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.”