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Owen Taylor, Editor


Here is this week's issue of AgFax Midsouth Cotton


Our thanks to SePRO – maker of Brake herbicide – for once again sponsoring our coverage.



Cotton is squaring on a wider basis this week. The crop in Louisiana – where dry conditions have prevailed – received rain across a wide area early in the week.


Plant bugs are ramping up in places and treatments have started. According to this week’s contacts, counts are mostly light, with scattered hot spots. Some treatments were being made.


A bollworm flight has taken shape and in parts of Arkansas the numbers are unusually high. See comments by Gus Lorenz.


Aphids and spider mites are present in parts of Louisiana.




Tyson Raper, Cotton and Small Grain Specialist, University of Tennessee:

“Growers are touching up a few areas where cotton drowned out with all the rain but I haven’t heard of any first-planting in production fields this week. Anything left that would have gone into cotton has shifted to another crop.


“People have sent me a few pictures of pinhead squares in the older cotton but nothing at match head yet. Wheat turned very quickly, although moisture was still a little too high early in the week to start harvest.”


Gus Lorenz, Arkansas Extension IPM Specialist:

“A few plant bugs are starting to move into cotton and a big part of the crop is squaring now. No bad plant bug populations have turned up yet. I think most are still on field edges in wild hosts. Where we’re sweeping in hosts like fleabane, the numbers are noticeably high.


“Bollworm moth numbers look a bit troubling. Moth catches were pretty big 2 weeks ago. When we checked those traps again on Monday, the numbers blew out again. Typically, we think it takes a month to turn over a new flight, so what we’re seeing now may be moths from Texas, Florida or maybe the Caribbean that blew north with recent storms.


“In one 4-day period we caught over 1,000 moths in a trap, which is huge, but a lot of traps are easily running 300 to 400 moths. In some locations, the numbers doubled from 2 weeks ago. We’re already finding a few bollworm eggs in pre-bloom cotton. This doesn’t bode well for the regular Fourth of July flight. In south Arkansas, plenty of beans are blooming and aren’t lapped yet, so moths will go to those fields, quite likely.”


Sebe Brown, Northeast Louisiana Region Extension Entomologist:

“Plant bug numbers are variable. A lot of cotton is starting to square and in places it’s being carried off by plant bugs. In other cotton, people aren’t finding any plant bugs and are wondering if something is wrong. Obviously, some treatments are going out but not everywhere.


“I’m still getting calls about thrips. People have these cases where fields are at 7 to 8 true leaves or even 8-node plants but also have 2-leaf cotton in the same field due to soil changes, for example. Those guys are still spraying thrips in parts of fields where cotton is growing slowly. Dry, hot weather has kind of thrown things off.



“Mites are showing up in the northwestern part of the state in the Red River Valley. Some people treated for mites or at least considered it before the rain came through. We got a pretty good shower in places today (6/5), and we hope that helps some of this ‘mitey’ cotton. Sporadic cotton aphids are colonizing some cotton in northeast Louisiana but it’s nothing treatable.”


Scott Stewart, Extension Entomologist, Jackson, Tennessee:

“We’re moving into some early squaring, which seems like it’s ahead of schedule compared to the last 4 to 5 years. Plant bugs appear to be stacking up in these first squaring fields, which is what we often see. If you have some of the earliest fields in an area, check for this. That cotton is like a magnet for plant bugs. After a week or so, they will move out and by then more cotton should be squaring.


“A small amount of cotton is still emerging but most fields are past the thrips stage and not much is being sprayed. This later cotton is maybe getting hit a little harder, at least in my tests, but we don’t have much of that statewide. We’re off to one of the better starts. Some replanting has been necessary where too much rain fell. But this also is a much earlier crop than in several years.


“A fair number of southwestern corn borer moths turned up in traps last week. If you’re growing non-Bt corn, scout closely.”


Bill Robertson, Arkansas Extension Cotton Specialist:

“A little storm system in northeast Arkansas pounded cotton with hail in one strip. Plants were just starting to square but they look more like toothpicks now. So, some amount of cotton in areas around Forrest City and Colt will have to be replanted.


“The catch is that farmers can’t start replanting until 10 days after the incident so that the stands can be evaluated. That’s putting replanting past the recommended planting window. But if a grower owns his own picker and likes what the market is offering, he’ll roll the dice and plant. But first he’s got to wait.


“This crop came up looking good and growing well but it’s been a fight to stay on top of weeds.


“Cotton planted in the last of April and first week in May has huge leaves and 3 to 4 nice squares on a lot of it. Some internodes are stretching out a little. People need to start applying Pix. My fear is that they won’t start with enough.


“This horse will be running fast when it gets out of the gate. I wouldn’t apply less than 12 ounces but with a stronger variety I would go with a pint on the first round. Start now, don’t play catchup later, and don’t be tempted to wait for plant bug treatments to apply Pix.”


Lee Rogers, Rogers Entomological Service, Steele, Missouri:

“Cotton has mostly moved out of the thrips stage and plants are starting to put on a few squares in some fields. Plant bug counts are beginning to turn up and we’ll spray a small number of fields, nothing widespread.


“It’s pretty dry. Rain fell in places on Friday (6/1) but it’s dry now in most areas except for low ends and places like that. Pretty much all of our beans are planted. A few fields were blooming last week and more should be this week.”


Trent LaMastus, Consultant, Cleveland, Mississippi:

“Most of our cotton is out of the thrips stage and our oldest is reaching the end of the second week of squaring. We are making applications for plant bugs and applying some Pix on our oldest cotton. Spider mites and some aphids showed up today (6/4). We are trimming some edges for mites where they are migrating out of vegetation that’s dying from recent herbicide applications.


“Everyone was behind on weed control due to early wet and windy conditions but are catching up now. I had two growers plant cotton last weekend. One was on newly picked land. The other planted behind receding water.


“Our corn is beginning to tassel and everyone is irrigating as fast as they can. We’ve been getting dry since early last week and the corn is at its most vulnerable stage to dry conditions. The corn crop looks pretty good right now (6/6). It developed really fast over the last 10 days.


“Soybeans range from just emerging to v14. Some irrigation has begun on soybeans. There will be a bigger focus on irrigation next week if no rain is in the forecast. No insect problems in soybeans yet. I will be rechecking cotton Thursday and Friday and I will have a crew installing more moisture sensors on all farms.”


Dan Fromme, Louisiana Extension Cotton and Corn Specialist:

“We got about an inch of rain today (6/5) across about half of the state, mostly in the middle part of Louisiana. That will do some good for both corn and cotton, and we sure needed it. Cotton is squaring now and that started in older cotton about 2 weeks ago.


“We’ll need another rain by the end of the month as cotton moves into bloom. That will start in late June and into the first few days of July. So far, cotton hasn’t suffered much with this dry weather but it will need water at bloom. We’re holding off on Pix since it has been on the dry side but with this rain I expect that people will start applying some. Northeast Louisiana has been a little better off as far as rain goes.”


Angus Catchot, Mississippi Extension Entomologist:

“We’re kind of getting past the thrips window. With this hot weather, plants mostly moved past thrips and did it fast. A fair amount of cotton is squaring, depending on the location, and a few plant bug treatments are going out. Overall, pressure doesn’t appear to be extremely high but numbers are at a point that they need to be addressed in some fields. A few mites are being sprayed in spots.”


Richard Griffing, Griffing Consulting, LLC, Monterey, Louisiana:

“Our cotton is mostly between nodes 8 to 10 and squaring pretty well. A lot of plant bugs are moving in and spider mites are present but are still fairly light. We did spray maybe a third of our acres for mites about 2 weeks ago.



“So far (6/4), we’ve sprayed about 20% of our acres for plant bugs and the rest will be treated within a week. Every field I’ve been in this week will have to be sprayed for plant bugs. They’re mostly coming off levees. I’m also picking up a fair number of plant bugs in soybeans, plus it seems like every cotton field I have this year borders corn on 2 sides. Along with that, winter hosts are drying down, so some movement is likely starting off that.


“We do have a 40% to 80% chance of rain tomorrow (6/5). The amount in the last forecast I saw was 0.3 of an inch. We wouldn’t turn it down. We’re watering corn hard and watering beans, too. So far, we haven’t started irrigating cotton but will be before long if the weather remains dry.”


David Skinner, Agronomist, CPS, Macon, Mississippi:

“Cotton made a nice start and looks good. We missed any rain from the tropical system (Alberto), so dryland corn needs a rain. It’s not a terrible situation yet, but leaves are starting to roll.


“Cotton, though, is getting just what it needs and it’s squaring well. We replanted some cotton and sprayed thrips on it last week. In the last day or so we started picking up plant bugs and are spraying in places. Nothing, though, is out of the ordinary.’


Larry Walker, Walker Cotton Technical Services, Flintville, Tennessee:

“This time last year I was complaining about how slowly the crop was developing. That’s sure not the case this year. We now have cotton that’s boot-top high in places and is at the 5- to 6-leaf stage – and was only planted about 30 days ago. 


“In my career I can’t recall seeing that much growth in such a short time. In May, temperatures approached 90 in the day and were around 65 for lows at night, plus we received showers at the right time. Cotton clearly responded.


“Our preemerge herbicide programs worked very well. We’re going back with our first post spray and adding a residual, plus a plant growth regulator. We need to get a plant growth regulator out now, considering all the factors – plenty of moisture, our fertility program, the varieties we’re growing and these temperatures. In 8 days from now (6/4), we’ll have cotton at 8 leaves and it will be begging for Pix if it doesn’t already have any.”




Cotton – Southwest – Rain Helps; Residuals Working – AgFax   6-6


Tennessee Cotton: Dicamba – When Sensitive Vegetation Is Downwind – Video   6-5


Bayer Seeks Positive Change – Monsanto Name to Disappear – DTN   6-5


Arkansas: Storm Wreaks Havoc in Colt; Most Ag Areas Should See Quick Recovery   6-5


Cotton: Herbicide Resistance? Texas Researchers Find Cheap, Deadly Answer   6-5



More Cotton News



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