Virginia Cotton: Good Square Load, Watch Out for Plant Bugs

    ©Debra L Ferguson Stock Photography

    Ya know, when you ride around for several hours a day thinking about crops and walk in cotton fields half the time, your perspective jumps around.  You think of some new ideas that might help make a good thing better.  That is part of what is happening in Virginia now following that nice rain we had earlier this week and a somewhat favorable forecast coming up next week.

    • While I am seeing cotton growing, it does not look crazy and there is a big, high retention square load on the plants.
    • The fields have a relatively compact look that makes it look a lot different than last year.
    • A lot of folks have their finger on the Pix trigger after we had such a big plant last year, and with 20-some inch cotton, it is a good time to get that first shot on. But I don’t think we need to go to crazy, with the philosophy of putting more on later if the good thing keeps happening.
    • Then there are the plant bugs. Up till now and maybe for a little longer they have been low and the square retention on cotton is high, but they love nitrogen in nice tender growing plants.
    • They build up in other crops and features like young pines so the edges get invaded before big hundred acre cotton only openings. Nevertheless, I am finding some now particularly when I am close to corn in cotton that is in the 20-some inch range.
    • AdmirePro is still a reasonable choice for smaller cotton that is a couple weeks away from bloom, although cotton that is blooming or within a week of blooming needs something better.
    • I am not a fan of using Acephate this early unless I have less than 80% square retention (rare) or I have a double or triple threshold number from scouting, and then I would only treat those fields.
    • Good luck and I think we have a nice crop started during the first half of the Game.

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