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Friday, March 31, 2017



  I am excited that cotton is up and growing in several places! At this stage, I am keeping an eye out for thrips. This is a small (about 1/15") light tan or straw colored insect with a punch and suck type mouthpart and asymmetrical mandibles. They punch a hole with one side, then siphon the juice out with the other. They feed one plant cell at a time, and march along punching and sucking as they go. The adults are winged, can travel short distances on their own, and can be carried by a breeze for a fair distance. Larvae hide on the underside of the leaves, often close to the leaf veins. Feeding damage for this insect causes the leaves to crinkle and curl, and can cause delays in plant maturity and eventual yield reduction.
Adult Western Flower Thrips
Kate Harrell
  While the insects are visible to the naked eye and scouting can be done just by examining the plant, it is easy to miss some of the smaller larvae. Smacking a cotton plant around on the inside of a cup will knock them off and can make them easier to count. This video Blayne Reed put together has techniques for scouting thrips as well. Cotton with a neonicotinoid seed treatment is usually safe from thrips for about 2-3 weeks after emergence. Seedlings in a sandier soil will lose the effects of a seed treatment more quickly than those in heavier clay soils. Rainfall can also impact how long the seed treatments are effective, the more it rains the shorter the amount of time the seed treatment stays effective.
  The economic threshold for thrips is one thrips per true leaf of the plant until the 5th true leaf stage. Once the plant reaches this stage, treatment for thrips is rarely justified. Check out the cotton insect guide at this website for more information.

 Please call or stop by the office if you have any questions or concerns, and check out our upcoming CEU opportunity in Corrie's news release below.


Kate Harrell

South Texas Agricultural Symposium - April 18, 2017

By Corrie Bowen
County Extension Agent
Wharton County
A web-based producer training, or webinar, is scheduled for April 18, 2017 at the Northside Education Center in El Campo.  2 CEUs in the IPM category will be offered to Texas Department of Agriculture Pesticide License Holders.  There is no fee to attend this program.
Educational programs of the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service are open to all people without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, genetic information or veteran status.  The Texas A&M University System, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the County Commissioners Courts of Texas Cooperating.  Individuals with disabilities who require an auxiliary aid, service or accommodation in order to participate in any Extension activity, are encouraged to contact the County Extension Office for assistance 5 days prior to the activity.

Registration will begin at 7:30 a.m.  Our first presentation will begin at 8:00 a.m. with Dr. Megan Clayton, Extension Range Specialist on The Use of Drones in Ranching.

Dr. Joshua McGinty, Extension Agronomist will deliver a Weed Management Update at 8:30 a.m.

Managing Sugarcane Aphid with Resistant Sorghum Hybrids will be the topic of Dr. Robert Bowling’s 9:00 a.m. presentation.  Dr. Robert Bowling is an Extension Entomologist in Corpus Christi, Texas.

At 9:30, Dr. Joe Paschal, Extension Livestock Specialist, will address a New Year – Old Pest: An Update of 111 Years of Fever Tick Control.
After a coffee break at 10:00 a.m., Dr. Megan Clayton will return to the schedule with a discussion focused on Setting Goals to Determine What to Plant in Your Pasture.

Mac Young, Extension Program Specialist-Risk Management will cover The Financial Truth Behind Planting your Pasture for Grazing Cattle at 10:45 a.m.

At 11:15, Herd Replacement Selection will be the focus of  Dr. Joe Pashcal’s second presentation.

And, the last presentation at 11:45 will help address  Determining What You Can Afford to Pay for a Replacement , by Mac Young.

The entire program will adjourn at 12:15 p.m.  Participants are encouraged to contact Stacey by April 17th at the Wharton County Extension Officer at 979-532-3310 to let us know that you’ll be attending.  A copy of the program flyer can be downloaded by visiting http://wharton.agrilife.org

Friday, March 10, 2017

Panhandle Wildfires


  We've gotten a fair amount of rain lately, and I know many of you have been planting between showers. Dr. Mcginty shared a couple of weed control guides that may come in handy. They cover a number of herbicides and when to use them. For the cotton guide, go to this website, for the sorghum guide, check out this one. The corn weed guide is currently under construction, but many of the same burndown herbicides in cotton can be used in both corn and sorghum (like Roundup, Gramoxon, Liberty, 2 4-D, Clarity, Valor, and Sharpen).

  The Texas panhandle has been in the news lately due to the wildfires raging all across the plains. I even saw a weather update advising residents to "beware of flaming tumbleweeds". The fires have destroyed homes, killed livestock and wildlife, consumed hundreds of thousands of acres of rangeland and cost human lives. Several producers in the panhandle have stood by this area when hurricanes and floods have accosted the region. If you would like to donate feed or funds to wildfire relief for the panhandle, please check out the flier below.

  Have a good weekend, everyone.