Virginia Cotton: Check Field for Boll Damage

    ©Debra L Ferguson Stock Images

    We are moving back into a bit of drought for many areas and even though the forecast is calling for some rain, we are getting to the period where cotton can use two inches per week to sustain a developing boll load.

    • This boll load is vulnerable to damage at this young stage, however we continue in somewhat of an insect lull.
    • If we continue to get less than an inch per week, I expect the urgency for pix will remain isolated to later planted fields and higher moisture fields than the average.
    • The best single thing to check for going forward will be boll damage. As cotton reaches that third week of bloom, the threshold is 10% for this damage which appears as spots on the outside and warts along with discolored lint on the inside. Both plant bugs and stinkbugs cause it.
    • April and some early May cotton is finishing up with three weeks of bloom although the majority of our acres will be finishing the second week of bloom this week and is just on the front side of the third week. June planted cotton is just now getting a bloom.

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