Larry Stalcup, Field Editor

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



Lots of bug news: Conchuela and Brown stink bugs, moth flights, egg lays, fleahoppers and lygus.

Catch-up spraying on weeds is ongoing with some herbicide resistant pigweed sightings along with tough to control spurred anoda.

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

“West Texas is finally starting to look like one big cotton patch. With warmer weather the crop is moving right along, and many fields are squaring.

“Dry conditions were beginning to prevail, but many areas received good cotton showers this past weekend. Amounts ranged from a little all the way to 4-plus inches with heavier rainfall generally between Lubbock and Tulia. I haven’t seen or heard about any hail damage in that area. But yesterday (7/8), there were reports of hail damage from storms in Garza, Crosby and Floyd Counties, heading north.

“Insects are around. Folks should be scouting. Everyone gets busy after a rain, with sand fighting, applying fertilizer and other jobs, but it’s crucial to protect those first fruiting sites in an attempt to maximize yield potential.

“Weeds are out there in full force, but it seems most growers are catching up on them. Fields are being sprayed that were weedy due to neglect or because growers were running behind. They’re beginning to look better.”


Mark Nemec, MJN Consulting, Waco, Texas:

“We finally got dry. It has also been warm, and the cotton is really setting fruit and starting to look like cotton is supposed to look. A few fields are starting to bloom, but most is a good month behind.

“We’re still fighting fleahoppers in some younger stuff. They’ve slowed down but many are still popping up.

“I haven't seen many stink bugs, but a good moth flight is starting. Corn is drying down and there are many moths. I’d say we’re fixing to have another big egg lay in the next few days.

“We’re worried about how much bollworm pressure the Bollgard can handle. Most of mine is still Bollgard 2 and so far, even that is holding. Also, I have a good mix of beneficials. It’s early and that is helping me out so far.

“Most weeds are under control, but there are a few spots that I’m having to hit again. With all of the earlier moisture we’re fighting a lot of new growth. On later fields, even the smaller cotton is starting to take off. Many PGRs are going out this week and we need to hit it pretty hard.”


Danielle Sekula Ortiz, Texas A&M AgriLife IPM Agent, Weslaco/Lower Rio Grande Valley:

“Much of our cotton is doing alright, but we had a setback a few weeks ago with heavy rainfall. Many fields were flooded for several days, depending on what side of the valley you were on.

“We have a large amount of open boll cotton this week after a lot of it finally dried out. I haven't been able to scout much, but there are heavy whitefly populations along the Rio Grande River.

“Guys will probably do what they can to get their corn and sorghum harvested soon, and hope the rains cooperate with them.”


Alan Seitz, Nutrien Ag Solutions, Wilcox, Arizona:

“It has been 98 to 102 degrees. We’re also into the monsoon season. Rains have been spotty – from hardly a drop up to an inch. It’s a typical monsoon deal, with high humidity that’s good for the plants.

“Cotton looks good. A few fields started blooming last week and we’re just beginning to bloom across the southeast Arizona region.

“Lygus sprays are going out near where guys just cut alfalfa. I’m making preventive fungicide applications for rust, but we’re not seeing any southwestern rust just yet.

“Depending on the new technology being used, a lot of Xtendimax and 2, 4-d are going out to handle morning glory and spurred anoda hot spots. Spurred anoda is a dirty one and every bit as hard as morning glory to control. There is spotty pigweed glyphosate resistance showing up.”


Spurred anoda may reach 3.5 feet in height. 


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

"Our cotton is doing pretty decent out here. We had good showers over the weekend, ranging from 0.1” to as much as 3 inches. Glasscock County had more rain, while Reagan and Upton counties didn’t see as much.

“Maturity is all over the board. It’s field-to-field and even within fields. Plants range from 4 true leaves to 10 or 11 true leaves and putting on squares. We had hail that caused damage, but not enough to destroy fields. However, with scattered plant damage, maturity will vary.

“Insect issues are light. The jumbo grasshopper finally slowed down. We’re now seeing a few fleahoppers that are actually worse on younger, non-squaring cotton. We’re keeping them in check to hold down damage.

“Growers have done a good job with weed control and fields are clean. We could just use more rain.”

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Chris Locke, CSL Consulting Inc., Sudan, Texas/Eastern New Mexico:

 “We’re picking up a few plant bugs in Parmer County as well in parts of Bailey County. We’re also spraying for fleahoppers and lygus.

“Cotton is still a mixed bag. It’s anywhere from just beginning, to squaring, to earlier fields that might bloom by July 12. But the biggest majority will not start blooming until about July 20. A lot of cotton is at least 3 weeks behind.

“We had good rain over the weekend, from 0.5” to 1. 5” in the northern half of Bailey County and up to 3 inches in the southern part of the county. We have 40 to 50% of the dryland up and the rain should help it. The half that was intended for cotton was replanted in milo, due to the cool wet spring.

“Weed control is looking good, especially where we had a good preemerge program. Some fields are just now starting to catch rain, so we haven't seen a major flush.

“Corn is moving along really well. The early planted corn is from 10 days to 2 weeks before tassel, while the younger corn is at 8 to 10 leaves.”


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

"Cotton is starting to look good on the northern Rolling Plains. We were very dry after mid-June. The soil was starting to dry out until last weekend when we received good rainfall. I was worried about the crop being stressed out, but more rain is coming up. The good rain should save our cotton.

“The majority of the dryland that was planted up to June 20 is just coming up. Earlier cotton was stressed due to the cold, wet weather streak in the spring, and it is trying to rebound.

“As cotton progresses, we’re seeing fleahoppers and producers are spraying for them. I continue to see weeds coming up due to good moisture early on. Weed control is critical to keep good yield potential.

“There is some glyphosate resistant pigweed. New technologies help, but I encourage producers not to count on them completely. Pretreatments are critical to control resistant weed species early in the growing season.

“Overall the crop looks good, even with the slow start. It looks better than last year when we had such dry weather early.”


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

“I was in the Ft. Cobb and Carnegie areas yesterday (7/8). Like other parts of the state, much cotton planted in early June is approaching squaring. We would rather see it at first bloom, but we’re still behind. With the warm weather and our good moisture profile, the crop made big jumps in growth. It looks like it put on 2 to 3 leaves in the past week or so.

“Cotton that survived earlier planting has probably started blooming, and a large proportion is going to start blooming within the next 2 weeks. We’re still in a good window for flowering. Our last flowering date is late August and the first of September.

“This is the time of the year where scouting will pay off. There are reports of fleahoppers and sprays are going out. Folks need to scout for fleahoppers and plant bugs, as well as stink bugs. We need to protect those squares.

“With the heat, it’s likely time to start irrigating in order to meet the water demand from week to week. We need to avoid stress and protect those squares. I’m still seeing really clean fields. The value of residuals in a good preemerge is still paying off. I haven’t seen any disasters.” 

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

“Cotton is everywhere from 7 to 8 NAWF to cutout, but we have seen fruit loss caused by water logging earlier in the season.

“Insect-wise, we’re having to spray for stink bugs. We have brown and what looks like conchuela stink bugs. The brown seem harder to kill. We’re also seeing bollworms and having to spray the older Bt technology. Thankfully, bollworms are not as bad as they were last year.

“The moth flight hasn't been bad, but we still can't ignore them. We need to scout for bollworms and other insects down into the canopy, not just at the top of the canopy.

 “Weed control is looking good for the most part. Guys managed to get weeds under control after all of the rain early on.”


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

“Weeds remain a problem. We’ve had real issues. It has been a challenge for anything we’ve done. If growers were able to get down a good preemerge it sure made a difference. But excessive rainfall made that difficult.

“From what we’re seeing, cotton quality is fairly good. We’re finally getting heat and it’s cranking along. We could stand a few more 100-degree days. We’re very short on heat units. We’re tracking with what we saw in 2003, a year in which we had cotton that didn’t open.

“Insects have been calm. We had thrips, but we haven't had much of a fleahopper problem. We’ll see how the Bollgard holds up because we’re looking at a late finish.

“Like many, I’m confused about the recent USDA numbers on planted acres. I was hoping for 185,000. But after the cold, wet start to the season, it could be closer to 85,000 to 100,000 acres – not what we wanted.”


Mark Hatley, Crop Quest Consulting, Dumas, Texas:

“What’s left of our cotton is turning the corner and looking better. This high heat in the upper 90s is helping. It needed a break. It’s at early square, so we’re still behind.   

“We’re facing fleahopper issues and spraying for them. I’m not seeing any other insects at this time.

“Weeds are still a battle like we have every year. It usually doesn’t matter what chemistry we use, especially when you get the kind of rain we’ve had. Preemerge herbicides worked where we could keep it on. A good preplant is critical up here.

“Corn is taking off and looking good. It’s growing fast and much of it will tassel in the next 10 days. Corn that was replanted after failed cotton or early corn is just coming out of the ground. Replanted sorghum is also late.”


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

“The crop is looking good after our slow start. We’ve been around 100 degrees and the heat is really helping. Growth patterns are staggered. We’re probably at knee high in some fields and shorter in others.

“Fields look pretty clean, other than those where cotton was planted into alfalfa fields early on. I haven't heard of any insect pressure. They have been very light, even with the warm weather.

“The early season rainfall has helped our growers who depend on irrigation.”

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