Clyde Crumley, IPM agent for the Upper Gulf Coast, says the dry weather pattern that has persisted for several weeks has been “broken up by a series of gulf disturbances, with rainfall this past week varying from 2 inches to more than 4 inches.

“Grain sorghum and corn harvest should be occurring now, so some rain would not have hurt us too much. Unfortunately that is not always the case and we are seeing seed sprouting in the sorghum heads and some minor lodging in corn.”

Crumley says most of the area’s cotton is at physiological cutout. “The next hurdle for cotton will be protecting the bolls from insect damage. Research has shown that small bollworms will not feed on bolls that are more than 350 heat units past bloom; stink bugs will not feed on bolls past 450 heat units; lygus 350 heat units. For verde plant bugs, we are not 100 percent  sure, but our best guess would be it is similar to lygus.”

Crumley sees a distinct possibility that some fields will experience re-growth. “With this restarting of the crop all of the issues that go with that are possible. In the case of cotton—where a lesser amount of rain was received and fields are well drained, where multiple treatments were applied for various insects and where a plant growth regulator was used at sufficient rates—the crop still looks good. With continued rain, boll rot is not only a concern but a real possibility.”

He says most of the crop has been made and bolls are present to the upper tier of the plant. “With all that said, we are continuing to monitor for bollworms, fall armyworms, stink bugs, spider mites, aphids, Lygus and verde plant bugs.  Beneficial insect numbers in cotton are moderate to high, with lady beetle adults, larvae, big eyed bugs, and tremendous numbers of minute pirate bugs observed.”