AgFax Cotton - Louisiana

by AgFax Media LLC,


Plant bug treatments are increasing across a big part of the region. In places, growers are on their sixth application.

Bollworm activity has picked up in parts of the Midsouth and treatments are being made.

Spider mites are in the mix, too, but frequent showers may suppress mites in places.

More cotton has moved into cutout, and consultants will be terminating pest treatments on some fields over the next week.


Steve Schutz, Ind. Consultant, Coushatta, Louisiana: "We're seeing what appears to be some slippage with bollworms in Bt cotton and have places where worms got into about 3% of the bolls. That was after spraying with a pyrethroid, so that's not good news, either. We've pretty much switched further worm spraying to Besiege or Prevathon, regardless of whether it's single or dual-gene cotton.

"I'm definitely finding damage in the single gene varieties and am seeing too many 2- to 3-day worms in the dual-gene fields. In the single-gene fields the worms in blooms range from 12% to 20%, while in the double-gene varieties it's 6%. That's still too many, especially once they're in the bolls. When we did treat, we only knocked out a portion. No plant bugs, thankfully.

"The forecast calls for rain this week, so we're partly selecting materials based on rain fastness. Spider mites are with us but I'm trying to ignore them and hoping the rain takes them out. We came close to spraying aphids in some cotton, but we got showers in that area and the fungus developed. Overall, the crop looks pretty good."

Ashley Peters, Peters Crop Consulting, Crowville, Louisiana: "We've probably sprayed all of our cotton for plant bugs in the last 7 to 10 days and treated some fields for worms, too. All the cotton looks pretty good. Since last week we started seeing a little of the normal fruit shed. That's the first time this year. Most cotton looks outstanding. What little dryland cotton you see around here is getting enough spotty showers to keep it going. I'm finding moths everywhere in cotton and beans, so I would think more worms are coming. I just walked out of a field that was 4 to 5 NAWF."

Sebe Brown, Northeast Louisiana Region Extension Entomologist: "Our early planted cotton is cutting out. That includes both irrigated and dryland fields. A lot of it is at 1 to 2 NAWF. That will influence plant bug decisions, and we can increase our plant bug thresholds in those fields.

"You can still lose small bolls to plant bugs, but we're really transitioning in those cases to protecting bolls from stink bugs. We're not setting new bolls that would matter, so there's no need to protect any late fruit on top. A lot of guys already have initiated stink bug applications. Stink bug are moving into cotton now as early beans mature and corn harvest widens. Historically, we don't have bad stink bug infestations in cotton since many of them will go into later soybeans. Also, late plant bug sprays will often take them out.

"We're also dealing with a lot of worm issues. We're still in the midst of a big bollworm flight, with plenty of egg laying in the northern part of the state and even some to the south. A few bollworms are escaping in Bollgard 2 and WideStrike. Since the weekend we've received pretty good rains, from a half-inch to 3 inches in places, and we hope that re-energizes the stressed dryland cotton.

"A reminder: our sweet potato field day will be August 31 at the LSU Sweet Potato Research Station at Chase."