Eddie McGriff, Regional Extension Agronomist, Northeast Alabama
“We’ve had a pretty remarkable turnaround. We’ve gotten lots of rain, so the moisture is great. This warm weather and moisture in the ground is making for great growing conditions on what has been a late crop. We’re done planting, and anything that didn’t make it in the ground is being swapped out for soybeans.
“We are seeing a lot of plant bugs in fleabane, which is a host for now until they move to cotton. We are going to start spraying, but we’re expecting those plant bugs to hit hard when the cotton starts to square.”
Ron Smith, Extension Entomologist, Auburn University
“Well, our oldest and earliest cotton has reached pinhead square stage. We’ve had very unusual reports coming in lately — almost every area in the state of Alabama has a migration of adult tarnished plant bugs getting into the oldest cotton. It is extremely unusual for the entire state to be hit at the same time with the same thing. Many areas are reaching the threshold, so we’re trying to work early and make some difficult decisions on what applications should be made. We’re trying not to make too costly of decisions right now because we may need multiple applications later on. From looking at the wild host, Alabama daisy fleabane, we are pretty sure the movement into cotton will continue for several weeks. That wild vegetation is infested by the millions and those plant bugs are at every life stage.