Very hot and dry this week with a trace of showers that passed through Mercedes and Weslaco on Wednesday. Heat units are accumulating fast with both planting dates, March 1 and March 15, having heat units relatively close at 1959 HU and 1955 HU.
Cotton is maturing well. We are seeing many more white blooms at the tops of the canopy as we reach cutoff. This week we observed the first open bolls in cotton. We noticed about 10% of open bolls in cotton fields around the Valley.
The main pest of concern this week we observed feeding on cotton was the Verde plant bug, Creontiades signatus. Cotton fields east of Rio Hondo, in San Perlita and around the Willamar area were treated this week for Verde bugs.
Verde bugs were also observed in fields along the river heading west but in very low numbers. Verde plant bug adults are about a quarter-inch long and are light green, with long antennae and red eyes. They bugs feed on squares and small to mediumsized bolls. Verde plant bugs will pierce the bolls with their mouth parts. Camage can range from surface feeding to boll malformation to complete fruit loss.
Grain Sorghum and Corn
Harvest continues this week. Grain yields are averaging anywhere from 4,500 to 6,500 lbs/acre. Both grain and corn fields are drying up and getting ready for harvest as we finish this season.
Source: Lower Rio Grande Valley Pest Cast