Robert Flynn, New Mexico State University Extension Soils/Agronomist, Artesia:
“We’ve had about 6 inches of rain the past few weeks, which is abnormal for southeastern New Mexico this time of year. With the added water, a few fields have leached nitrogen because plants are a little yellow.
“Plants are at about 8 nodes and squares are forming. Some fields have already bloomed.
“I haven’t seen any disease, but we’re watching for southwestern rust after all the moisture. Weeds management is the main task, but most fields are clean.
“I haven’t seen any severe insect damage, but we can’t let our guard down. What we need now is more sunshine for cotton and other crops.”
Mark Nemec, MJN Consulting, Waco, Texas:
“We’re still wet in spots after spotty showers in recent days. Humidity remains high and it’s steamy. But the cotton has turned around and is loading up. After beneficial rain, it has had enough sunshine to perk up. It’s finally blooming and looks good.
“We’re trying to apply PGRs between showers. We need to manage the rank growth but can’t get in the fields because they’re too wet. Fortunately, guys have done a good job in controlling weeds. We hit them hard with the whole ball of wax. We’re nearly past the time we can apply the over-the-top chemicals, so we’ll make layby applications if guys have the equipment.
“Insects are light, but we expect a big egg lay. I saw many moths last week but no eggs materialized.
“Corn is finishing up fast and harvest is two to three weeks away. Sorghum is turning red in a hurry. We dealt with headworms a week ago and are seeing a few stink bugs this week. There are no aphids to speak of.”
Joe Renfro, Nutrien Ag Solutions, Southwestern Oklahoma:
“Cotton looks really good if we can keep fleahoppers out of it. Everything is wet. What it needs now is direct sunlight to help it catch up.
“The dryland will be squaring next week. It’s at 4 to 5 leaves. After the rain, we’ll even see PGRs go out on some dryland. The irrigated crop is excellent if we can hold on to it. Guys have been able to keep fields pretty clean, but there are issues with carelessweed where guys made a smaller application of dicamba. They’ve had to go back in and hit with a heavy shot. Volunteer cotton is bad in many fields. We’ll need to be ready for more weeds after all of the rain.
“There’s more corn this year and it looks good. I had to spray for stink bugs and aphids in some cornfields. Dryland milo is outstanding. Some is heading out and other fields are knee-high. Everything just needs to dry up. I’ve walked through a lot of muddy fields this year and the creeks around Duke and Hollis are still up and running.”
Danielle Sekula, Texas A&M AgriLife IPM Agent, Lower Rio Grande Valley:
“Valley cotton is starting to look a lot better in color and seems to be coming along fine after the high rainfall we’ve had. What cotton that’s not in full bloom has just entered cutout and boll loads look good. Some cotton was looking thirsty before this week’s rain showers and benefited from them.
“Most fields are clean of major insect pressure after being treated for lygus. There are a handful of whitefly adults and a few fleahoppers are present, but the majority of fields are clean. Growers should note we’re seeing western flower thrips in and around blooms, but they don’t harm cotton. Nevertheless, we are monitoring for Chilli thrips, but we have not found them or evidence of damage.
“We’re also monitoring for Verde and tarnished plant bugs since there are many immature bolls. A few tarnished plant bugs have been seen in non-treated fields. Don’t mistake plant bugs for green adult lacewings, the beneficials present in cotton as well as in sorghum.
“Sorghum harvest is showing yields of about 3,200 pounds per acre for dryland and 6,500 pounds for irrigated. Fields not yet harvested should be monitored for sugarcane aphid to determine if treatments are needed.”
Colton Bison, Director of Agronomy, Parmer County Cotton Growers, Inc.:
“This area has received close to 4 inches of rain the past two weeks, which really helped the crop. Even last night (July 4) we received a half-inch across about everything. The dryland needed the moisture after starting to stress early on. It has turned around and is just starting to square. The irrigated enjoyed help from showers as well and is also squaring.
“Many growers are spraying for fleahoppers and there has been no damage to speak of so far. Weeds were tough in the beginning when it was hot and dry. Herbicides couldn’t get activated. Our area has a wide range of herbicide technologies. Guys are using Enlist, dicamba and Liberty, along with different tank mixes that work for them. To manage plant growth, we’ll likely see PGRs go out a little earlier than usual.
“With the good rain and a strong cotton price, we could have a heck of a year.”
Loren Seaman, Seaman Crop Consulting, Hugoton, Kansas:
“We’ve had good rain, but wouldn’t mind more heat in southwest Kansas. We’re about 10 days to two weeks behind and short about 200 heat units. I wouldn’t mind if it got back into the mid-90s for a full month. About 10% of the crop started squaring a week ago. The remaining 80% to90% is just starting to square this week. Stands are pretty fair, and plants are running at 6 to 9 leaf.
“Weed control is good. Since we’re dealing with Palmer amaranth and Kochia, we have to run a mix of Liberty and Enlist Duo. That’s about the only post-emerge program we can get to work.
“We may need to apply PGRs after the good rains. We generally don’t go with PGRs until plants are at 10 to 12 leaf. We’ll then check internode distance and make recommendations based on that. Typically, we look for 1.5 inches between the 4th and 5th nodes down from the top of the plant. If the distance is smaller than that, we wait another week. Irrigated cotton usually has better soil fertility because the field was likely planted in corn before. That can impact growth more than dryland fields that may not have as much fertility. If dryland doesn’t get much rain, we don’t use PGRs.”