Suhas Vyavhare, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Entomologist, Lubbock:
“With a few fields hitting pinhead square, farmers need to watch closely for fleahoppers. With large populations of weedy hosts, fleahoppers could move into cotton after weeds are treated with herbicides. The threshold for fleahoppers in West Texas is 25 to 30 fleahoppers per 100 terminals.
“Farmers need to have a minimum shed of early squares, which produce the most cotton in a plant. It should be limited to a 10% shed if possible. There can be square loss without insect infestations. So before deciding to spray, make sure insects are the problem. When it comes to the right insecticide, use a broad-spectrum insecticide to protect beneficials that will be needed later in the growing season.”
Todd Baughman, Oklahoma State University Institute for Agricultural Biosciences, Research Professor, Ardmore:
“As late as it is in June, there are still a few guys trying to get dryland planted. For some it was too dry to plant early. For others it was too wet for too long. They made up for it last weekend. Planters were blowing and going.
“The crop that’s up looks better, but we’re not sure how far the wet weather set us back.
“The most positive thing is we have good soil moisture with the bulk of the summer still ahead. Research shows with this kind of deep moisture, there should be a positive yield in the end. But the slow start is still a concern.
“While the moisture and heat helped the cotton, weeds took off. Weeds went from being no problem to being too big to spray in about a week’s time. Fields treated with residual herbicides earlier were cleaner. That shows how important those residuals are. They may break down faster in wet weather, but the advantage of them was extremely obvious this month.”
Chuck Wilbur, Independent Crop Consultant, Wellington, Texas/Southeastern Panhandle/Southwestern Oklahoma:
“We had a little reprieve in the weather Monday (June 21) and Tuesday with temperatures in the 70s and low 80s. But after heat in the 100s last week, the crop needs another shower. The dryland is all over the place. Most is up but some didn’t make it. The irrigated looks pretty good. It’s at 6 to 10 nodes and pinhead to match-head square.
“Fields are weedy, so this week we’re applying more residuals and will start making PGR treatments. Since the crop is squaring, we may incorporate acephate into the application to manage fleahoppers. We’ll also start top dressing with fertilizer later this week. There’s a good profile after the rains a few weeks ago. Even though fields are getting dry on top, we want to get roots down to the profile to conserve irrigation water. We’ll need the water in August.
“The peanut crop is coming along. It’s at first bloom and looks good. I’m hearing good yield numbers on wheat. They’re 40 bushels per acre and higher for dryland. The wet May helped with the grain fill.
“Growers are scrambling to obtain chemicals. There could be difficulties in getting enough herbicide and insecticide further into the growing season. Another problem is weeds are adapting to herbicide chemistries. We’re hoping the residuals will hold up until well into July.”
Murilo Maeda, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Cotton Specialist, Lubbock:
“The cotton is responding well to the warm weather after good rains. Growth stages are in all ranges. There are 6-plus leaves in some fields, to others where plants are just coming up. Even some fields hit with blowing sand and hail early on look a lot better.
“Monday (June 21) was a rough day after high winds hit the South Plains region. It’s hard to tell at this point the extent of the damage but I’m sure some fields were hurt. On the positive side, weather models indicate the chance of rain this weekend. That would be a welcome sight and relief after hot temperatures last week and the warm weather we’ll see through Friday.
“After a dry start to the year, spring and early summer rain put our total precipitation at 10.61 inches in Lubbock. That’s 2.36 inches above normal through June 21. For that reason, we have a chance to make a good dryland crop. We hope that materializes.”
John Thobe, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension IPM Agent, Bailey, Parmer & Castro Counties:
“Cotton is in different stages of growth, with a few fields still pushing 3 to 5 leaf and others starting to square. For those fields, we’re warning guys to check for fleahoppers and stay on top of them to prevent square losses.
“Residual herbicides have done a good job on weeds and we’re focusing more on escapes. With the shortage of chemicals, some guys are pulling out the whole bag of tricks to try and stay ahead of weeds. For younger cotton, Orthene is going with herbicide applications to manage thrips.
“Milo is being replanted in parts of the region. A few growers will push into next week before planting. Corn is at the V8 stage and we’re watching traps for fall armyworms. Wheat harvest is about 20% completed. May rains were beneficial and a few guys took wheat to grain. But there’s still a lot of wheatlage around after wheat was cut for forage.”
ALSO OF NOTE
Oklahoma Cotton: Managing Fleahoppers
Thompson on Cotton: Outside Influences Responsible for Recent Volatility
Weekly Cotton Market Review – USDA
Cleveland on Cotton: Market Mostly Recovered from Commodity Shakeup
Drought Monitor Weekly: Heavy Rains in Southeast; Hot, Dry Up North
NOAA Seasonal Drought Outlook – July, Aug., Sept.
Global Markets: Cotton – Strong Chinese Consumption, State Reserve Demand Drive Imports to 7-Year High
Ag Taxes: Looking Over the American Families Plan – DTN
DTN Fertilizer Trends: Slow March Higher Continues
Eyeing USDA’s Budget Request – DTN