Texas West Plains IPM: Mostly Quiet but Keep Your Eyes Open

    Image from Texas AgriLife Extension

    Let me first start with grain sorghum and corn, since it is relatively easy to summarize right now. I have not confirmed sugarcane aphids (SCA) being found on grain sorghum in Lamb, Hockley, or Cochran Counties.

    We continue to find grasshoppers along field margins. In young whorl stage corn and milo feeding in the whorl is common but not severe or treatable. I would encourage producers to monitoring late planted grain on a regular basis from here out for SCA, midge, worms, and spider mites.

    Peanuts are doing very well. So far, an excellent pod set has been noted in all scouting fields. Larvae feeding on foliage has been noted but not at treatable levels. Leaf spot, pepper spot, and limb rot have not been found yet, but changing weather may change that.

    With the age of the peanuts, weather pattern and irrigation frequency a preventative fungicide would be highly recommended. Weeds continue to be challenging. 2,4D-B with some residual like Dual has been common choices. Please call if questions.

    Cotton ranges from 1/3 grown square (not yet blooming) to 6.5 nodes above white flower. Ok, so we are behind, in terms of growth and development on most cotton acres, and no you never really make up lost time. However, I do think we can still have a good cotton crop. Yes, we will need very good heat units to accumulate over the next two months, and some other factors to cooperate.

    I remain optimistic though. Ideally, we would have everything blooming now, and setting bolls. Currently only 50% of area fields are in bloom.

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    I have set aside fleahoppers in most all scouting fields now. Cotton aphids have been the most consistent concern of late. We are finding colonies of aphids now, not just solitary winged aphids. Fortunately, lady bugs and lace wings are cleaning up these aphids in most situations. However, this is just the leading edge, and we need to be vigilant.

    Also, many of you are just now fertilizing. This one reason why I have been harping on getting fertilizer out before the end of July. Two things happen with late fertilizer on cotton – first it can delay cotton maturity, and second aphids love this late excessive nitrogen. For more information on cotton aphid management and their control see here (PDF).

    My priorities this next week are:

    1. Keep up with crop water demands, we are nearing peak use in flowering cotton, all peanuts and flowering grain.
    2. Wrap up all fertilizing, with exception of some light fertilizer in irrigation water and late milo.
    3. Keep close watch on aphids, Lygus, cotton bollworms/headworms over next few weeks; and especially sugarcane aphids. Give me a call if you find them.
    4. Maintain our good square set going into flowering on late cotton and maintain a good boll set with limited damage and losses.
    5. Be proactive on peanut diseases.



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