Texas West Plains Cotton: Few Insects, Lots of Weed Problems

    Cotton field hit by hail. Photo: Jourdan Bell, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Entomologist

    Cotton ranges from seed still in the ground to 8 true leaf squaring cotton (average is 5 true leaves). This wide range is reflective of the mess we have been in across a large area here on the West Plains. I cannot review all the scenarios which have played out over the last 5 to 6 weeks during planting. Just suffice to say that it has been a real struggle for most to have a good stand.

    We sure could use a nice gentle rain this weekend. I know there are many where still too many uncertainties exist in this current planted crop. To hopefully aid in some of these decisions here is the link to the Hailout-Replant-Late Plant Guide.

    Scouting this week has found very little insect activity. We have noted a few grasshoppers and cotton aphids along field edges. Also, we can find fleahoppers and Lygus in weedy field margins. This is one benefit from times of repressive heat. We are now concentrating our efforts on monitoring square development, retention, and detection of any square robbing pests.

    Weed control is all over the board. Unfortunately, this is a field-by-field prescription situation now in terms of what type of tillage you plan on using in-season, weeds present, the size of those weeds, and available equipment. I must say that although pigweed is resistant to glyphosate (Roundup), glyphosate is still very effective against many and most all other weed species.

    To-date Liberty has still been working well with some humidity left. Be mindful of label restrictions of all herbicides and their use.

    Peanuts are generally doing well with many fields beginning to bloom. Maintain a moist environment in-canopy is difficult in high temperatures and windy conditions. The high humidity is necessary for blooms to pollinate and subsequently form pegs/pods.

    In evaluating many fields for nodule formation, I have found it to be extremely variable in field. Because of this variability we must plan on compensating with additional fertilizer applications. Priority now is clean up weeds, complete any cultivation in next couple weeks, and irrigate.

    Corn is generally doing well where sufficient irrigation is available. Watch for mites in this environment.

    Grain sorghum is being replanted now in some areas. No sugarcane aphids have been found in Hockley, Cochran, or Lamb counties yet.

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