Virginia Cotton: Do 2 Half Chances of Rain Make a Whole Chance?

©Debra L Ferguson Stock Images

The heat is on for a couple of days and the areas that seem like they have good soil moisture are shrinking quickly.  There is nothing like a 100 degrees to suck the water out of land during the summer time.  The best thing we have going for us right now is that we do not have a heavy boll load on our cotton right now like we did last year during the July heat wave.  Thank goodness for a July 4th rain.

  • Some of us like to compare one season to another, 2016 is about 3 weeks later than last year. This year is really much more like 2013. But it’s going to turn into 2014 if we get the weekend rain, along with more in August, because we have low leaching, and hot weather.
  • As it stands now, some farmers are scratching their head about the Ppix applications.  I am quite sure that blooming cotton on some sandy land that has lost the moisture is not getting out of hand. But I am equally sure that the fields not blooming with cotton over 24 inches could use that first shot of Pix. And, if the ground looks moist with cotton over 30 inches, then either a second application is justified or go with a pint if it is your first shot.
  • Prior to bloom, continue to monitor square retention even if you applied Admire Pro.  Admire Pro is good for keeping low plant bug populations from building, but it is not that good at actually killing a high infestation.  Once cotton blooms, switch to dirty bloom monitoring as it is easier.  A third of the cotton is going into bloom this week and the majority of the rest will start blooming next week. Once cotton blooms, we need to make some shifts in insecticide choices through August. Focus on scouting for the first couple of weeks of bloom and not automatic sprays.
  • The forecast is  over half a chance of about an inch over the weekend, then another half a chance of more on Tuesday. Hopefully two halves make a whole and everybody will get some rain by the middle of next week.

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