Texas LRGV: Cotton Being Defoliated; Sesame Harvest Nears

General Situation

Another week of temperatures in the 100s and nights right at 80F in the LRGV. However, it seems there might be some potential showers forecasted for next week to cool off, but we will see. Heat Units continue to increase as we noticed on average about 30% open bolls in cotton this week.

This week we were finally able to finish harvesting the last of our grain sorghum variety trials with yields averaging at 5500 to 6500 lbs per acre.

Cotton

Very clean week in the cotton fields. We only picked up on a few adult whiteflies but other than that we did not see any pests of concern. Many growers defoliating this week, mainly dryland cotton but did see some irrigated cotton being defoliated as well. Some growers were putting a final irrigation on their cotton as we get closer to harvest time.

I did see a few growers already out destroying/disking under cotton fields that were destroyed by the storm that occurred on June 24th. Many cotton fields and sesame fields stayed under water for days which caused the plants to rot and there is still standing water in some of the affected areas in the Valley.

Sesame

Sesame continues to mature as majority of the fields in the Valley are in cutout stage and harvest is just around the corner. We are seeing many mirids at this time present in the sesame fields. Mirids are plantbugs that are sucking pests that like to attack the flowers, buds and young pods on the sesame plant. However, since majority of sesame is at cutout and pods are mature and have been established, we do not see a reason to spray for them prior to harvest.

At the time of heavy blooming throughout the Valley earlier in the season we found mirids present as well but noticed they were feeding on many whiteflies present as they are also predators of whiteflies and when they have this food source available they tend to not feed on the sesame plant alone (Please note: these are my observations and still need further investigation as we continue to grow and monitor sesame in the LRGV).


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