AgFax Cotton - Louisiana

by AgFax Media LLC,


A bollworm moth flight continues and plenty of fields either have been sprayed or will be. The treatments are being made on all technologies to one degree or another.

Plant bug numbers have bounced back in some areas. Aphid and spider mite activity varies.

More rain has fallen through portions of the Midsouth and shedding has become more apparent in parts of the crop.


Harold Lambert, Independent Consultant, Innis, Louisiana: “In most places our cotton needs dry weather. Rainfall has generally been spotty through parts of the season, and it’s still spotty. But in the last 10 days (from 8/8) the amounts in those spots have ranged from 1 to 3 inches. Last night I think everybody in my area received an additional half-inch to 2.5 inches, so we’re certainly wet right now.

“We’ve had a period with a lot of hot nights, and plants shed a huge amount of small bolls. That’s been very disappointing to watch. We don’t have much top crop now but are still carrying good bottom and middle crops. Some of our green, lush plants are at 2 NAWB but haven’t cut out. With certain of these newer varieties, cutout doesn’t come like you’d expect. It seems to me that if those varieties have moisture and warmth, they don’t care how much fruit load they’re carrying. I don’t think any amount of plant growth regulator will make them stop in those conditions.

“Plant bugs popped back in the picture in a few places. A few stink bugs also are beginning to appear in some fields, and we’ve been making applications. Spider mites have been very spotty lately, with just a few areas that required treatments. So far, very few bollworms have slipped through like I’m hearing about in other areas, so we’re blessed in that regard.”

Hank Jones, C&J Ag Consulting, Pioneer, Louisiana: “We’re really wrapping up things on the early and mid-season varieties. Some have been sprayed for the last time, and we’re just waiting now for open bolls. This is a pretty good cotton crop, I think. We’re at 3 to 5 NAWF in the late-season fields, but we still have some cotton to be made.

“The late-season varieties seemed to weather the heat and stress better this year. They’ll stay alive during a drought after the early-season varieties play out.

“Plant bug numbers went up a little after running on the low side. Where we still have green cotton, plant bugs are more consistent. Spider mites have been mostly light. With most fields, we’ve either made no spider mite sprays or just one application. That’s the best news all year, plus the price of cotton has gone up.

“None of my growers have open bolls, although you can see some in April-planted cotton in Tensas Parish. It’s rained enough over the last 10 days that we need a drier pattern so cotton can open when there’s less chance for rot.

“Rain has varied. Along the Interstate 20 corridor it rained 7 to 10 inches last week where storms were training through. At our farm in West Carroll Parish it’s rained close to 4.8 inches in the last 10 days. In Tensas Parish it’s ranged from 2 to 6 inches. Everybody is wet, and this has gotten aggravating.”

Sebe Brown, Northeast Louisiana Region Extension Entomologist: “We’re pretty commonly finding open bolls in our earliest planted cotton. A smattering of plant bugs are still out there. With the exception of ultra-late plantings, most cotton is no longer susceptible to plant bugs or it’s very close to that point.

“A lot of fields are at 1 to 3 NAWF. We’re in a wet period, and plenty of shedding has occurred. The rain has varied widely. In places, 2 to 4 inches have fallen lately, maybe more in spots, while totals in other areas haven’t been more than a few tenths.

“We’re still under a pretty heavy bollworm flight with a big egg lay. One leaf today had 5 fresh bollworm eggs on it, and I was still scaring moths out of the fields. With a lot of older cotton we’re past the point of worms mattering much. But in other cases we still have squares in the middle to the top of the plant that are vulnerable.”