“Bug issues are minimal. However, fields are still squaring, so guys need to scout for fleahoppers. With the long dry spell, I’m not concerned about PGRs. If growers are concerned about excessive growth, the best thing they can do is make sure they promote good fruit retention. That, in itself, will hold down vegetative growth. We’re getting to the point where we have what we have. We’ll just wait and see what happens.”
Tom Studnicka, Studnicka Consulting, Belle Plaine, Kansas:
“Cotton has perked up after south-central Kansas received good rain the last 10 days. Early planted fields that came up uniformly are blooming – and the fruit load looks heavy. It looks as good as ever this time of the year.
“A few early fields didn’t come up until it rained and they have struggled. It’s a chore to keep up with PGRs with the staggered growth. Second and 3rd rounds of PGRs are going out in some areas. Late growth fields may require a perfect late summer and fall to make good yield and quality.
“Guys were doing well on weeds until the rains came. Between the rain and winds, some of them got behind on managing weed pressure. But they’re getting caught up.
“There are a few issues with plant bugs, along with fleahoppers on late cotton. But overall, I wouldn’t call insect pressure bad.
“Rain helped save dryland corn, but not until after it had lost a lot of yield potential. Soybeans are still early enough to be okay on yields.”
Ben McKnight, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Cotton Specialist, College Station:
“It’s still a little dry, so irrigation engines have been busy. But we’re seeing a good shot for rain in the next few days. It would be welcomed, especially in dryland fields.
“Growth stages are probably average, about 6 to 7 NAWF for irrigated, while the dryland is close to cutout after our dry weather. Weed control looks good in the Brazos Bottom. Growers have been on top of weeds nearly all year. Guys got flushes taken care of quickly after the last rain. There’s also good canopy closure.
“A few stink bugs were showing up last week, so guys need to watch for them. I’m not hearing of any diseases. Further south, however, a little bacterial blight is appearing on susceptible varieties.”
Mark Hatley, Crop Quest Consulting, Dumas, Texas:
“Much of the northern Panhandle received good rain last night (7/20). About 1.5” fell in the Dumas area, with heavier rain farther north. Irrigated looks really good if it made it through the bad hail and wind in late June and earlier this month. It’s at early to mid-bloom.
“So far, insects are quiet, with no major outbreaks. There are a few hot spots of weeds that usually give us fits. However, if growers had timely preplant and preemerge herbicide applications, they’re in good shape.
“With questions surrounding dicamba and other herbicide issues, I think there will be more iron in our future, especially preplant cultivation before planters. We need better weed control at the start because it’s costing a lot of money now.
“Much of the corn is still pollinating so the rain really helped it. But corn planted behind failed cotton is only knee high.”
Haley Kennedy, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension IPM Agent, Runnels, Tom Green & Concho Counties:
“Not much is going on with insects in the Concho Valley. The hot, dry weather has held back pests. Fleahoppers are building and showing up in a few more fields, but numbers are well below threshold.
“Aphids are popping up, but beneficials are taking care of them. There’s not much stink bug activity in blooming cotton. No bollworms are causing problems, but there are a few bollworm eggs to watch.
“I’m walking through a beautiful, irrigated field right now that’s one week into bloom. Some dryland is starting to bloom, but most is poor and needs rain in the next few weeks.”