Ron Smith 1, Senior Content Director

November 9, 2016

13 Slides

A wetter than usual July produced an ideal environment for making a good cotton crop in southwest Oklahoma this year, but it also created near perfect conditions for bacterial blight, a foliar disease that may not be an annual occurrence, but can be devastating when it appears.

The blight occurred in a year with limited pressure from the usual suspects, says Randy Boman, research director at the Oklahoma State University Southwest Research and Extension Center at Altus, and state Extension cotton program leader.

“We typically don’t have root knot nematode or Fusarium wilt problems,” Boman says, “and we had very little Verticillium wilt.”

Boman says bacterial blight is not new; it shows up occasionally, and is one of those pathogens that may be around all the time, just looking for the right environment to show itself. It’s not something growers face every year, “and it’s not often a big deal — unless it happens to you.”

More than a few southwest Oklahoma cotton farmers report varying degrees of damage from the pathogen this year. Loss ranged from just a few pounds to more than a bale per acre. Boman says producer should know what symptoms to look for and offers the images here as a guide.

See also.

He’ll tell producers in winter meetings to look for resistant cotton varieties for 2017 planting. Producer who planted resistant varieties this year reported no bacterial blight damage, he says.

Photos courtesy of Randy Boman, OSU

About the Author(s)

Ron Smith 1

Senior Content Director, Farm Press/Farm Progress

Ron Smith has spent more than 40 years covering Sunbelt agriculture. Ron began his career in agricultural journalism as an Experiment Station and Extension editor at Clemson University, where he earned a Masters Degree in English in 1975. He served as associate editor for Southeast Farm Press from 1978 through 1989. In 1990, Smith helped launch Southern Turf Management Magazine and served as editor. He also helped launch two other regional Turf and Landscape publications and launched and edited Florida Grove and Vegetable Management for the Farm Press Group. Within two years of launch, the turf magazines were well-respected, award-winning publications. Ron has received numerous awards for writing and photography in both agriculture and landscape journalism. He is past president of The Turf and Ornamental Communicators Association and was chosen as the first media representative to the University of Georgia College of Agriculture Advisory Board. He was named Communicator of the Year for the Metropolitan Atlanta Agricultural Communicators Association. More recently, he was awarded the Norman Borlaug Lifetime Achievement Award by the Texas Plant Protection Association. Smith also worked in public relations, specializing in media relations for agricultural companies. Ron lives with his wife Pat in Johnson City, Tenn. They have two grown children, Stacey and Nick, and three grandsons, Aaron, Hunter and Walker.

Subscribe to receive top agriculture news
Be informed daily with these free e-newsletters

You May Also Like