Texas LRGV Cotton, Sorghum: Hot, Dry and Harvest Moving Quickly

    ©Debra L Ferguson Stock Photography

    Cotton is being harvested as quickly as possible now with the September 1 deadline for cotton stalk destruction right around the corner.  

    It is very hot and dry as everyday we have seen temperatures in the 100s for the most part. which has helped the later planted cotton to catch up in maturity. Yields have varied greatly. For most, irrigated growers report from 650 to 1500 lbs. of cotton per acre, with most landing between 750 to 1500 lbs. In dryland it was a different story with some cotton not even emerging but for those dryland growers who had cotton emerge they had anywhere from 350 to 500 lbs. cotton/acre. The June rains left cotton standing in some fields and  ended up rotting while others who had late cotton seemed to benefit the most.

    Boll Weevil Update – S. Edward Herrera, Zone Manager, Lower Rio Grande Valley Zone

    For 2018 acreage we had maximum of 213,549 acres planted into cotton. As you know there were issues with dryland acreage in that lots of acres were zeroed out thru insurance and not carried to harvest. Information that has been reported shows approximately 85,506 acres will not be carried to harvest. There have been some acres destroyed recently that will not be harvested so possibility of additional acres not harvested still exists. For the difference we show 128,043 acres that will probably be harvested. Of that approximately 50% have already been picked as of August 22nd.

    In weevil numbers we are in line with last year’s captures at same time of season with 17,716 weevils reported year to date. Areas that continue to be a challenge to control weevil reproduction are areas with limited access. It is encouraged for Producers to continue working with their Program by leaving access around perimeter of fields allowing implementation of program protocols, have better control of weevils and eradicate as soon as possible. Overall our Valley growers have done and continue to do an excellent job controlling boll weevils in the LRGV.

    Stalk Destruction Deadline – September 1

    Any cotton that remains hostable after this date will be in violation of regulations and subject to fees. Another serious challenge that will be monitored is harvesting equipment leaving Lower Rio Grande Valley area and traveling North into other Eradication Zones. Persons moving equipment will be responsible for equipment to be clean and not harboring weevils. For information within different zones on stalk destruction deadlines and equipment movement you can visit TDA or TBWEF websites for rules and regulations. *Growers who want to control cotton regrowth with herbicides should consider using a combination of 2,4D + Sharpen for the best control as past trials I have done have shown that this combination works the best.

    Grain Sorghum

    Grain sorghum growers did fairly well this year given the severity of the drought. Irrigated grain sorghum growers were averaging about 6,000 lbs./acre and in dryland it varied from 700 lbs. to 2000 lbs. per acre.

    After calling several growers it appears 92% of growers did not have to spray for sugarcane aphids this season while the other 8% seem to have sprayed near harvest due to a late infestation.  It was incredible this year to have almost no growers needing to spray for sugarcane aphids as compared to previous years battling the sugarcane aphids. About 65% of the Valleys growers had to spray their sorghum for sugarcane aphids at least once during 2017 growing season while in 2016 it was 85%. Either way growers need to be diligent during the off season to control Johnson grass and volunteer sorghum so that way we lower the overwintering populations of sugarcane aphids for next year.

    Thank You Sponsors for your Support!!!

    Every year is different and brings on new challenges and I am so grateful for the awesome support of monetary donations we received from our Sponsors this year. The money we receive for the Pest Cast helps us to fund our research and IPM scouting program in the LRGV. Your support is what makes our local row crop IPM program run smoothly allowing us to give weekly updates on current pest and crop conditions. Thank you for your continued support and contributions that have allowed me to ensure we have a strong IPM program for our cotton and grain producers of the LRGV!

    Thank you to my Valley growers for allowing me to work with you on various projects and for allowing us to scout your fields. Also many thanks to you Webb Wallace and all your help this year. A big thank you to Rick Hernandez, Jason Holley, John Norman, Jim Trolinger, Beto Garza, Martin Barossa, Edward Herrera, JoAnne Long, Alma Olguin, Tiana Barco and Christian Cruz for all your help this year!

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