Although subsoil moisture is available in most of the Texas Gulf Coast region, the surface has dried so rapidly that plant stands were adversely affected, especially in fields that were planted on later dates. No rain was received to correct that situation.

Furthermore, additional crop planting had to be suspended since seed beds were drying before germination and rooting of seedlings could take place. Needless to say we need rain.

We are seeing one insect that may become a problem on multiple crops—the false chinch bug (or a near related species). It is likely to be more abundant on field margins near weeds, such as in ditches and along turn rows because they are moving from the weeds to cultivated crop plants.

Killing these weeds with herbicide or shredding causes the false chinch bug to migrate as nymphs and adults to living plants. It should be possible to treat field margins for the insect unless the field itself supports weeds that harbor the false chinch bug. The insects are usually found in large numbers running all over the plant and surrounding soil. All stages and sizes of the false chinch bug are present on the weeds at this time.

We are also aware of concerns over the number of aphids and spider mites in pre-squaring cotton fields along the Gulf Coast. One should be cautious about making a decision to treat for either of these pests at this stage of growth.

In the case of cotton aphid,predators are beginning to build and aphid “mummies” (parasitized aphids) are just beginning to appear.