Larry Stalcup, Field Editor

Many thanks to the PhytoGen Cotton Team for their continued support and sponsorship.



Planters are finally rolling in many parts of the region as clear skies and sunshine move in.

Season long weed management will be critical for this crop since herbicide applications have been delayed or missed entirely. Glyphosate resistant ryegrass has been spotted in northeast Texas.

Oklahoma and Kansas soil temperatures are beginning to warm up. Hopefully, the rainy days will halt for a time, and give growers a break so they can put seed in the ground.

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Murilo Maeda, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Cotton Specialist, Lubbock:

“There are clearer skies today (5/13), but some people received more rain last night and we have more showers in the forecast. I drove south toward Lamesa this morning and it looked pretty wet. We assume it will be another day or two before they can get into the field.

“I heard more people got up to 0.75” last night and this morning. Rain is in the forecast for parts of the area this evening. After that it is supposed to quiet down and we'll be in a warming trend.

“Hopefully some growers can get planting done mid-week. However, more strong storms are expected Friday.”


Joe Renfro, Nutrien Ag Solutions, Southwestern

Oklahoma, Altus:  

“Even though my pickup temperature says 86, the soil is still too cold and wet to plant. It won’t take too long to warm it up with that air temperature, but we really need to dry down before they can start planting.

“Some guys are probably going to plant at the end of this week if it doesn’t rain. They’re ready – polished the planters twice and checked them 3 or 4 times – setting on the turnrow ready to go.

“Guys are going to have to take care of weeds that are coming out where burndowns have already been applied. It looks like they’ll have to do it again. There are also some fields that are a little washed, so more ground preparation will be needed. Overall, we just need ground temps to get right and some dry dirt on the top.

“Even though we’re running behind, this country often makes better cotton if we plant the last 2 weeks of May or first 2 weeks of June. We should be fine in the long run.”


Justin Chopelas, JWC Consulting, Odem, Texas/Coastal Bend:

We can officially say we’ve finished planting cotton. It only took us 60 days. Cotton is squaring. We missed the big rain and are now getting some heat units. It’s looking good. If we can miss this next round of rain and get us a 2-week window of good weather, we’ll be in good shape. Some cotton that was planted the first week of March is approaching bloom.

“Fleahopper numbers have increased, especially since the wind died down. There’s also an uptick in aphid populations and some white flies in fringe areas.

“Officials of the Texas Boll Weevil Eradication Program are doing their thing. We had back-to-back boll weevil shots over large areas. We’re lucky to have the eradication program.

“We’re having to catch up on weeds. Wind and wet weather has kept us out of the field for herbicide applications after yellows were long gone by the time we planted.

“Our corn looks really good. I feel it may be the best corn year I can recall in South Texas. Sorghum also looks good.”


Tyler Mays, Texas A&M AgriLife IPM Agent, Hill County:

I saw an accurate description of our situation – a picture of a sailboat pulling a planter. Thankfully, we should have some open weather at least for the next 7 days. Hopefully that will be enough time to dry out and get all of our cotton in before the final planting date at the end of May.

“Some people got their planting done before it turned really wet. That cotton is up, but it’s just sitting there. It’s at the second true leaf stage at about a month out. We expect to see more replanting as it warms up.

“Thrips are moving in as wheat dries down. The numbers are slowly increasing and are up to about 0.5 thrips per true leaf. It’s something we need to keep an eye on as our wheat dries down.

“Corn is looking good. Some fields are at V-5 to V-6 in earlier planted fields. But again, with all the wet weather, plants in some parts of fields have been retarded. There’s some yellowing being seen because plants can’t take up the nutrients.

“The wheat crop looks good, but we did get some black chaff disease across some fields. That will hurt yields, but the main worry is for those who save seed for next year. Black chaff will carryover in the seed.” 

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Alan Seitz, Nutrien Ag Solutions, Wilcox, Arizona:

We have a lot of cotton up but we're still planting. There has been replanting due to some seed issues. Overall it is going well. We’re probably 80% planted in the southeastern part of the state.

“We have some chinch bugs coming out of dried up pepper weed but haven’t had to spray. There’s a little thrips activity but they’re not bad yet. We’re watching them closely.

“As far as weeds go, everything looks pretty clean right now. We sprayed before we planted and it’s holding up. There are occasional morning glories and some bindweed in isolated fields but nothing bad. We haven’t had any disease flare up so far.”


Gaylon Morgan, Texas A&M AgriLife State Cotton Specialist, College Station:

We’re seeing warmer temperatures and some drier weather. It’s about time. I think we'll finally see some planting in the Brazos Bottom and into the Blacklands. Hopefully we will get a couple of days of planting done before more rain comes.

“Cotton that was planted early has seen slow growth resulting in added thrips damage. There are also reports of fleahopper pressure in the Upper Gulf Coast.

“Weed pressure is all around. For Roundup resistant weeds, growers are just going to have to plan on sequential applications of Liberty or use the auxin herbicide program. That, along with residuals will be needed to get the control we need.

“We know we will have additional weed flushes as well, but guys should not get in too big of a hurry. Growers running behind need to remember to follow the label on the auxin herbicides and not make bad choices on their applications. We don’t want to get off target movement that can cause more problems. Growers need to remain diligent in their herbicide programs.” 


Emi Kimura, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Area Agronomist, Vernon:

“We’re planting peanuts today, but in most areas, it is still too wet to plant cotton. We plan to plant in Collingsworth County tomorrow.

“Fields are finally trying to dry out, but rain is expected late in the week. Most producers will wait until late May and into June. They should be fine. We have a good soil profile, which should help.

“We do need to watch for weeds due to the extra moisture. As long as we can control weeds and disease, I am very hopeful for our cotton.

“Wheat looks gorgeous. We had no freeze damage. Good rain helped fill the grain. For some reason, rust pressure has been low. Stripe and leaf rust didn't harm wheat until mid-April.”


Jose Mendoza, Crop Quest Consulting, Northwestern Texas Panhandle:

“We’re finally drying out a little and a few acres have been planted. We have guys trying to start. One producer is trying to plant this afternoon (5/13). If we don't have any more rain, I assume that by the end of the week, most planters will be 100% rolling.

“With our northern location and shorter growing season, guys are planting early and medium maturity varieties. The early varieties give us the best chance to maximize our yield potential.

“There are a few weed issues on dryland fields. We're getting a heavy influx of kochia and bindweed. We’ll apply a burndown right behind the planter to try and take care of it.

“In walking some wheat fields, thrips populations are moderate. But we won't worry about them until cotton is at 2- to 3-leaf.

“Wheat sure is looking good. There’s a little stripe, but nothing substantial. We’re holding off on spraying. The rain has been a definite blessing for our wheat. We’ll need the yields if prices stay so low.” 

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Robert Flynn, New Mexico State University Extension Soils/Agronomist, Artesia:

“We’ve had isolated areas of rain. Lea County got a lot of rain yesterday (5/13), but they have planted. South Eddy County is seeing a lot of acres transitioning out of alfalfa to cotton in order to conserve water. Most everything is planted in the Pecos Valley, but I still want to get some new variety trials in up there.

“Weeds are a problem after the rains. Growers are using varieties that allow them to spray herbicides over the top and hopefully get control. There are reports of glyphosate resistance in the region.

“I haven't heard of any pest problems. We’re just waiting for some of the fields to germinate. Some plants are just now coming up.” 


David Drake, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension IPM Agent, Northeast Texas:

We’re still extremely wet and have had cool temperatures that dipped to the 50s last week. I wouldn't have recommended getting anything planted under those conditions. Nothing is in the ground. But we have sunshine the first part of this week, so maybe Wednesday or Thursday we may get something planted in lighter soils. There probably won’t be any planting in traditional Blacklands soils this week.

“Some growers are still trying to recover from last year. There are a few modules still setting in fields and I don't see that cotton getting ginned. It wasn’t good quality to start with after the wet, cool fall. Cotton didn't get picked in some fields because it was too wet. There will be weeds to contend with there.

“On a positive note, a lot of no-till corn went in and producers are surprised at how good it looks. So, we may see more no-till in the area.

“We have some ryegrass that we suspect is glyphosate resistant. The biggest problem is in corn. If it shows up in cotton, we can use some residuals to take care of it.”


Stu Duncan, Kansas State University Crops & Soils Specialist, Manhattan, Kansas:

“We have just scratched the surface in planting. But we are looking at days in the 80s this week, which should help dry things out and enable producers to get into the field. We hope that’s the case because with us being so far north, when cotton is planted late between May 15 and May 30, we can drop significant lint poundage.

“The warmer temperatures are welcome all the way around. We’re still only half finished with our corn due to the wet, cold weather. We don't like to complain about it being too wet because we know conditions can change on a dime and we can become very dry.

“Wheat is looking good, but with the warmer temperatures, we’re seeing stripe rust and leaf rust moving in. We have to fly on fungicides because it’s still too wet to run a ground rig.”


Kate Harrell, Texas A&M AgriLife IPM Agent, Jackson, Wharton and Matagorda Counties:

Most people have finally finished planting by now and the early crop is starting to look better after a cold, wet start. The late planted fields have plants at cotelydon, while other fields are squaring. We’ve had some spotty hail along with rain. It has just been a goofy year.

“I did see quite a few fleahoppers last week and there were fields over threshold. But we got a down poor over the weekend, which probably put a damper on them. I’ll be looking at the location where I saw the highest number tomorrow (5/14). I really haven't seen high thrips populations. I think we had ideal conditions for insecticide treated seed.

“Some guys are a little behind on weed control because they can't get into the field. I’m seeing a good bit of grass, because it has been too wet to spray. Also, a little waterhemp is showing up. A good weed control program should really be a good luck charm against these weeds.

“Corn is also in various stages. Some corn is already tasseling.”

AgFax News Links

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Dicamba – Using It This Year? “Must Reads” On pH, Timing, Tank Mixing – AgFax Weed Solutions   5-13

Texas Field Reports: Rainfall Amounts Double Statewide Average Since April 1 5-14

Texas Upper Coast Cotton: Not Much Thrips Damage, Lots of Fleahoppers 5-14

Texas Wheat: Bacterial Streak and Black Chaff 5-13

Texas LRGV Crops: Some Cotton Near Bloom, Keep an Eye on Resistance 5-10

Texas Mid-Coast Cotton: 3 Early Season Pests – Thrips, Fleahoppers, Aphids 5-10

Texas Peanuts: Herbicide Options for Early Weed Control 5-9

Texas: South Plains Scout School, Muleshoe, May 30

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