Texas LRGV: Cotton Insects Mostly Quiet, Keep Eyes Open for Sugarcane Aphids, Rice Stink Bugs in Sorghum

    Sorghum harvest. Photo: Danielle Sekula, Texas AgriLife Extension

    General Situation

    Harvest continued again this week for corn and grain sorghum as growers worked around some rain received on Wednesday. East part of the Valley received anywhere from 0.7” to 1.0” inches of rain while the west part of the Valley received 0.2”-0.5” inches of rain. Hot, humid, and muddy in most fields around the Valley with plenty of mosquitos to go with that.

    Seeing a lot of open boll cotton around the LRGV with majority of Valley at about 20-40% open boll and some early planted cotton at 70% open boll. With harvest right around the corner growers are thinking about boll openers and defoliants. Click on this link for info about harvest aids by Dr. Josh McGinty and Dr. Gaylon Morgan.


    This week we are not really seeing many pests in majority of the Valley’s cotton. It was very quiet and pretty clean. However we are still seeing some whitefly activity along the river (Mission to Los Indios) and in the Rangerville and San Benito areas. There were reports of a handful of fields that were treated for whiteflies this week.

    If we continue to receive high heat units there is a chance for whitefly populations to increase so continue to monitor for them up until defoliation.

    We are seeing some light Chille thrips populations in cotton along the river from Pharr to the Los Indios areas. Chille thrips can be found on the undersides of leaves that are the new leaf/flush growth on the tops of the cotton plants. Chille thrips can cause a bronzing on the tops of the leaves and on the undersides along the midvein where you will find them feeding. It has been reported that a couple fields were treated for thrips pressure this week.

    Grain Sorghum

    There was a definite crash in sugarcane aphid (SCA) populations this week across the Valley. I was only finding high SCA populations in sorghum that was in booting stage, flowering stage, or soft dough sorghum where you would pick up on glistening leaves upon turning over leaves to see the infestation underneath. I picked up on high SCA populations in these stages of sorghum in and around the areas of Lyford, Sebastian, San Perlita, and Raymondville.

    This week I did not pick up on any midge populations, which was great. I did see plenty of rice stinkbugs while out scouting so those with soft dough sorghum please take a beat bucket with you and bang a few heads to see if you are averaging one or more per head

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