by AgFax Media LLC, AgFax.com
Plant bug treatments continue. No overwhelming situations are being reported but counts are high enough to justify spraying. In parts of the lower Delta some fields are on their third and maybe even fourth applications.
Steve Schutz, Ind. Consultant, Coushatta, Louisiana: "Our cotton ranges from past pinhead in the youngest up to blooms showing on the oldest on June 19. We've also got some fields in between those 2 points and will treat that cotton for fleahoppers in the first half of this week. We're not finding bugs, as it happens, in those youngest and oldest fields. I'm seeing aphids in some young cotton, just one plant out of several thousand that's covered up with aphids. Everything else seems to be fine. We haven't sprayed those fields with anything that would flare aphids, and we'll wait and see what happens."
Sebe Brown, Northeast Louisiana Region Extension Entomologist: "Cotton is really starting to take off and a lot of fields are at bloom, with some now into bloom for a couple of weeks. The crop has mostly been catching timely rains.
"I'm seeing some cotton getting especially rank, so it's important to stay on top of plant growth regulators. Aside from agronomic considerations, keeping cotton at a manageable height will help improve spraying efficiency and move more insecticide deeper into the plant. If plant bugs start knocking off fruit, those plants will get even ranker, which further compounds things.
"Plant bug treatments are going out. A few guys are on their third applications and scattered fields may even be on their fourth application, especially where growers were able to plant early and have been dealing with plant bugs longer.
"With recent rains, spider mites haven't been an issue lately, although the forecast calls for 7 days with no rain, plus hot temperatures. That may be all it takes for mites to rebound, especially where broad-spectrum insecticides have been used for plant bugs. A bollworm flight is underway and we're finding eggs in squaring and blooming cotton, so we may be on the verge of an outbreak."
Will Scott, Regional Agronomist, Louisiana and South Mississippi, Pinnacle Ag, Inc., Cleveland, Mississippi: "Most of our cotton is still in the pre-bloom stage. Plant bug numbers are up compared to what people were finding last week, and some applications have been going out. Where an automatic spray already went out, mainly imidacloprid, it might have been on relatively low numbers. People who haven't made a second shot yet are definitely considering it. Worm numbers are low. I've had several calls about them but the counts were below threshold."
Ashley Peters, Peters Crop Consulting, Crowville, Louisiana: "We're mostly doing some herbicide and plant growth regulator applications in cotton and making scattered plant bug applications. We're not really finding much in the way of insects yet. I just left a farm (6/28) and did not find a plant bug of any sort. Fields were clean, the cotton got an inch or so of rain yesterday and all it needs this week is Pix. We're in the third week of squaring on most of our cotton and I found our first bloom today. If more cotton isn't blooming this week, it will be next week."