Very hot across the Valley this week. Last Thursday and Friday we had been rained out in most areas, but majority of the Valley has dried up with many growers getting into their fields and harvesting grain sorghum and corn. Others have been putting out herbicides controlling weeds in cotton and in sesame.
In cotton as of late last week into this week it has really calmed down as far as pests go. Most cotton fields are clean of pests.
Reports of a few Verde bugs in east Willacy and in Cameron counties, but very few as many have gotten control in last few weeks and most fruit/bolls are becoming bigger in size where its harder for plant bugs to penetrate them and cause damage.
Still seeing a bit of whitefly pressure in Weslaco and Mercedes area in cotton in a few fields. Along the river in Bluetown, Progresso, Donna cotton looked clean and saw old sooty mold from past whitefly pressure but did not pick up on any new whitefly pressure as it looked under control for now.
In sesame we are seeing the Sesame Leaf Roller (SLR) more widespread throughout the Valley in all 3 counties feeding on sesame. In McCook last Friday there were reports of an outbreak of SLR in several fields that were likely treated this week.
Around the Santa Rosa, La Villa areas seeing some light SLR infestations. We did see some light SLR along the river yesterday south of La Feria but very few and the same thing in the Rio Hondo area.
This is not a new pest to sesame, but it is the first year where we are seeing it prevalent in our sesame here in the Valley. For those who have young sesame/later planted sesame please control your fields from pigweed as it is an alternative host for SLR feeding and then they will migrate into the sesame and please monitor your sesame for SLR as several generations of this pest occur each year in the season.
Dr. Holly Davis, AgriLife Extension entomologist, has been investigating the SLR and has a report on an efficacy trial she put out with Webb Wallace, consultant/owner of RGV Ag Science Inc.
Also Dr. Holly Davis has made a very interactive 6-minute video showing SLR in the field and explaining their biology and how to manage them. You can click here to view this SLR video.