Cotton – Southwest – Hanna Damages | PGR Talk | Avoid the Hoe – AgFax

    A cotton field flooded by rains from Hurricane Hanna. Photo: Danielle Sekula, Texas AgriLife Extension

    Larry Stalcup, Contributing Editor

    Debra Ferguson, Editor


    Here is this week’s issue of AgFax Southwest Cotton, sponsored by the Southwest team of PhytoGen cottonseed.


    Hurricane Hanna showed no mercy. Texas counties Cameron, Hidalgo and Willacy took the brunt of the storm. Holly Davis, Texas AgriLife, reported damage estimates in the 130,000-plus acres range. 

    More Hanna details. Scroll down to AgFax News Links for more info in this week’s Texas Field Reports. Also see Danielle Sekula’s advisory, Texas LRGV Cotton. 

    PGRs are a hot topic. There are no easy answers for when to pull the trigger explains Murilo Maeda, but he does offer a few tips.

    Weed flushes popping up. Overlapping or layered residual applications may help keep hoe crews out of the field.




    Loren Seaman, Seaman Crop Consulting, Hugoton, Kansas:

    “After recent rains of 3 to 5 inches and plenty of heat units, the crop is on schedule for southwest Kansas. We could see excellent yields that might surpass 3 bales. Both the irrigated and dryland crops look good. We’ll be applying more PGRs as soon as we can.

    “Growers will likely need to make more herbicide applications. We generally make 2 applications after emergence. But due to this rainfall, more will be needed. We’re past insect problems unless there is an influx of moths laying eggs.

    “Grasshopper treatments were made on nearly all crops about 4 weeks ago and hopefully we won’t have to do more. But southeast of here, there are plenty of them in rangeland that’s greening up after the rain.

    “Irrigated corn looks good, but dryland corn burned up during the hot mid-July weather. Dryland milo that was planted later is going okay.”


    Jaime Lopez, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Agent, Frio County:

    “Bottom bolls are opening and the crops look good. Timely rainfall has helped finish the crop. We’re still a few weeks out from defoliation, but potential yields appear to be above average. Growers are fortunate that insect pressure remains low.

    “Corn ended up above average, and we need for cotton to produce the same result.

    “Early planted peanuts are setting pods. A little leaf spot is showing up, but everyone applies preventative fungicides, so those fields should be fine.” 


    Blayne Reed, IPM Agent, Hale, Floyd & Swisher Counties:

     “The area finally received scattered showers. But it’s still dry and we’re approaching cutout early, more than 2 weeks ahead of schedule. Plants are still hanging on to most of the fruit, but they are small in stature.

    “We treated for a few lygus recently, but bollworms remain quiet. Even though lygus numbers are below threshold, they can do a lot of damage in a hurry so growers need to keep scouting. We don’t need to lose fruit and then go into cutout. “Water is vital at peak bloom time, so we need more rain to benefit irrigation.

    “Weeds are still a problem after spotty showers. We’ll probably be fighting flushes until the first freeze. There is better weed control in fields where residual herbicides were layered. It’s good to see Enlist is still on the market, but guys must remember to manage potential drift. 

    “A little verticillium wilt is showing up in a few fields, but nothing serious. However, growers need to observe fields and evaluate where vert is present to help determine variety selection for next year.

    “Mites have been light in corn, and earworm numbers are also low. Headworms are sparse in sorghum, but sugarcane aphids are on the rise.”


    Mark Nemec, MJN Consulting, Waco, Texas:

    “We sprayed last week for a hodgepodge of green and brown stink bugs in irrigated cotton. Redbanded stink bugs are even showing up in soybeans. Corn and milo harvest stirred them up, and they moved into the cotton and beans.

    “The cotton is finishing up fast. I’m in dryland this morning (8/3), and bolls are popping open. In places that received lucky rains, the dryland is decent. If they missed the June rains, the plants don’t have the load we would like to see. The irrigated in the Brazos River Bottom is still beautiful.

    “Parts of that area got a 2-inch rain last week that will help fill out later bolls. The Blacklands region will start defoliating in about 2 weeks. We hope to start harvesting in the central Blacklands by September 1.”



    Kyle Aljoe, Crop Quest Consulting, Dimmitt, Texas:

    “Cotton has loaded up pretty good considering the water we’ve had in the southwestern Panhandle area. Fields not sharing irrigation water look good and are at mid to late-bloom.

    “We have little insect pressure, but will continue to scout fields to catch any surprises. There are a few scattered weeds, but overall control has been successful.

    “We’re managing our irrigation carefully. There have been a few spotty showers, maybe 2” to 2.5” in recent weeks. But we were dry before that. I have pulled water off some cotton for forage sorghum. A few growers have taken water from corn and applied it to cotton.

    “Just this morning (8/3,) I found a trace of verticillium wilt in fields that normally have the disease. We’ll monitor that closely.

    “The corn crop is good to bad. Many fields are being chopped or swathed for silage. It is high in nitrates, so dairies or feed yards are often forced to blend it before feeding.”


    Randy Norton, University of Arizona Extension Cotton Specialist, Safford:

    “The excessive heat has affected us in the past few weeks. In central and southeast Arizona, we’re in – or on – the backside of peak bloom. We lost fruit due to the high temperatures.

    “Fortunately, insect pressure remains low. Other than a few lygus sprays at below threshold numbers, bugs are quiet. There are no reports of disease other than a small amount of root rot.

    “The Yuma area crop is finishing up. We have a field day there on Thursday (8/6). Harvest begins in about a month. It looks good there, as it does in other parts of the state.

    “We’re about halfway through the monsoon season, but haven’t seen much rain. We need more rain because we’ve been drier than normal.”


    Clyde Crumley, Crumley Agricultural Consulting, El Campo, Texas:

    “Cotton is winding down. It’s ready. This week we’ll see defoliation in earnest, and growers are ready to put out harvest aids. It should be a decent year. Yields will approach 2 to three bales. It would have been an excellent crop if we had not caught Hanna’s outer bands.

    “The Upper Coast received from 1” to 4”, and we are still getting remnant showers, which we don’t need. A few fields have lint stringing out of open bolls, and a small amount of sprouting.

    “The rain slowed corn harvest, which is finishing now. However, corn yields are amazing. Hopefully, that will help offset reduced cotton yields.”


    Todd Baughman, Oklahoma State University Institute for Agricultural Biosciences, Research Professor, Ardmore:

    “The crop is better as a whole, thanks to timely rain over most of the state last week. It was great for dryland and irrigated. We’ll take rain like that any time, especially in late July.

    “Unfortunately, the crop is still at least 2 weeks behind. It just started blooming a couple of weeks ago. There are good patches of cotton, but they are the exception rather than the norm.

    “There are no major insect issues that I’m aware of, but we’ll be watching for weed flushes. After the 9th Circuit Court ruling, many growers got dicamba applied early. However, since the crop is young, there is no closed canopy. Weeds will likely require more attention later this month.”


    Josh McGinty, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Agronomist, Corpus Christi:

    “The Corpus area missed damage from Hurricane Hanna. We hate that the Valley took the brunt of it. They’ve had rough luck the past few years.

    “Our area had a little over 4” of heavy rain. But only a small amount of cotton was blown out. There have been pop up showers this past week, which have slowed the crop’s progression. We could see sprouting, but not sure how bad it will be.

    “Overall, our crop looks good. A few growers defoliated before the storm. That cotton is getting a second shot as we speak (8/4). With the high moisture, fields are seeing new growth in the terminal. We need to take care of regrowth in the top.

    “A few folks got fields picked before the storm. Modules are safe from any flooding.

    “Yields will likely be above average. Most of my plots will easily yield 3 bales and a few will push higher. Quality will be off a little, after rain and sprouting, but not nearly as bad as it could have been.

    “We’re a little concerned about excessive soil moisture that could hamper boll weevil treatments after harvest. It could be a pain to kill these cotton stalks before regrowth starts.”



    Jose Mendoza, Crop Quest Consulting, Northern Texas Panhandle:

    “The northern Panhandle has been fortunate in the past 2 to 3 weeks. Farmers have received timely rainfall, and the crop looks promising after such a hot and dry late June and July. Rain measured up to 4”and caught the remaining dryland at the perfect time.

    “The dryland is at mid to late-bloom, and the fruit load looks fairly decent. The irrigated is also progressing well with a good fruit load. After the rain, we applied a shot of PGRs to manage growth.

    “While the crop has benefited from the rain, it also produced flushes of pigweed. We’re trying to take care of them with overlapping residuals. Hoe crews may be a little scarce before the weeds are under control. Insect pressure is low. They haven’t been a problem since early season.

    “Corn looks surprisingly good after pollinating in 103 to 105-degree temperatures. There are small pockets of southern rust and gray leaf spot. Dryland sorghum looks okay, after being planted in blown-out cotton acres in early June. There are no signs of sugarcane aphids, so far.” 

    Murilo Maeda, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Cotton Specialist, Lubbock:

    “Cotton that made it this far generally looks good. Cooler weather and plenty of sunshine have helped irrigated fields that were a little slow to get going. Even the remaining dryland crop has benefited from scattered showers.

    “The crop’s progress has growers asking about PGRs. Due to the differences in variety, crop stage, field type, water and fertility, it’s hard to make blanket PGR recommendations. However, I suggest folks check the top 5 nodes on the plant to make the call.

    “That’s where active growth is happening. Avoid PGRs if the crop is likely to be under stress due to insects, or dry, hot weather that’s in the forecast next week. Keep in mind that PGRs do not necessarily increase yields. In well-managed scenarios, you may be able to shave 1 to 1.5 nodes on the plant to promote earliness.”


    Joel Arce, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension IPM Agent, El Paso County:

    “Since most of our cotton is Pima, we’re still a month from defoliation because it’s a longer season crop. The crop looks good and plants are loaded. From what I’ve seen, there is light insect pressure and we have lots of beneficials.

    “The crop has progressed thanks to a full irrigation allotment from the water district. Last year’s large snowpack in New Mexico is still paying off. Some plants are still flowering, and others are at cutout. Despite heavy watering, disease is not a problem so far. The area is prone to southwest cotton rust, but we haven’t seen any.”

    AgFax News Links

    Texas Field Reports: Hurricane Hanna Damage Estimates 8-5

    Texas LRGV Cotton: Heavy Crop Damage from Hanna 7-31

    Texas Plains IPM: Lygus Numbers Rise, Drought Stress Continues 8-3

    Texas High Plains Cotton: Keep an Eye Out for Bollworms 8-3

    Texas West Plains Cotton: Bollworm Management Considerations 7-31

    Shurley on Cotton: Prices Advance on Crop Conditions, Stronger Exports   8-5

    Cleveland On Cotton: China Now Sits On Plenty Of Bales   7-31

    Weekly Cotton Market Review – USDA   7-31

    AgFax Southwest Cotton is published by AgFax Media LLC
    Owen Taylor, Editorial Director. It covers cotton production in Arizona, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas.
    Working-Copy%5B1%5D.jpgThis weekly report is distributed during the main cotton growing season. It is available to United States residents engaged in cotton farming, field scouting and other qualifying ag professions. Mailing address: 142 Westlake Drive, Brandon, MS 39047. Office: 601-992-9488.
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