|Paul Pilsner, Pilsner Consulting, Wharton, Texas:
“Some bolls are open in the Upper Coast, but there’s a lot of late cotton after continuous rain and flooding in the spring and early summer. The crop is all over the place. Most cotton is two to three weeks behind. We’ll be harvesting in late August and early September when we would normally try to be finished by September. Thankfully, counties farther south are nearly on time.
“Drier weather is helping, but there are fields that have been inaccessible for two weeks. As for weeds, we’ve killed them, killed them again and killed them again. Grass has been a problem. So has rank cotton, where we couldn’t get Pix applied. Some is 5 feet to 6 feet tall.
“Bugs have been relatively quiet, but we’re starting to see more stink bugs and lygus. Stink bugs can be tough to deal with. Guys who couldn’t get fields sprayed have a lot of stink bug damage. There are also leaf-footed bugs flying in we’ll have to deal with.”
Ben McKnight, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Cotton Specialist, College Station:
“After sunshine and continued warm weather, area cotton is performing well. It has bounced back from early cool and wet conditions. Our research station plots average 6 to 7 NAWF. Commercial fields look good from the highway and a couple of areas are getting close to cutout.
“Weeds are pretty much under control. To my surprise, some later-planted cotton that had weed issues looks better. Growers took action to get rid of resistant pigweed. The initial push for applying PGRs has passed, and I haven’t seen any commercial fields with growth that sticks out like a sore thumb. Since we’re easing into a drier period, we may have to irrigate a few fields to keep crops moving if we don’t catch a couple of rains the next few weeks.
“We’re having to treat fields for brown stink bugs. Bollworms, however, seem to be under control. The three-gene varieties are holding on.”
Robert Flynn, New Mexico State University Extension Soils/Agronomist, Artesia:
“We had a nice shower last night (July 26) but there’s plenty of sunshine today. We need it because some fields are behind on heat units due to cloudy days. Plants are blooming about two-thirds of the way up and bolls are forming on lower branches.
“There has been concern about diseases with the wet weather we’ve had. But I’m not seeing any issues. I’ve been on several farms in recent days and their weed control remains strong. There have been no major insect damage reports, but we’ve had bollworms on our research farm at Artesia. They remain below threshold.”
Mark Nemec, MJN Consulting, Waco, Texas:
“The rain stopped late last week, and cotton is looking better after receiving sunshine. It’s nice not having to walk in mud. The later stuff is finally coming in and most cotton is in full bloom. Plants are setting a lot of bolls and look decent.
“For the most part, we’re in good shape in weed control. There are issues at the ends and corners of fields that need cleanup, but overall weed control is good.
“Insect-wise, we’re seeing a big population of stink bugs moving in from grain crops. There are mostly browns but there are a few greens as well. Insecticide treatments are going out to control them. Bollworms are not a big issue, but there are a few scattered in two-gene Bt varieties. Egg counts have stayed low in most places. There are a few spider mite issues here and there but nothing major.
“Corn harvest will kick off next week. Milo is also about ready to cut. We needed to treat for sugarcane aphids, but beneficials helped clean up many fields on their own.”
Alan Seitz, Nutrien Ag Solutions, Wilcox, Arizona:
“It’s 91 right now (afternoon of July 27) and clouding up. It will likely rain, as our active monsoon period continues. We’re applying fungicides for preventative southwestern cotton rust control. I haven’t seen any rust up to now, but we need to be ready for it.
“The crop is at mid-bloom and setting bolls nicely. It looks really good, but we’re spraying for lygus on fields near where alfalfa has been cut.
“I’m making the final dicamba applications this week to clean up any remaining weeds. While others have applied PGRs, I haven’t treated anything yet because it was hot early on when we started. But that could change if growth gets out of hand.”
ALSO OF NOTE
Ag Economy: Federal Reserve Observations from July
Texas Upper Coast IPM: Heat Units and Stink Bugs
Thompson on Cotton: Fundamentals Continue to Gain Strength
Cleveland on Cotton: 85-90 Floor Is Hard
Drought Monitor Weekly: Upper Midwest Still Dry, Heavy Rains Hit Great Lakes