Texas LRGV IPM: Heavy Thrips in Cotton, Otherwise Mostly Clean

    Thrips damaged cotton.

    General Situation

    Another windy week in the LRGV with wind gusts of 15 to 30 mph. We had one day, yesterday (Thursday) with minimal to no winds. It has been hot with day temperatures in the high 80s to low 90s and nights in the high 60s and 50s. Today though we are right at 98oF down here, heat index makes it feel like 103oF.

    Our heat units have been increasing rapidly and if you look at the graph for heat units accumulated over the years since April 1st, you will notice that 2020 and current year 2021 are touching as we really need rain here in the LRGV.

    I saw some growers irrigating this week and many applying herbicides to fields for weed control. Soil moisture is minimal to none now as we continue to face drought conditions.


    We have a lot of cotton throughout the LRGV in all counties. I am seeing cotton in all stages from cotyledon to 5 true leaf cotton that is just barely starting to square. According to the Texas Boll Weevil Eradication program as of Wednesday April 7th they were showing total current planted cotton at 167,689.7 acres.

    As we continue to plant cotton, we want to encourage producers to leave access around entire perimeter of field to be able to monitor trapping along with applying ground applications in case of weevil detection. Producers are also asked to please contact Boll Weevil office in their area to report acreage planted in cotton to insure there are no fields that are missed causing potential of weevil infestation.

    AgFax Weed Solutions

    Unable to display feed at this time.

    From Edward Herrera, Zone manager for the LRGV with TBWEF: “Weevil numbers are historically low giving promise to advancement of eradication program. Weevil catches this year to date are at 217 while same time last year to date they were at 698 weevils. Some early cotton already squaring, and we have begun initial treatments over acreage with weevil history. Program will be doing three initial treatments over fields with historical weevil activities with follow-ups if necessary, based on current weevil activity.”

    Cotton along the river travelling down Military highway is starting to receive heavy thrips pressure. I was seeing 2 to 4 thrips per leaf in cotyledon to 4 true leaf cotton in the Donna, Pharr, Alamo areas along the river. I am seeing the classic greyish leaf thrips damage from tobacco and western flower thrips feeding.

    Growers along the river I encourage you to check your cotton for thrips infestation and treat accordingly as much of the onions and cabbage along the river is almost done being harvested and thrips are beginning to migrate out of those crops into neighboring cotton fields looking for new food.

    From McCook to Rio hondo and everywhere between (Hargill, Monte Alto, Lyford, Weslaco, Mercedes, Combs, Santa Rosa, Sebastian, Harlingen) I did pick on a little bit of cotton aphids and a tiny bit of red spidermites but nothing worth spraying and will continue to monitor those populations to see if they increase but for the most part cotton still very clean Valley wide.

    Grain Sorghum

    Sorghum throughout the LRGV varies as we have all stages from sorghum barely coming up to the more mature sorghum just at booting stage. This week I had my first sugarcane aphid (SCA) sighting in commercial sorghum that was almost at booting stage along the river.

    I checked many fields of grain sorghum this week in all three counties and all of it was very clean; it was only that one field where I found an adult SCA alate having babies. Majority of sorghum in the LRGV is planted with seed treatments so I do not expect to see SCA populations in the early growth stages which lines up with what I am seeing.

    However, with that in mind though we will be diligently checking for SCA populations in the coming weeks since we have many acres of sorghum planted this year Valley wide.

    I did see a tiny bit of corn leaf aphids in the whorl and some fall armyworm larva activity but very minimal. Sorghum very clean throughout LRGV at this time.

    Corn & Sunflowers

    Corn and sunflowers continue to look clean. No pest pressure currently in either crop.


    Saw some sesame coming up nicely along the river and some sesame was being planted this week in Lyford area.


    Soybeans continue to look clean but did pick up on minimal worm feeding (garden webworm and loopers) on the foliage this week.

    The Latest

    Send press releases to

    View All Events

    [ecs-list-events limit="5" key="start date" order="asc"]
    Send press releases to

    View All Events