Texas LRGV: Lots of Pests in Cotton, Be Scouting; Sorghum Being Harvested, Watch for Midge

    General Situation

    Very hot, dry and muggy with temperatures in the high 90s during the day and high 70s during the night. Crops are cutting out with corn ready for harvest, grain sorghum starting to be harvested and cotton not far behind them. There are some chances for showers and thunderstorms next week.


    Irrigated cotton around the Mid Valley and Cameron County is looking good. North in Willacy the oldest and driest dryland cotton is cutting out quickly with this heat. A lot of cotton has nice sized mature bolls on the lower branches and immature bolls on the upper portion of the plant. Other cotton is in full bloom and then there are some really late planted cotton still squaring. I haven’t seen my first open boll of cotton but was told that there was open boll cotton in Edinburg in some of the earlier planted cotton.

    We are still seeing high fleahopper counts in some cotton but is not justifiable since the bolls are mature but in some of this younger cotton you might want to check. Also picking up on a few tarnished plant bugs and Verde bugs this week around the Santa Rosa, Combs, Rio Hondo, Harlingen, Sebastian, and Raymondsville areas. I saw just a few but I expect populations to build in the next two weeks since some of you all have already started to harvest the grain sorghum and will continue from this point on.

    I also noticed that whiteflies are building up as I was seeing more adults in the same areas mentioned above plus nymphs as well. A couple of fields looked like they needed to be sprayed for whiteflies in the next few days. There has also been reports of bollworm increase in conventional cotton so be mindful of that.

    I am also seeing a couple of red shoulder stinkbugs, brown stinkbugs and southern green stinkbugs every once in a while as well as the occasional red spidermites but still light in population. Lots of pest activity in cotton so you will want to scout and if spray is warranted make sure formula covers a multitude of pests.

    Grain Sorghum

    I saw a lot of grain sorghum drying nicely heading for harvest and then did see a couple fields being harvested as we expect to see more in the next coming weeks.

    Down by the river  in the Mission/McAllen area I saw some grain sorghum in the soft dough stage that was loaded with green lacewing adults and eggs which was more than I have ever since in the previous years. There was also some rice stink bug that I was seeing across the Valley but most kernels are past the early stages where they could be damaged.

    Some of the later planted grain sorghum fields were sprayed for midge this week as populations were very high.

    Sugarcane aphid populations are still low to none as we head into harvest and I hope they continue to be low but I do warn we might have second population peak that we noticed in previous years but I see that affecting the later planted grain sorghum if they do repopulate.

    Picked up on some banks grass mites in grain sorghum on the underside of the leaves but since sorghum about a week away from harvest it I would not worry about spraying.

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