Texas LRGV Cotton: Harvest Nearly Finished

    Cotton harvest. ©Debra L Ferguson

    Cotton growers in the LRGV have been harvesting cotton nonstop working around several coastal showers received these last two weeks and continue to receive as they finish off the season. We are looking ahead at a forecast calling for significant rainfall from this Friday till next Friday, but we will see what happens. From last week to this week growers certainly have harvested all they can and could get into.

    I have seen many growers destroying stalks by either spraying them with herbicides for the regrowth, shredding their stalks and tilling them under. Very proud of our LRGV cotton growers and the progress they have made in getting all cotton out before the cotton stalk destruction deadline. In case you were wondering, cotton stalk destruction deadline for the LRGV zone is today, September 1, 2022.

    According to TBWEF as of August 31st we have picked 147,472 acres out of the 176,143 acres of cotton carried to harvest, that’s about 84% harvested. We currently have 26,606 acres that have been defoliated and waiting to be picked; if anything, these that still need to be picked must be too wet to get into.

    And then we have 2,424 acres of cotton with original stalk, just meaning they are still green and are either not mature yet or are too wet to get in and spray defoliant. These numbers have probably changed because there are lots of equipment being moved around in fields but for most part this is where we stand on total acres harvested thus far in the LRGV.

    Stalk destruction is September 1, 2022, today, with no blanket extension in place. It is important for Producers to understand that cotton stalks only need to be rendered non-hostable. Non-hostable cotton means: No fruiting structures (squares or bolls) where weevils can feed on or reproduce in. Cotton that has shredded stalks with no regrowth yet, cotton that is completely defoliated, cotton that is tilled under with no seedlings sprouted, all these are examples of cotton fields in compliance with todays stalk destruction deadline.

    With the current rains we have been receiving and any future moisture in the forecast; cotton growers will need to be diligent with stalk destruction making sure that no hostable cotton is present in weeks to come. Boll weevil numbers remain at an all-time low with current weevils caught to date at 147 weevils total for the LRGV. Growers and TBWEF are working hard together to keep boll weevil numbers low.

    We have herbicides that can kill and keep cotton from having a viable pin head square making it non-hostable and in compliance with TBWEF. See attached Cotton Herbicide Stalk destruction paper for more info. For information within different zones on stalk destruction deadlines and equipment movement you can visit TDA or TBWEF websites for rules and regulations.

    We were able to harvest and get data out on one of our replicated cotton variety trials, we will share data once fully evaluated. Thank you, Chuck McCutchen, (grower out of the Mercedes, Texas area) for your help and cooperation in getting this trial done and out. Any growers interested in conducting a variety trial in corn, sorghum, or cotton for next year 2023, please get a hold of your local Ag agent in your respective county.

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