Owen Taylor, Editor
Rain over the last week put plenty of field work and spraying on hold across much of our coverage area. Nobody wants to turn down a rain, but in places people have received 8 inches in the last couple of weeks, with totals since May 1 running at twice that in some locations.
The squeeze with all this rain comes where growers need to deal with weed escapes, spray initial plant bug counts or apply fertilizer. Areas with limited aerial application capacity are in the tightest spot.
Cotton is squaring more widely, mostly pinheads at this point.
Thrips aren’t completely out of the picture and remain a threat to replanted fields.
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Steve Schutz, Ind. Consultant, Coushatta, Louisiana: “Cotton is starting to square pretty good, generally at the fifth to seventh node. No bug activity to speak of, but that could always change the next day. I sprayed fleahoppers last week on some early-planted fields. We’re finishing fertilizer. No Pix yet. Where I work in Arkansas we got 1.5 inches of rain on Monday and at least some rain in places in Louisiana.”
Tucker Miller, Ind. Consultant, Drew, Mississippi: “We’ve gotten rain in copious amounts. It rained 4 inches in places yesterday (6/9) and then about a week before it also rained 4 inches, so we’ve gotten 8 inches in places in the last 10 days – some people less, some maybe more.
“In cotton we’re not in too bad a shape with all the rain but do have acres that haven’t gotten any fertilizer yet and are squaring now. We’re getting into grass and weeds now and are having to fly on some herbicides, plus we need to treat plant bugs that are showing up, so something is being added to herbicides in those cases. Plant bugs are starting to pick up in cotton at 8 to 9 nodes, nothing terrible but in spots they need attention. Except for some late cotton, it’s all at pinhead or just before it.”
Larry Walker, Walker Cotton Technical Services, Flintville, Tennessee: “The monsoon season has begun. Starting last Thursday, we’ve gotten 4 inches of rain (as of 6/10). It’s been scattered in places and a little field work has been done, particularly people applying herbicides to fight some of these weeds.
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“Our cotton ranges from 1 to 6 leaves and we’re finding squares on the oldest plants. With all the rain we’ve had, we’re starting some aggressive Pix applications. With this rainfall, wild hosts for plant bugs haven’t dried down, which is when the insects start moving into cotton. Usually, they hit prior to bloom when cotton is at 8 to 10 nodes, but the majority of ours is at 3 to 4 leaves right now. We’re that late.
“We’ve been doing a little thrips spraying and are concerned about our pigweed situation. Our pre herbicides are wearing thin, so we’re coming back with applications and hoping we get some activation with the rains to keep pigweed from getting ahead of us.”
Keith Collins, Extension Agent, Richland Parish, Louisiana: “We’ve had rain off and on for the last 2 weeks and over the last 2 nights (from 6/10) a couple of gauges I check went 1.5 and 2 inches and some places got more. From about May 28 to the first of June we got big rains – 2 inches at the low end and some gauges hit 5 to 6. Growers have been dancing around, so to speak, looking for places they can work.
“Up to this point, the only pest in cotton has been thrips, and we had the kind of cool conditions that favor them. Our oldest cotton is at the 6- to 7-leaf stage and just beginning to square. Overall, it’s growing off well now with the moisture and warmer conditions.”
Dennis Reginelli, Area Extension Agent and Agronomist, East-Central Mississippi: “We’re through with thrips, and cotton is really starting to grow now. People were treating thrips pretty much through our entire area. A grower or two planted after the last cold spell and that cotton came up pretty quickly and has maybe been outgrowing some of the biggest thrips issues. The earliest plantings, though, kind of sat there through the cold weather and thrips jumped on it. Some cotton was treated twice.
“Here in the last few days we’ve had probably 3 to 8 inches of rain, depending on location, and it came down so quickly that we probably didn’t get much from it after the first inch. Some will go into irrigation ponds, of course, which will help later.”
Gus Lorenz, Arkansas Extension IPM Specialist: “We’ve gotten 7 to 8 inches of rain in plenty of places in the last couple of days (from 6/10) and it will at least knock down the thrips. Where cotton is at 7 to 9 nodes, plant bugs are pretty consistently present and are heavy in places. Treatments are going out this week and the numbers warrant it. I’m hearing counts at 4 to 6 per 25 sweeps, with the threshold at 9 to 12 per hundred sweeps, so we’re way over treatment level.”
Scott Stewart, Extension Entomologist, Jackson, Tennessee: “It’s wet, too wet. I don’t know how much rain we’ve gotten with these last storms but it’s been inches and inches. A lot of people got 3 to 6 inches in the last week. It’s been cloudy, too, so cotton isn’t growing very well. On top of that, we got a pretty good flight of thrips.
“People need to spray but can’t because fields are too wet, and we don’t have much aerial capacity. Our oldest cotton is at the 6-leaf point now and I've gotten a couple of comments about plant bugs showing up. Those first fields that set squares always pull them in. Pigweed also need to be sprayed but that’s on hold, too, until it’s dry enough again to run equipment.”
Bob Griffin, Griffin Ag Consulting, Jonesboro, Arkansas: “Aside from about 1,000 acres of replanted cotton, the bulk of ours is at 5.5 to 7 nodes and just starting to square. We do have about 2,000 acres where the grower took advantage of a brief early planting window, and that cotton is actually at 8 to 10 nodes.
“We’ve sustained some weather damage. Maybe 200 acres were wiped out by hail and to some degree a lot of our cotton has been roughed up. Some herbicide damage developed but nothing died.
“We’re out of the thrips stage except in replanted fields, and we treated quite a bit of our crop for thrips before we reached this point. We’re finding plant bugs in our oldest cotton and are treating all of it. They’re building up now in younger cotton that’s just starting to square. No mites at all.
“Everything had a preemergence herbicide, so it’s basically clean, with just a few escapes. Not counting what we’ve gotten today (6/10), we’ve had 5 inches of rain from this last round of storms. One farmer said he got 10 inches of rain in May and has had another 4 to 5.5 inches since last Friday. On the whole, I’ll take a rain anytime as long as it doesn’t flood.”
Sebe Brown, Northeast Louisiana Region Extension Entomologist: “A lot of cotton has been putting on squares. A few plant bug applications are starting in bigger cotton. Nobody is finding extreme numbers but enough are present to justify treating. Wild hosts are loaded with them, too, so plant bugs are just waiting for an opportunity.
“Spider mites are starting to turn up but, so far, we only know of one abamectin-resistant population. I also think most people are going with higher rates, which seem to be doing a good job. Our recommentation is 8 to 10 ounces/acre, preferably 10. A few fleahoppers are being found, mostly in geographic areas where they tend to develop in most years.”
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