“Plant bug sprays are going out on 10% to 15% of our cotton acreage, so that will help knock back aphids.
“We’re concerned about nematode symptoms, and their effect on cotton seems to get worse every year. Our biggest problem is the reniform nematode, and we are limited in what we can do to control them, especially in-season. Ideally, we stretch out the rotation, but crop options are limited in a dryland system. We hope to see some cotton varieties that offer strong resistance to reniform nematodes.
“Most of the cotton is around 6 to 8 nodes, but this crop stretches from 2 leaves to 11 nodes. In the bigger cotton, we are initiating plant growth regulator applications.”
Jeremy Greene, Clemson University Entomologist, Blackville, South Carolina
“I can easily find tarnished plant bugs. Plant bugs most years are a real problem in only 10% to 20% of our fields, so we have to look at 100% of our fields to figure out which ones have a population that could be a problem. We want to maintain 75% to 80% square retention and delay treatments unless we see 8 to 10 plant bugs per 100 sweeps. The key here is to look at both factors. And we don’t need to confuse physiological shed with insect damage.
“Aphids are starting to show up in growers’ fields, but we don’t need to worry about them and the cotton leafroll dwarf virus they transmit. I haven’t seen any widespread problem with yields related to the virus, so let’s don’t panic and treat aphids to prevent it. We are still learning about the virus and vector combinations to determine whether it will hurt yields.
“Enough rain has fallen to keep spider mite populations low.”
Jack Royal, Royal’s Agricultural Consulting Co., Inc., Leary, Georgia
“Weed control is the pressing issue in peanuts. We’ve already applied a lot of herbicide and we’re still applying it, depending on the age of the peanuts. Fungicide applications are starting and will gain momentum next week.
“In cotton, we are sidedressing nitrogen and applying plant growth regulators. We’ll start layby for weed control at the end of this week, or early next week. Plant bug pressure is light. The older cotton is squaring and retention is running 96% and higher.
“We treated all of our corn with a fungicide, and before that we sprayed for stink bugs. The corn is excellent, and pollination worked out well. We received a good bit of supplemental rainfall to help save on irrigation costs. We just turned on the pivots again late last week after leaving them off for several weeks.
“All in all, everything is going smoothly. Knock on wood.”
Richard Davis, Davis Ag Consulting, Montgomery, Alabama
“We are in good shape with moisture, and I hope we can continue to get some rain through the end of June and on into July. Our older cotton has 8 to 10 nodes and it’s starting to square good. Square retention today was approaching 100%. I’m doing some sweeping now and the highest count so far is about 5 tarnished plant bugs per 100 sweeps.
“Thrips are mostly out of the picture. Plant bugs will likely move into cotton in the next week or so. We are cleaning up weeds again, mainly grasses.
“We’re off to a good start.”
Ethan Carter, Regional Crop IPM, Marianna, Florida
“A dry weekend followed 7 to 10 days of soaking rain. It dried up enough to get back in the field early this week. The bulk of cotton in my county is averaging 3 to 4 true leaves. The primary focus now is early-season post-emergence weed control. We need to protect this young crop. In the next two weeks, most people will start considering plant growth regulator applications.
“Most of our peanut crop is within a week or two of its first fungicide application. A herbicide application went out on some peanut fields, but the younger fields are just coming into the timing for those first weed control application.”
Steve Brown, Extension Cotton Agronomist, Auburn University, Alabama
“I think the crop is starting to look pretty good. Temperatures are fairly moderate. Cool nighttime weather is good for people and good for cotton, too. We’re setting up to have a nice crop if we can maintain moisture. The weather guy is talking about rainfall next week, and we hope he’s right. Getting a little rain all along goes a long way.
“We are aggressively looking for aphids. Aphid pressure likely will build over the next couple of weeks, but it’s currently light. The virus is out there, but we’re only finding it because we’re focused on virus research.
“Cotton stages are all over the board. Some fields are in the second week of squaring and maybe beyond that. Most fields will at least enter the squaring stage late this week or next.
“A lot of sidedress nitrogen is going out. This crop is taking shape and looks like cotton now, and we have pushed past a lot of the ragged cotton caused by thrips.”
Sally Taylor, Virginia Tech Extension Entomologist, Tidewater REC
“We are counting over 150 thrips per 5 seedlings in some of our cotton planted in Suffolk. This cotton was planted with only a seed treatment. It is unlikely that any sprays will be made this week because of heavy rains. To assess fields for thrips injury, check new buds for wrinkling and deformity.
“You will likely benefit from a foliar spray if you used seed treatments alone, if plants show injury and if active populations are in the field. In-furrow treatments tend to show less injury and are less likely to need sprays. The North Carolina State University Thrips Infestation Predictor for Cotton predicts that the peak of thrips dispersal in our area will come at the end of June.