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      Texas West Plains IPM: Weed Control Is All Over the Board

      Poorly controlled pigweed following dicamba applications. Photo: University of Tennessee

      Cotton ranges from seed just placed in the ground to 5 true leaf cotton.  This is a fairly normal range for this time. I cannot review all the scenarios which have played out over the last 5 to 6 weeks during planting. Just suffice to say that it has been a real struggle to get cotton up, and still is for many.

      We have missed some critical general rain showers to help with uniform planting moisture. So hopefully your situation is beginning to straighten out and the path is clear for this growing season.

      However, I know there are many where still too many uncertainties exist in this current planted crop and what direction it will take. If you have to make that hard decision to leave your cotton and replant another crop here are some considerations.

      Scouting this week has detected thrips ranging from 0 to 0.6 per plant in Hockley and Cochran counties and greater than that in Lamb county. Remember the threshold for thrips is one thrips per a true leaf. So as an example if a field is averaging 2 leaf cotton then an average of 2 or more thrips per plant would be cause for an insecticide application. We inspect 100 plants per field when we scout for thrips. For more information go here.

      Attention to weeds, nematodes, plant growth regulators (PGR’s) and fertility are the issues which should start becoming priorities.  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.

      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), glyphosate is still very effective against many and most all other weed species.

      If you get in a situation where you do have to plant back with grain sorghum after losing a cotton crop you may want to refer to this document for the impact of herbicides.

      Peanuts are doing well where not damaged from blowing sand. No blooms yet. Begin evaluating nodulation in the next week or so to plan fertility for the season.

      Grain sorghum and corn are doing well. Weeds should be a top priority  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 grain sorghum or nearby Johnsongrass (a host).

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