“It’s gotten very hot but rains have been falling, with more chances late this week. The rain this season has been more than we bargained for. That’s why cotton got off to a sketchy start, although it’s now coming on. It’s kind of crazy because we have cotton planted around April 25 all the way to early June.
“Everyone is trying to kill weeds this week, something they want to finish before we have to deal with bugs. It’s been a tumultuous start this year but I believe it’s getting better.”
Larry Walker, Walker Cotton Technical Services, Flintville, Tennessee:
“A few of our cotton fields began blooming the last week in June. That part of the crop has had a second shot of Pix and plants responded well. We do have some 5- to 8-leaf cotton intermingled with 10- and 12-leaf cotton, and we’ll have to use a compromised rate of Pix on those fields.
“With the showers and rains in low fields, weeds grew bigger than we’d like and those needed to be cleaned up last week. That cotton now looks much better. The Engenia post application cleaned up pigweeds and we also included a Dual or Outlook spray. That’s kept things manageable and I don’t think we’ll have to come back with Liberty.
“We made our top-dressed fertilizer application and treated plant bugs in places where cotton was at 10 to 12 nodes. Plant bugs hit threshold at the end of last week, and treatments seem to have worked well.”
Scott Stewart, Extension Entomologist, Jackson, Tennessee:
“In cotton, our plant bug situation remains rather average. Some folks are spraying but, in general, that activity is relatively light. We are seeing a few spider mites but nothing widespread or major.
“Our earliest cotton is into bloom and 5% of the crop will have a bloom on it this week and more will reach that stage next week.
“We’ve run bollworm moth traps this week but the numbers were small – nothing compared to what they’re reporting in Arkansas. That’s typical for our region. We normally don’t get a large bollworm flight until the end of July. We may see some bleed-over along the Mississippi River from northern Arkansas but that isn’t happening yet.
“In soybeans and cotton, a fair number of green stinkbugs are evident. That’s true even in cotton that isn’t blooming yet and now they’re showing up in our earliest beans. I’m urging people not to spray in cotton until we have bolls. In a few cases, people are spraying. Stink bugs are kind of stacking up and waiting for the bolls. At the moment, cotton is acting kind of like a trap crop.
“Adult kudzu bugs are starting their migration into some soybean fields. Don’t jump the gun with this insect because spraying too early accomplishes very little. Let the migration continue and then treat when immatures are established. The threshold is 1 immature kudzu bug per sweep, and I’m not sure we will hit that number in many acres.
“The moth flight has started for southwestern corn borer. This is only important for those with non-Bt corn, which is a limited amount of acreage. But we did see a good run of them during the first generation in a few places. In 7 to 10 days, treatments will likely be needed in places.”
Angus Catchot, Mississippi Extension Entomologist:
“The most consistent thing we’re seeing across a wide number of acres is aphids. We’ve been dealing with them for about 6 weeks and probably 8 out of every 10 calls lately have had something to do with aphids. It’s been many years since I’ve seen such widespread, large numbers of aphids across a broad area.
“Typically, folks don’t worry about aphids from a yield reduction standpoint. But this year’s crop is so far behind that we must think about things differently. Where cotton was planted in late May and into June, we don’t want aphids to set it back any more than it already is.
“With a few exceptions, plant bug numbers are still low to moderate.
“Of course, we’re very close to the traditional first bollworm moth flight. That hasn’t materialized yet but I think in the next week we’ll be hearing about bollworms showing up. We’ve been catching some moths in traps but this is just the time when they’ll be coming off the corn.
“In soybeans, people are catching a few redbanded stinkbugs. We’re not concerned about those yet but we’re watching closely. Aside from high numbers of grape colaspis, soybeans are quiet.”
Sebe Brown, Louisiana Extension Field Crops Entomologist:
“We’re fighting plant bugs pretty hard. A lot of corn has either dried down or is in the process, so plant bugs are migrating from corn into cotton. A big portion of our cotton is at bloom or will be before next week. All of that means more applications are going out. We’re seeing large numbers of aphids in cotton, too. Guys are typically taking plant bugs and aphids out with Transform at the same time.
“We haven’t seen a lot of bollworm egg lay yet. Our historic Fourth of July moth flight has been light thus far, although there’s still time. Our trap catches have been low but I’m still holding my breath.
“Spider mites have shown up in small spots. With the lack of rain in the forecast, everyone needs to watch out for mite outbreaks.
“In soybeans, redbanded stinkbug numbers are picking up. We have beans that are at R-3 and above with threshold numbers and treatments have started. That’s now happening from north to south Louisiana.
“Watch for bollworms in the late beans — especially R-1 to R-3 that haven’t lapped the middles. In particular, the short-statured beans are a prime candidate for bollworms.