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Serving: West

Texas Rolling Plains cotton quite variable

The 2007 cotton crop in the Texas Rolling Plains continues to be erratic in performance, according to Dr. Chris Sansone, Texas A&M University Extension entomologist at San Angelo.

"The cotton crop started off quite variable and that trend continues," Sansone says. "The majority of the crop is in the first or second week of bloom and is averaging six to seven nodes above white flower (NAWF).

"Some fields are just recovering from the above average rainfall and are still seven to ten days away from bloom and some fields are approaching cutout (5 NAWF) with a good boll load. I have been telling people that the crop is seven to ten days delayed but the delay may be less than that.

"Irrigated fields are receiving applications of plant growth regulator. A small percentage of the fields have been treated for cotton aphids. Cotton aphid populations remain fairly low (averaging 20 per leaf) and natural enemies are maintaining those populations. We have lots of data and many years of experience that indicate insecticides are not needed for cotton aphids until the field is averaging 50 aphids per leaf.

"Bollworm moth flights have been heavy and conventional fields have required treatments for bollworms. Bollgard, Bollgard II and WideStrike fields are holding up but we see some escapes and some fields may need to be treated. A few fields northwest of San Angelo have been having problems with fall armyworms. Boll weevil eradication continues to look good.

"No fields of corn and grain sorghum have been harvested for grain yet. Some grain sorghum fields have been treated with glyphosate in preparation for harvest, but harvest may be seven to 14 days away depending on the weather. Corn harvest is probably seven to 14 days away, too. Pastures are in good shape."

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