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Harvest underway in Texas Valley, whitefly pressure a concernHarvest underway in Texas Valley, whitefly pressure a concern

IPM agent warns growers to treat for whiteflies before they irrigate to avoid stained cotton.

Shelley E. Huguley

August 4, 2018

1 Min Read
Cotton harvest underway in the Valley.Logan Hawkes

Harvest is in full swing as several fields across the Texas Valley have been defoliated and are being harvested with more to come, writes Texas A&M AgriLife IPM Extension Agent Dr. Danielle Sekula, in her “Pest Cast" newsletter. “It has been very hot weather each day with temperatures reaching into the 100s, which has helped some of our later-planted cotton catch up in maturity.”

The primary pest pressure Sekula has seen is whiteflies. “There are so many whiteflies. Many growers and consultants have seen them move from one area to another this week.”

During defoliation, whiteflies will either migrate to a nearby cotton field yet to be defoliated or they will seek refuge in nearby citrus, sunflowers, cabbage, or any nearby crop where they can find shelter and food, Sekula writes.

“Growers, with cotton along the river, are experiencing this the most as some open cotton has lint stained from the sooty mold that can occur if whitefly populations get out of hand. I have some growers that are putting one last irrigation on their cotton to help mature out the top of the canopy. Those growers should really be on top of whiteflies or spray prior to irrigation to avoid stained cotton as the whiteflies continue to migrate out of fields being defoliated.”

About the Author(s)

Shelley E. Huguley

Editor, Southwest Farm Press

Shelley Huguley has been involved in agriculture for the last 25 years. She began her career in agricultural communications at the Texas Forest Service West Texas Nursery in Lubbock, where she developed and produced the Windbreak Quarterly, a newspaper about windbreak trees and their benefit to wildlife, production agriculture and livestock operations. While with the Forest Service she also served as an information officer and team leader on fires during the 1998 fire season and later produced the Firebrands newsletter that was distributed quarterly throughout Texas to Volunteer Fire Departments. Her most personal involvement in agriculture also came in 1998, when she married the love of her life and cotton farmer Preston Huguley of Olton, Texas. As a farmwife she knows first-hand the ups and downs of farming, the endless decisions that have to be made each season based on “if” it rains, “if” the drought continues, “if” the market holds. She is the bookkeeper for their family farming operation and cherishes moments on the farm such as taking harvest meals to the field or starting a sprinkler in the summer with the whole family lending a hand. Shelley has also freelanced for agricultural companies such as Olton CO-OP Gin, producing the newsletter Cotton Connections while also designing marketing materials to promote the gin. She has published articles in agricultural publications such as Southwest Farm Press while also volunteering her marketing and writing skills to non-profit organizations such a Refuge Services, an equine-assisted therapy group in Lubbock. She and her husband reside in Olton with their three children Breely, Brennon and HalleeKate.

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