by AgFax Media LLC, AgFax.com
Open bolls have been turning up in the lower Delta since the last week or so of July, but they're now being reported on a somewhat wider basis. Mostly, these aren't cases where cotton was highly stressed by drought. This summer's heat has pushed cotton a good deal, and that has moved the crop ahead.
Bollworms are forcing more oversprays. A big flight has been moving through much of our coverage area. Fall armyworms also are prompting some applications.
Plant bugs remain a factor and have been gaining momentum in some areas. On the whole, though, this continues to be a relatively light plant bug year, our contacts emphasize.
Spider mite treatments have been made in places, but rain, disease and beneficials have been minimizing pressure on most fronts.
Aphids have crashed in more locations but are still active in places.
LOUISIANA CROP REPORTS
Travis Vallee, CenLa Ag Services, Pineville, Louisiana: "We started finding our first open bolls around July 20-22, and that wasn't in stressed cotton. The plants had simply progressed that much. I don't think we'll pick any cotton in August, though. It's rained enough lately to keep the crop going, and we'll have a little top crop to pick. That doesn't happen often for us, especially on heavy soil.
"Except for spider mites, we have turned a few fields loose. Most of our crop is at 5 NAWF or less. We've been battling worms in the last 14 days. In several fields we were finding too many worms for a pyrethroid-acephate approach and had to go with one of the high-dollar diamide materials. That was on a dozen or so fields. The percentages were as high as 10% in some lush, green cotton.
"We were finding mostly bollworms with some fall armyworms in the mix. That's the first time I've recommended a diamide on the dual-gene Bollgard cotton. On the WideStrike I used it automatically. Spider mites are around but are sort of limited."
David Kerns, Entomologist, Louisiana State University, Macon Ridge Research Station: "We're still picking up bollworms and have had a big egg lay and hatch over the last 10 days or so. That may be slacking off now, but we're still finding quite a few eggs and a lot of larvae. That doesn't mean everyone has them, but treatments went out last week and this week in Bollgard 2 and WideStrike cotton.
"Spider mites have kind of slacked off. We've had more sporadic rains. Showers slipped through the state last week and this week, and I think that went a long way towards minimizing spider mites. We're also detecting that fungal pathogen that kills mites, plus predacious mites are helping out. That said, a lot of people already had to spray."