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Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Whiteflies

Howdy,

  Harvest has been going on great in the upper gulf coast. I've seen and heard about good corn, milo, and cotton yields this year. We've had a few disagreements with the weather and its behavior lately, but otherwise it’s been going well.

  I've been seeing whiteflies in some of our later planted cotton. As everything is being defoliated or drying down, these insects are moving into the areas that are still green. Whiteflies reproduce rapidly, they reach reproductive maturity in about 15 days, and the adults live and reproduce for 2-3 weeks. The adults are small white, flying insects, while the nymphs look more like scale insects. The first stage nymph is called a crawler and is the only mobile stage of the immature whitefly. After the nymph molts the first time, it will remain feeding in the same place, and look much like a scale insect.
Whitefly Adults and Large Nymphs
Photo from Cotton Bugs

Whitefly Adults
Photo: Kate Harrell

Whitefly Nymphs
Photo: Kate Harrell
  The main concern with these insects is the honeydew they produce. The honeydew can drip into the cotton lint and cause sticky cotton, leading to issues with ginning, staining, and reducing lint quality. Heavy honeydew also fosters the growth of mold, which can cause problems with defoliation as well as staining lint.

  If you're only a few days from defoliating and are seeing adults and 20-30 large nymphs per leaf, defoliating soon should be a suitable solution, but keep an eye out for new populations on regrowth.

  If you have more than 20-30 adults and large nymphs present, and have eggs and smaller nymphs as well, you may need to consider treatment options. When the populations of these insects get really high, they become much more difficult to control. 

  Current treatment recommendations include:

  • Acetamaprid (intruder or generic) at 2.3 oz/acre
  • Sivanto at 10.5- 14 fl oz/acre
  • Oberon at 8-16 oz/acre
  • Centric at 2.5 oz/acre, but this is the weakest treatment option

  As always, give me a call or send me an email or text if you have questions or concerns. Have a good week and good luck harvesting, everyone!

For more information on whiteflies, check out:



Monday, August 7, 2017

Defoliation Field Day Cancelled

Howdy,

Due to the weather, the Cotton Defoliation Field Day has been cancelled. We held out as long as we could and it was dry until 10 minutes ago. So, the Field Day that was scheduled for today at 1:00 p.m. has been cancelled.

Thanks!

Friday, August 4, 2017

Defoliation Field Day

Monday, August 7th - Cotton Defoliation Field Day
By Corrie Bowen
County Extension Agent – Wharton County


Texas A&M AgriLife Extension in Wharton Counties will be hosting a cotton defoliation in Wharton on Monday, August 7, 2017 at 1:00 p.m..  A replicated research plot was sprayed on July 28th in Wharton  that has both one-shot and follow-up treatments to compare to commonly used combinations.  Viewing and evaluating this plot will give producers an idea of what to expect regarding leaf drop and opening of bolls this year.  Dr. Gaylon Morgan, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension State Cotton Specialist, will be available to discuss the performance of the thirteen defoliation treatments being evaluated.  There is no charge to attend the field day.  One (1) General CEU will be offered for Texas Department of Agriculture Pesticide License Holders.  The Wharton County cotton defoliation turn row meeting will be held from 1  p.m. to 2 p.m  on CR 428 in Wharton. From the Colorado River on Business 59 in Wharton, travel south west on Business 59 for 1.3 Miles.  Turn left onto CR 448, and immediately cross the railroad tracks.  After the railroad tracks, turn right.  Follow CR 448 for 1 mile.  Turn left on CR 428.  Go 8/10 of a mile and the defoliation plot will be on your left. A flyer with a map for the Wharton County Cotton Defoliation Field Day can be found by clicking on EVENTS at http://wharton.agrilfe.org.  For any questions about the Wharton Cotton Defoliation Field Day, contact Stacey at the Wharton County Extension Office at (979) 532-3310.

Friday, June 30, 2017

Neonicotinoids

Howdy,

  I'd like to let everyone know that the comment periods for clothianidin and thiamethoxam's preliminary pollinator assesment, and imidicloprid's aquatic ecological assessment are currently open. The focus is mainly on foliar applied neonicotinoids and not seed treatments. Producers, your comments are valuable. If you've got time, use the following links and click "comment".

Imidicloprid: https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=EPA-HQ-OPP-2008-0844-1090

Clothianidin: https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=EPA-HQ-OPP-2011-0865-0180

Thiamethoxam: https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=EPA-HQ-OPP-2011-0581-0044

Dinotefuran: https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=EPA-HQ-OPP-2011-0920-0017

  Grain across the three counties is mostly drying down, and we are continuing to see bollworms moving over to cotton from corn and sorghum.
  This week we've been seeing some bollworms in fields still, keeping with the pattern of high egg lay and some damage with few worms. If you've got more than 8-12 worms in 100 plants and 5% damaged bolls, consider treatment. Again, if you're seeing high numbers of caterpillars older than two days, give me a call. I still have some diet cups to mail caterpillars to College Station for resistance testing.
  There have been stink bugs occasionally across the area, once cotton gets to NAWF= 5 + 450 DD60s, stop sampling and treating. As cotton gets closer to cut out, the threshold for stink bugs can increase. Our cotton doesn't keep blooming for 8 weeks as is mentioned on the chart, but for the final week of bloom, it would be wise to use either the 50 to 30% threshold.




  Most of the later replanted cotton in Wharton county is close to peak bloom, while the rest in all three counties hovers from 6-8 nodes above white flower to nearly at cutout. The spotty showers we got over the past week hit Jackson and Matagorda county more than Wharton county. A few places in Matagorda county I heard got up to 7 inches of rain.

Spotted Lady Beetle in Cotton Bloom
Photo: Kate Harrell
I hope everyone has a good weekend and a happy 4th of July.

Sincerely,

Kate

For more information check out:

Danielle Sekula's Pest Cast

Stephen Biles Mid-Coast IPM

Robert Bowling's Rolling with Bowling

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Bollworms and Bees

Howdy,

  This week we've been seeing bollworm egg lay on the rise. So far most of the worms have been very small, between newly hatched and a day or two old. The damage has been mostly to squares and smaller bolls. Caterpillars closer to the one in the photo are easier to find in the blooms. This caterpillar probably fed in the bloom tag and then chewed his way into the boll through the flower. The hole in the very end of the boll is fairly indicative of that behavior. The flowers have low expression of the Bt genes, and caterpillars that start feeding there have the opportunity to grow larger before chewing into the fruit. If you're finding more than 8 to 12 worms in 100 plants and 5% damaged bolls, consider treatment. Also, if you are seeing higher numbers of caterpillars older than 2 days, give me a call. I've got diet cups to collect caterpillars to send to A&M for resistance testing.

Bollworm
Photo: Kate Harrell
  I found a honey bee swarm south of El Campo this week. Honey bees swarm like this when moving to start a new hive. The queen is down in the middle of the swarm, and they cover her up like this to protect her. This swarm was probably stopping to rest before moving on to a more suitable location for a new hive. When honey bees are doing this, they are incredibly docile. If you've seen the photo of the "bee beard", this is how they get that to work. They placed the queen on the person's face, and the workers covered her up. It's best to leave them alone if you find a swarm like this. They'll move on once they've rested.
Honey Bee Swarm
Photo: Kate Harrell

Give me or our office a call if you have questions or concerns.

Sincerely,

Kate

Looking for more information? Check out:

Texas A&M Cotton Guide- Bollworms

Danielle Sekula's Pest Cast

Stephen Biles' Mid Coast IPM

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Bollworms

Howdy,

  This week we've been finding some stink bugs and some bollworms in cotton in all three counties. Currently we are mostly finding damage and newly hatched larvae. As the grain continues to dry down, expect to see more moths moving around. Bollworm eggs are small, round, generally singly laid, and have ridges meeting at the top of the egg. These insects are highly cannibalistic, and will eat each other if more than one larvae is on a leaf. The photo below has two eggs, but I would count this as one egg while scouting, since only one of those would live long enough to feed on the plant. The eggs can be found anywhere on the plant, generally on the tops of leaves. This week we have found more eggs in the mid canopy. Sometimes eggs are even laid on flowers and bloom tags. We're still finding stink bugs in cotton as well. This week we found a few nymphs in Jackson and Matagorda counties.
Bollworm Eggs
Photo: Kate Harrell
  Some of the cotton around has begun to get a little long in the internodes since the rain we got a couple weeks ago. The best time to use a plant growth regulator (PGR), mepiquat chloride (MC), is dependent on plant height and internode length. Plant height should be 30 to 35 inches in 30 inch rows, and in 40 inch rows should be no more than 40 to 45 inches. Optimum plant height should be predicted using row width multiplied by 1.1. MC suppresses stem elongation in newly formed internodes by up to 50% of normal growth. The minimum MC concentration in the plant necessary to provide a maximum level of reduction is 12- 15 ppm per acre, but internodes will not grow shorter than 50% of the normal length with higher rates. Before the plant has reached 15 to 20 days past first bloom, measure the top 5 internodes. If the internodes are 1.4" or less, no MC should be applied. If the internodes are between 1.4" and 1.6", treatment is optional. Treatment is optional in internodes measuring between 1.6" and 1.8", but if it has rained recently or you are planning to irrigate, treatment is recommended. If the internodes are longer than 1.8", MC should be applied. Check out this article for more information on PGRs.
  Headworms and stinkbugs are in sorghum right now. The best way to scout for damage from these insects is to use a bucket. Rattle a grain head around in a bucket to see what falls off of it. Adult stink bugs will fly, often very quickly after being knocked from the plant, so be aware of anything taking off when you go to look in the bucket. Folks in all three counties have been treating for stink bugs lately, but the earlier planted sorghum is hardening enough to be past the point of concern. Check out the rice stink bug calculator and the sorghum headworm calculator to check economic threshold levels.

Lady Beetle Eggs
  This week's bug of the week is the lady beetle. Recently I have given a few presentations on differentiating between good and bad bugs, and was surprised at the number of folks that had not seen lady beetle eggs before. Lady beetles lay brightly colored, yellow, oval eggs, in little groups or rows. The photo above shows typically laid lady beetle eggs.

  Give me a call if you have questions or concerns.

Sincerely,

Kate


For more information check out:

Danielle Sekula's Pest Cast

Stephen Biles' IPM Update

Robert Bowling's Rolling with Bowling

Texas Sugarcane Aphid News

Texas Row Crops Newsletter

Using Mepiquat Chloride on the Texas Coast to Reduce Cotton Plant Height

Friday, June 9, 2017

Stinkbugs and Headworms

Howdy,

  This week most of the cotton I looked at is in full bloom. I've been seeing green and brown stink bugs and some bollworms. All three counties have had a few of these insects popping up. They are moving out of corn and sorghum as these crops finish out and the grain gets hard to feed on. I've also caught a few verde plant bugs in Jackson and Matagorda counties.
Spotted Lady Beetle in a Cotton Flower
Photo: Kate Harrell
  There is bollworm egg lay present in all three counties. The bollworms I've seen have been very small, and more often than not, we found damage, but no live insects. I'd recommend keeping an eye out for bollworms, and monitoring populations closely if you do find live insects in fields. If you are finding live worms and damage, look for 5% damaged bolls, and 8-12 out of 100 plants with worms. I haven't seen any fields at threshold yet, but after last year I'm staying on my toes.
  Later planted cotton in Wharton county is still experiencing fleahopper pressure as well. Check out the previous blog entry for economic threshold information on stink bugs.
Small Bollworm Eating Square
Photo: Kate Harrell
Bollworm Eggs
Photo: Kate Harrell
  Sugarcane aphid populations in sorghum have crashed after the rainfall last week and early this week. Populations have plummeted from Corpus Christi and the Rio Grande Valley and on up to our area. There may be a few places with populations still hanging out, but generally numbers are down. Jackson and Matagorda county producers have had to treat for rice stink bug and headworms in sorghum as well. Calculators for sorghum midge, rice stink bug, and sorghum headworm economic thresholds can be found here.
Rice Stink Bug
Photo: Kate Harrell

  If you do still have sugarcane aphid populations, check out the economic threshold information below.


  If you want to receive text updates of the blog and when I post photos and information from the field to twitter, text "follow uppercoastipm" to 404-04, as shown in the photo below. If I post a photo, it will send you a link that you can follow to see the image. Text information will appear in the body of the text message.

  This weeks bug of the week is the ox beetle! The adult beetle feeds on decaying fruit and occasionally vegetation. They burrow to hide during the day, and fly at night. They live as adults for 4-6 months, but live as the larval form for about a year. The larvae look like giant June bug larvae, large, white, c-shaped grubs. Larvae feed on decaying organic matter (decaying wood and plant material) and help with the decomposition process. The beetle in the photo below flew into my garage door, attracted to the light on the garage. It sounded like somebody threw a golf ball at the door when he hit it. Check out more info on the ox beetle here!
Male Ox Beetle
Photo: Kate Harrell

Looking for more information? Check out the resources below: