Scouting fields this week we are finding each field is different from the next. Much of this has to do with how the rain affected the field. If the water got off the field or did not stand for too many days, the crop was better off.
Fields that held water are more likely to have square losses. Many of these fields have lost the larger squares leaving fruit smaller than match-head square. An example of this is shown. I removed the leaves showing the lower four squares have been lost.
Fields with fruit loss may benefit from a plant growth regulator such as mepiquat chloride tank mixed with the next insecticide or herbicide application.
Some other fields are showing nitrogen deficiency. The symptoms of nitrogen deficiency is yellowing in the young leaves as seen in this picture. Management is not needed immediately and a soil test can show how much nitrogen is needed for the crop. The nitrogen can be added as soon as the field dries up.
We are also seeing the flush of weed we have been expecting. Check your fields and try to make appropriate herbicide applications before the weeds get to large.
The primary insect pest we are looking for is the cotton fleahopper. We are not finding fleahoppers in many of the cotton fields but some fields have fleahopper numbers as high as 40 per 100 plants. Most of the fleahoppers we are finding are young nymphs with a few adults mixed in.
The cotton fleahopper egg takes about 11 days to hatch. Knowing this we can see how insecticide applications with good residual of 5 to 7 days can have a good impact on how we manage the cotton fleahopper. In most years, we can manage fleahoppers with 1 or 2 well timed insecticide applications.
Cotton Aphids are also being found sporadically across cotton fields. Aphids are rarely economic pests in cotton prior to bloom. For them to be economic, aphids would have to cover much of the pre-bloom plants. Later, during boll-fill, aphids can lower yields when their numbers exceed 50 aphids per leaf.