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Owen Taylor, Editor


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More cotton is either squaring in the lower Southeast or is about to move into that phase.


Tropical storm Colin brought more rain to parts of Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas. Some areas were still wet from tropical storm Bonnie, which soaked portions of the Carolinas and Virginia the week before. The rain was very much needed in a wide part of Florida and Georgia.


Thrips have subsided in more areas, although they aren’t completely out of the picture. More cotton is growing past the susceptible phase, plus heavy rains from Colin may suppress lingering populations.


Aphids and spider mites are turning up in places. They are making a strong, early start in central Alabama. See comments from Ron Smith. Plant bugs are around in places, as well.



We’re always expanding our list of contacts, the consultants, dealer personnel and Extension workers who provide the reports that go into this newsletter. If you would like to occasionally provide a report, please let me know. We would call once every 4 weeks for a brief report on cotton and other crops you work. If you have questions, feel free to call me at 888-327-6329. – Owen Taylor, Editor


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David Butcher, NC Ag Service, Inc., Pantego, North Carolina: "We’re wet. Just in the last 10 days (from 6/7) it’s rained 12 inches here, and it seems to always come in big doses, 2 to 3 inches at a time. First we had rain from tropical storm Bonnie and now from Colin.


“With these conditions, the cotton isn’t doing very much, just sitting there and waiting for dry weather. Most of our cotton has 2 to 4 true leaves and has been sprayed for thrips once. If the weather doesn’t turn around quickly, we may have to treat again. Since people have gone to seed treatments, we mostly spray twice. When Temik was available, we sprayed once, at least in most years.”


Brandon Phillips, Phillips Ag Services, LLC, Fitzgerald, Georgia: “It’s wet and the rain was much needed. I’ve already heard (early afternoon, 6/6) that it had rained 6.5 inches around Moultrie. So far, we’re at 1.5 to 2 inches. That’s about what we immediately needed, although more is coming.


“It had gotten dry enough that growers were dusting in cottonseed last week, so the rain should bring that up without a problem. That cotton didn’t account for a big part of our crop, just a field here and there. Everybody did seem to get most of the crop planted on a timely basis, even behind wheat. Cotton ranges from those fields dusted in last week to some of our oldest that’s into the second week of squaring.


“Thrips have kind of fallen off and aphids have started turning up in cotton. We’re also picking up a few plant bugs. Nothing is treatable yet. Mainly, we’re seeing a few plant bugs on field edges, on pigweed, in pecan orchards and in gardens.


“All of our peanuts are in. We’re killing weeds in peanuts and applying land plaster, plus some of our first fungicides are going out. We’re at 45 days on our oldest peanuts. Up until this rain, a bit of aspergillus was showing up in peanuts, although it wasn’t hurting stands. This rain should put a bullet in that. Tomato spotted wilt seems to be worse in our older peanuts than the younger ones but it’s just at 5% to maybe 10%, nothing really astonishing.”


Mike Donahoe, Santa Rosa County Extension Leader, Milton, Florida: “We’ve gotten rain since late last week and we needed it. I measured over 2 inches at my house on Saturday, with some falling the day before. What little bit of corn we have was twisting up, and this was the kind of good soaking rain that can really help.



“Our cotton is growing well. Most of it ranges from the 2- to 5-leaf stage. The bulk of it is now past the thrips window. Peanuts are doing well and people are starting to think about the first fungicide applications.”


Andrew Sawyer, Extension Agent, Thomas County, Georgia: “It’s raining here right now (late afternoon, 6/6). We’ve been waiting for rain for a while and the forecast kept calling for anywhere from a 20% to 60% chance, although none of it happened. Finally, though, we got a 90% chance for today out of the tropical storm (Colin). It’s been a slow but steady rain all day and we may have gotten 2 inches by now.


“Last week we still had cotton to plant. Some growers had stopped because it was too dry but then started up again in anticipation of this rain, which started last night. Other than making the second post herbicide application, a few thrips sprays have been going out, although thrips pressure has been declining for about 2 weeks. Our earliest cotton is at 4 leaves, so that part of the crop is past the point that thrips matter.


“Where people have been spraying thrips, they’re trying to be timely with a treatment at the 1-true-leaf stage. I think we’re about done with peanut planting. Land plaster started going out last week.”


Larry Walker, Walker Cotton Technical Services, Flintville, Tennessee: “It rained over the weekend (6/4-5), which made a big difference in how things look. Thrips have disappeared, thank goodness. We had about 2 inches of rain in April and 2.5 inches in May, with none of that in the last 10 days of May. But in the last 4 days (from 6/6) we’ve gotten 1.5 to 3.5 inches over several events.


“Our biggest cotton is at 5 leaves and we’ll have squares soon. We’re in that period right before plant bugs. We have water and also have addressed the weeds, so things are in pretty good shape. Emergence was somewhat erratic and delayed on the red knolls, so in some fields we have both cotyledon cotton and plants at 3 to 4 leaves. We can manage that, and at least we have a stand.”


Jeremy Greene, Clemson University Cotton Entomologist, Blackville, South Carolina: “It’s wet across a wide area. Nobody is planting anything unless they’re doing it from an airboat. It’s rained 4 inches here over the last couple of days, with those totals coming from the tropical system (Colin) that came across Florida and up through Georgia. That was on top of rain last week from the tropical storm (Bonnie) that was off the Atlantic Coast.


“Thrips numbers were still pretty high last week in our research plots, but all this rain has probably taken thrips out of the picture. If any cotton suffers now, it’s because it’s in standing water.”


Ron Smith, Alabama Extension Entomologist: "I ran into a heavy infestation of spider mites in our thrips trials at Prattville today (6/7), and I’ve already seen or heard about some other areas with mite pressure. It’s hot and dry, and we didn’t get much rain out of that tropical system (Colin). Mites may be on the verge of exploding, based on these early indicators, and could be a concern over the state in the coming weeks.


“One report came in about some numbers in north Alabama, plus I’ve found them at one other location down here. So far, no treatments have been reported. I’ve never seen these kinds of mite populations in central Alabama this early in the year. Mites were heavy enough in our plots today that they could potentially defoliate cotton in a few days if left untreated.


“I got one call last week about plant bug damage in some of the older cotton in the Wiregrass. In some late-planted cotton around Atmore we have suspected girdling from threecornered alfalfa hoppers (3CAH). We sometimes see that in dry springs when 3CAH move from wild hosts that are drying down.


“It’s hard to say how much of this is going on, although nobody is planting enough cottonseed that they can spare any of their stands. Mainly, this seems to be confined to field edges along the roadside where 3CAH had probably been building on that vegetation.


“We’re pretty much past thrips. I’m hearing about minimal numbers on some 2-leaf cotton. We’re now transitioning into the plant bug window. I did some sampling in daisy fleabane, which is the last blooming wild host for plant bugs before they move into cotton. I expected to mainly find adults, since we’re well into June, but populations were predominately very young and mid-size immatures, with very few large immatures. That tells me we’ll probably see plenty of movement 2 weeks down the road. In a lot of areas that movement could coincide with pinhead squares, so that cotton would be very susceptible to plant bugs.”


Guy Collins, Extension Cotton Specialist, North Carolina State University: “Rain totals from this last system have varied. A lot of people got quite a bit, and I haven’t seen much field work (as of 6/7). But in places only 3 to 4 tenths fell, which is still enough to do cotton some good. In southern North Carolina and in the Blacklands more rain apparently fell, and I’m hearing totals of 4 to 5 inches, with other locations at 2 to 3 inches. Enough rain fell that a lot of folks are on standby, waiting until it’s dry enough to apply herbicides or maybe take measures against thrips if that’s still necessary.”


Eddie McGriff, Regional Extension Agronomist, Centre, Alabama: “We’ve had dry weather up until late last week, then got 2 to 3 inches of rain through this part of the state. Growing conditions have improved. With all the cool weather, thrips really hammered cotton in the first 2 weeks of May when plant growth had slowed down. Plants are now at the 4- to 6-leaf stage and are developing well. Some plants are moving toward pinhead square, although it may be a little early yet for plant bugs except in a little of the oldest cotton.”


Justin Ballew, Agronomy Agent, Dillon County, Clemson University, South Carolina: “Our oldest cotton is at 2 to 3 leaves. I saw a lot of thrips pressure on some today (6/7), but once plants add a couple of more leaves we should about be finished worrying about thrips. I’ve been finding thrips on everything this year – cotton, peanuts and even on some soybeans. I’m not hearing about any recent treatments for thrips. I wouldn’t have treated the populations I saw today. We may have some younger cotton fields where you could justify an application, but that would be about all.



“The weather station at Mullins shows that the area got 2.3 inches of rain in the last 2 days, although I imagine there’s quite a bit of variability across the county. Some spots didn’t need rain, while other locations were getting dry enough that corn had been rolling up.”


Phillip Roberts, Extension Entomologist, Tifton, Georgia: "With this last tropical storm (Colin) we’ve received a general rain through much of south Georgia. One small pocket near the South Carolina line caught rain from the previous storm (Bonnie) and that area doesn’t need any more right away. But for the rest of the state, this last system was very timely. Stands look pretty good and we’re off to a decent start.


“Thrips numbers have really dropped off now, which is pretty typical at this point in the year. We still have some cotton left to plant. I’m getting reports of a few aphids popping up in hot spots, but we’re into June and that’s what we expect to see. I’ve gotten a couple of comments about spider mites but nothing that seems worth treating. The chance of flaring mites or aphids should at least be taken into account if you’re deciding whether to treat other pests.


“A small percentage of fields are starting to square and more and more will be into squaring within the next week. So, start monitoring square retention and be on the lookout for plant bugs. We typically have scattered fields that need to be treated for plant bugs, but I doubt if it will be anything widespread. That’s why scouting is critical – to make valid decisions about what to treat and what to leave alone.”


Dominic Reisig, NCSU Extension Specialist, Entomology, Plymouth, North Carolina: “Rain amounts (from tropical storm Colin) varied. Cotton was under water for 24 hours in fields relatively close to the coast. But farther to the west on the coastal plain the amounts were more decent and that rain was needed.


“I’m getting a few calls about slugs in conservation tillage fields. With these wet conditions, that’s expected. Thrips have moderated somewhat, although we probably still have cotton with higher numbers. For the most part, seed treatments and/or in-furrow insecticides have held pretty well. Some people were a bit disappointed in performance but no wildfires are developing. The big challenge has been making any oversprays with the wet weather we’ve been having.”




Cotton Farming: $300 Mln Cost-Share Assistance for 2016 Ginning Season  6-6


Cotton – Southwest – Sunshine: Planters Rolling Fast to Beat Insurance Deadline – AgFax  6-8


Georgia Peanuts: Herbicide Tank-Mix Considerations  6-8


Cotton Market Teleconference Features Calcot President, June 13  6-8


Georgia: Pesticide Waste Disposal Clean Day, Dublin, June 29  6-8


Cotton: Transform Granted Section 18 For Midsouth States  6-8


Georgia: Cotton, Peanut, Soybean Insect Scout School, Tifton, June 13  6-7


North Carolina Field Reports: Needed Rains Slow Field Work  6-6


Georgia Peanuts: Time For Calcium  6-7


Virginia Field Reports: Rains Bring Most Field Work to a Halt  6-7


Georgia Field Reports: Wheat Harvest Speeds Along  6-


Alabama Field Reports: Good Week for Planting, Crop Development  6-7


South Carolina Field Reports: Bonnie Brings Rains, Maybe Too Much  6-6



More Cotton News | More Peanut News





AgFax Southeast Cotton is published by AgFax Media LLC, Owen Taylor, Editorial Director. It is available to United States residents engaged in grain farming or qualifying ag-related professions. Mailing address: 142 Westlake Drive, Brandon, MS 39047. 601-992-9488 (Fax: 601-992-3503). Email: owen@agfax.com.

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