Owen Taylor, Editor



First bloom report for 2014. Travis Vallee, CenLa Ag Services in Pineville, Louisiana, said they found their first bloom last Friday (6/13). Anybody else seeing them?


Plant bugs have become the focus across a large portion of our coverage area. No overwhelming numbers were reported this week but enough plant bugs are in the system that some cotton in south Arkansas has received a third application. Several of our contacts noted that plant bugs seem to be appearing earlier than normal. We’re hearing similar reports from south Alabama and Georgia.


Spider mites are building in places. Thrips have about faded away except in later, stressed fields.


Cotton looks better in most areas now that the weather has moved into a hotter, drier pattern. People are trying to catch up on weed control. After all the rain, growth regulators are going out, often at higher rates.


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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 know what to do. In some of these situations, farmers were unable to apply residuals, but even in those cases they had planted LibertyLink varieties, so it’s not the end of the world. This is nothing widespread or farm wide, but it seems like every grower has a 30- to 50-acre field where they’re dealing with pigweed. Nobody is calling for hoeing crews.”


Terry Erwin, Morehouse Parish Extension Agent, Bastrop, Louisiana: "Our most advanced cotton is putting on pinhead squares. A little replanting was necessary due to all the rain earlier and we had to spray thrips to some extent, but things are starting to turn around. Most of our cotton is dryland, but we’ve been getting scattered showers, so it’s not hurting yet.”


Ty Edwards, Edwards Ag Consulting, LLC, Water Valley, Mississippi: "We’re still trying to make our over-the-top herbicide applications and such. In places, we’re including a material for plant bugs, but in most of our cotton right now they’re nonexistent. All of our square retention is good and about 90% of our cotton is squaring, with the rest just before starting."


Eddy Cates, Cates Agritech Inc., Marion, Arkansas: “On some small cotton we’re still fighting thrips, but most of the activity has shifted to plant bugs. Heavy populations are moving into some fields, and we sprayed several fields today (6/17) for plant bugs. Numbers seem to be a little higher than normal for this point in the season. Most cotton ranges from pinhead to one-third-grown squares. After several weeks of wet weather, the main focus right now is on herbicides and cleaning up fields.


“It’s not an exaggeration to say that thousands of acres of cotton have been under severe water stress due to excessive rain. Plants are putting out new feeder roots and looking better. Parts of my area received 16 inches of rain since June 1. In places, farmers got a couple of rains that went 4-plus inches, and plenty of areas have picked up 8 to 9 inches so far this month. On top of that, we’ve had hail damage and flash flooding.”


Ashley Peters, Peters Crop Consulting, Crowville, Louisiana: “We’ve sprayed a few fields for fleahoppers and are starting to pick up some plant bugs and probably will be spraying those next week. In a good bit of cotton we’re finding immatures and adults. Cotton is close to bloom, so we’ll be looking at applications in places.



“Our oldest cotton is at 12 nodes or so and most is fruiting and squaring really good. We had enough rain in the last few weeks, that’s for sure, so a little bit of dry, hot weather now should help the cotton grow. At one gauge, my best guess is that we’ve poured out at least 15 inches since about June 1. Amounts varied by location, of course. The bottom line: everybody got plenty of rain.”


Herbert Jones Jr., Ind. Consultant, Leland, Mississippi: “On our oldest cotton we’re finding 10% to 30% adult plant bugs. Looking along ditches and turnrows at pigweed, they’re running 50% plus. They’re even running 10% to 12% in soybeans, which isn’t hurting them but certainly stands out as an indicator. These are the highest numbers I can ever remember seeing this early.


“Our cotton ranges from 2-leaf to 10 nodes. Our first-planted cotton had no problem with thrips, it just grew right through them and never had to be sprayed. Our second planting was ahead of all that rain, plus sustained herbicide and wind damage, and thrips jumped on it. All of our late cotton had to be treated twice and one or two small fields have been sprayed a third time.


“With all the rain, cotton didn’t look good, but it’s made a big turnaround since last Thursday (6/12). With this heat and sunshine, it’s getting what it needs. We’re putting out 8 to 10 ounce/acre of Pix on older cotton but have some complicated situations with different soil types and/or where lower parts of the field stayed saturated and cotton didn’t grow well. Where growers can do variable-rate applications, we’ll go with that. But in certain cases, we’ll simply hit the higher parts of the field with a good rate and not touch the lower ends where plants were waterlogged.


“Weed control varies from real good to real bad. Most residuals are trying to play out, plus some cotton is still weak and we can’t put on a real hot dose, so we’re having problems addressing all that.”


Travis Vallee, CenLa Ag Services, Pineville, Louisiana: “We found our first flower Friday (6/13). So far (6/16), we’ve treated 2 fields where we found plant bugs at threshold. A lot of Pix is scheduled for this week. We’re trying to get some layby out and when it dries up a little more we’ll be going wide open. We’ve had a lot of rain, too much in places, and we’ve scheduled some additional urea where water sat on it too long and caused denitrification. We had 3 big rains in 3 weeks and from 3 to 12 inches in the last month, depending on the location. Cotton is mostly doing great now except in low spots and heavier soils.”


Scott Stewart, Extension Entomologist, Jackson, Tennessee: “Tarnished plant bugs are common, with immatures already being found in older cotton. Some folks are still battling thrips in later cotton. All the wet weather in the past 2 weeks really caused us to miss some needed applications, so everyone is playing catchup.”


John Stobaugh, Stobaugh Cotton Consulting, Inc., McGehee, Arkansas: “Cotton is looking great. This has been a very light thrips year and we are anticipating our first pre-bloom plant bug treatment as soon as they begin showing up in our sweeps.”


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Angus Catchot, Mississippi Extension Entomologist: "Plant bugs are out there and we’re running into immatures on 7- to 8-node cotton. This seems to be happening a little early. It’s not anything we can’t deal with but certainly isn’t the norm. Some applications already are going out on plant bugs at threshold in our oldest cotton. I’m getting calls about this in the Delta and some in the hills. I’m encouraging people to hold off on Diamond until at least 3 weeks into squaring so we can extend residual into bloom.”


David Kerns, Entomologist, Louisiana State University, Macon Ridge Research Station: “Don’t overlook fleahoppers. They’re more common in the Red River Valley but we’ve seen treatable populations in the Delta, too. They’re not real common on one hand, but don’t overlook them, either. We’re well into squaring. I haven’t seen any blooms, myself, but suspect that some are out there. Tarnished plant bugs are around. We’re not seeing a whole lot of them but some applications are being made. What we’re shooting for, of course, is 80% retention. You don’t want to drop below that if you can help it. On the other hand, it doesn’t hurt to lose some. A lot of data suggests that at times losing 10% to 20%  of your squares can actually result in an increase in yields.”


Gus Lorenz, Arkansas Extension IPM Specialist: “Plant bugs are still coming into cotton. A few people in the south part of the state have made their third application and a lot are on their second. Adults are coming out of wild hosts and CRP ground. In older cotton we’re finding immatures now. We’ve gone 6 or 7 days (from 6/17) without rain, so some of these winter weeds are drying down, and that’s pushing plant bugs into cotton. A lot of this cotton is squaring pretty good on the second or third squaring node, so it’s attractive.


“For this time of the year, plant bug activity is slightly above average, and I think this indicates we could have a pretty busy year with them. If you’re going into the third week of squaring, include that shot of Diamond with your knockdown material.


“Spider mites are already popping up, with a lot of this where we traditionally have mites. We saw a big bollworm flight last week, triple the counts from the week before. That’s been our season high for weekly totals, so far. That flight now seems to be on a downward trend.”




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


Louisiana: Farmers Learning to Control Resistant Weeds 6-13


Mississippi: Irrigation Tech Will Be Focus Of June 25 Event 6-16


Flint on Crops: Troublesome June Rain — Blame it on El Nino 6-16


Arkansas: Wet Soils Continue to Hamper Field Work – USDA 6-16


Louisiana: Rice in Boot Stage, Rain Hurt Soybean Growth – USDA 6-16


Mississippi: Soybeans Flowering, Corn In Silk Stage – USDA 6-16


Missouri: Soybeans 86% Planted, 19% of Cotton Squaring – USDA 6-16


Tennessee: Constant Rains Hinder Field Work – USDA 6-17  



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