Larry Stalcup, Field Editor

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




Storms put the brakes on planting after growers hit it hard last week in Oklahoma, parts of Kansas and much of West Texas.


Twisters threatened many on Monday (5/20). Flooding is an issue for some after 3 to 5-inch drenchings. “We’re back to sitting on our hands,” notes IPM Agent Brad Easterling.


Thirty degrees in Arizona reports Alan Seitz. And it was cold enough in Kansas on Monday (5/20) that Jerry Stuckey had to pull out his winter coat.

From our sponsor...



DeWayne Reed, Texas A&M AgriLife IPM Agent, Hale, Floyd & Swisher Counties:


“I’m trying to decide whether to get in the field or dodge tornadoes. The storms are playing with us this week. Our corn is all in and most sorghum is too, but we’re really behind on planting cotton.

“I’d say we are about a quarter to half planted. There’s a lot left to go. Planting conditions have been good the past week. But guys are watching the weather to see what it brings with possible rain in the forecast.

“It’s still too early for stands. Some seed planted on May 1 went into dry ground. It’s showing maybe a half a stand, but I’m concerned about a cold shock on those young plants.

“On the pest front, it’s too early to worry about thrips, but we’re watching for wireworms. We had problems last year with wireworms taking out stands, but it’s also too early to gage those populations. I’ve noticed less damage if we have insecticide treated seed. Since we have another round of rain and cooler nights, I expect to see some seedling diseases, especially where we see wireworm damage.

“Weed control looks good. Every year we get a little better. I think we’re more ahead of the game this year than we were last year. But some winter weeds are trying to flush where there are holes in residual herbicide treatments. We’re also seeing some summer weeds. Bindwind is really flushing if it’s not touched by residuals.”


Jerry Stuckey, farmer and associate with Northwest Cotton Growers Co-op, Inc., Moscow, Kansas:


“I got my two circles planted yesterday (5/19) and a lot of cotton was planted the previous 4 to 5 days. Guys are planting cotton and waiting to plant their corn in this southwest Kansas area. Most of us are planting early varieties.

“But the planting has all stopped because it poured down rain most of today (5/20). I know we’ve had 2 inches and probably more. It’s also cold, 48 to 49 degrees with a strong wind. I got out my winter coat this morning.

“With the heavy rain, we’re worried about some gullies washing out. We’ll see how it plays out when the rain is over.”


David Kerns, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Professor and Statewide IPM Coordinator, College Station:


“We’re still wet in the Blacklands. We have webfeet. It’s a real mess. Nothing is getting planted in a timely manner. Everything is way late. We’re 4 weeks behind. It’s ridiculous how little cotton is actually in the ground.

“One good result from all this rain is the suppression of thrips. There aren’t a whole lot out there. Seed treatments are holding out very well after it has warmed up. Cotton that’s up is growing so fast that thrips are probably not a major factor.

“Growers need to realize that the later the cotton, the greater the chance of aphids, stinkbugs, bollworms and other insects. We’re picking up a large bollworm flight and seeing heavy eggs lays in tasseling corn. I’m not as concerned about what it’s doing in corn as I am with the worm populations. That tells us resistant Bt genes are out there. Any cotton variety that is non-Vip will be at risk.

“I’m also picking up a lot of stinkbugs in the environment, not necessarily in the crops. I've seen green stinkbugs and some red-banded stinkbugs in seedling soybeans. With all the moisture and lush vegetation, we have a potential for a big stinkbug year in corn and cotton.

“For milo, sugarcane aphids are out there, although not a lot of milo has been planted. I’m seeing them in johnsongrass. When we get late planted sorghum, it really sets the crop up for sugarcane aphid activity. Growers need to have a treatment plan for that pest as the plant matures.”


Brad Easterling, Texas A&M AgriLife IPM Agent, Glasscock, Reagan & Upton Counties:


"It’s cool this morning (5/21) and we had a lot of rain last night in some areas. Soil temperatures were 70 to 72 last week but are back down to 56 degrees. Rainfall amounts are from 0.5” to 1.5 inches in Glasscock County. Other parts of my 3-county area received up to 3 inches.

“All that has put everything at a standstill. We barely got started planting last week. But right now, everyone is back to sitting on their hands waiting to dry out. We have another chance for storms on Friday and guys are really anxious. Some have got to be rolling because they have a lot of acres to cover. But they don't want to plant and turn around and run a rotary hoe.

From our sponsor...

“It’s also too wet and windy to run spray rigs to clean up weeds before planting. Heads are spinning. What do we do?

“We’re concerned about wireworms in a few locations where we had a lot of haygrazer and sorghum planted on failed cotton acres last year. Fortunately, a lot of guys treated their seed this year.”


Jaime Lopez, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Agent, Frio County:


“We finally dried out in this part of South Texas. Cotton is coming up and looking good. Early cotton is at pinhead square.

“We do have some insect problems. There are thrips on some young cotton and fleahoppers on cotton that’s squaring. Some growers are spraying for fleahoppers. Also, corn is silking so some guys are spraying for corn earworms.

 “The early spring rain has brought out a lot of weeds. Horsemint, or beebalm, is a real problem. For some reason we have a bunch of it down here.

“We’re in the middle of peanut planting now and hope the weather cooperates.”


Gary Beverage, Nutrien Ag Solutions, Artesia, New Mexico/Southwest Texas:


“Planting is virtually done. Some cotton is up but we’re having to replant too. Overall, it’s doing well, even though we’re a little behind where we were last year. Some cotton is at the 3-true-leaf stage.

“Thrips populations are not terrible, but I’ve been fighting grasshoppers in different areas. We have to spray because they’re going in and eating heads off seedling cotton. We’re trying to keep them out.

“Weed pressure has been moderate to high. Pigweed is poking its head out fairly early. We’re having success controlling it because 100% of the cotton I’m planting is either dicamba-ready or 2, 4-D-ready.

“We’ve had some good winter moisture in areas, so we’ll likely have to watch for cotton rust.”


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


“With a good stretch of dry weather, we’ve been running planters pretty much full throttle this past week. We knew some wet, stormy weather was forecast for this week, so guys were dedicated to getting fields planted.

“Most everyone was able to run some in the South Plains area. I wrapped up another plot this morning. Everything looks good with trials planted in Lubbock, Terry, Hockley and other counties.

“There are a lot of weeds coming up after the recent rains, so farmers better be on top of it. A lot of people are running yellows behind the planter. If we get rain this week, they will have to be ready.

“I haven't heard of any bad issues, although a few acres have been hailed out.”


Seth Byrd, Oklahoma State University Extension Cotton Specialist, Stillwater/Altus:


“We got a lot planted this past week. But with the severe storms that hit much of Oklahoma early this week, we’re not sure how much will survive. Everything that could get planted got planted. Because of their northern location, the Panhandle and northern Oklahoma saw the biggest rush, but we even saw a lot of guys in the Altus area pushing hard.

“Guys were running long days because we knew what was coming this week. The general theme of the last 8 to 9 days was, if you could get it in the ground, then get it in the ground. We had decent moisture where we planted, so we’re hoping to see some cotton come out of the ground soon. If it survives these storms, we should see some of it up this week.”

From our sponsor...

Mark Hatley, Crop Quest Consulting, Dumas, Texas:


“We really had some rain in the northern Panhandle last night and this morning (5/20). In Dumas, one of my rain gauges reads 5.0” and the other one is 4.5 inches. It’s everywhere from 3.5” to 4.5 inches or more in a big area of Hartley, Moore, Hansford and Sherman counties. Needless to say, we have some flood issues.

“A lot of guys got planted last week. It was a good run. But we could see some seeds washed out after the massive rainfall. We’re not yet sure what to expect.

“Corn is up, but is a little yellow after the cool, wet weather a few weeks ago. It was starting to look a little better before this last rain. Fortunately, we haven’t had much hail.

“The wheat looks good and should be okay after the rain. But we’re picking up a little more stripe rust and there are reports of leaf rust as well.”


Wayne Keeling, Texas A&M AgriLife Research Weed Specialist, Lubbock:


“Planting really hit full stride last week. Hopefully guys are putting down a residual herbicide behind the planter, regardless of what main herbicide technology they’re using.

“Most fields are pretty clean, so we’re getting off to a good start weed-wise. Cool weather has slowed down some weeds, but they will be here. Growers just need to have a herbicide plan in place to help stay ahead of the game.

“The auxin herbicide technologies are popular again and guys have another year under their belt in using them. We’ve had off-season training sessions so people have a good idea when to spray and when not to spray, depending on wind and other weather conditions. Farmers in the plains area have done a good job using these new herbicide technologies and we want to continue doing that.” 


Alan Seitz, Nutrien Ag Solutions, Wilcox, Arizona:


“We had a freeze warning in southeast Arizona last night (5/20). It got down to 30-31 degrees in a few places. Everyone shut off their irrigation water. We had fans running in some of the tree crops.

“We’ve also had a lot of wind in recent days. We’ll have to look at how much damage young plants sustained. I suspect we’ll have more disease showing up as a result of the cold conditions.

“Stands are still spotty but there are no real issues. We have a few thrips and chinch bugs. But we could see more thrips shortly when it warms up.”


Josh McGinty, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Agronomist, Corpus Christi:


“The crop is looking pretty in the Coastal Bend. The early cotton will be flowering any minute now if it hasn’t already. And, other fields will flower within a week.

“There aren’t too many issues to deal with since we finally got past replanting. However, fields are getting a little weedy. Rain off and on and terrible winds have prevented spray rigs from getting into the field.

“I’m not hearing of any major insect problems. I do know there has been some preemptive spraying for boll weevil eradication. That kills some beneficials, which can cause a flare up of aphids. We usually don't have an aphid problem, but guys need to keep an eye out for them.

“The Rio Grande Valley crop has been looking good, but they had hail in recent days that dinged up some cotton.”


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


“This is the most varied growth stage I’ve ever seen in cotton. It’s everywhere from still in the bag, to 3- to 4-leaf stage, to squaring. If we stay sunny and dry this week, most guys will be finished planting by Friday.

“Some thrips and aphids are present, but both are below economic threshold. Weeds are an issue after all the rain. They are emerging fast after warmer weather started drying the soil out. I’m going to pull the trigger on some herbicide applications today (5/21). Guys need to go with a post-emerge herbicide and mix in some pre-emerges.

“I found some sugarcane aphids on some johnsongrass and also in wheat fields, plus low populations in sorghum.”

AgFax News Links


Cleveland on Cotton: Digging Deep for Some Good News   5-17


Mississippi Delta: Longest Stretch of Floodwater Since 1927 – 223,700 Crop Acres – Video   5-17 


Bt Resistant Corn Borer on the Rise, Single Trait Hybrids at Risk – DTN   5-17


Kansas Net Farm Income Climbs, but with a Big Catch 5-13


Texas Field Reports: Hay Supplies Tight, 2019 Season Off to Slow Start 5-21


Texas Blacklands IPM: Sugarcane Aphid Thresholds 5-20


Texas LRGV IPM: More Fleahoppers in Cotton; Sugarcane Aphids Take Off in Sorghum 5-17


Texas Plains Cotton: Hale County – 2018 Top U.S. Producer 5-17


Texas Rice: Invasive Snail Inflicts Levee Damage 5-17


Texas Cotton: Planting and Soil Temperatures 5-16


Texas Blacklands: Wheat Heading Towards Finish; Saturated Soils Affecting Cotton, Corn 5-16


Cotton: Studies Find No Yield Benefit to Higher Plant Populations   5-21


AgFax Southwest Cotton is published by AgFax Media LLC
Owen Taylor, Editorial Director.
Working-Copy%5B1%5D.jpgThis weekly report is distributed during the cotton production season. It is available to United States residents engaged in cotton farming, field scouting and other qualifying ag professions. Mailing address: 142 Westlake Drive, Brandon, MS 39047. Office: 601-992-9488.
©2019 AgFax Media LLC