|Josh McGinty, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Agronomist, Corpus Christi:
“We’re receiving small showers and getting close to finishing the crop. We’re about three weeks away from starting defoliation. Historically, defoliation begins on July 24, so it appears we’re right on schedule.
“Some cotton that had too much water a few weeks ago will be late. It’s trying to make fruit further up the plant after it dropped fruit and flowers while in standing water. Other fields are mostly on track and much of the cotton looks fantastic. It is sealing the deal with nice showers and enough sunlight hours to baby the crop along. The forecast is for more of the same weather next week.
“We’re looking at a better-than-average yield, which is normally about 1.5 bales per acre. It could push 2 bales this year. Some cotton on the Corpus research station is at 3-bale-plus, but it is not representative of the entire region.”
Alan Seitz, Nutrien Ag Solutions, Wilcox, Arizona:
“After seeing regular temperatures in the low 100s, we’ve cooled off and have a chance for rain. Fields are responding after replants following the cooler spring. There was also a little Rhizoc to deal with.
“We’re still making post-emerge herbicide applications of Xtend or Enlist and seeing decent weed control. We’re scouting for lygus and other insects but have not had to spray for anything. It’s still too early to make PGR applications.”
David Drake, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension IPM Agent, Northeast Texas:
“I just got rained out of the field. That’s the kind of year we’ve had. But it’s hard to complain about rain after extra hot temperatures following springtime showers. We could still use more rain on summer crops.
“Cotton ranges from squaring and 8 to 10 nodes to stuff planted the first of June that has since developed good stands. We’re still watching for thrips on that young cotton, while the older cotton has guys scouting for fleahoppers. I’m sure we’ll also see bollworms as the season progresses. Weeds are under control for guys who put out preplant herbicides. They can come back and clean up any flushes.
“Weeds are bad in corn because guys couldn’t get into the field for two months due to wet weather. Some want to make aerial herbicide applications. Earworms are showing up in corn along with a few stink bugs. These insects are not yet at threshold, but there are high numbers of grasshoppers. Guys may need to spray the edges of fields to handle them.
“Soybeans look good but we’re still checking for stink bugs. Sorghum acres are down because it was too wet to plant at the right time. I’m not seeing many sugarcane aphids or midge in the sorghum that’s out there.
“The wet weather has kept many growers from finishing wheat harvest.”
Murilo Maeda, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Cotton Specialist, Lubbock:
“Most of the region has been blessed with additional rainfall the past few days. As much as 2.5 to 6 inches has fallen south of Amarillo on a Friona-Happy-Memphis line. Further south, from the state line to Crosby and Floyd counties, about 1 to 3 inches were received.
“Lubbock south has seen the most rainfall out of this event. Tuesday morning (June 29), West Texas Mesonet reported that Lamesa and Tarzan, through Gail and Fluvanna, accumulated as much as 7 inches in the past five days. While most of the crop will benefit from the moisture, there are reports around Lamesa of complete wipeout of fields from hail damage. There is more rain in the forecast through the July 4th weekend and into next week, so it may be a while before we can get in the field.
“With so much variability in our crop, I can’t make any generalized comments. However, as we start to dry out, two things come to mind. One is weed control. With additional moisture you can count on a new flush of weeds. Growers should be prepared to deal with that accordingly. Second, the more vigorous cotton varieties might want to grow rank. Pay close attention to the five uppermost internodes in the plant, which is the region that is actively growing.
“Use PGRs to control growthy plants. Remember two smaller applications usually work better than one big shot. Earlier is better than later, as long as conditions are conducive for growth. Avoid using PGRs if the crop is, or is likely to be, under stress.”
Jose Mendoza, Crop Quest Consulting, Northern Texas Panhandle:
“Despite the cooler weather, cotton is progressing well. It has been squaring about a week in the Spearman and Perryton areas. We’re going with an initial shot of PGR and insecticide to protect the early squares. We’re seeing more fleahoppers than usual and need to keep them under control.
“Weed control is looking good. We made early Enlist or dicamba treatments and have been applying residuals since then. It’s about an even split between Enlist and dicamba cotton acres. Growers are being mindful of their neighbors who may have different herbicide technology. They communicate well with each other. There are no drift issues so far.
“The cool weather is not affecting cotton too much but the rain has delayed some PGR applications. The weather has helped the corn. It looks great, and sorghum is moving along as well. Wheat is probably 80% harvested. In the Morse area, irrigated yields are in the low- to mid-90s. There are dryland yields at 30 to 35 bushels. Much was initially cover crop, but with the rain and high wheat prices, many growers decided to keep it for grain.”