More bolls are opening, and a limited amount of defoliation might crank up this week in Louisiana (if it hasn’t already).
Midsouth cotton continues to rebound after an unusually shaky start. A few more bolls are opening. Pest-wise, bollworms are a top concern. Three-gene cotton is holding up well despite massive moth flights in places. High plant bug populations also continue through much of the region.
Cotton – Midsouth – Pest Pressure Mounts – AgFax Aug 8, 2019
Pest pressure is mounting. Plant bug numbers continue to build in many areas, prompting treatment. In parts of the Midsouth, bollworm moths are moving north and laying eggs. Where worms have nestled deep in the canopy, treatment results have been problematic at times.
More fields are at cutout or approaching it. Those fall into that general category of “cotton planted on time,” which is a smaller-than-average part of the crop this year through much of our coverage area. Open weather has mostly been the case since our last report, but rains continue in parts of Louisiana where Hurricane Barry dumped substantial amounts a couple of weeks ago.
Oddly growing plants continue to be reported. Symptoms include aborted terminals, tangled branches and lost fruit set. The late-planted Midsouth cotton crop is finding its feet. Much of our coverage area received ample rainfall from the short-lived hurricane, Barry. Most amounts were manageable and generally needed.
Regulating growth – that’s a big focus across the region this week. Rains have kept sprayers out of the field when treatments are needed the most. Plants also are shedding squares after this prolonged stretch of rain and cloudy weather.
Much of the Midsouth cotton crop has hit bloom and the mood among people in the field has noticeably perked up in the past several weeks. Still, the season is largely out of sync. Normally by now, bollworms are turning up in cotton in the southern portion of our coverage area, but the expected flight hasn’t kicked into gear.
With a stretch of mostly sunny and rain-free days, growers have largely caught up on field work and plants have visibly responded to better growing conditions and a bit of TLC.
Midsouth crops are generally not suffering from a lack of moisture as we head towards July. Frequent rains across much of the region have minimized irrigation costs on a wide basis. Plant bugs are becoming more apparent and the treatment pace has picked up in older cotton.
Irregular cotton stands will be a headache for many growers and crop advisors until that last defoliation spray goes out. It’s not that every stand is out of whack, but more fields than usual have wide and odd combinations of small and large cotton plants.