Owen Taylor, Editor
Plant bug treatments continue. Pressure is heavy in places but no overwhelming numbers are being reported. Immatures are now being found more commonly.
Spider mites are around and scattered treatments were reported. Overall, though, mites have mostly been in the background lately, based on this week’s feedback.
Cotton is blooming in more areas this week.
Widespread rains have fallen in the last week, with extreme amounts in parts of the upper Midsouth. According to Arkansas Extension estimates, as many as 75,000 acres in 5 Arkansas counties went under water. Up to 8 inches fell in places. Some cotton was submerged, but grain crops took the brunt of the flooding.
With all the rain this season, plenty of Polypipe has gone unused, at least so far. Ample amounts of plant growth regulator will be going out in early July.
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Joe Townsend, Ind. Consultant, Coahoma, Mississippi: “We just saw our first flower, which is behind normal by a week or more. We’re spraying plant bugs. Some other stuff is out there, but plant bugs are the main thing right now, and we’re averaging about 2 applications on part of the crop.”
Scott Stewart, Extension Entomologist, Jackson, Tennessee: “Plant bugs are spotty but are starting to build. Nobody is reporting fierce infestations. We got a fair amount of rain in the last 4 or 5 days (from 7/1) but still don’t think we got the heavy amounts that caused flooding in parts of Arkansas. We measured 2.5 inches here at the station and actually needed it. It rained enough that most people are locked out of field work in West Tennessee right now, and that will make weed control a little problematic.”
David Hydrick, Hydrick’s Crop Consulting, Inc., Jonesboro, Arkansas: “Some of our oldest cotton is blooming, although most isn’t there yet. We’re still spraying a lot of plant bugs and putting out Pix where we can. As soon as things dry up, we’ll be hammering cotton with it and also getting into weed control. We sprayed 1 or 2 fields today (6/30) for spider mites. They’re around, but we’re not dealing with anything dramatic.
“Polypipe has been laid out, although with the way this year has gone I’m not sure why. As soon as people get ready to irrigate, it rains again. We weren’t in the area that got so much rain over the last several days. South of us and around Memphis is rained 6 inches, but I’ve heard totals up to 11 inches in places. Through here, it maybe rained 1.5 to 2.5 inches. I’ve got one field near Interstate 40 that one of my growers leased, and I was told they got 8 inches there, so those soybeans are probably under water.”
Hank Jones, C&J Ag Consulting, Pioneer, Louisiana: “We’re approaching the point that all of our cotton will be blooming. The crop looks good, it really does, and I’m guardedly optimism.
“Plant bugs are being sprayed. Nothing really extreme. We’re heading them off at the pass, picking them off as they move out of corn. A pretty good number of acres still haven’t been sprayed, which is a relief after the heavy pressure in the last several years when we felt like we were in a war. We’re staying on the front side of them this year and haven’t been overrun anyplace.
“We’ve had to start with Pix. Most fields will receive at least 8 ounces/acre, even on dryland cotton where we’ve had a lot of rain and optimum weather. On the very good cotton ground we may go up to 20 ounces. We’re trying to hold things back until plants start putting on a load and can regulate their own growth.
“The best part of this year has been the general lack of spider mites. All the rain has held them at bay. Mites are just about the main driver now when we make a treatment decision. And even though plenty of research is being done on the mite, it’s still the critter in cotton that we know the least about.”
Phillip McKibben, McKibben Ag Services, Mathiston, Mississippi: “We’re still battling plant bugs in just a couple of problem spots. It rained every day last week, and we fell behind on applications, but we’re finally getting them under control. This is in a very small area. In the rest of the cotton we’ve just got low numbers and are taking them out in places.
“About half of our cotton should be blooming within the next 7 to 10 days (from 6/30). Normally, we wait until first bloom to start Pix applications, but we’ve already started with some 16-ounce rates. That cotton has grown all the stalk we need and we’re still probably a week away from first bloom.”
Sebe Brown, Northeast Louisiana Region Extension Entomologist: “In places, cotton is in the third to fourth week of flowering, although a lot of acreage is running behind that. Quite a few plant bug applications are still going out. Threshold levels are turning up in places, although no monstrous numbers are being reported. Growers next to corn have sprayed more often, depending on the stage of the corn. But other people are holding off where they don’t have the numbers to justify spraying.
“Some bollworm activity has started in cotton. I’ve gotten a few calls about egg lays. We really don’t recommend spraying at this point because it doesn’t pay, particularly on Bollgard. Generally, there’s more concern with Widestrike varieties, but I am hearing about some people spraying Widestrike and Bollgard fields. On the station we’re finding aphids at threshold levels, although I’m not hearing about concerns out in the field.”
Barry L. Freeman, Extension Entomologist (Retired), Belle Mina, Alabama: "We’re hitting bloom. Some plant bugs are around. It’s nothing terrible but some threshold levels developed that needed treating. We’ve had low levels of mites in scattered fields all year. You can find them, but with rapid plant growth right now they don’t particularly need attention. Cotton aphids are around but nothing widespread yet. We had real scattered showers over the last 5 or so days. Most people have gotten decent rains, and we were needing a rain when it did start.”
Gus Lorenz, Arkansas Extension IPM Specialist: “Plant bug pressure continues building. We’re seeing more and more immatures in fields, and most cotton is either blooming or close to it, so it’s not unexpected that populations will continue increasing, at least a little. It’s that time of the year.”
Kyle Skinner, Skinner Ag, Starkville, Mississippi: “A few blooms are just appearing on earlier planted cotton but next week I expect to find a lot of blooms. Plant bugs are beginning to wind down. We’ve made 1 to 2 applications across most of our cotton. Where we haven’t treated, it’s an area with small fields and a lot of pastures around. All of our cotton has worked its way out of the earlier water stress.”
Bill Brooks, Mid-South Farmers Cooperative, Alamo, Tennessee: “We’ve made some plant bug treatments and next week we’ll probably be approaching a second treatment in places. Mepiquat chloride is going out. We’ve been blessed with rain, and you never want to talk badly about rain, but it’s making it inconvenient to handle weed control. We’ve been battling resistant pigweed for a while, and I’ve seen some chopping crews.
“We got another half-inch last night in places and the middle part of West Tennessee received right at 2 inches with those storms last week. Along with all the rain, highs are in the mid 80s this week, which is giving us flashbacks of last year when it was too wet and cool and some of our crops never did fully mature. This year’s crop still has a long way to go, and we need heat.
“Cotton is all over the board. Some is 2 weeks or more from blooming, but a co-worker a couple of counties over just texted me a photo of a bloom they found. All this variation mostly goes back to planting dates. Fields planted early got established well and are growing good. Everything else is playing catchup.”
Cotton In Southeast: A Plant Bug Year Shaping Up – AgFax 7-2
Arkansas Row Crops: Insect Activity Picking Up 7-2
Arkansas: 75,000 Acres Under Water, Soybeans Take Brunt of Damage 7-1
Louisiana: Dean Lee Field Day Scheduled July 17 in Alexandria 6-30
Tennessee Cotton: Plant Bug Pressure Increasing 7-2
Tennessee Soybeans: Rescue Treatments for Palmer Amaranth 7-1
Tennessee Cotton: Palmer Amaranth Hooded and Post-Direct Applications 7-1
Tennessee Cotton: PGR Applications Should be Considered 7-1
Louisiana: Northeast Region Rolling Crops Field Tour, Winnsboro, July 10
Doane Closing Cotton Commentary
DTN Cotton: Open | Close
Cotton Futures/Options - ICE
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