Covering California cotton, alfalfa, tomatoes, grains and other field crops since 1991.


Owen Taylor, Editor


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This week we've got a short report. We work off a rotating list of contacts, and a number of people were out of pocket when we made calls last week.


Late-season decline in cotton is becoming more obvious. See comments by Bob Hutmacher.



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John Moore, PCA, Growers Crop Consulting, Bakersfield: “We’re on the cusp of having to deal with whitefly in cotton. Nothing is at a treatable level. Just a few open bolls are out there. We’ll reevaluate everything again next week and decide whether we need to treat now or if can wait a little longer.


“In alfalfa we can find cowpea aphids. I’ve been keeping an eye on one field that I thought we would have to treat soon, but this week it didn’t seem to be as bad. So far, we haven’t made any applications for them. We can find just a little beet armyworm and alfalfa catperpillar but nothing we would treat.


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“In almonds, the bulk of our Nonpareils are on the ground and some hard shells are on the ground, too. One grower, in fact, said he started shaking hard shells a week ago (8/16). We’ve done what we consider our second hull split spray in pistachio.”


Bob Hutmacher, Extension Cotton Specialist: “We’re still finding and geting a few calls about cotton plants that are showing late-season decline symptoms. That would include leaf bronzing and reddening of leaf margins and petioles. This is the usual pattern we’ve seen in recent years, namely upper canopy leaf bronzing and reddening showing up first, then progressing to the lower canopy leaves in the more extreme cases.


"Plants can be a whole range of sizes and vigor and still manifest these symptoms. Generally, though, it shows up on plants that have a relatively heavy boll load for the size and vigor of the plant, and the plant is essentially breaking down materials in the leaf tissue as it attempts to fill those bolls.


“Typically, the worst symptoms show up in places where – for one reason or another – plants have moderately weak root systems. That could be associated with compaction, disease-related damage, tillage damage and such. Symptoms can be associated with verticillium wilt, as well, but wilt alone is not typically the cause, and the bronzing symptoms often occur without any evidence of verticillium wilt.  


“Plants in a fair number of fields in water-short areas show some fairly severe water stress, which will hasten the end of the boll filling period and curtail any late developing bolls. Under these conditions, more lower canopy bolls are starting to open, and the plants may end up quite severely stressed by the time first harvest-aid applications are made.


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“Populations of late-season aphids don’t appear to be on the rise in the fields I’ve visited this week, but I have seen more spider mites in hot spot, those water-stressed areas of some fields. Loss of leaf area to spider mites, if extreme, could eliminate some resources needed to finish later bolls. In some locations whitefly seem to still be building, which will become more of a control issue as bolls are now opening in the lower canopy, and we’ll see accelerated opening in coming weeks.”





California Almonds: Fumigation Trial Results 8-23


California: Annual Sustainable Agriculture Event, San Joaquin Valley, September 12 8-23


California: Management of Alfalfa Caterpillar 8-23


California Almonds: Why Does Weed Resistance Vary? 8-23


California: Almond Harvest Underway, Rice 3/4 Headed – USDA 8-19


California Almonds: Postharvest Fertilization Q and A 8-19


Southwest Cotton: Defoliation Continues; Late Crop Needs Heat – AgFax  8-24


Cleveland On Cotton: Rally Hits the Ground; Likely Hang in 81-89 Cent Range  8-24


Rose On Cotton: December Finds Support After Heavy Thud  8-23


DTN Cotton Close: Settles With Slight December Loss  8-23


Shurley On Cotton: The Bottom Fell Out, And The Reality Set In  8-23


California Alfalfa And Forage: Meeting Set For September 5, Kearney REC 8-16


California Dry Beans: Meeting Set For August 27, Kearney REC 8-16


California Cotton: Making Whitefly, Aphid Treatment Decisions 8-17


California Cotton: Aphids, Whitefly And Preventing Sticky Cotton 8-17


AgFax West is published weekly during the main crop production season.


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Owen Taylor, Editor and Publisher.


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