Emi Kimura, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Area Agronomist, Vernon:
“Cotton is better than expected after the dry, hot May and June. Although several dryland fields did not come up. Last weekend, rain crusted over a few fields that were still trying to get established. But it helped cotton that was already up, as did rain yesterday (7/5) and today.
“A few cotton plants are just coming up after a late planting. Others are just now 2 nodes tall. Irrigated fields look good. They are squaring, and producers are spraying for fleahoppers. We need more rain in the next couple of weeks to keep the crop going.
“Unfortunately, we’re getting weedy after the rains. When it dries up, producers need to apply herbicide while weeds are still small. They can apply dicamba until July 31, but don’t let weeds get too big. Check the labels, especially on Tavium, which can only be applied up to 60 days after planting.
“The wheat yields were up and down due to a hot, dry early spring, the mid-April freeze, and a hailstorm in early May. Growers and county agents report that yields range from zero up to 60 to 70 bushels. My wheat trials were lucky – up to 40 to 50 bushes – because they missed the worst of the weather.”
David Drake, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension IPM Agent, Northeast Texas:
“We suffered through one of the driest Junes on record, but finally got rain today (7/6). It will be a while before we need PGRs.
“There are a few fleahoppers in the area, as well as light bollworm numbers. Grasshoppers are also annoying, but they won’t hurt cotton. Weeds took off early, but we caught up to them and the lack of rainfall helped. We have a chance for a good crop but need more rain. Roots can’t get to the soil profile down deep.
“Corn is close to pollinating, and soybeans look better than expected with the dry conditions. Sorghum is filling, and we’re not seeing any hot spots for sugarcane aphid.”
Loren Seaman, Seaman Crop Consulting, Hugoton, Kansas:
“It has been rough with so much wind damage. Guys who planted into a good cover crop are doing well, but many areas didn’t have enough cover to prevent wind damage 3 weeks ago.
“In general, cotton is at early to mid-square. We should still see production on about 85% of our planted acres. The better fields are at 15 to 16 leaf, but growth is slow due to the wind.
“We’re seeing a few fleahoppers, but nothing that’s threatening so far. Most varieties have Bt technology, so we don’t expect bollworm damage. In fact, very little cotton up here has needed bollworm treatments in the past 20 years.
“Growers are finishing up with herbicides, but the wind has made it difficult to make timely applications. Overall, it’s a decent crop. Heat units are near normal, but it needs more moisture. Dryland cotton is hanging on because we had good subsoil moisture.”
Kyle Aljoe, Crop Quest Consulting, Dimmitt, Texas:
“The older irrigated crop in the Castro County area is starting to bloom or is close to it. But if it doesn’t rain soon it will suffer.
‘If cotton shares irrigation water with corn or any other crop with higher water demands, it’s not getting any. With the forecast for 7 days of 100-degree weather, it’s going to be pretty tough on everything.
“Corn looks good, but farmers are having a hard time keeping up with water demands even in fields with high irrigation capacity. This county has had just over 5 inches of rain this year. It’s tough to get anything to grow with those conditions.
“There are no major insect issues other than a few fleahoppers and lygus bugs. Weeds are under control.”
Chris Locke, CSL Consulting Inc., Sudan, Texas/Eastern New Mexico:
“Insect pressure is minimal. There are no plant bugs, fleahoppers or lygus situations anywhere. Grasshoppers are the only bug problems, and they’re on the field edges.
“Irrigated fields are still holding up during this dry spell. Plants range from 6 to 7 nodes up to 12 to 14 nodes. Early fields might bloom by July 12, while the later cotton will bloom towards the end of the month. It is squaring with an average square at about the 7th node. Square retention is around 90%.