Southeast Cotton: Moisture and Warm Temps Make for a Good Week

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Karli Stringer, Contributing Editor

Here is this week’s issue of AgFax Southeast Cotton, sponsored by the Southern Cotton Team of AMVAC.


The Southeast is thriving after rains and warm temperatures have encouraged growth. Stands look healthy, and weed control is the main focus now.

Plant bugs are gaining attention as thrips seem to be on the decline.


Crop Reports

Phillip Roberts, Extension Entomologist, Tifton, Georgia

“Most people have gotten some pretty good rainfall, so the moisture situation is much better around here. We are winding down on planting; there’s only a few acres to go. Most of our stands look pretty good as a whole.

“We’re pretty much over the hump and done with thrips; I’m sure we’ll see some in the later cotton but not much.

“The main thing I’ve been hearing is the earliest planted cotton is beginning to square, and we’re seeing plant bugs meeting the threshold. It is not normally this bad. It’s typical for earlier planted fields to have more plant bugs, but we’re seeing a little more this year.

“Aphid numbers are slowly increasing. The populations seem to be slower to develop than in past years. Other than that, it’s a pretty decent year.”


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.

“We’re looking at a potentially hard economic hit, so we’re just trying to stay on top of that. We do know where to scout and look because we know they’re going to the oldest plants. We like to keep at least 80 percent of the fruit on the plant, so just battling the threshold before it gets out of hand is our main priority.

“The younger cotton is growing well with the recent moisture and warm nights. We are mostly through with thrips. We’re just letting the seed treatment on these later fields handle the thrips.”

AgFax Southeast Cotton is published by AgFax Media LLC
Ernst Undesser, Editorial Director.

Working-Copy%5B1%5D.jpgThis weekly report is distributed during the cotton production season. It is available to United States residents engaged in cotton farming, field scouting and other qualifying ag professions.

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