Virginia Cotton: Looks Like an August Crop

    ©Debra L Ferguson Stock Images

    Milder temperatures in July compared to record temperatures in May and June have allowed this season to settle back to Cotton Heat Unit accumulation that is more similar to 2011 and 2012 rather than the record breaking 2010 crop. However this season is still in the running for a much more advanced crop than average and is at least a week ahead of last year for DD-60 accumulation and closer to 2 weeks ahead of 2013.

    As a result, we are observing faster blooming as a lot of our cotton is beginning to bloom up high in the plant which makes it seem more similar to August cotton. Our insect development has also tracked an advanced season although it has not been extremely high. Even the bollworm flight is almost non-existent at this point in time.

    Nevertheless, we are still in July for a little bit more. As we make plans for crop management, the more advance fields are now getting into the 6th week of bloom and with relatively dry conditions are probably considered cut-out and quickly becoming insect safe.

    Younger cotton or cotton with good moisture will still set a top crop and will be sensitive to boll damage until they cut out as well. In the coming weeks, we will need to monitor cotton fields that are still setting bolls for both possible worm and stinkbug thresholds. This will be most important for later planted cotton or cotton that has continued to make nodes and has more squares left that have not bloomed with a reasonable chance of these squares staying on the plants.

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