Jerry Stuckey, farmer-general manager, Northwest Cotton Growers Co-op, Inc., Moscow, Kansas:
“Cotton was way behind, but it’s close to catching up now. Cutout should happen by August 18. Usually, blooms after that point won’t make a mature boll, so I’m pleased it’s cutting out now. There’s a good stand even though it’s late. Most plants have at least 3 bolls and 9 to 10 blooms. Squares were set all at once with this heat.
“The area needs rain. About an inch fell 10 days ago, the first in a while. It sprinkled here last night (8/12), but there were reports of good rains near Liberal. Sublette had 2 good showers recently.
“While a lot of cotton should mature well with a good fall, some fields appear less developed. Overall, the key is having enough moisture to get the most out of these crops.”
Jaime Lopez, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Agent, Frio County:
“Bolls have been open a week and need about 2 more weeks before they’re ready for defoliation. Cotton yield potential looks good – from 3.25 to 3.5 bales per acre. The area average is close to 3 bales.
“A few spider mites are moving into cotton after corn harvest on the eastern side of the county. The corn yields are promising, about 165 bushels per acre. That may be a little below average, but overall, good rains have complemented irrigation to boost our crop potential.
“Peanut pods are forming although a little leaf spot is showing up.”
Jourdan Bell, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Agronomist, Amarillo:
“From Amarillo north, the crop that’s left looks very good. There have been scattered showers, but cotton could use more rain. It’s in full bloom with a good boll set and progressing right on track, even with the cold, wet May start.
“Late post-emergence herbicides are going out. I’m amazed at the number of hoe crews out there. Producers are using all means possible to keep fields clean.
“Irrigated yields should be average with a 3-bale potential. Producers may be disappointed after last year’s large yields, but if they reach 3 bales, that’s still not bad.
“The question for remaining dryland cotton is whether it will make a crop that pays. Subsoil moisture is carrying the crop and it’s blooming out the top, but the yield potential is not what producers want. Surprisingly, late wildcat cotton is blooming and doing better than expected.
“Where it was too late to plant cotton, many growers came back with dryland sorghum. In an effort to plant into moisture, some fields were planted too deep, which caused emergence issues.”
“The main concern now is whether we have decent growing conditions in September to finish this crop.”
Gary Beverage, Nutrien Ag Solutions, Artesia, New Mexico/Southwest Texas:
“Cotton is coming together really well. A lot of early planted and replanted cotton struggled, but those fields are catching up and should be okay.
“Yields look promising and a lot of cotton is at cutout.
“Green stink bugs are everywhere and are hard to eliminate. There’s no aphid pressure yet. Most grasshoppers have moved from cotton to alfalfa fields, but a few are still causing problems.
“Weeds are under control, but there are light infestations of southwestern cotton rust. Preventative fungicide was applied, so it’s not a big problem.
“Hot weather is keeping most disease away. As long as there is sufficient irrigation water, cotton is responding well.”
Wayne Keeling, Texas A&M AgriLife Research Weed Specialist, Lubbock:
“It’s impressive to see so many clean fields. People have used residuals and post materials properly to keep things weed-free. That’s unlike 4 to 5 years ago when we were losing the battle against glyphosate-resistant weeds.
“Of course, dry weather in the last month to 6 weeks has slowed weed emergence. But they can still be a problem in irrigated fields if a good herbicide program is not in place. Hopefully, residual herbicides will control weeds the rest of the season.
“Fields are clean now, and they should stay clean heading into the 2020 season. It’s important to prevent late season weeds from going to seed. Good weed control now is a positive signal for this year and reduced weeds heading into next year.”