Southeast Cotton: Mixed Reports After New Weather Conditions

    Brown stink bug on cotton boll. Photo: University of Arkansas

    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 seeing a boom in stinkbugs as the cotton crop matures and corn dries out.

    Growers are battling weather conditions as they fight for time to stay in the fields.



    Scott Graham, Extension Entomologist, Auburn University:

    “We’re finally getting into some hot, dry weather, which will be good. People can finally get into the fields and spray herbicides, pesticides and plant growth regulators. Overall, we’re just late.

    “Different parts of the state are behind in different things because they just can’t get in the fields. In central Alabama, as we get more into bloom, plant bugs are playing out and stinkbugs are coming in. North Alabama still has plant bugs migrating in and we’re finding immature ones still out there. It’s just a difference we’re seeing between regions of the state.

    “The biggest thing we’re seeing right now is an outbreak of fall armyworms. This past weekend, we got reports of pyrethroid not being effective in controlling fall armyworms. In fact, we’re hearing more of it missing them than getting them. I’m sure it’s because we’ve had a season of lots of grass in bean fields and we just couldn’t get in to spray. We’ve been giving them a couple of other options, but I hope it’s just a ‘this year’ thing.

    “The only other thing I can think of is that we have seen some red banded stinkbugs being sprayed in the black belt. Nothing too bad, but it’s something to watch for in central and south Alabama.”

    Jennifer Bearden, Extension Agricultural Agent, Okaloosa County, Florida:

    “We finally had a few days without rain, so we are all out in the fields. I think everyone mostly started out with a focus on peanuts and getting those fungicides out. Now the focus is on cotton. We’re looking at how much rain the fields got and if they need some nitrogen applications. I think most places will probably need nitrogen.

    “Things look surprisingly well given the circumstances. There’s a good color to the cotton, not much yellowing. It looks like tomorrow (July 28) will give us more rain, but then we should have several more days of dry weather. Hopefully that will give us the push we need to improve for the rest of the season and have a good end. We just definitely do not need any tropical weather. If that can hold off, we should be fine.”

    Brandon Phillips, Phillips Ag Services, LLC, Fitzgerald, Georgia:

    “Well, to the south of me is still really wet even though it hasn’t rained in a few days. We have had some pretty warm temperatures, but people are still struggling to get in the fields. A lot of people have caught up and finally got some fertilizers and plant growth regulators out. In the fields that have caught up, the cotton looks really good. I will say, I don’t think I’ve ever put out so many shots of PGRs.

    “Other than that, our attention has shifted from plant bugs to stinkbugs. The corn is drying down and the stinkbugs are just flooding out of there. We’re are spraying a lot of fields for stinkbugs. We are also applying fungicide for target spot. That has kind of blown up recently. I have a field that was five nodes and about white flower and target spot has about a third of the plant defoliated already. The rainy, humid and hot conditions are just perfect for target spotting and mildew. We are putting out a good bit of pot ash and nitrogen in those sandy fields.

    “We’ve had some issues with the corn earworm over the past three weeks, and the V2 Technology has actually held up against it. Usually, you can guarantee V3 will handle a moderate to heavy flight, but the V2 has done the job so far.

    “Some cotton has just been abandoned. Some fields were just planted late and then there was so much rain and people just let it go. Some places got up to 14 inches of rain in about 5 days. I guess when it rains, it pours.

    “Our peanuts range from 45 days old to 100 days old. Just in the past 10 days, we picked up early and late leaf spot in some fields. That probably has a lot to do with being behind on fungicides. Then we’ve got white mold coming into the picture. The temperatures have just been perfect for that mold to go crazy. We’re trying to stay on top of an application schedule; we’re moving from every 14 days to every 10 days for fungicides. It’s also better to be early with those applications than late. Right now, the predominant thing we’re seeing is early leaf spot. Late leaf spot is typically more aggressive as far as leaf shed.

    “We will be putting out some Dimilin sprays for looper and velvetbean moths we’ve seen flying lately. Dimilin typically keeps us from having to spray an expensive insecticide down the road.”

    Jeremy Greene, Clemson University Entomologist, Blackville, South Carolina:

    “Well, we have a lot more insect activity in our cotton. It’s looking like we’re on the front end of pressure from bollworms. We are right in the middle of the first flight that came over from corn. We’re seeing a good bit of stinkbug activity in the bolls and some people around here are already triggering the first sprays. Plant bugs are kind of thrown to the side when stinkbugs make an entrance. We aren’t having many issues with spidermites because of all this rain, and the aphids certainly plummeted thanks to the aphid fungus.

    “In soybeans, I looked at a field and didn’t see anything out of whack, but I saw a lot of different species. I’d say there’s no serious trouble and the defoliators aren’t here in mass yet, but I think that will probably change pretty soon.”

    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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