Texas West Plains Cotton: Insects Quiet, but Don’t Stop Scouting

    Cotton ranges from early bloom with more than 5 nodes above white flower (NAWF) to past physiological cutout with less than 2 NAWF. The area cotton crop reflects that 2/3 of fields have less than 2.5 nodes above white flower (NAWF) currently, with the remaining third ranging from 5 to 3 NAWF. Ideally, we would literally be blooming out the top this next week.

    I do think most acres will achieve this goal. This gives us little risk of these fields reaching full maturity and taking full advantage of the growing season.

    We did have a short run on cotton bollworms last week in a few non-Bt and Bollgard II fields. This week however, only a few large worms can be found with no new infestations. We are not finding cotton aphids, Lygus are in very low numbers, with no immatures noted in cotton.

    Most likely most insects have been lured away into grain sorghum, possibly corn in some areas. I would continue to scout for these pests for at least another two to three weeks.

    We have noted squares up to small bolls being shed in some cotton fields this week. Looking at this fruit on the ground most if not all of this is natural shed, not from insect damage. This natural adjustment generally always occurs at this time of season, especially when we have years with high fruit retention rates early.

    So, this is just a natural adjustment in what the plant can hold and allows bolls to achieve full size and quality in relation to what the plant can provide.

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    Peanuts continue to be healthy and generally disease free. But as the weather changes be vigilant for signs or conditions for disease development. Leaf spot would be one I would first be looking for. Worm activity has been light in foliage feeding. Keep an eye on this though.

    Grain sorghum should be scouted for sugarcane aphids, but also other pests as midge, other species of aphids, and head-worm as well.

    You or someone must scout. We are at a critical period for all crops. Do not drop the ball now as we go deeper into the second half.

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