering Committee developed onfarm applied research trials that would effectively address our local priorities and provide applicable results to our target audience. In
2010, we worked cooperatively with Texas AgriLife Research and Extension Specialists out of Lubbock and thirteen producers to plant, maintain, and harvest thirteen large plot on‐farm applied research trials
and one small plot applied research trial. The trials evaluated irrigated and dryland cotton variety
performance, cotton variety performance under verticillium wilt pressure, cotton variety performance under fusarium wilt pressure, cotton variety performance under nematode pressure, nematicides for the management of nematodes, cotton yield at varying seeding rates, peanut pod rot management, and a cotton bollworm & fall armyworm insecticide trial to determine the efficacy of the insecticides that were being applied by our producers. All of these trials were harvested and economic returns were determined.
♦ Growers had the opportunity to view our applied research trials during the Gaines County Ag Tour, which stopped at three of the IPM Program on‐farm research trials. The Ag Tour was attended by over 50 people.
An evaluation instrument (post survey approach) was utilized to measure programmatic impact of the Gaines County IPM Program. Twelve individuals responded to the survey (50% response rate). Of those responding, 8 were producers (67%) and 4 were agriculture industry representatives (33%).
(100%) 8 of 8 producers said they plan to take action or make changes based on information provided by the
Gaines County IPM Newsletter.
(100%) 12 of 12 individuals said they selected varieties to plant on their farm based on the results from the
Gaines County IPM Program research trials.
(100%) 8 of 8 producers said they anticipate benefiting economically as a direct result of what they learned from the IPM Program.
(63%) 5 of 8 producers indicated an economic benefit of $16 or greater per acre (13%) 1 of 8 producers indicated an economic benefit of $13 to $15 per acre (25%) 2 of 8 producers indicated an economic benefit of $10 to $12 per acre
(100%) 11 of 11 individuals said the Gaines County IPM Newsletter information helped them make better decisions about their farming practices, pest management, and variety selection.
When asked what part of the Gaines County IPM Newsletter helped them the most:
50% of the respondents said disease identification
20% of the respondents said pest management
20% of the respondents said updates on what is going on in the fields
10% of the respondents said peanut and cotton pests
Table 1. The following percentages represent the number of individuals who said the following
items were mostly or very valuable to their farms:
|# of Responses||Percent|
|Gaines County IPM Newsletter||12 of 12||100%|
|2009 Gaines County, Texas Cotton Peanut, and Wheat Research Reports Book||11 of 12||92%|
|Gaines County Ag Tour||9 of 11||75%|
Table 2. The following percentages represent the number of individuals who said the Gaines
County IPM Newsletter, the Gaines County Ag Tour, and the 2009 Gaines County Research Results
Book mostly or completely increased their knowledge of the following items:
|# of Responses||Percent|
|Peanut Disease Identification||11 of 12||92%|
|Peanut Disease Management||12 of 12||100%|
|Cotton Disease Identification||11 of 12||92%|
|Use of Tolerant/Resistant Cotton Varieties to Manage Cotton Diseases||12 of 12||100%|
|Cotton Insect Identification and Management||10 of 12||83%|
|Description of Cropping Conditions in the Gaines County IPM Newsletter||12 of 12||100%|
Table 3. The following percentages represent the number of individuals who said the following
research trials were mostly or very valuable to their farms:
|# of Responses||Percent|
|Cotton Variety Trial Under Verticillium Wilt Pressure||12 of 12||100%|
|Cotton Variety Trial Under Nematode Pressure||12 of 12||100%|
|Nematicide Trial||12 of 12||100%|
|Irrigated Cotton Variety Trial||11 of 12||92%|
|Dryland Cotton Variety Trial||9 of 12||75%|
Results indicate that Gaines County producers and agriculture industry representatives highly value the information provided by the Gaines County IPM Program.
The following is a testimonial from one of the producers:
“The test plots for nematodes and Verticillium wilt really opened my eyes as to what variety selection can do for us. Good Job.”
The results of this survey are included in the 2010 Gaines County IPM Annual Report which is distributed to the Gaines County IPM Steering Committee, the Gaines County IPM Program Sponsors, and supporters. Future programming efforts will be based on these results and input provided by the Gaines County IPM Steering Committee. The Steering Committee assists in the interpretation and marketing of the Gaines County IPM Program to key stakeholders, agribusinesses, and the Commissioners Court.
Texas AgriLife Extension and Research faculty: Dr. Jason Woodward, Dr. Terry Wheeler, Dr. David Kerns, Dr. Randy Boman, Dr. Mark Kelley, Dr. Dana Porter, Dr. Todd Baughman, Dr. Jackie Smith, Jay Yates, Jeff Pate, Dr. Calvin Trostle, Dr. Peter Dotray, Scott Russell, Monti Vandiver, Brant Baugh, and Dustin Patman.
We would also like to thank the following producers for planting, maintaining and harvesting the Gaines County IPM Program on‐farm applied research trials: Jud Cheuvront, Marcus Crow, Shelby Elam, Gerardo Froese, Jimbo Grissom, Roy Johnson, Raymond McPherson, Ricky Mills, Tim Neufeld, Glen Shook, Weldon Shook, Gregory Upton, and Herman Wheeler.
We also appreciate the support of the following businesses who sponsored and the 2010 Gaines County IPM Program: Carter & Co. Irrigation Inc., Oasis Gin Inc., Ocho Gin Company, TriCounty Producers Gin, AG Aero, Doyle Fincher Farms, Five Points Gin, Golden Peanut Company, Nolen AG Services Inc., Western Peanut Growers, Ag Texas Farm Credit Service, Anderson Welding Pump and Machine, Baucum Insurance Agency, Birdsong Peanuts, Brown’s Ace Hardware, Crop Production Services, Inc., First United Bank, Moore‐Haralson Agency PC, Ocho Corp. Crop Plus Insurance, Pioneer Gin, Valley Irrigation & Pump Service Inc., Ten High Gin Inc., West Gaines Seed and Delinting Inc., West Texas Agriplex, Inc., Commercial State Bank, McKinzie Insurance, State Farm Insurance.
Special thanks to the following individuals whose support and dedication made the Gaines County IPM Program a success: Connie Lambert‐IPM Secretary; Andrew Van Zielst, Landria Schmalzried, and Kamie Zamora‐Gaines County IPM Program summer scouts; Gaines County Judge‐Tom Keyes; and the County Commissioners: Danny Yocum‐Precinct 1; Craig Belt‐Precinct 2; Blair Tharp‐Precinct 3; Charlie Lopez‐Precinct 4.