Texas LRGV Cotton: Hanna Obliterated Crop, Tips for Stalk Destruction

A cotton field flooded by rains from Hurricane Hanna. Photo: Danielle Sekula, Texas AgriLife Extension

General Situation/Cotton

Very hot and little to no wind in the LRGV. The aftermath of Hurricane Hanna left majority of all the cotton in the valley destroyed. There is maybe a handful of growers that have been able to harvest but majority of all growers are having to destroy their cotton crop due to the destruction that hurricane Hanna did.

Many growers have started shredding and tilling under cotton stalks this week after being zeroed out by insurance adjusters. The Texas Boll Weevil Eradication Foundation has been and is very diligent in controlling boll weevil populations even after the effects of hurricane Hanna.

The September 1st deadline for all cotton stalks to be destroyed and rendered non hostable to boll weevils is still in effect.

Cotton Stalk Destruction

Cotton stalk destruction is crucial, and we have many 2,4 D resistant varieties now that we plant. Over the years I have been working with Dr. Josh Mcginty, Extension Agronomist, to conduct herbicide stalk destruction trials in the LRGV to investigate which herbicides provide good control of cotton stalks to be non-hostable to boll weevils.

AgFax Weed Solutions


The use of Duplosan at the full rate has proven to be effective at controlling cotton in all cultivars. The addition of thidiazuron (Dropp or Freefall) improves efficacy of both dichlorprop (Duplosan) and dicamba (Engenia).

When slight regrowth (leaves approximately 1-1.5” across) is present, both dichlorprop and dicamba work fine. When more regrowth and larger leaves were present, control is reduced. Smaller regrowth=better control, however control of stalks with zero regrowth has been inconsistent.

Freefall currently has a 24(c) Special Local Need registration in TX for post-harvest control of cotton (SLN # TX 200004, valid through December 31, 2025). The 24(c) label for Freefall can be found here.

Update from the Texas Boll Weevil Eradication Foundation:

The LRGV Cotton Producer Advisory Committee (CPAC) met August 20th to discuss the crop situation and whether to make any recommendations to the Texas Department of Agriculture about the upcoming cotton stalk destruction deadline of September 1st.

The committee discussed how important it is for producers to destroy all cotton stalks or make sure they are not hostable for boll weevils by the deadline. The committee did not recommend extending this deadline, but they do recognize there are some producers who may not be able to meet the deadline due to cotton fields standing in water. In that case, a producer may apply for an individual extension.

Producers will need to provide the necessary documentation along with photos of the field that the extension is being applied for. All documentation for an individual extension must be received prior to the September 1st deadline.

The Foundation encourages producers to contact their local Boll Weevil Eradication office if they have questions about whether a field is hostable and in compliance…or if they have any questions or concerns about stalk destruction.

To access either the online form or the traditional paper form for an individual extension click here.

Sesame

In late sesame there are a lot of fields that have 70 to 80% of the crop destroyed. There is still however some sesame out there that is growing and is barely starting to bloom. It was reported this week that growers with late sesame are spraying for high mirid plant bug pressure.

It seems as if sesame leafrollers (SLR) were hard to find any larva or pupas this past few weeks due to hurricane Hanna. However, there are reports of moths seen flying in sesame fields so we might see some SLR larva pressure later next week.

While no threshold has been established for N.tenuis we did notice back in July of 2015 that it took as little as 3 to 5 mirids per sesame terminal/plant to cause significant damage. Mirids are a type of plantbug that suck plant juices and can cause necrotic damage and stunting of growth to the sesame plant as well as injury to the pods.

N. tenuis mirids adults and nymphs are lime green in color measuring no more than 5mm in size (so fairly small). Necrotic damage will look like a reddish/brown scaring to the plant tissue along the stem, leaves and on the seed pods.

Signs of high mirid pressure feeding on the plants will be yellowing on the leaves and brownish necrotic damage and the curling under of the leaves. You will want to monitor for mirids and treat if necessary, since their feeding can hurt yield potential. Products labeled on sesame that control mirids are Transform and Mustang Maxx




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