Texas Upper Coast IPM: Cotton Bolls Cracking; Milo, Corn Harvest Started

Dragonfly in the cotton field. Photo: Kate Harrell, Texas A&M
  • There have been a bunch of combines going this week! From what I have heard so far, most of the milo and corn is looking pretty good. The cotton everywhere is starting to crack bolls on the bottom.
  • If your milo was planted late and is still a little ways from harvest, keep a close eye on sugarcane aphids. We haven’t had a bad outbreak of them yet, but most of the crops I have looked at were early planted and missed the worst of the pest pressure. Pests in sorghum tend to be heavier the later the sorghum is.
  • We are still keeping an eye on stinkbugs and bollworms in cotton. The stinkbug pressure has been fairly low so far, with only a few fields warranting treatment. If there is 20-30% boll damage with stinkbugs present, you may want to consider a treatment.
  • Bollworm egg lay is going on again, so we are watching their numbers. In most places the predator populations are fairly high, so small bollworms and eggs have not made it too long. The threshold for bollworms is 5,000 worms/ acre with more than 5% damaged bolls and worms larger than 1/4 inch.
  • Cotton aphid numbers have been rising, and it is a good idea to start watching them. Their numbers should stay low with all the predators we’ve seen lately. The main concern for aphids will be when bolls are open; high levels of the honeydew they produce can drip down and stain the lint.



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