Texas LRGV Cotton: Aphids Spike in Hot, Windy Conditions

    Aphids on cotton leaf.

    General Situation

    Hot and windy this week as there seems to be no rain in sight on the future forecast. We had a very windy week most of the days (up to 30mph wind gusts) making it difficult to work around and get different spray applications out.


    We had a definite spike in cotton aphid pressure this week with many cotton fields across the valley having to be treated to calm them down and relieve the plants since populations were too overwhelming for predators to keep up with. We came across many fields at beginning of the week that had leaves turning yellow and curling down and some of them were getting glistening from all the honey dew being secreted by the cotton aphids feeding.

    Since the beginning of the week though growers have been getting after it controlling aphids in cotton and populations have declined.

    Still not really seeing any cotton fleahoppers present in the fields. We have cotton squaring everywhere in all 3 counties and will need to be on the lookout for fleahoppers these next 3 weeks as this is when they can cause the most damage feeding on young cotton squares. With the recent control applications for cotton aphids put out this week hopefully it will serve as a preventative for cotton fleahoppers that might have been present or might be wanting to migrate into the fields as most products used to control aphids in cotton also control fleahoppers.

    Grain & Corn

    Still seeing same pests in sorghum this week. Picking up on a few sugarcane aphids here and there being controlled by predators and resistant/tolerant cultivars. Have continued to see a little bit of yellow sugarcane aphids feeding on the lower two bottom leaves but that is of little concern as well as the occasional corn leaf aphids in the whorls seeing them from time to time in sorghum.

    Sorghum and corn both look thirsty again with their leaves twisty again this week after last week’s rain events as it continues to be dry, windy, and hot. Still received a few reports of non-bt corn being treated for corn earworms this week.

    Sesame, Sunflowers & Soybeans

    We have young sesame in the early vegetative stages as stands have looked good and clean of pests so far along the river, in McCook, Lyford and other parts of the Valley. Sunflowers are almost blooming to full bloom out in the McCook area as there has been reports of growers spraying for Sunflower headmoth. The sunflowers looked very clean which is good as Sunflower moth infestations are usually heaviest when early planted fields bloom during May and June.

    Soybeans looking good as I was picking up on a little bit of cucumber beetle and soybean looper feeding on the leaves in some fields and seeing an occasional 3 cornered alfalfa hopper but not really seeing any alarming populations or causes for concern or treatment.

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