Larry Stalcup, Field Editor

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



Rain. Where it’s falling the crop looks good. But generally, there’s a severe need of moisture, especially in dryland production.   

Roundup-resistant pigweed continues to be a challenge, says Kyle Aljoe. Alan Seitz reports that Roundup just makes spurred anoda sick – not dead.

Stink bugs are requiring treatments over much of our coverage area. Take a look at Kerry Siders’ West Plains advisory in AgFax News Links.

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Suhas Vyavhare, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Entomologist, Lubbock:

“Most fields are blooming. Once the crop reaches the second week of bloom, fleahoppers are no longer a concern. We are picking up a mix of conchuela and green stink bugs in several fields, but overall numbers are low. There are scattered reports of spraying a few fields already, which is earlier than usual to have treatable levels. We saw serious stink bug damage last year, so we need to keep a close eye out for them.

"A small number of bollworms, beet armyworms and yellow-striped armyworms are in non-BT fields. I haven't seen any bollworm activity in Bt fields yet. But with Bt resistance confirmed in the area, we need to be on the lookout for bollworms – regardless of the kind of Bt technology.

"There are scattered reports of bollworms feeding on Vip cotton downstate, but not in our area. We still need to scout everything. And if you spray for bollworms or stink bugs, be mindful of the insecticides used to help protect beneficials and avoid secondary pest flare-ups."


Rex Friesen, Southern Kansas Cotton Growers Co-op, Winfield:

"Early cotton has been blooming for about 2 weeks, and it looks pretty good. I haven't heard of or seen fruit falling off, but it needs rain after the hot, dry weather.  The rest of the crop was late-planted. It's not feeling the pinch like fields with a big boll load.

“The early stuff will probably be ready to harvest about October 1. Many fields have been cleaned up nicely with dicamba or 2, 4-d, so we're in good shape weed-wise. I've seen signs of a few fields that used the wrong herbicide chemistry. People need to be careful with dicamba or Enlist.

“It's been a crazy year. Our co-op gins in Winfield and Anthony have had a workout. They just finished ginning last year's crop in mid-July."


Haley Kennedy, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension IPM Agent, Runnels, Tom Green & Concho Counties:

“Fleahopper populations are still high in areas of the Concho Valley. Many fields are at threshold and being sprayed. Plants are from just squaring to mid-bloom. 

“We’ve seen bollworm egg lays in the canopy, especially in earlier fields. But we have beneficial populations that are providing good natural control.

"Stink bugs are also in cotton fields. We haven't seen any damage, but need to be mindful. There are high stink bug numbers in milo so be prepared for them to move into cotton. Corn is drying down, so growers need to watch for spider mites. Beneficials should help with them."  


Alan Seitz, Nutrien Ag Solutions, Wilcox, Arizona:

“It is 67 degrees this morning (7/30) after good showers in our valley area. We’ll take the rain, but the moisture causes issues with rust. A little rust is showing up, but nothing major. We’ve made preventative treatments because certain areas have rust every year.

"We're seeing stink bugs but not enough to require treating. Treatments have gone out for lygus, particularly where they migrated out of hay being cut. A few mites are also around but nothing that needs spraying.

“The crop looks good and has a decent boll set. We made light Pix applications. Weeds aren't bad, but we're still treating for morning glory and spurred anoda, which is hard to control. Roundup makes this weed sick but doesn't control it. We're making shielded sprayer applications of Caporal and spiking it with Aim, which does a good job.”   

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DeWayne Dopslauf, Nutrien Ag Solutions, Wharton, Texas:

"We'll have late cotton in this area. I have a few fields ready to defoliate, but everything else is 2 to 3 weeks off or longer. I'm looking at a field right now (7/29) that needs rain to fill out the rest of the cotton. Yields are still questionable. It's hard to make a good estimate this early.

"A lot of guys are harvesting corn or sorghum fields that still have stink bugs. If cotton is nearby, I'm treating for them.

"Milo has exceptional yields in the 5,000 to 8,000 pounds per acre range. Corn harvest is just getting started with yields in the 140 to 150-bushel range."


Kyle Aljoe, Crop Quest Consulting, Dimmitt, Texas:

"Cotton is into early bloom. Many fields don't look too bad and are progressing fairly well if they have enough water. There is limited irrigation in some areas, and it's hard for them to keep up.

"We had heavy fleahopper pressure until 2 weeks ago. We treated nearly every field. We had egg lays in corn. Any worms will stay there until they move from ears to cotton. I've seen a trace of cotton square borer, maybe 2 or 3 total. They're rare, and I've never had to treat them.

"Weeds remain an issue. We're still fighting Roundup-resistant pigweed and trying several treatments to see what works better.

"In sorghum, I picked up a trace of yellow sugarcane aphid today (7/29). Corn looks good – where it has good water."


Joe Renfro, Nutrien Ag Solutions, Southwestern Oklahoma:

"We've been extremely dry. If something doesn't happen soon, the dryland cotton will certainly see lower yield potential. Much of it won't be stripped. The crop needs a little moisture.

“On the other hand, the irrigated has taken off with the hot weather. The Altus area irrigation district has plenty of water this year and growers are taking advantage of it. The later planted cotton has really progressed. We're pushing to get it caught up. I'm anxious to see what it looks like in 2 weeks.

"The later cotton still has fleahoppers that need spraying. There are also a few lygus around. But bugs are not as bad as I thought they would be. However, we're still scouting for bollworms as well as stink bugs. If you have a good crop going, you can't lose it to the bugs."


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

“It’s very dry in the northeast Blacklands. Some ground is cracked. Cotton is hanging on because there is good subsoil moisture below the cracks. We have the chance for a few showers early this week. The crop is at first bloom and looking good despite the heat we had a few weeks ago.

 "Fleahopper numbers are still high, and aphids are in various fields. Bollworm egg numbers are down. But corn is drying up, so we'll see how that impacts bollworm pressure in the cotton. Soybeans look good but have many stink bugs. They might move into cotton later on. 

"We have weeds under control, but root rot is showing up."

From our sponsor...

Tim Ballinger, Ballinger Innovative Agronomics, Dumas, Texas:

"Our cotton is still 2 to 3 weeks behind but looks really good. We're managing plant height and are just now at early bloom and seeing boll formation. Our earliest cotton has been in the ground 70 to 80 days, so we're nearly half-way to harvest at about 170 days.

"There's not much insect pressure. For weed control, I laid down a pre-emerge just before bloom and came back with a post-emerge. That formula is working well.

"Sweet corn picking is going on, and field corn is in peak water use. It looks like it pollinated well with good ear formation. We're spraying for mites that I found this week. Some disease is showing up in corn, so fungicide applications are going out."


Mark Nemec, MJN Consulting, Waco, Texas:

 "Cooler weather last week let everything catch its breath. For cotton, it was like getting a half-inch rain. But we could use more with the return of hot weather. The crop is loaded up and just needs moisture to make sure bolls fully develop. For the irrigated, we're watering everything as fast as we can. 

"We're starting to see stink bugs – treated some and scheduled more. Thanks to high numbers of beneficials, we escaped heavy bollworm pressure. Weeds are in check other than a few spot treatments.

"Corn harvest started this week and sorghum won't be far behind. Early milo looks exceptionally good."


Wayne McAlister, Nutrien Ag Solutions, Portales, New Mexico:

"What cotton that's left after our bad start is loading up well. It's still a couple of weeks behind but quickly making up ground. Growth is everywhere - from buds to bolls. We've been able to hold the fruit load with Pix applications.

"Fortunately, weed pressure hasn't been bad, and we haven't seen any insect problems. Everything is spooky quiet.

"Corn planted on would-be cotton acres is up to the 6-leaf stage. A few mites are in bigger corn, but nothing unusual for this hot, dry weather. Just like the cotton, the corn needs rain and we missed one last night (7/28). We're close to abandoning fields and concentrating irrigation water on smaller acres if rain doesn't come."


Paul Pilsner, Pilsner Consulting, Upper Gulf Coast:

"The early stuff is cracking, and we're starting to see open bolls. But the hot, dry weather is causing cracking in the later cotton also. We could run into a premature harvest. Still, dryland and irrigated fields look incredible where it has rained.

"Leaf-footed bugs, which highly resemble stink bugs, are coming out of sorghum so that could require treatment. Lygus are in weeds along field edges. Spider mites are moving in from pastures that are drying down. If not treated, they can stop a cotton crop really fast.

"Harvest is well underway in the Rio Grande Valley. Picking is just starting around Corpus. Here in the Upper Coast, harvest should start about August 20. The crop looks average right now. I'm hoping for 800 to 1000 pounds per acre but don't want to count any chickens just yet."


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

"Most fields across West Texas are well into bloom. All things considered, they look good. Growth remains variable. We still have fields running a few weeks behind. Time lost early due to cool, wet conditions will hurt.

“While a few folks got showers Sunday (7/28) into Monday around Amarillo and west of Lubbock, most others could benefit from rain. Unfortunately, rain isn't in our nearby forecast. There has been plenty of field activity with sprayers, cultivators and fertilizer applications. Hopefully, growers are keeping up with crop development and adjusting their fertility programs accordingly.

"I know I have been saying this every week, but we must continue to be good stewards of the new auxin technology and follow labels closely."

AgFax News Links

Cleveland on Cotton: 3 Items to Watch This Week   

Cotton Prices Point to More Corn for 2020 – DTN   

Thompson On Cotton: A Bit of Lift   

Trade Aid: MFP, Part II – Highest Rates are in Southern States – DTN   

DDG Weekly: Heat Wave Slows Demand – DTN   

Texas Field Reports: Alternative Crop Outlook a Mixed Bag 

Texas LRGV Row Crops: Dryland Cotton Harvest Started 

Texas West Plains Cotton: Get Ready to Handle Stink Bugs 

Texas: Matagorda County Wild Hog Workshop, Bay City, Aug. 8 

Texas: Military Veteran Farm Tour, Ag Program, Dallas, Garland, Aug. 2-3 

Texas: Soil Regen Forum, Belton, Aug. 28-29 

Kansas: Ag Risk and Profit Conference, Manhattan, Aug. 22 

Kansas: Irrigation Technology Field Day, Colby, Aug. 7 

Kansas Association of Wheat Growers Annual Meeting, Mulvane, Aug. 14 


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