Ben McKnight, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Cotton Specialist, College Station:
“It has been hot and relatively dry around the Brazos Bottom. A few areas received isolated rainfall, but we’re forced to irrigate our cotton on the Extension and research farm to finish out the crop.
“Despite the hot, dry weather lately, we’re about two to three weeks behind on average, like most cotton across the state. Most of our early planted cotton is past cutout. I looked at a field this morning that was at 3 NAWF.
“Chemical applications were made to control brown stink bugs we fought in July. Target spot has popped in a few areas. But given we’re past physiological cutout, fungicide treatments likely will not be needed.”
John Thobe, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension IPM Agent, Bailey, Parmer & Castro Counties:
“We’re experiencing all kinds of insect pressure. Bollworms and fall armyworms are out there. Treatments are going out on non-Bt varieties. Bollworm coverage ranges from southern Bailey County to eastern Castro County — and no field is 100% free of either an egg lay or worm feeding by this late-season pest.
“About 6% damage is our general action threshold for treating bollworms. Applications for bollworm are tricky when based on the egg lay. Stick with the 6% damage, but understand if you have upward of a 30% egg lay, wait four to five days for the hatch and reassess populations. If populations persist and they haven’t moved on, plan to control them. But be cautious when using a pyrethroid, which can flare up aphids.
“A lot of Pix is going out. Fields are at about 6 NAWF and guys are trying to shut down the growth. They want to push it a little earlier to be ready for an early freeze. Guys have done a good job with weeds. With herbicides sparse throughout the area, we’re seeing more cultivation to control weeds.
“Sorghum and corn look great. For a bonus, spider mite treatments are down in corn. About 45% of acres have been sprayed for mites, down from close to 98% last year. The wet weather has held them down, along with a lot of beneficials. There is a little disease in corn, but there’s not yet a red flag.
“Headworms and sugarcane aphid (SCA) are in sorghum. Yesterday (Aug. 16) we sprayed the first field for SCA. Guys hope to make timely sprays to get headworms as well as SCA.
“Scouting is very important. Every field is different from the next. Make applications wisely. Some guys are OK with spending a bunch of money since cotton looks good and prices are high. But they don’t need to.”
Alan Sietz, Nutrien Ag Solutions, Wilcox, Arizona:
“We had 1 to 5.5 inches of rain over the weekend in a wide area as storms persisted in eastern Arizona. The cotton is still a little behind. I don’t have anything that’s cutting out. Most cotton is 5 to 6 NAWF. But it’s a good-looking crop. Yields could be above average, with some at 3.5 to 4 bales per acre. That all depends on whether we can keep what cotton we have now.
“There are still issues with lygus that will require treatments after the rain. There is no rust to deal with so far, but we could see it. We may need to make PGR applications when the rain moves on. Some stuff is wanting to grow off on us.”
Murilo Maeda, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Cotton Specialist, Lubbock:
“Rain has once again blessed West Texas. As of this morning (Aug. 17) the West Texas Mesonet is showing big numbers. San Angelo has seen 6-plus inches in the past 72 hours, with Lubbock coming in at about 1.25 inches. Amounts ranging from 0.5 to 1 inch were very common up through the northern Panhandle.
“A lot of our dryland and limited-water acres should benefit from this. The rain was very timely, considering the next 15 to 30 days will see the last effective bloom date across the area from the northern Panhandle to far south of Lubbock. That’s the last date where a bloom has a good chance to make it to harvest and contribute.
“We still need warm weather to continue well into the fall to help the crop finish as fruitful as possible.”
Cotton in Tarzan, Texas, west of Big Spring