Owen Taylor, Editor



Plant bugs are noticeably present in parts of the lower Southeast, with at least some isolated pressure already turning up in North Carolina. Treatments were reported.


Aphids are around in the lower Southeast. No treatment situations were reported. But having aphids in fields might influence product choices where growers do treat plant bugs. Spider mites are present in places and limited treatments were reported this week.


Thrips continue to decline. Scattered treatments are still being made, but that's about it. We’re still hearing reports about less-than-satisfactory control with some protective materials.


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Jeremy Greene, Clemson University Cotton Entomologist, Blackville, South Carolina: “Most cotton is out of the thrips danger window. They still might be an issue on late-planted cotton, but at this point we’re probably sliding into some other issues, more than likely because we no longer have Temik. Plus, we’ve made an abundance of acephate sprays on thrips.


“Some spider mites already are popping up, for example, and thrips applications can flare those. We could see more spider mite applications in the future, maybe starting earlier. Our heliothine trap counts are increasing a little. Overall, plant development is generally okay across the state. We do need water in places, maybe less in other areas, but it’s hot everywhere.”


Brandon Dillard, Regional Agronomist, Geneva, Alabama: “In some older cotton planted in mid April we’re starting to see squares. Growers are into sidedressing and they’re putting out herbicides. Some younger cotton still has thrips and scattered sprays are going out. Applications are being made in places for young grasshoppers. Nothing out of the norm is turning up, though.”


Ames Herbert, Virginia Extension Entomologist: "We’re in about the last week of thrips pressure, I hope. People aren’t as happy with treatments as they might have been in the past. Some issues developed. We’ve got plenty of data this year and will try to determine whether thrips were worse, the products have gotten weaker or both. It’s been a long season this year as far as thrips go. In places, I’m seeing what I would consider slippage compared to the way things worked before.


“Our most advanced cotton is pushing 5 leaves and plants look pretty good, so they’re past thrips pressure. But in problem areas where plant growth has been slower, damage has been significant. We’re maybe seeing some varietal differences, although I can’t say if that’s clearly due to the variety or simply that the company’s seed treatment was more consistent. In some instances where we’ve had thrips calls, I can guess the variety without ever asking the farmer what he planted.”


John D. Beasley, South Georgia Crop Services, Inc., Screven, Georgia: “Maybe 2% of our cotton hasn't been planted yet and it's behind wheat. One grower may switch some of that to soybeans because it's getting late and it will still be a couple of days (from 6/16) before he can get in the field. We’re still fighting thrips in cotton a little, but the crop is finally starting to outgrow them, except maybe in a few places where it’s wet and cotton has been developing slower. We got more rain yesterday in places, nothing widespread or very heavy, but last week some areas got 2 inches.”


Zach Ingrum, Field Rep, Sanders, Inc., Athens, Alabama: “Herbicides are going out for pigweed and maybe some other weeds and grasses. We’re not seeing much difference with pigweed this year and it hasn’t been any more of a challenge. We know which fields have issues and in those cases growers understand what to do. These are cases where maybe they couldn’t apply residuals, but in those situations people planted LibertyLink varieties. It’s nothing widespread but it seems like every grower has a 30- to 50-acre field where they’re dealing with it. Nobody is calling for hoeing crews.”


Dominic Reisig, NCSU Extension Specialist, Entomology, Plymouth, North Carolina: “I think we’re over the hump in terms of thrips. Where it’s rained lately, that’s probably knocked them back on later-planted cotton, although the rain was variable.



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"I got a call today (6/16) about spider mites and plant bugs, so some cotton is squaring and mites are turning up on sandier ground. In that specific case, the scout thought that square retention had fallen below where they wanted it to be. Some immature plant bugs were in the field but he was finding a double-threshold of adults and was losing squares. I thought he should treat. Spider mites weren’t at threshold. This wasn’t an isolated case with mites. I’m hearing reports about them elsewhere. And based on what I’m finding in corn and weeds, we could be facing a heavy plant bug year.”


Phillip Roberts, Extension Entomologist, Tifton, Georgia: "A little cotton is squaring, so we need to watch for plant bugs. We’re seeing a few aphids but they’re real early in their cycle. However, they’re turning up a little later than what we’d consider normal.”


Rome Ethredge, Seminole County, Georgia, Extension Coordinator: “Cotton is squaring, moving along and looking okay. We still have weed problems and a few plant bug problems, too. If anything, plant bugs seem a little worse in our area this year. In some years you hardly have to worry about them, but this isn't starting out that way.


“Scattered hand pulling has started for pigweed. These are probably cases where rain didn’t activate herbicides or there simply were so many seed out there that a few came through. People are irrigating in places. We’ve been getting a few scattered showers, but mostly it’s hot and dry. We’re through with wheat harvest and cotton has mostly been going behind it. In most cases it’s coming up to a stand.”


David Butcher, NC Ag Service, Inc., Pantego, North Carolina: "Cotton ranges from just emerging to early squares. We’ve kind of gotten over thrips. Cotton is big enough now that they don’t matter. We’re starting to see a few pockets of aphids around, which is pretty typical. We actually went a few years without aphids, but they’ve come back more in the last couple of years, which I’m thinking is due to neonic resistance.”


Ron Smith, Alabama Extension Entomologist: "We’re getting calls from all over south Alabama about adult plant bugs in the field. Retention is holding in some fields but dropping in others. In some older cotton people are finding immatures, meaning the adults were out there 2 or 3 weeks ago. Aphids also are clumping on some plants. And on top of all that, scattered spider mites have developed. One consultant reported spraying some cotton for mites last week.


“Treatment decisions are about to get complicated where people find 2 or more of those species in the same cotton. Not many chemistries will do plant bugs and also suppress aphids. Mites make it even more complex. Some hard decisions will have to be made this week about how to approach all this. Cotton should be blooming next week, so we’ll already have to think about stink bugs in the state’s lower tier.”


Luke Johnson, Johnson Scouting LLC, Donalsonville, Georgia: "Cotton started squaring last week. We’re getting herbicides out on some of the oldest. Thrips have declined significantly in the last 2 weeks. I’m hoping growers can push into layby in places this week. Moisture has been very good, enough that it doesn’t take a very big rain right now to recharge the soil.



“Stands are better and more consistent than we’ve had in several years. Pigweed is more problematic. With wet conditions earlier, guys worked fields in places when soils were too wet, which left us with clodding and some pigweed escapes. These aren’t disasters, not whole-field situations, just areas in a field. We’re had more escapes in conventional fields. In strip-till we’ve had very good control.


“We’re seeing plant bugs and have treated 3 or 4 fields (as of 6/17). I’m hearing about some guys treating more fields, but I haven’t got the oldest cotton in the area, so that may account for lower pressure so far.”


Chad Savery, Anchor Ag Solutions LLC, Fairhope, Alabama: “Cotton ranges from just emerged to 9 nodes. We’re spraying some plant bugs in our oldest cotton, plus putting out Pix. We’ve been treating thrips in waterlogged cotton. Rain amounts this month varied, with more in the south end of the area I work. Probably 12 inches fell on some of our older cotton in the last several weeks. Fields planted in the third week of May got 6 to 8 inches, and that cotton was affected the most by water logging.”



DTN Fertilizer Trends: Black Sea Instability Weighs on Potash Prices  6-17


Alabama Cotton: Nitrogen Issues Arise After All The Rain 6-17


Florida Cotton: Time to Start Scouting for Plant Bugs 6-13


Tennessee Cotton: Plant Bugs Off to Early Start 6-18


Virginia Cotton: Best Time for Herbicides is Monday and Tuesday 6-16


Alabama: Weekly Showers Continue to Slow Planting Pace – USDA 6-16


Florida: Dry Conditions, Peanut Crop Pegging – USDA 6-16


Georgia: Lots of Rain, Corn in Good Condition – USDA 6-16


North Carolina: Rain Has Helped Improve Conditions – USDA 6-16


South Carolina: Corn Starting to Tassel, Dry Conditions – USDA 6-16


Virginia: Good Planting Progress as Rains Recharge Soil – USDA 6-16



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