Larry Stalcup, AgFax Southwest Editor
Debra L. Ferguson, AgFax Media Managing Editor

Owen Taylor, AgFax Editorial Director 


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Good News for cotton growing country! USDA approved the Cotton Ginning Cost-Share Program. Read the details in 2 items under AgFax News section below.


Blue skies and temperatures in the 90s are also cause for celebration giving growers a chance to wrap up planting in areas that have received as much as 12 inches of rain in recent weeks. Other locations just need plenty of good cotton growing weather after too many cool, cloudy days in May.


Thrips and fleahoppers continue to haunt cotton fields from those just making a good stand to locations ready to square. Tarnished plant bugs are pushing the threshold in the Lower Rio Grade Valley crop, which is in full bloom.  


South Plains fields are 75 to 80% planted. Preplant and preemerge herbicides have been put to the test after recent rainfall. Resistant pigweed is sprouting in many fields, so a good post herbicide program is next on the "to do" list.


Growers are feeling the pressure of insurance deadlines with plant and replanting decisions still to be made. Make sure you know your region’s final plant date.


New Mexico crop advisors report an unidentified wilt has hit a few acres just east of El Paso (where they share their expertise with Texas A&M scientists). Lab tests are under way. Check out John Idowu’s comments and photo.


Texas: 53rd Annual Stiles Farm Field Day is on June 21. Scroll down to AgFax Events complete details.


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Mark Nemec, MJN Consulting, Waco, Texas: “Farmers are smiling. The sun is out and things are finally drying up a little. Most of the heavy rain was at the lower end of the Brazos River Bottom. Our problem in the Blacklands wasn’t flooding but that we were so wet for so long.  


“Cotton is stunted and yellow. We’re waiting for it to dry up so we can spray weeds that are overtaking us. I think we can get some ground rigs in the later part of this week. We’re seeing a good influx of thrips on late planted cotton. Fleahoppers are starting to show up on older cotton. We’ll need treatments for some fields.


“The milo crop looks half decent and is just starting to head out in most places. The sugarcane aphid is present in some edges of fields, but in very low numbers. Corn growth is all over the place. The water-logged stuff looks terrible, while corn on well drained land looks pretty good.”


Randy Boman, Oklahoma State University Cotton Research Director, Cotton Extension Program Leader, Altus: “Everybody is planting up a storm and we’re finally about 50% completed. Irrigated farmers are running up against the 8 ball. Their insurance deadline is Friday (6/10) and we feel they will finish planting by then. There are still a few decisions to be made on replanting in some earlier planted irrigated fields that suffered seedling disease from those cold days in May.


“Cotton planted in the past 2 weeks is up which mean some guys are having to apply treatments for thrips. Wheat fields are drying and harvest is getting under way so thrips will be looking for a new home.


“After all the rain we’ve had, a few guys are also having a hard time beating back weeds where they didn’t have a good preplant or preemerge herbicide program. But most fields remain fairly clean where good pre programs were used. All in all, we’re looking good. We’re in the 90s and  finally have the heat that cotton needs.”


Seth Byrd, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Cotton Specialist, Lubbock: “Things have mostly dried out since the recent rains last week. After this past weekend we’re probably 75 to 80% planted in the South Plains region. There have been 2 or 3 scattered hail events causing some acres in the southern plains counties to need replanting. The insurance cutoff date is June 10 for a lot of areas south of Lubbock. Growers should make sure about their particular area’s insurance date.


“Cotton that is up looks really good. It’s had good moisture and heat unit accumulation. We’re re not seeing thrips yet, but there has been some talk that it may be a later than normal year for them. Heavy rain over much of the area last week probably helped keep thrips off the plants.


“There is still some horseweed and we need to scout for small Palmer pigweed. When growers are making their first post herbicide applications, they need to know what weeds are present.”


DeWayne Dopslauf, Crop Production Services, Wharton, Texas: “We’re not doing much but trying to dry out after all of the rain and flooding. I had some cotton that had the Colorado River on it twice, and another field that the Brazos River went over. Some of the cotton looks better this week. Anything that drains well looks decent, and cotton on high ground looks okay.


“With all the rain, we’ve applied Pix to keep the crop from growing. We also applied some insecticide during Pix applications after a few reports of thrips and fleahoppers. We’re scouting more for those and other insects.


“Much of the cotton is still trying to set squares, so we haven’t shed any squares yet. This cotton needs more clear weather and heat. It just wants to grow.”


Tommy Doederlein, Texas A&M AgriLife IPM Agent, Dawson County: “We’re about 70% planted. The sun is shining now after a lot of days with cloud cover.


“Early cotton planted before the cold snap is up, but struggling. Some of it went black after wind and sand damage. But if those plants get some green growing points, we may not need to replant.


“Farmers have done a lot better job with weed control. Some will be putting out preemerge herbicide for cotton just planted. I’m putting out some pres today (6/6). All in all, we’re getting it going.


“We won’t have near as much milo as in the past due to the sugarcane aphid, and also the fact that none of the commodity prices are outstanding. In our area, we’re set up for cotton, so that’s where guys are going.”


From Our Sponsor


Rex Friesen, Southern Kansas Cotton Growers Co-op, Winfield: "We’re finally clear of storms and farmers are going to be hot and heavy in the field. Everyone is going pedal-to-the-metal in planting. I’m not sure how much is in the ground, but it’s changing by the minute. I don’t feel our acres will reach the original intentions, but I don’t think numbers will suffer all that much.


“Rain was causing a lot of farmers to retreat for weeds, either before planting or between planting and emergence. Lots of weeds have been sprayed recently.


“Our farmers need to really be scouting for thrips. A field near Wellington was planted in a narrow window in early May and plants were crawling with thrips last Friday (6/3). The cotton was treated and the treatment was effective. But there was already damage, and that seed had a seed treatment. After seeing that situation, I hope people will be watching very closely for thrips.


“Overall I’m optimistic about the Kansas crop. We’re planting late again, but we have good weather and can still make a good crop like we did in 2015.”


Katelyn Kowles, Texas A&M AgriLife IPM Agent, Lubbock & Crosby Counties: “Some guys in Lubbock and Crosby counties were renting extra equipment for night planting so they could get their cotton in the ground before the insurance date (6/5). In Hale County, cotton is everywhere from cotyledon to first leaf. But I saw some fields that had been destroyed by sand and wind last week.


“There is also some thrips damage, especially in these first 2 weeks post emergence. Farmers need to look for shriveled leaves. If they see immature thrips that means the seed treatment has run out and they will need to treat. There has been some seedling disease after the cool moist weather. Cotton should grow out of it, but it’s something farmers need to look for.


“Glyphosate resistant pigweed is showing up. Guys need to really scout for them. Once pigweed gets 3 to 4 inches tall, they’re not going to be able to control it. Other weeds we’re seeing include a lot of bindweed, silverleaf nightshade and morning glory.


“Corn is looking good and I haven’t seen any spider mites or other major pests. Sorghum is also in good shape. I’m scouting for sugarcane aphid. We saw it in Johnsongrass the first week of May in Lubbock County, but as far as I know it hasn’t moved to sorghum. Guys need to check their fields for sugarcane aphid. Once they get into your sorghum, you can quickly have large populations. One good thing is that we had a large number of beneficials build up after aphid infestations on wheat. Those beneficials should help with sugarcane aphids and other pests.”


Kyle Aljoe, Crop Quest Consulting, Dimmitt, Texas: “The growth pattern is scattered. Cotton is looking good in some fields and a little slow in others. Most is cotyledon to the 2-leaf stage. One older field is seeing a few thrips. The seed treatment is running out, so we’ll be treating for them.


“Weed pressure is mild so far. A few fields will need some post herbicide treatments.


"We’ve seen some damping off, or ‘wet weather blight’ as some call it. But there’s not much disease pressure so far. We still get cool, then warm right back up. We had to replant a few fields due to preemergence problems after cold weather.


“Corn is starting to take off. It’s anywhere from still being planted up to 7-leaf. Most milo and forage sorghum is in the ground and some is up to a stand. Wheat harvest should start near the end of the week on some dryland and limited irrigated acres.”


Tyler Mays, Texas A&M AgriLife IPM Agent, Terry, Yoakum & Gaines Counties: “Cotton that’s up looks good. We’re probably 80 to 90% planted. The insurance planting deadline for Gaines County is June 5. The deadline for Yoakum and Terry is June 10.


“Thrips aren’t there yet but we’re scouting for them. Weeds are starting to come up. I’ve seen some resistant pigweed taking off, as well as nutsedge and morning glory in cotton and peanuts. Farmers need to be ready for postemergence herbicide applications if they haven’t already made them. This growth period will help us learn if we had any misapplications of preemerge herbicide.


“I haven’t seen any seedling disease. Conditions in the area are really good overall. If we got a small storm without hail we would be set for a while.


“We’ll hopefully be scouting this week for sugarcane aphid in milo planted in western Yoakum County. Our grape crop is looking good. We have some excellent vineyards in Terry County and parts of Yoakum.”


John Idowu, New Mexico State University Extension Cotton Specialist, Las Cruces: “Temperatures are warming up rapidly. We’re into the 90s during the day and 70s in the evening. That’s pretty good for cotton. We expect to see more rapid growth in the next few weeks.


“Weeds are a problem. Each year we expect more intense weed competition. We’re seeing nutsedge and other grasses. I haven’t seen any increased insect pressure, but Dr. Soum Sanogo, a NMSU research plant pathologist, says there are some problems with wilt in areas just east of El Paso, Texas, which is near Las Cruces. He says pathogens are causing discoloration, but that lab tests are needed to determine which fungi is causing the problem. The problem isn’t widespread and occurred especially in fields planted in non-certified seed.”  See photo below.




Danielle Sekula Ortiz, Texas A&M AgriLife IPM Agent, Weslaco/Lower Rio Grande Valley: “Cotton is in full bloom and has a good fruit set. Plants are really loaded. We had anywhere from 2 to 6 inches of rain this past week. Before that, farmers were putting out PGRs. Once fields dry, they will probably start putting out more PGRs.


“Tarnished plant bugs are abundant right now. There is a lot of spraying where guys can get into the field. Farmers need to treat fields if these bugs reach threshold of 10 to 15 per 100 sweeps. A lot of guys are already seeing 5 to 10 per 10 sweeps, so they’re already spraying. We’re also seeing a few whiteflies and some worm activity. It is wet, humid and muddy – a perfect environment for pests.


“A lot of sorghum is either heading toward harvest or was already under harvest before last week's rain. We also we had a dramatic crash in the sugarcane aphid population. It probably had to do with fields being pretty much matured. Our corn looks really good. Farmers plant mostly Bt hybrids, so we had little insect pressure. A lot of corn is heading into harvest.”


Gaylon Morgan, Texas A&M AgriLife State Cotton Specialist, College Station: “We finally have some bright sun and drying days. People are happy about that. The crop is all over the board. Some heavy clay fields still have water in rows. Fields that are draining well look good. Some will start blooming this week. Thrips are leaving most cotton in the College Station region. I’m not hearing much yet on fleahoppers, but guys need to be scouting for them.


“I was through the Upper Coast on Friday (6/3) and overall the cotton looked decent. Further down the coast, saturated soils are causing a nutrient deficiency flash, or as some call it, ‘yellow flashing.’ Some cotton is yellow in Nueces and San Patricio counties. See related AgFax News item below. In areas where rain has been heavy, farmers may need to begin or resume PGR applications.


“Up north in the Rolling Plains, farmers are running way behind in planting. It has been wet and they’re having problems getting into the fields. Our regional agronomist in Vernon says only 2 of 12 on-farm variety trials have been planted.”





AgFax News 


USDA: Cotton Ginning Cost-Share Program Caps Payments at $40,000  6-6


Cotton Farming: $300 Mln Cost-Share Assistance for 2016 Ginning Season  6-5


Cleveland on Cotton: U.S. Exports Remain Strong  6-6


Rose on Cotton: Still Bullish; Not Expecting Big Change in USDA June 10 Report  6-4


Cotton: Transform Granted Section 18 For Midsouth States  6-8


Growers Get First Hand Look at Enlist Weed Control System 6-2


Texas Field Reports: Heavy Rains Hit Most of the State 6-8


Texas Cotton: Wet Conditions and Yellow Cotton – What to Do? 6-8


Texas Wheat: Managing for Hessian Fly 6-8


Texas Cotton: Scout for Thrips on the Southern Plains 6-8


Texas: Ag Apps Seminar, Ft. Worth, July 22 6-7


Texas Cotton: South Plains Growers Should Be Checking for Thrips 6-3


Texas: Come-and-Go Field Day Moved to June 10 in Weslaco 6-2


AgFax Events


Cotton Market Teleconference Features Calcot President, June 13


Texas: Stiles Farm Field Day, Thrall, June 21


Texas: Ag Apps Seminar, Ft. Worth, July 22     



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AgFax Southwest Cotton is published and distributed by AgFax Media, LLC. AgFax Media crop newsletters include: AgFax Midsouth Cotton; AgFax Southeast Cotton; AgFax Southwest Cotton; AgFax Peanuts; AgFax Rice; AgFax Southern Grain; AgFax West, AgFax Almonds, AgFax Updates. Owen Taylor, Editorial Director, and Debra L. Ferguson, Agfax Managing Editor, AgFax Media LLC, 142 Westlake Drive, Brandon, MS 39047,, Office: 601-992-9488. ©2014 AgFax Media, LLC.

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