by AgFax Media LLC, AgFax.com
Plant bug treatments have started on a limited, scattered basis in some of the oldest cotton in the region. We're not hearing about huge numbers but enough plant bugs have been present to trigger occasional applications. More cotton is squaring or will be to that point next week.
Spider mite treatments are being made, mostly in Mississippi. Aphids are turning up in some areas, as well, but nothing that would warrant an application. Thrips continue to demand attention in places, although more cotton has grown past the point that thrips are an issue.
Rains have fallen on a wide basis over the last week. The moisture will help in places that have been dry for several weeks.
Delayed emergence will complicate crop management in some areas. Rains over the last 7 days have finally brought up seed that were planted 3 or more weeks earlier. In extreme cases cotyledon cotton has now emerged in fields with up to 7-leaf plants. We're hearing reports about this in Mississippi and also in the Tennessee Valley.
Midsouth states have received a Section 18 label for the use of Transform insecticide in cotton for tarnished plant bug control.
Travis Vallee, CenLa Ag Services, Pineville, Louisiana: "Cotton looks good. Layby will be going out on most of it, although it will be the middle of the week before it will be dry enough. We got about 3 inches of rain across a big part of the area on Friday and Saturday (6/3-4), plus a good rain fell the week before. Pix will be going out when it's dry enough.
"We're treating a few hundred acres of early cotton this week for plant bugs. We can find a few plant bugs in all the fields that are squaring good, although we're mostly holding off on treatments. Counts really aren't enough in most fields to worry us yet, plus retention remains high. Except for 700 to 800 acres, all of our cotton is squaring now."
David Kerns, Entomologist, Louisiana State University, Macon Ridge Research Station: "Cotton looks much better now that we've got a little heat and sunshine. I'm seeing a few hits from spider mites. So far, it's nothing that would raise an alarm or prompt a treatment. But they are out there, and if it turns dry and hot for a while, that could push them. Also, if we have to spray any squaring cotton for plant bugs, that could flare mites, depending on the material used.
"I'm hearing about and seeing a few cotton aphids, just small populations. Like the mites, I don't have any concerns about them right now (6/7) but they could blow up. Acephate for plant bugs could flare mites and aphids under the right circumstances.
"On a really positive note, Louisiana was one of the states this week that received a Section 18 registration for Transform to control tarnished plant bugs in cotton. We'll get up to 4 applications."