Texas Cotton LRGV: Hot, Dry and Plenty of Open Bolls; Whiteflies Active

    White flies on cotton leaf.

    It’s very hot and dry. We’ve had a few days here this week at 104 to 106 degrees with heat index of about 110. Everyone is either irrigating or going to for the most part. Lots of growers have been harvesting their grain sorghum as I saw many fields harvested in all 3 counties. Some of the first corn fields were harvested this week as well.  

    Lots of cotton with open bolls this week compared to last week. Cotton has been maturing so quickly.  We have already had the first bale. The main pest I am seeing are are whiteflies. Late in the season these pests suck plant juices from the leaves and cause premature defoliation, which I am seeing in some areas. They can also feed so much that they excrete large honey dew deposits in which sooty mold will grow on and make leaves turn black as well as staining and making the cotton sticky.

    Whiteflies have been affecting cotton in many different areas along the coast, midland, and along the river off Military highway. I saw a couple of fields with such high whitefly numbers it caused the plant leaves to turn brown on top (dried up) and you could see the sooty mold damage from afar.

    We are still picking up on fleahoppers, a few tarnished plantbugs and a couple of verde bugs but most all cotton has mature bolls now that we are past the point of damage. For the most part, many fields were clean and pest activity has dropped significantly. Other fields were being sprayed either for weeds or maybe for whiteflies. I’m guessing since that seems to be the only pest I am really seeing out there to cause great concern. Products that you can use to control whitefly are Oberon, Sivanto, Intruder, Courier, Knack, etc. Check labels for rates.




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