|Joe Renfro, Nutrien Ag Solutions, Southwestern Oklahoma:
“Unlike other parts of Western Oklahoma and the Texas Panhandle, there is dryland cotton in southwestern Oklahoma that needs a rain this week or it might not make it. Early planted dryland looks good, but other stuff wasn’t planted soon enough to take advantage of timely rain.
“Fleahopper damage has hurt the yield potential for much of the irrigated cotton, but it will be a fair crop. I’ve seen fleahopper damage in all cotton I’ve checked. There aren’t many bolls down low.
“There are still a few weed issues, more so in no-till cotton planted into wheat. The reason is the shortage or high price of Roundup. With that, there are a lot more plows running. To me, it’s nice seeing a little iron out there.
“While dryland cotton is in trouble, dryland sorghum has the chance for a nice crop. Early milo is turning red. Later-planted milo still looks good. We’ve had to spray armyworms and bollworms in sorghum next to a cotton patch. I haven’t found any sugarcane aphid so far.”
Tyler Mays, Texas A&M AgriLife IPM Agent, Hill County:
“Recent rains have benefited cotton in this part of the Blacklands. A lot is at 5 NAWF and much has bloomed out the top. There’s potential for an above-average crop. It depends on how well a field drained during the long rainy spells in May. Some growers say this crop could be among the five best crops they’ve ever seen.
“Insects have been quiet after stink bug pressure in late July. They were treated and remain below economic threshold. Aphids are popping up where we treated for stink bugs. Their numbers are below threshold, and we hope a return of beneficials will help keep them that way. We don’t need any sticky cotton issues.
“I did pick up light bollworm damage on a field of 2-gene technology cotton. There wasn’t enough damage to justify spraying.
“Corn and milo harvest operations are well underway and will be at full speed heading into mid-August.”
Kyle Aljoe, Crop Quest Consulting, Dimmitt, Texas:
“We’ve been behind all summer and we’re still two weeks behind on heat units. Overall, the crop is trying to reach mid-bloom. Normally, we would be close to peak bloom or blooming out the top. A few fields suffered hail damage during scattered thunderstorms in isolated places.
“Good weed control has paid off. Fields are pretty clean. With the added rainfall, we’re running more PGRs to keep plants from getting out of hand. As we get further into August, we’ll probably run harder with PGRs because any fruit set after that won’t do us much good.
“Both 2-gene and 3-gene Bt varieties are handling insects right now. But I know there have been treatments for bollworms in non-Bt cotton up near Vega.
“Corn is from 6-leaf to the dough stage and looks good. We’ve sprayed spider mite infestations and some growers are making preventive sprays for them. We’ve been fighting armyworms in grass corners and weeds to prevent them from moving into fields. I scout fields of coastal Bermuda and millet. I had to spray twice for armyworms in millet in Lamb County. They are scattered in sorghum, but I’ve treated younger sorghum fields. There are also traces of sugarcane aphids in sorghum.
“Silage harvest is still two weeks or more away for use by feedyards and four to five weeks away for dairies.”
Randy Norton, University of Arizona Extension Cotton Specialist, Safford:
“I’m optimistic about our crop. Stuff in Yuma should see pickers in the field soon. Most of that cotton has received its last irrigation and will see defoliation within a week. It won’t be a barnburner year, but yields will be average to slightly above average.
“In central Arizona, the crop looks good, and we have the chance for strong yields and can set flowers into September. The crop also looks good over in the southeast.
“Growers are monitoring fields for southwestern cotton rust. With so much rain across the state from the active monsoon season, there is a lot of growthy cotton. That increases the possibility of issues with boll rot; growth management is needed.”
Mark Hatley, Crop Quest Consulting, Dumas, Texas:
“All crops are looking good. In cotton we’ve made good progress with maturity. Most fields are at mid- to late-bloom. Bolls are starting to fill. Weeds are mostly under control. Fields are clean because herbicides worked better. Rain helped incorporate residuals, and cooler temperatures and higher humidity helped activate all herbicides.
“Irrigation and PGR management is vital at this stage. Juggling irrigation between corn and cotton is challenging. Corn is doing well. Cooler weather and the ability to keep it wet helped ears fill the grain. It’s mostly in milk-to-dough stage.
“Milo also looks good. Those grain crops like the more moderate weather. But for cotton, we need more warm weather and an open fall to finish the crop.”