by AgFax Media LLC, AgFax.com
Plant bug sprays are going out more frequently this week and on what sounds like a wider basis. Plant bugs aren't hitting treatment level everywhere but at least some cotton has already been sprayed twice.
Bollworm moth counts significantly picked up over the weekend in parts of north Louisiana and through much of Arkansas.
Spider mites and aphids are present, although we're not hearing about any treatments. Recent rains probably took the edge off mite populations.
The first U.S. cotton bale for the 2016 season came into a Harlingen, Texas, gin last Friday (6/17). The Brownsville Herald reported that farmer Tommy Hanka showed up at the Ross Gin Co. with 1,880 pounds of cotton. Despite rain delays, the cotton – planted February 4 – was ready for harvest. Hanka said, "It was a challenge to get in the field" and the cotton was hand-picked in Edinburg over a 2-day period by 15 workers.
Gary Wolfe, La-Ark Agricultural Consulting, Ida, Louisiana: "This is a later-than-normal cotton crop for us and we're still in the pre-bloom stage. Fertilizer went out and cotton has kicked off now. Plant bug numbers are light. Where we're doing any herbicide applications, we are adding something for plant bugs and aphids.
"A corn earworm (CEW) moth flight is underway, and I can't believe it's as bad as it is this year. This flight hasn't peaked yet and the overall CEW situation this year will probably get worse. Plenty of corn over here had to be replanted due to all the rain and flooding, and in places it was replanted within fields. To cut corners, a portion of that also was planted in non-Bt hybrids. So, we've got a bunch of late-planted corn and then some non-Bt corn mixed in, and we could be fighting CEW for the rest of the season."
David Kerns, Entomologist, Louisiana State University, Macon Ridge Research Station: "Plant bugs are starting to show up a little and people are beginning to spray for them. Overall, though, they haven't been that bad yet. They're around but no extraordinary populations have developed. More cotton is blooming, though, so numbers should be picking up.
"Aphids are present but plenty of their natural enemies have moved into fields and appear to be keeping them under control. Mites have been around but all this recent rain has suppressed them. We can still find a few here and there but they aren't exploding.
"The crop really looks good. After a rough start, it's coming on. We've had some timely rains lately. With this heat now, plants are taking off and filling out nicely with a really good square set."