Texas West Plains: Cotton Development Slow; Sugarcane Aphids Still Low; Peanuts Look Good

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Cotton has been hanging in that 5 to 2 nodes above white flower now for several days with just a few fields at hard-cut out with only an occasional bloom in the top node. With this weather pattern I would much rather be hard cut-out, with bolls formed all the way to the top.

Watering should really no longer be a looming question for many. I have not been in many fields where I cannot probe wet soil down to +40”. With chances of continued rain and influence from a possible hurricane, I think we might be hard pressed to start up any irrigation on cotton and possibly peanuts. This especially applies to late cotton.

We are past our effective bloom period, and are primary goal now is to retain bolls on the plant, achieve size and maturity to those bolls. Insect pests in cotton mainly consist of scattered cotton aphids, which have not built any significant numbers in individual fields. This is most likely due to the weather pattern we have been in. This has also given an opportunity for beneficial insects to build.

We continue to find bollworms in non-Bt cotton with damage, and occasionally in Bt cotton with minimal damage. We are not picking up much in the way of plant bugs.

Because cotton has slowed in its progress due to lower heat unit accumulation I would continue to monitor cotton for another 14 days. By then we should have accumulated 400 heat units past physiological cut-out (5 nodes above white flower).

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Peanuts are generally doing well in their development. I am seeing an excellent pod load. Flowering is over and unless a peg has already begun to swell into the soil surface to form a pod I would not count on any more pods being formed after this point.

I know many fields were sprayed 3-4 weeks ago. With the weather being conducive for disease development you may need to protect them again real soon. Be very careful irrigating in these conditions also.

Grain Sorghum. Sugarcane aphid (SCA) numbers still remain very low across the area. Yellow sugarcane aphids and cornleaf aphids have been the most reported insect besides whorl feeding larvae. These aphids so far have allowed beneficials to build in number and hopefully will play a major role in keeping SCA in check. There are several acres of milo which are reaching the boot stage. It is important to check on a very regular basis for SCA.

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