Oklahoma Cotton: Extreme Weather – Hopefully it’s Behind Us

    Photo: Larry Stalcup, AgFax Media

    Rain fall amounts are unbelievable with severe flooding occurring in some areas. More rain is in the forecast but hopefully the extreme weather is past us and conditions will improve.

    Any window of opportunity should be fully utilize especially in irrigated fields. Every field needs to be evaluated at time of planting to ensure that good emergence occurs. This is critical because of seed availability and the shorter planting window replanting may not be an option.

    Cotton planting has begun. The earliest I have been told was May 13 in Jackson County. Also cotton planting has started in the Northwest part of the state. Excellent emergence has been observed with one field “popping up” after three days. This is critical time for Thrips control. Also armyworms and cutworms have been observed in ground cover that was being planted into. Hopefully the pest will mature out or migrate elsewhere before emergence. The field will need scouting again in 4 or 5 days to see if this occurs. No additional pest have been reported.

    2019 Dicamba Training

    Applicators planning to use specific dicamba herbicides labelled for the Roundup Ready Xtend Crop System  for soybeans and cotton must complete USDA-approved dicamba training before spraying these products this year.

    “Whether you’re a certified applicator or driving the application equipment you have to be trained,” said Todd Baughman, Oklahoma State University Cooperative Extension summer crop weed specialist. “Even if you went through training last year, you’re still required to go through the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry approved training this year.” Only the ODAFF, Extension and the three major manufacturers – Monsanto, DuPont and BASF – are authorized to provide the training. To be certified please contact your local extension office.

    Oklahoma Boll Weevil Eradication

    Brenda Osborne, Director of the Oklahoma Boll Weevil Organization, based at Altus, provided the information below. Eradication of the boll weevil across most of the U.S. Cotton Belt, and in the state has been very successful and is a major contributing factor to the continued profitability of cotton production.

    Since 1998 the producers of Oklahoma have spent $37,218,599 to eradicate the boll weevil and provide a maintenance program. There is still a difficult fight with this insect pest in south Texas, and we all need to do our part in keeping this pest from resurfacing in our state.

    Cotton acres for past five years:
    Year Acres
    2014 – 237,523
    2015 – 216,678
    2016 – 299,302
    2017 – 568,434
    2018 – 756,397
    OBWEO is preparing for the upcoming 2019 cotton season. It is our responsibility to ensure the continued success of this program. With all the talk of a significant increase in cotton acres, there are some important issues with respect to OBWEO that you need to be aware of. If you have been growing cotton for the past 3-5 years, we know where those fields are located. However, if you are a new producer or have not grown cotton in several years, we need you to provide the legal descriptions of these new cotton fields.

    A Boll Weevil Assessment for harvested cotton acres is currently is $2.50 per harvested acre, which is reviewed annually. The trapping density this year is one trap per 640 acres. In areas where planted cotton acreage density is high, not all fields will actually have a trap near it. In other areas that are more isolated, each field will need a trap.

    Cotton Harvesting Equipment

    Cotton harvesting equipment entering Oklahoma from two eradication areas in Texas has to be certified as boll weevil free prior to movement into our state.  Those areas are: the Lower Rio Grande Valley Eradication Zone (blue area on the map below) or the East Texas Maintenance Area (brown area on the map below).

    A USDA-APHIS phytosanitary certificate is issued and is required before equipment can be transported from these areas.  This is critical to meet USDA-APHIS requirements and prevent the re-infestation of boll weevils into eradicated areas. It is illegal to move non-certified cotton harvesting equipment from these areas into the state of Oklahoma. Contact TBWEF prior to equipment departure from these two areas, which will allow inspection of the equipment.


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