Kate Harrell, Texas A&M AgriLife IPM Agent, Jackson, Wharton & Matagorda Counties:
“Most cotton is blooming out the top and we could see 3-bale yields. It just depends on whether fields were among those that stood in water during early season storms.
“Bollworm pressure has slowed down but is still at or above threshold. There continue to be problems with non-Vip varieties. If there is a 20% egg lay or 6% bollworm damage, fields will likely need treating.
“We’re also seeing stink bug pressure, mostly green stink bugs, but we also have brown and conchuela stink bugs. Guys need to keep scouting.”
David Kerns, Texas A&M AgriLife Associate Department Head and Statewide IPM Coordinator, College Station:
“We’ve seen a few incidences of bollworms surviving Vip cotton in the Blacklands. One case is in Bollgard 3 cotton, which is highly unusual. Most were feeding on blooms and bloom tags. We made a collection and will test them to determine if they’re resistant. However, it could simply be a problem with Bt expression in the plants. When it comes to potential bollworm damage, don’t ignore any type of Bt cotton. Scouting is essential. If someone sees potential resistance to Vip cotton – we want to know about it.
“Thankfully, bollworm pressure has dropped tremendously. But we’re seeing a few spider mites. Dry, hot conditions exasperate them. There are also plant bugs and a few fields are being treated for brown stink bugs.
“Cotton growth is really diverse. Much is at cutout, but a few fields are just now blooming. The crop needs more rain after 2 weeks of dry weather.
“We’re spraying stink bugs in soybeans. There are treatable levels of red banded stink bugs - the worst kind - along with brown and green stink bugs. But we don't expect them to move into cotton.
“There are a few headworms in milo. Sugarcane aphids have popped up, but many are staying below threshold. Beneficials are keeping them under wraps. We’re seeing midge activity in milo but not at treatable populations. We need to watch for it in blooming sorghum. But we don’t expect them to move into cotton.”
Seth Byrd, Oklahoma State University Extension Cotton Specialist, Stillwater/Altus:
“We’re making progress slowly but surely. We had 100-degree days last week and welcomed a few showers Sunday night (7/21) in the Panhandle. That will help out where irrigation capacity is limited.
“I’m in Altus this afternoon (7/23) and a lot of irrigation pivots are running. A lot of the cotton is at early bloom and fields are fairly clean. Dryland got a needed rain and it looks good. In Ft. Cobb, Carnegie and Weatherford areas, dryland and irrigated crops would welcome more rain.
“We’re scouting closely for stink bugs. They like to feed on smaller bolls, so growers need to look under developing bolls.”
Chuck Wilbur, Independent Crop Consultant, Wellington, Texas/Southeastern Panhandle/Southwestern Oklahoma:
“Weed control is pretty sketchy. We’re seeing a few careless weed and pigweed escapes after multiple applications of Roundup and dicamba. We're doing everything by the label in the dicamba programs. We spray weeds when they're little, but there’s often one survivor that keeps growing. That’s a concern. I just hope we don't get into a resistance issue.
“I’m hearing good reports on Liberty if you catch weeds early. Enlist cotton is getting good reports, but there’s not much of it in this area.
“We’ve had beneficial rain. The dryland is squaring hard. The irrigated has nice blooms and is getting a second shot of PGR. Later irrigated cotton is starting to bloom and will need PGR this week. We’re also applying N through the pivot to boost fertility.
“We finally caught up on fleahopper and grasshopper control. We had to spray the past 2 weeks to stay ahead of them.
“Peanuts look good and are in the second bloom. I’m seeing a light sprinkling of early leaf spot. Like cotton, peanuts are still a little late. We’re going to need an Indian summer to make it a decent crop year.”