Virginia Cotton: Still Waiting for Rain

    Wilting cotton from drought, heat stress.

    When you’re looking at tropical weather in the south and hoping that it comes your way, then you know it’s dry. More than half of our region has not received any significant rainfall since the first of August.

    We are getting open bolls in the sandier places, and overall about 75% of our crop has completely finished blooming and is just waiting for that defoliation trip. The last 25% of the crop includes acreage that was planted late in May, acreage that has caught better rainfall or irrigation, and fields that had a lot of herbicide injury in May.

    These late fields could be still setting bolls that have bloomed recently and are susceptible to late insect infestation including a resurging bollworm moth flight. If you have fields like these, then look closely at them this week particularly Phytogen 333 or 312 that have been more than two weeks since the last protective spray.

    We are still hopeful for a good crop but most of the fields have pulled back from that special yield we thought we had a chance for back in early August. I think next week, we can use boll counts to start projecting yield.

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