Larry Stalcup, AgFax Southwest Editor
Debra L Ferguson, AgFax Managing Editor
Special thanks to PhytoGen, the exclusive sponsor of AgFax Southwest Cotton.
Custom harvesters are checking out the Kansas cotton crop.
Stink bugs hit a 7-week run in far West Texas. Surely, they’re about done.
Fall is in the air. Dumas, Texas had a 55-degree morning this week.
Arizona cotton looks pretty good, but still showing signs of stress from the 110-plus heat run.
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Tom Studnicka, Studnicka Consulting, Belle Plaine, Kansas: “Despite some difficulties, we’re staring at a record setting crop if it finishes up okay.
"Early cotton is starting to cutout. We’ve had a few dry spells and dropped some fruit. Middle and later planted stuff is still 3 to 5 NAWF. We had to do some late PGR work on some of the late cotton in areas that got excessive rainfall. But overall, this crop is holding a tremendous boll load with great potential.
“We’ve had a few more stink bug issues. Bollworms have been minimal. The Bt is not getting them all, but there are not a lot of full fields that we’ve needed to treat. Bacterial blight caused a little boll loss in a few fields, but it wasn’t widespread.
“With the big crop we’re expecting, there has been some additional interest from custom harvesters. Some harvesters from Texas were recently up here talking to producers. They were impressed with our crop.
“We also have a chance for a good soybean crop. Early planted beans are going to be above average. The June planted dryland beans also have some good potential. We could see 40 to 50-bushel dryland beans.”
Tyler Mays, Texas A&M AgriLife IPM Agent, Terry, Yoakum & Gaines Counties: “We’ve received some very nice rains in the past 2 weeks. We had anywhere from 0.75" to two inches-plus between Saturday (8/18) and Monday morning. We may have to control more weeds and apply some post pres, or post applications of preemerge herbicides like Dual, which should help prevent new weed growth.
“A lot of cotton has bloomed out the top. Other fields are still floating around 5 to 6 NAWF. If we continue with cooler nightly temperatures, that later cotton may not bloom out the top before August 25. That’s when we start losing the probability of producing a harvestable boll.
“Insects are light. There are few reports of bollworms, lygus and stink bugs in my area. But we still need to be checking Bt varieties for bollworms that are making it through Bollgard 2 cotton in parts of the Panhandle. As for diseases, we found a little bacterial blight and southwestern cotton rust in southern Gaines County.
“The rain has really helped the peanut crop, not just the recent storm, but the ones we had the weekend before and 2 weeks ago. As a result, pegging and pod set has increased. But we don’t have a whole lot of time left to set a pod. Insects are still around in peanuts, but nothing is above economic threshold. After the recent rain storms, we’ve checking for pythium pod rot and leaf spot.”
David Kerns, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Professor and Statewide IPM Coordinator, College Station: “In the Blacklands, we’re pretty much out of reach for insect pressure on cotton. A lot of cotton in the central and southern Blacklands is getting defoliated. The northern Blacklands is still a little behind.
“For other crops, corn is cut and milo is being cut. We do have some stink bug pressure on soybeans. Some fields aren’t finished and are seeing a mix of greens, browns and red-banded stink bugs. The red-banded can cause more damage than the green or brown. We’ve been spraying for them.
“We’re looking at some samples for potential bollworm resistance to 2-gene Bt cotton. The samples are from the Wellington area in the southeastern Panhandle. Overall, we’re finding that resistance is common to all types of dual-gene Bt cotton. Everything but the Viptera is showing resistance.”
Seth Byrd, Oklahoma State University Extension Cotton Specialist, Stillwater/Altus: “The cotton really looks good in northern Oklahoma and there’s some good looking irrigated in the Panhandle. There’s also some good dryland in a lot of places. Even some of the newer cotton areas have done well. We had some decent rain the second half of the summer after it was such a challenge getting it established during the hot, dry June.
“We’re definitely approaching the last bloom date in the next couple of weeks. Most cotton is probably right on time and taking advantage of the fruit load.
“We’re seeing some potassium deficiency issues, not from the lack of applications, but it was just so dry early on. Now the potassium demand is high. If it’s a dryland field, it’s hard to get enough applied through foliar applications to keep up with the demand. Irrigators have the option to fertigate through their pivots.
“Folks remain on the lookout for worms, but I haven’t heard of anything drastic. We still need to scout season long to make sure we don’t let worm attacks slip by.”
Scott Meeks, Yield Pro Crop Consulting, Farwell, Texas/Western Panhandle: “The cotton looks great. We’re finishing up our last irrigations on most of it. Yields look good and quality looks good. We’ll see everything from up to one bale on dryland and up to 4-plus on the irrigated.
“Bollworm pressure is light. Historically it’s time to get ready to spray for bollworms but they’re just not there. I expected it to be a lot heavier with news of higher pressure from down south. All things considered, this will be a good cotton crop.
“The corn I watch also looks good. Most was later planted and missed a lot of the heavy heat early. I think we’re looking at 270-bushel corn.”
Brad Easterling, Texas A&M AgriLife IPM Agent, Glasscock, Reagan, Upton Counties: "We finally had some good showers come through from August 16 to 19. It depends on where you are, but we received anywhere from 1" to 7.7 inches of rain. We haven’t had an August rain in 5 years. It will be beneficial because we were starting to lose some fruit.
“We’re continuing to battle stink bugs and have treated a lot of fields. This is the seventh week in a row. Stink bug pressure seems more widespread this year. There’s no pattern to it. Whether you’re up against a pasture, sorghum or corn – no matter where you are – you need to check for stink bugs.
“We also sprayed a few fields for spider mites even with the rain. We’re not out of the woods with bollworms yet. We’re still seeing some eggs lays, but haven’t had to spray anything yet.
"There have been a few disease issues with bacterial blight and verticillium wilt.
“In general, considering what we went through with dryland, the crop looks good. On average, we have a little more irrigation water because we have fewer irrigation acres due to the early dry period. Many growers have more water.”
Jaime Lopez, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Agent, Frio County: “We’ve had a few showers and we’re grateful, especially since it’s August. The cotton is finishing up well and looks pretty good. A lot has been defoliated and picked. Yields look really good.
“We’re in the flowering stage of peanuts and they also look really good. We’ve been dry much of the summer, so we didn’t have a lot of blight and fungus pressure. Our corn yields were above average at 150 bushels.”
Randy Norton, University of Arizona Extension Cotton Specialist, Safford: “We’re still in pretty good shape. But, there’s no doubt that this crop was affected by the heat stress of those 110-plus days earlier this summer.
“As for insects, we’ve had some worm pressure recently in selected areas in central and eastern Arizona. Again, it’s primarily on non-Bt and Pima, but we’ve also had worms on some 2-gene product. Some guys have treated for it. We just hope they used proper treatments and didn’t hurt our beneficials. Other than worms, we haven’t had a whole lot of other insect pests.
“Some cotton has been defoliated in the Yuma area but the vast majority is a week to 10 days away from defoliation. Central Arizona is at cutout and there are 10% to 20% open bolls on some plants. In the eastern part of the state, some fields are also seeing a few open bolls.
“We still have about two and a half weeks to make some good cotton in most areas of the state. Thankfully, disease pressure remains light.”
Mark Hatley, Crop Quest Consulting, Dumas, Texas: “It’s all going good and our crops are rocking along smoothly. For the most part cotton looks really good. It’s at either peak bloom or in the boll-fill area. It’s getting rather mature.
“It’s starting to cool off more. It was 55 degrees early this morning. That’s pretty cold for August. We need to finish what we have and not count on any more harvestable bolls developing after this week. We need to keep heat units flowing all we can.
“We don’t have any major insect pressure. There’s an occasional bollworm here and there but nothing to cause alarm.
“Corn is finishing up. We’re starting to shut down irrigation water and the crop looks good. We’ve started cutting some silage, but it’s too early for yields reports. Seed production sorghum is maturing and looks good. We sprayed quite a bit for sugarcane aphids and for a few headworms.”
Orlando Flores, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Agent, El Paso County: “Everything looks good and we’re excited about this crop. We’re above average for Pima and upland varieties. There was some spraying for lygus, but not a lot because you can kill beneficials that are needed to control aphids heading into the fall.
“Overall it’s a good crop – God willing and nothing happens between now and harvest.”
Megha Parajulee, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Entomologist, Lubbock: “Insect pressure is pretty light on the South Plains, but I’m finding a lot of bollworm moths in my traps. That doesn’t necessarily translate to caterpillar activity, but it tells us they must be laying eggs somewhere. If there is a lush cotton crop, it’s possible that bollworm activity may continue to be a significant issue. But it’s not a crisis, and I encourage farmers to use caution in applying insecticides that may kill beneficials.
“I’m seeing lots of beneficials in the fields. As temperatures become more moderate into the early fall, beneficials increase their populations. We need to protect those natural enemies.
“There are some aphids but beneficials can help control them. I’m not seeing any spider mites or enough lygus to worry about. Recent rains and cooler temperatures may have prevented an elevation in numbers.”
Gaylon Morgan, Texas A&M AgriLife State Cotton Specialist, College Station: “Harvest aids are being applied in much of the Blacklands. Some guys are on the bubble on whether to harvest with the expected low yields. They want to see if it’s worth it. We collected some tissue samples last week and the fiber still has good quality, which can help growers make their harvest decision.
“Harvest is starting in the dryland areas of the southern Blacklands. In the Brazos Bottom, they’ll start applying harvest aids to irrigated fields in the next 10 days.
“In the Concho Valley of the southern Rolling Plains, nearly all dryland has been walked away from. The irrigated crop caught some good rains recently and that will help.”
Patrick Kircher, New Mexico State University Extension Agent, Roosevelt County Portales: “We’ve finally got some moisture in recent weeks. The rain sure perked up our spirits and has to have helped our crop. I’m not sure how the cooler mornings we’re seeing now will impact our plant growth.
“Some sugarcane aphids are showing up in sorghum. Populations have not been big enough to spray. And if they reach threshold, guys are debating on whether they want to spray or not due to the cost of the treatments.”
AgFax.com News Links
Cleveland on Cotton: The Thrill is Gone. What’s Next? 8-17
Rose on Cotton: Despite Demand, The Market Looks Darkest During The Selloff 8-18
Cash Rent: Commodity Prices Tumble – Time to Negotiate 2019 – DTN 8-20
Texas Field Reports: Rain Helps Some Areas, Others Not Enough to Matter 8-21
Texas Outdoors: Dove Season Success Depends on Food, Water Sources 8-21
Texas Plains Pests: Increasing or Crashing, Depending on Crop Moisture 8-20
Kansas Wheat: Evaluating Performance, Making Variety Selections for 2019 8-17
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