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Larry Stalcup, Field Editor

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OVERVIEW

Panhandle and South Plains cotton is catching up due to high temperatures. But dry conditions are decreasing yield potential.

Kansas and Oklahoma crops are rebounding where fields caught a shower or two. Drought has destroyed dryland in eastern New Mexico's more northern fields.

It's a stink-bug-blast around El Paso, but the cotton looks good.

Defoliation is at full throttle in the Upper Coast. Early planted fields have turned out better yields than expected.

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CROP REPORTS

Chuck Wilbur, Independent Crop Consultant, Wellington, Texas/Southeastern Panhandle/Southwestern Oklahoma:

“This area has had 20 straight days of 100-degree or higher temperatures. Fortunately, there have been popcorn showers and torrential rain that reached 1.5 inches and it really helped the irrigated crop catch up. Much of the crop is 4 to 6 NAWF. With adequate water and fertility, the irrigated is on time growth-wise. Dryland fields that received rain are holding on and might make something.

“Growers are pleased with the low insect pressure. I'm not seeing many moths laying eggs, so hopefully, this round of worms won't be a problem. Stink bugs have been spotty and not as heavy as last year. Beneficials numbers are high. Ladybugs and lacewings have kept aphid flare-ups in check. That's my kind of IPM. But insects can turn around on a dime – so keep scouting.

“Peanut fields are showing cercospora leaf spot and a few white mold flare-ups.”

 

Paul Pilsner, Pilsner Consulting, Wharton, Texas:

“The Upper Coast is defoliating at full speed. Harvest started last week on early planted fields. Yields are better than first thought, considering the wet weather that hampered planting. A lot of good, black ground flooded early washing away fertilizer, which will hurt yields. Sandy ground had less flooding and should have above average yields. Guys who didn't get as much rain early should see better yields.

“Leaffooted plant bugs are in several late planted fields, but that problem is winding down. Weed control was successful for the most part. Many of my guys are on the Enlist program. A few were limited in the use of the 2, 4-d product due to neighbors who used Dicamba or Engenia technologies. They had to use Liberty. If applied correctly, it worked well other than a few escapes. There were only minor off-target drift issues with Enlist. As far as I know, guys who used Dicamba or Engenia also faced minimal drift situations.

“Viptera Bt cotton held up well against bollworm pressure. However, there was more worm feeding on Vip corn varieties. If we start seeing worm generations make it through the Vip technology, that's a problem.”

 

Joe Renfro, Nutrien Ag Solutions, Southwestern Oklahoma:

“Cotton looks good enough that many farmers are feeling proud of it despite the heat pressure we’ve had in the past few weeks.

“Fruit development in late planted cotton may miss the heat. Many fields had a big shed, with some places worse than others. If we have a normal frost date, the irrigated fields I monitor might have a better-than-average yield. Irrigation wells are holding out, but the dryland has had it and growers can expect low yields.

“Insect pressure is light. It’s too late for fleahoppers to do much damage. They required a third round of spraying during fruit development, which probably helped early cotton mature faster and not suffer as much from the heat.”

 

Orlando Flores, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Agent, El Paso County:

“We have tremendous stink bug pressure – the worst outbreak I've ever seen (photo below). The region had good rains, from 0.5 to 1 inch, which helped cause the bug explosion. Growers have sprayed for stink bugs, as well as bollworms in Pima cotton.

stink-bugs-Orlando-Flores-IMG_4652%5B1%5D.jpg

“Despite the insect situation, the cotton looks excellent. I haven’t seen a bad field. Cotton likes the 100-plus weather and plenty of irrigation water. There has been very little disease pressure, even after above-normal rainfall that typically promotes southwest cotton rust.

“The FOV4 fusarium wilt research plots are providing good results to help us learn which varieties are more susceptible to the disease. Along with the research plots, we're also monitoring area fields that might have the disease.”

 

Tom Studnicka, Studnicka Consulting, Belle Plaine, Kansas:

“Cotton is in all stages. Dry areas have cotton blooming out the top and should have average yields at best. The crop has started to take off again where it caught rains and now it needs another round of PGRs. Fields have good boll load and strong potential. Early planted cotton that survived looks promising and is nearing cutout.

“The southern Kansas area had another flush of weeds after rainfall. Late season herbicide applications are needed.

“Plant bugs and stink bugs have needed spraying. There is a new bollworm hatch from worms coming out of corn. They haven't required treatment, but we're scouting for large bollworm numbers.

“Overall, we have a 2-bale, or better, crop in certain areas. Unfortunately, that's nothing near last year, when yields were outstanding.

“Soybeans, like cotton, look good where fields received rainfall, but other areas are stressing hard. Harvested dryland corn has yields in the 80 to 100-bushel range.”

 

John David Gonzales, Director of Agronomy, Parmer County Cotton Growers, Inc., Farwell, Texas:

“A few cotton fields have reached cutout, while others are still behind and starting to catch up after the hot weather. Farwell had 1 to 1.5 inches of rain in the past two weeks. It helped, but overall it’s been too dry with hit and miss rains.

“There are lygus hot spots, as well as light pressure from cotton aphids. It’s time to start worrying about aphids when bolls start opening. Beneficial numbers have been up this year, which should help.

“Bollworm moths have increased. Heavy scouting is needed, especially in conventional cotton. As most growers know, older 2-gene Bt cotton has not been holding up like it used to and scouting is recommended.

“Corn earworms haven't taken off. Most corn is going for silage. Beneficials are holding back sugarcane aphid in sorghum. Weed control has been good, but growers who caught rains were forced to tank back up with herbicides to handle weed flushes.”

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

“The heat has halted growth and the crop is made. Dryland yields are projected at three-quarters to 1 bale per acre. That’s disappointing since growers didn't get much harvested in 2019 due to a wet fall.

“Aphids are a concern and should be monitored as bolls open. Stink bug and lygus treatments are still needed. Topgaurd fungicide is working well with root rot.

“This area needs a dry fall after last year. The heat is helping open the crop. Growers want to get in and get out as quickly as they can.

“Corn harvest is going full speed ahead. Yields are about 100 bushels per acre. Soybeans are yielding about 35 bushels. Sorghum has sugarcane aphid, but it’s not a big concern.”

 

Mark Hatley, Crop Quest Consulting, Dumas, Texas:

“The heat units in the northwestern Panhandle have helped irrigated and dryland cotton catch up. It looks good after the nervous start growers had with cold, wet weather. Most cotton is at peak bloom and filling bolls.

“There's not much happening with insects. Pix applications are going out. Scattered showers have required additional herbicide applications. Hoe hands are also needed to help take care of late season weeds.

“Corn producers are spraying for spider mites. With the hot weather, they're hard to control. Sugarcane aphids are also creeping into sorghum. A few fields required spraying.”

 

Alan Seitz, Nutrien Ag Solutions, Wilcox, Arizona:

“Southeastern Arizona remains in the high 90s with high humidity. The late monsoon season is forecast to continue through September.

“Cotton is progressing – past peak bloom and filling out nicely. Growers are still applying PGRs to help get plants to cutout. Stink bug and a few mite treatments are going out. Southwest cotton rust continues to show up. We're treating it and trying to catch up.”

 

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

“August days have all hit 100-degrees and rain has been scarce. The dryland crop is shedding bolls and squares. There is even shedding in irrigated fields. Much of the irrigated has a decent square and boll set, but it needs a rain to keep what it has. Dryland varieties planted in deep moisture are holding up surprisingly well. Everything needs a rain to progress much further.

“There is a small egg lay, but they are hard to spot. Aphids are crashing, thanks to high populations of beneficials that are controlling them.”

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Mark Nemec, MJN Consulting, Waco, Texas:

“Central Texas heat continues. Dryland cotton has bloomed out the top and is shedding. A few fields have cracked bolls. Those 100-degree-plus days put them to sleep.

“The dryland is late after receiving too much rain too early. It didn't develop a proper root system and couldn't take in deeper soil moisture. Irrigated looks decent if growers can keep enough water on it. They will complete watering in the next week or two.

“Corn harvest is wrapping up fast. Yields are good for this part of the Blacklands, about 120 to 130 bushels for dryland. The small amount of sorghum remains late. All in all, it's kind of quiet out there.”

 

Patrick Kircher, New Mexico State University Extension Agent, Roosevelt County/Portales:

“There have been spotty showers, which has only prolonged the agony for many growers without irrigation in eastern New Mexico. There are irrigated fields with decent looking cotton.  

“Many dryland growers gave up and plowed the crop under a few weeks ago. Farmers came back with haygrazer to hopefully make a crop, but it’s also struggling. The western part of the county is the exception. Where they have had rain haygrazer fields are green and lush.

“There are no major insect reports, other than grasshoppers which continue to plague us. They are worse in the dry sandy areas of the county.”


 
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