Texas: Lower Rio Grande Planting Progresses but Moisture Needed

    Photo: Danielle Sekula, Texas AgriLife Extension

    Water! It has been on everyone’s mind as we have been planting and having to irrigate early to get our crops to come up and some even irrigating again already because the ground is just that dry and very little if any moisture at all.

    Many growers started irrigating their corn, cotton and grain last week and those who held out began to irrigate this week. We have been in the high 80s during the day creeping over to the low 90s on some days with nights in the upper 60s to mid-70s.

    We do not seem to be forecasted for rain any time soon but here’s hoping. What we have had is windy dry days were some sandblasting has occurred on some crops across the Lower Rio Grande valley.


    As we scouted across all three counties this week many cotton fields were in the cotyledon stage while I did see a few earlier planted fields in 2 to 4 true leaf stages. According to the Texas Boll Weevil Eradication program we have of as to date about 158,000 acres of cotton planted and coming up right now in the LRGV. We still have plenty more cotton being planted as we continue the growing season. Remember to report all cotton acreage to local boll weevil or FSA office by the FSA certification deadline.

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    Cotton was pretty clean across the Valley. We did find some very light thrip populations scouting cotton along Military Hwy from Pharr to Olmitto. Nothing major so far, a bit of thrip damage here and there.

    Mid Valley we were not seeing any thrips. I did notice some light cotton aphid populations in cotton that was at 2 to 4 true leaves. We did see some ladybugs out there and hope to see more to keep cotton aphid populations in check as the season progresses.

    Grain Sorghum

    This year I’ve noticed a lot less grain sorghum planted than the previous years. Grain sorghum is in the early vegetative stages with the tallest grain sorghum I have seen at V7 to V8. Majority of grain sorghum is still quite small V2 to V4.

    This Wednesday March 21st was my first sighting of sugarcane aphids in commercial sorghum along the river in Cameron County in a couple of sorghum fields. It was just a winged aphid with 4 nymphs so they are barely just beginning.

    I have been seeing a few corn leaf aphids in the sorghum but they are being controlled by ladybugs I have seen in the whirls.


    Lots of corn planted again this year. I have not been seeing any pests of concern in corn as we have been scouting it. Corn is in all stages and majority is being irrigated right now.

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