“From what I’ve seen across the state, the crop looks good. It’s well into bloom around Yuma and producing small bolls. In central and eastern Arizona, cotton is at match-head square. Many areas are seeing their first in-season irrigations. That’s after nice winter moisture. Irrigation will produce weeds, so growers need to be timely with herbicide applications. They need to make sure those herbicides control glyphosate-resistant pigweed because Roundup won’t.
“The wet winter created localized insect pressure. Increased desert vegetation is a host to false chinch bug issues, striped flea beetle and other insects. Growers are treating edges of fields, where insects are leaving mustard weeds for cotton fields. I lost a trial to false chinch bugs. They walked right through it.”
Chuck Wilbur, Independent Crop Consultant, Wellington, Texas/Southeastern Panhandle/Southwestern Oklahoma:
“We finally caught good rains in the 1- to 1.5-inch range. Now we need more heat units after cool weather these past few weeks. Cotton varies in growth, and there have been many replants. The best cotton I’ve seen is just north of Quail. It was planted about April 24 and is now at 3-leaf. I’m hoping last weekend’s thunderstorms and strong wind didn’t hurt it.
“There is better seed quality this year. With this cool weather, fungicide seed treatments are a good insurance policy. Insecticide treatments should help with thrips, which haven’t caused problems so far. Growers are doing a good job managing weeds. They’ve stayed on top of them. Many growers planted into cover crops, which also helps control weeds.
“If we get the heat, this could still be a good crop. Peanuts look good across Collingsworth County. We just need warm temperatures for everything.”
Kyle Aljoe, Crop Quest Consulting, Dimmitt, Texas:
“It’s cold today (5/25) in the low 60s. That’s not helping the cotton. Most irrigated is up. It emerged in 8 days, but took 2 weeks to make a good stand. Guys are dry-planting dryland cotton.
“Weed control remains steady, but thrips are heavy. I scouted one field that didn’t have treated seed. We’re about to hit it with our second insecticide application.
“We’re applying layby herbicide treatments to corn, which looks good. Our problem is with low groundwater sources. We have to equip sprinklers with smaller nozzles. It’s a challenge to get the right pressure needed for sufficient irrigation. Wheat for grain looks good, but yields may suffer because we have to stretch irrigation to help get the corn up.”
Haley Kennedy, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension IPM Agent, Runnels, Tom Green & Concho Counties:
“Parts of the Concho Valley received heavy hail damage last Thursday (5/21). Corn, sorghum, and emerging cotton were hit hard. Damage was mostly in the Tom Green County area around Wall and Veribest, two key irrigated production areas.
“All of that hail followed high winds in mid-May that heavily damaged a new gin under construction in Mereta. Growers and officials in the Lone Star Farmers Coop are still assessing the damage.
“Fortunately, we received rain during the recent storms which will benefit dryland cotton. Guys were waiting on moisture and were about ready to dry-plant. It’s a little more promising now.
“Thrips were a problem in early cotton and required treatments. The rains slowed down our wheat harvest.”
Josh McGinty, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Agronomist, Corpus Christi:
“I finally pulled out my mud boots last week. After being too dry, it rained the past 2 weekends, including 1.65 inches in the last round at the Corpus research station.
“We applied Pix last week and hope to get a second shot of PGR out this week to slow down growth. Most cotton is flowering and will see full bloom in a few days. We have enough soil moisture to carry us another 2 to 3 weeks. If we can catch 2 more good rains, we could see an above-average crop.
“Sorghum is responding well to the rain, but corn is in tough shape after suffering through the dry spell before the recent rains. But overall, things are looking up on the Coastal Bend.”