Cotton – Southwest – Late Season Scouting | Hanna’s Hard Hit on LRGV – AgFax

    Irrigated cotton filed in the Concho Valley of Texas. Photo: Haley Kennedy, Texas AgriLife IPM Agent

    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.


    Smiles. We’re glad to see Emi Kimura back in the field after a close call with COVID-19 exposure. Be careful out there!

    Insects. Scouting is picking up speed. No one is taking this crop for granted when the finish line is so close.

    Herbicides. Pre-plant and residual applications have been key to weed control this year. But late-season culprits, especially pigweed seedlings, need to be taken care of quickly. Liberty may be the best treatment option with dicamba out of the picture, plus the possibility of glyphosate resistance.

    Hurricane Hanna. Economic devastation to the LRGV cotton crop continues to pile up with losses of $76 million in cotton lint and $14 million in cotton seed.
    Scroll down to see more details in this week’s Texas Field Report.



    Kerry Siders, Texas A&M AgriLife IPM Agent Hockley, Cochran & Lamb Counties:

    “We had a bollworm run last week and had to spray conventional cotton and Bollgard 2 varieties. Bollworms are here and fields need to be checked. As of yet, there’s nothing in the way of cotton aphids. But there are plant bugs and guys need to scout to make sure they don’t need spraying.

    “A few fields are speeding to an end. They’re about 3 NAWF and close to hard cutout. It’s not quite blooming out the top, but that’s fine. Our last effective bloom date is coming up in a week to 10 days.

    “It’s hot this week with temperatures in the 100s. Water is critical because many small bolls need to be filled. Growers need to stay on top of irrigation. Lower water pressure in some wells isn’t helping during this hot, dry summer. Fortunately, the Morton area received rain recently and there’s a chance for showers early this week.

    “Plants are still using more than 0.25” of water a day, but water usage is on the backside of the curve. Still, when we get hot and windy days, it’s hard to keep up.

    “Guys have had questions about squares and small bolls on the ground. Most of it is natural shedding from plants that hopefully have a good boll load. But it’s important to check that fruit on the ground and make sure the shedding is not insect induced.”


    Emi Kimura, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Area Agronomist, Vernon:

    “I just got out of COVID-19 jail after being self-quarantined 14 days. I had been in contact with someone who had been exposed. I was wearing a mask at the time. Nothing tested positive, and I’m glad to finally tour the region and look at the crop.

    “The dryland I checked had 14 to 15 nodes and was 2 to 3 NAWF. It was planted in mid-June and still looked good despite not receiving much rain. Irrigated cotton planted in late June is at 17 to 19 nodes and 6 to 8 NAWF. If we can get more rain, the crop should finish well.

    “I’m concerned about the high grasshopper pressure and encourage producers to spray. I haven’t seen any bollworms, but those with Bollgard 2 varieties need to scout for worms due to the potential for bollworm resistance.

    “Small weed seedlings are coming up. They’re hard to handle without dicamba. A second shot of either Roundup or Liberty will hopefully control the late ones.

    “Sorghum looks good, but there are sugarcane aphids in Hardeman County fields. We have Transform and Sivanto to control the aphids.” 


    Stu Duncan, Kansas State University Crops & Soils Specialist, Manhattan, Kansas:

    “The crop is loaded up and rapidly advancing. Cool weather moved in last week. We’ve got good boll sets.

    “In grading the crop, much of it got past the ‘fair’ level and into the ‘good’ category after recent rain. But, if the temperature gets back up to 100 degrees again, we’ll be back to reality.

    “There is little insect pressure. I haven’t heard of much spraying, other than guys getting PGRs out. A lot of folks automatically apply 3 ounces of acephate with PGRs for late insect control. If the crop keeps this fruit load, they’re not going to enhance it any.

    “I’m seeing a little self-inflected drift. There is 2, 4-d damage in a few corn fields. Pigweed pressure is still there, but growers have stayed on top of it.”


    Suhas Vyavhare, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Entomologist, Lubbock:

    “Bollworm activity is up and there’s a substantial increase in moths. Most are coming out of corn, and they’re attracted to cotton blooms. We’re seeing bollworm damage to non-Bt, but we haven’t seen damage to Bt lines so far. However, since there are reports of bollworm damage to 2-gene Bt elsewhere on the South Plains, growers need to increase scouting efforts.

    “August is critical for scouting for insects. We’re seeing lygus bugs numbers below threshold, and no significant stink bug activity. There are good beneficial insect numbers, which will hopefully hold down any aphid pressure.”


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

    “The monsoon season is producing very little rain with hardly any in the 10-day forecast. A high-pressure system is sitting right over us. However, if growers can keep the crop wet, it should be fine. If not, then the Level 2 heat stress could cause plants to shed fruit.

    “We’re evaluating flowers that were tagged in central Arizona to see which ones developed bolls or shed due to the added heat. Overall, the crop looks good. Growers were optimistic at last week’s Yuma field day. Their crop is basically done. I caught a whiff of defoliant while driving out to the field day.

    “There still aren’t many insect problems, other than a few lygus that were treated in our Maricopa County plots.

    “Weeds are another story. Herbicide programs need to be revised, especially for pigweed.  We’ve been saying this for a while. Growers need to expand their thinking beyond glyphosate and use more residuals. If they had put a preplant herbicide down, weed issues would not have been as bad.”


    Orlando Flores, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Agent, El Paso County:

    “We’ve sprayed for bollworms in conventional Pima fields and continue to scout for them. Lygus, which are worse along the river, have been sprayed. We don’t know if the treatments went out on the Mexican side of the Rio Grande. Whiteflies are also apparent in a few fields.

    “Despite the insects, the crop looks good. Everything is in full bloom and growers are looking at yields that are hopefully at average or better, in the 2 to 2.25-bale range. Upland varieties also look promising and should approach 3 to 3.5 bales for this area and up into southern New Mexico.

    “More Roundup Ready upland varieties were planted. There are others that performed well in our trials, but seed companies want to make sure these varieities have fusarium resistance before releasing them.”


    Kate Crumley, Texas A&M AgriLife IPM Agent, Jackson Wharton & Matagorda Counties:

    “The Upper Gulf Coast crop is winding down. We’re defoliating and harvesting. I have 2 more cotton trials to finish up. Overall, the crop looks good. We just hope that we don’t get excessive rain to slow us down.

    “Root rot showed up in some fields and growers will be looking at a crop rotation for next year.

    “Sorghum harvest is nearly complete and yields are good. Growers are also enjoying nice rice yields.”


    Ben McKnight, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Cotton Specialist, College Station:

    “Harvest is underway farther south. Dryland fields in the Blacklands are close to seeing defoliation.

    “In the Brazos Bottom, any cotton planted in mid-April has bolls opening. Cutout moved in quickly after the June and July heat. Irrigated fields will be defoliated in 2 to 3 weeks with decent yields expected. Dryland yields may approach 1.5 bales, depending on whether rains were timely.

    “Stink bugs were treated toward the end of July. We’re also watching for spider mites in this hot weather.

    “Weed pressure remains light. Guys were good at utilizing residuals and keeping up with them. They were proactive with timely applications to manage on-going resistant waterhemp.”


    Jourdan Bell, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Agronomist, Amarillo:

    “We’re seeing light bollworm pressure north of Amarillo, and producers have been spraying conventional dryland varieties. They are also watching 2-gene Bt technology. We know the Viptera 3-gene technology is doing well.

    “Cotton looks nice north of Amarillo. Many fields have recovered from early season injury due to wind, heat or water stress. A few fields are near cutout while others are at 6 to 8 NAWF.

    “People are busy getting weeds under control. Since there are weed flushes on fallowed ground, producers need to get those cleaned up before they plant wheat.

    “Corn north of Amarillo is looking better, even though there’s more short corn than we would like to see. Unfortunately, rust is showing up after the recent rain. Rust can get away from us quickly, so fungicide applications should be used where needed. Producers are also staying on top of spider mites in corn.

    “Sugarcane aphid pressure is low, but we’re seeing them in forage sorghum silage trials. Be proactive to keeps them under control.”


    Chuck Wilbur, Independent Crop Consultant, Wellington, Texas/Southeastern Panhandle/Southwestern Oklahoma:

    “I’m scouting cotton this afternoon (8/10) and there’s light bollworm pressure. We sprayed conventional varieties for worms last week and it looks like we got them. I’m seeing plenty of beneficials.

    “The irrigated crop looks decent. With sufficient water, yields can hit 3 to 4 bales but they may be lower with limited water. If we catch rain, it’s not super hot, and we don’t have a big fruit shed – better fields may produce 4 bales.

    “Weeds are mostly under control, other than a few escapes here and there. The canopy is forming, which helps with weed pressure.

    “Peanuts look good. Better fields have lapped the middles and are working on second bloom. They’re pegging big time. Again, if you have water it looks like a good year. Disease pressure is light other than a few fields with leaf spot.”


    David Drake, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension IPM Agent, Northeast Texas:

    “The crop is highly variable. The earlier stuff is made, and likely won’t add any fruit due to heat that’s projected to hit 100 degrees this week. A few late fields are just now at cutout. Growers hope they can hold on to fruit during the hot weather. Several fields received a timely rain last week. Yields will push a couple of bales in many areas.

    “There are a few pockets of aphids, but otherwise, insect pressure is light. We’ve seen a little root rot, but that’s common for the area.

    “Weeds continue to be a challenge. Pigweed is still popping up in spots. I’m removing escapes on the research farm this morning (8/11).

    “The hot temperatures should finish our corn and harvest will begin soon. Soybeans are also drying down.”


    AgFax News Links

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    Texas Field Reports: Hurricane Hanna Damage Estimated at $400Mln 8-11

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    Texas Wheat: AgriLife Extension Releases Annual ‘Picks List’ 8-7

    Texas High Plains Cotton: Bollworms and Other Pests to Watch – Podcast 8-6

    Texas West Plains IPM: Critical Period for All Crops, Keep Scouting Fields 8-6

    Texas Cotton: When Can You Shut Off Irrigation? 8-6

    Weekly Cotton Market Review – USDA   8-7

    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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