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    Texas Cotton: Low Thrips Pressure, Weeds All Over the Board

    ©Debra L Ferguson Stock Images

    Cotton ranges from seed just placed in the ground to 6 true leaf cotton. This is a fairly normal range for this time. Though it seems we had a later start than normal, conditions have been very conducive for good emergence and subsequent healthy growth. Although there are acres scattered throughout Hockley, Cochran and Lamb counties which have sustained various degrees of damage primarily from hard driving rains and wind.

    Scouting the last week has not turned up much in the way of thrips or their damage. I suspect the rain washed away what few were present. The rapid growth most like will out pace thrips over the next few weeks. However, do not turn your back on this insect pest until a field has reached at least 4-5 true leaf stage and the plant has recovered from any storm damage. So keep checking and spray as needed.

    Remember the threshold for thrips is one thrips per one true leaf. As an example if you are at the two true leaf stage and you are averaging more than two thrips per plant you need to treat with something like acephate.

    Attention to weeds, nematodes, plant growth regulators (PGR’s) and fertility are the issues which should become priority. I would be applying herbicides, PGR’s, and Vydate (if you can obtain any) right now in fact.

    Weed control is all over the board right now. Unfortunately this is a field by field prescription situation now in terms of what type of tillage you plan on using in-season, weeds present, the size of those weeds, and available equipment. I must say that although pigweed is resistant to glyphosate (Roundup), the glyphosate is still very effective against many and most all other weed species.

    I know we have heavy marestail pressure this year which is very difficult if not impossible to control with herbicides once it is a tall erect plant. Cultivation, if it is in the furrow, is about the only other effective method.

    Peanuts are doing well where not damaged from blowing sand. No blooms yet. Begin checking for nodulation.

    Grain sorghum and corn are doing well. Weeds have been a top priority as these crops have really grown off well and before they get too large to run a ground rig through them. I have seen a few corn leaf aphids for beneficials to feed on. Very limited whorl feeding from worms. Keep an eye out for spider mites. Have not found sugarcane aphid in milo, yet.




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