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Owen Taylor, Editor
Here is this week's issue of AgFax Southeast Cotton.
Our thanks to SePRO – maker of Brake herbicide – for once again sponsoring our coverage.
Bollworms are around and some are being treated. So far, no heavy pressure has been reported.
Depending on the area, stink bugs, spider mites and plant bugs are requiring attention.
Heavy rains have moved through Virginia and parts of the Carolinas over the last week.
John Burleson, Consultant, Swan Quarter, North Carolina:
“We’ve had 3 to 6 inches of rain since Saturday (7/21). We’re into the fifth week of bloom in cotton, on average. So far, we haven’t had to spray plant bugs.
“We did encounter some failures with imidacloprid in places where we treated aphids. We had some success with it in places this year, but I think we’ll stay away from it from now on.
“Corn ranges from blister to early dent. Disease pressure is light to moderate. Our soybeans range from some planted last week to R3. Those latest beans just went in after wheat, which tells you something about the weather delays this season. It’s been that wet and now those last soybeans have had 6 inches of rain dumped on them.”
Phillip Roberts, Extension Entomologist, Tifton, Georgia:
“Rains have been scattered, just that summertime pattern with popup thunderstorms. Insect pressure has been sporadic and it depends on the location. The 2 main things we’re targeting are corn earworms (CEW) and stink bugs, with stink bugs turning up more frequently.
“With CEW, we’ve had escapes on Bt cotton, so we need to monitor all the Bt varieties and treat where worms break through. The pressure varies from light to moderate, but some fields have definitely required over-sprays. Stink bugs are mostly a mix of browns and greens.
“Where we’re targeting CEW, let’s make sure equipment is set for good coverage and canopy penetration. The worms will be down in the canopy, so you want to make sure you’re reaching them. Double check that you’ve got the right tips. A lot of herbicide has been going out but now we need to make sure we’ve shifted to a setup for insecticides, which includes running higher pressure.”
Jeremy Greene, Clemson University Cotton Entomologist, Blackville, South Carolina:
“It’s raining pretty much every afternoon, mainly scattered thunderstorms. The forecast (as of 7/24) calls for a 40% to 60% chance of rain for the rest of the week. No one would turn down this rain, considering how much sand we farm. It rained an inch here yesterday but we were able to spray today.
“Counts in our pheromone traps – both for bollworms and tobacco budworms (TBW) – continue to increase. So, we’ll have a lot more moth activity and egg laying in the next week or two.”
Jack Royal, Royal’s Agricultural Consulting Co., Inc., Leary, Georgia:
“We started spraying some stink bugs 12 days ago (from 7/24) in blooming cotton that was in the second to fourth week of bloom, and we’ve been steadily treating more fields since then.
“In the last couple of days, we’ve started picking up a few escaped bollworms in blooms and started treating those fields, which are all in Bollgard 2 varieties. In what little WideStrike 3 and Bollgard 3 we have, the only insecticide applications have been for stink bugs.
“We’re putting on plenty of plant growth regulator. Except for a few dry pockets, we’ve had pretty good rains over the last couple of weeks. Our youngest cotton has really come along and most of it is ready to go into first bloom. Overall, this crop has the best fruit set I’ve seen in a long, long time.
“Peanuts range from just starting to peg up to some at 75 days that have been pegging for a while. No disease is showing up in peanuts yet, but I pretty much take the offensive with fungicides. I think that’s the reason peanuts look pretty good right now.
“Our youngest peanuts are at 40 days. We’ve had to spray a few fields for foliage feeders – some assortment of corn earworms, loopers and fall armyworms that got right up to threshold levels.”
Ron Smith, Alabama Extension Entomologist:
“Nothing is breaking big like we anticipated it might. We’re several days into what we thought would be a bollworm flight out of corn but we’re not finding signs of it in any significant numbers. One consultant has been spraying some Phytogen 444 in Georgia just across the state line from Eufaula, and that’s the only thing that’s come to my attention (as of 7/24) regarding worms.
“We’ve been checking in the Black Belt prairie and can’t find a single pest at threshold level – just scattered stink bugs and a few plant bugs. If you look really, really hard, you might find an escaped bollworm. We’ll just have to wait another week or so to see how this flight goes. It’s still a little early to say how all this may play out in the northern part of the state.
“I continue receiving calls about spider mites in the southeastern corner of the state, over in the Wiregrass. Calls have come in from 6 or 8 fieldmen, plus a consultant called about mites an hour or so ago. These are sharp people who are concerned about mites turning up.
“Some treatments have gone out. It probably seems surprising that we’re dealing with mites, considering all the rain lately. But mites don’t completely go away with rain. It sets them back but mites will rebound, given the right conditions. People have mentioned seeing a larger red mite that’s moving fast, and we think that’s a predatory mite feeding on the twospotted spider mites.”
Dominic Reisig, NCSU Extension Specialist, Entomology, Plymouth, North Carolina:
“It has rained a good deal in places. A cotton grower in the northern part of the state tweeted a picture of a field that he said received 10 inches of rain out of the system we’re in now. That would be at the extreme end of amounts. But I was in a corn field yesterday where it had only rained a little over 2 inches – but that was before it rained again all this morning (7/24).
“Generally, we needed the rain. A lot of crop on sandier ground on the coastal plain already was drought stressed. This will help our beans and some of our corn, although a lot of corn is past the point that it will matter.
“With insects in cotton, we’re kind of in a hurry-up-and-wait phase. Bollworm moth counts are still climbing in both the light and pheromone traps and egg laying has been underway in places. While some fields have been sprayed for bollworms, it’s nothing widespread or rampant.
“Spotty stink bug sprays are going out in our southern cotton counties. A consultant said he was finding no bollworm eggs in the southern part of the state but was seeing spotty stink bugs. But up in the northeast, we already have bollworm eggs and stink bugs and plant bugs in spots, and those are tricky situations when it comes to selecting products and timing applications.
“One guy I talked to up there was concerned about aphids, spider mites, plant bugs, stink bugs and bollworm eggs. But we also have plenty of fields that are just fine – low pressure across the pest spectrum and noticeable populations of beneficial insects.”
Trey Bullock, Bullock's Ag Consulting, Hattiesburg, Mississippi:
“I have cotton that I hope will have it’s first bloom tomorrow (7/25) and some that I think will have an open boll in 10 days. Overall, the crop looks good.
“We’ve been dealing with aphids off and on for the last 6 weeks. I didn’t start picking up the fungus until last Monday but aphids are still kind of hanging around.
“Weather conditions for this crop have been about as good as you could ask for except that it’s now getting kind of dry in places. Overall, I’d say we had a relatively low plant bug year, just hot spots.
“Last week I began treating bollworms on a lot of acres near the Mississippi River. This week, I began finding everything wrapped up in eggs in Covington and Smith Counties, which are north of Hattiesburg. As it looks, we’ll treat some of that.
“Everything I looked at today had above-threshold egg counts. On the positive side, a good deal of that cotton will pretty much be finished in a couple of weeks. This crop is above average. It’s also the fasted crop I’ve ever seen. Cotton is doing its thing in a hurry.
“Other than some late plantings, 95% of the cotton I work is just about perfect. We do have some dry acres but not many. If we can get a rain in the next 4 or 5 days, we should be sitting pretty unless something eats it up or a hurricane develops.
“Right now, we’re applying huge shots of Pix to stop a lot of this cotton, even though we’ve already applied plenty. These new varieties are amazing.
“No big issues in peanuts. We sprayed a field or two for worms but no disease.”
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Cotton – Southwest – Pickers are Rollin’ | 114 Degrees | Brown Stinkbugs Tricky – AgFax 7-25
Virginia Cotton: Managing a Crop with Too Much Moisture 7-24
Tennessee: Dicamba Year 3 – How Are We Doing? 7-24
Virginia Cotton: 5 Tips for Dealing with Bollworms 7-24
Cotton Market Roundtable Teleconference, July 27 7-24
Alabama Peanuts: Insects Slowly Building, Keep Scouting 7-20
UGA Awarded $935K to Breed Softer Cotton, More Resilient Peanuts 7-24
South Carolina Cotton: Bollworm Decisions Looming 7-20
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