Author Archives: Stephen Biles

Cotton Near Cutout

Much of our cotton fields are at or near cutout.  The fields we have been in this week range from 2-6 nodes above white flower (NAWF).  Keep in mind the time for a white bloom to  mature into an open boll is around 50 days. We are finding bollworms in non-Bt and 2-gene Bt cotton such as Bollgard 2 and Twin-Link cotton varieties.  I have not found much damage or worms in the 3-gene cotton varieties containing the VIP gene. Treat cotton fields when square and boll damage… Read More →

Midge in Grain Sorghum

Grain sorghum fields range in maturity from nearing bloom to soft dough and all of these fields need to be scouted frequently. Blooming sorghum is susceptible to sorghum midge and field scouts are finding more midge in the fields this week. Scout sorghum fields 2-3 times per week until past bloom. Start by scouting fields on the south side (downwind) as the midge is a poor flyer and will be found on the field margins first. When you are finding them on field margins, move 150-200 feet into… Read More →

Stink Bugs in Grain Sorghum

The Stink Bug is a primary insect pest of grain sorghum from bloom until hard dough. The insect feeds directly on the seed, reducing seed weight and yield. The most common stink bug in grain sorghum of the Mid-Coast is the Rice Stink Bug. Scout sorghum after bloom using a small bucket and beat heads into the bucket and see what is being captured in the bucket. Look here for a brief video. Economic thresholds (ET) have been evaluated and can be determined using tables or equations, but this… Read More →

Rain and Square Loss

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… Read More →

Rain and its Impact on Crop Fertility

We have received rain in great amounts over the past few weeks. This morning, my rain gauge is full, and it’s still raining. Many fields have received over 10 inches of rainfall over the past few days. One question I have received is: “What is this rain going to do with our fertilizer?” The nutrient of greatest concern should be Nitrogen.  This is because of denitrification and the water solubility of Nitrogen. “Gaseous loss of nitrogen takes place by denitrification or ammonia volatilization. Denitrification is a process through… Read More →