“Some early-planted cotton looks good at about 3-leaf. I saw a crop east of Oklahoma City last week that was 5-leaf.
“Most of our growers are no-tillers who plant into residue. That’s helping handle weeds early in the season. Overall, I’m optimistic. Our acres should produce similar to last year or even better.”
David Kerns, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Professor and Statewide IPM Coordinator:
“Fleahoppers are nearly at or above threshold for cotton in the southern Blacklands, so populations are high enough to spray in most cases. There are also a few aphids, but they haven’t blown up yet. However, cotton guys need to watch for brown and green stinkbugs, which are currently attacking small soybean pods. They could move into cotton when bolls become larger.
“Bollworm trap counts are low, but we’re seeing corn earworms. That’s not out of the ordinary, but a few earworms are coming through Vip technology. We don’t want to see that. There is also a little headworm activity in sorghum, while sugarcane aphid numbers are low.”
Justin Chopelas, JWC Consulting, Odem, Texas/Coastal Bend:
“It finally cleared up a little this afternoon (6/1), but there’s still rain in the area. It has been heavy at times. One area grower had 8.75 inches from last night to this morning, and there’s a chance the tropical storm in the southern Gulf will move toward the Texas Coast.
“The older cotton is 6 to 7 NAWF with an incredible fruit set. The canopy is good and is lapping the middles on 38-inch rows. Younger cotton is 10 to 12 nodes and is squaring up nicely.
“We had a big egg lay and I’ve sprayed 2-gene cotton for bollworms. Thankfully, I’ve seen no breakdowns in 3-gene cotton. Plant bugs are showing up and may need spraying. But overall, insect pressure has been light leading up to this egg lay. Much cotton has only had one insecticide application, though a late-season 6- to 10-inch rain can change that in a hurry.
“Region-wide, there’s potential for one of the best crops we’ve ever had. New varieties are shinning. Much depends on whether the tropical depression hits us.”
Blayne Reed, Texas A&M AgriLife IPM Agent, Hale, Floyd & Swisher Counties:
“The little rain we got 10 days ago wasn’t enough. Another few tenths of an inch would have helped get the dryland started. The irrigated is hanging on. There are fair stands. However, many fields needed replanting after cold-shock ruined cotton planted too early during unseasonably warm temperatures. Fields planted later are doing pretty well.
“Thrips populations are higher than average. In northern Hale and Swisher counties, there’s almost an automatic need to spray. Thrips are also heavier south of Plainview.
“For established cotton, wireworms are no longer a major concern. They didn’t take out as many fields as in the last few years. Growers either made better use of seed treatments or didn’t see the higher populations.
“Corn is hanging in there, but guys often can’t apply enough water during this dry period. Sorghum is in good shape.”
Orlando Flores, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Agent, El Paso County:
“Cotton is taking off. Everything has been planted here and in southeastern New Mexico. The crop should start squaring in the next week, and we’ll begin irrigating soon. It’s a good start to the year.
“I haven’t heard of any thrips, but we’re watching for them. We had to spray for false chinch bugs early on in Upland varieties. The wet winter caused a flush of London Rocket weed, a perfect host for false chinch bugs. When it dried up, the bugs were everywhere. Even people in town complained about them.