South Carolina: Cotton Blooming in the Pee Dee

First day bloom on the left, three day old bloom on the right. Photo: Justin Ballew, Clemson University

Our older cotton is blooming now and everything is looking good so far this year.  Its been hot this week, though we’ve had fairly regular rainfall, so our fields are growing well.  Some folks are putting out pix to slow down the growth.

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First day bloom on the left, three day old bloom on the right.

Pests are light right now.  About the only thing out in some places are aphids.  The population numbers are growing in spots, while other fields are almost completely clean.  Lots of natural enemies are present and as humid as its been, it shouldn’t take the aphid fungus (Neozygites fresenii) long to clean out the fields once it shows up.

For these reasons, hold off on spraying broad spectrum insecticides unless absolutely necessary.

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Cotton aphids and ladybug eggs (on the left) on the bottom of a cotton leaf.

In Clemson Entomologist Jeremy Greene’s latest Cotton/Soybean Insect Newsletter, Dr. Greene cautions growers to concentrate on stinkbugs and bollworms now that we are moving into bloom.  Scout regularly and make treatments based on the thresholds below.

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For more information, take a look at the 2017 SC Cotton Growers Guide or the 2017 SC Pest Management Guide.


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