It has been a very busy week. Conditions across the Valley continue to be dry, hot and windy. We did however receive a cold front this week which lowered temps to highs in the mid-80s during the day and lows in the mid-60s at night. Overall all crops growing well but we do have a lot of pest activity across all crops so continue to monitor your fields diligently.
Cotton is maturing well. Most cotton is either pinhead squaring or squaring pretty good. Starting to pick up on a little fleahopper activity in the Monte Alto area and to the east of there so let’s be mindful of fleahoppper populations developing fast in the next couple of weeks during the squaring stage.
On a different note cotton aphids are real bad around the Valley, had heavy populations in Harlingen, Combs, Sebastian areas. Some of the growers have already been spraying products such as Carbine and Centric and they are not seeing the residual control we are used to getting with those products.
We are working with a grower trying to do a quick aphid efficacy trial and the precounts were estimated at 200, 160, 180 cotton aphids per leaf nearest the growing point, this is just one leaf, this is not including the other leaves or the many aphids seen on the stem.
Seeing a couple of whiteflies in cotton here and there and also picking up on a little spidermite from time to time in some dry areas down by the river. I have been seeing predators present in the cotton such as scymnus lady beetle larva, convergent lady beetles and larva, green and brown lacewing larva, etc.
I feel though in some fields these predators are doing a good job keeping aphid populations at bay but in other fields they are having a hard time keeping up with the rapid reproduction of these cotton aphids which is probably due to the heat.