Oklahoma Cotton: Good Start with Low Thrips Pressure, Some Weeds

    The 2014 Oklahoma cotton crop is off to a fair to good start in many places.

    With respect to precipitation, we are in good shape in many areas. We picked up another 0.9 inch at Altus this week. Over the past 3-4 weeks, we have had good to great rainfall over many areas (4-6+ inches).

    Unfortunately in eastern Tillman, southern Comanche, and Cotton counties, they have been on the very low side of that rainfall. We pretty much have everything planted, with stands in most fields.

    Seedling disease issues have not been noted. Based on reports from producers it appears that overall thrips pressure has been relatively low.

    Thanks to good to excellent rainfall, we do have some weeds to beat back. We have been encouraging producers to use residual products with their glyphosate applications.

    Because of the recent rainfall, we expect a lot of weed/alternate host plant growth in which fleahopper populations can build. We have had some grasshopper populations show up, and growers are watching those. Hopefully the rainfall will trigger the fungus that works over the grasshopper populations.

    At Altus from May 1 through June 23, cotton DD60 heat unit accumulation totaled 845, about 15% above normal for that time period. We have some early planted (around April 30th) cotton in Harmon County that was at 1/3 grown square last week. The bad news is that we still have not had any substantial runoff for Lake Lugert, so we are still looking at no irrigation water for the District around Altus.

    Lugert-Altus Reservoir is about 12% of capacity. Even though we have had some rainfall in the watershed, there has not been enough inflow to significantly improve the situation. At this time 2014 appears to be another year without irrigation water for the Lugert-Altus Irrigation District. Tom Steed Lake is now at just under 30%, which is an important improvement above the 21% level just a few weeks ago. June is an important runoff month and we have thus far not observed much inflow.

    According to the June 22, 2014 National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) report, the Oklahoma crop condition was rated as 5% very poor or poor, with 42% fair, 52% good, and 1% excellent.

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