AgFax MidSouth Cotton: Louisiana

by AgFax Media LLC,


Defoliation will likely widen a little this week in the lower half of the region.

Target spot remains a concern. We continue to hear about plants shedding good-sized bolls where target spot has triggered heavy leaf drop. Bacterial blight has been an issue, as well.

Boll rot and hard locking are obvious in many areas. The weather may be slipping into a drier pattern this week in parts of the region.


Travis Vallee, CenLa Ag Services, Pineville, Louisiana: "Right now we're mostly watching bolls rot. Growers have been trying for a while to start defoliating cotton, but without any success. If the weather forecast holds up, we should be able to begin this week.

"Boll rot varies from field to field, but we can find it at 20% to 50%, plus we have hard locking and other things going on. Target spot is pretty much in every field and has been present for a few weeks. Plus, we're finding bacterial blight in some new varieties. I started seeing bacterial blight in places before bloom, then it kind of went away when the weather turned hot and dry in July.

"We've easily had 12 inches of rain since before mid August and probably haven't had 3 dry days in a row over the last 16 days (from 8/29). A lot of fields are on the books for defoliation – that includes both cotton and soybeans. But at least some of that was held up until we could be sure the weather would cooperate. With the way potential yield has deteriorated, nobody wants to take a chance on wash-off."

David Kerns, Entomologist, Louisiana State University, Macon Ridge Research Station: "Cotton is simply waiting to be defoliated. Some people are trying to make those last bits of top crop. Honestly, though, I don't think most of it is worth the expense or the delays. With all the boll rot and hard locking in the bottom crop, it's tempting to try to make some of that new fruit on top, but we've really reached the point to walk away and call it done."