Follow by Email

Friday, June 23, 2017

South-West Plains IPM Update Volume 17, Issue 7

GENERAL CONDITIONS:

Cotton in general is doing good giving the weather conditions over the last 7 to 10 days. Cotton in the area is ranging from just emerging up to pinhead squares. We have not found any insect pest in our cotton fields, but are starting to see a few more beneficials move into fields. These are mostly hooded beetles and crab spiders. Fertilizer applications, weed management, and managing growth using Plant Growth Regulators (PGRs) is what we need to be focused on for the next week to two weeks, especially if the rain chances materialize over the weekend.

Peanuts are growing good, but with this hot weather water consumption has increased. All fields in the scouting program started blooming this week, and has increased the water demand for the crop. Diseases have not been found yet, but there are still white grubs and wireworms being found in fields. Nitrogen applications in fields low on root nodules and preparing sprayer and/or chemigation systems are what should be focused on in the coming days.

A much need cool down is forecasted for this weekend and into early next week, as a cool front move through the area. Temperatures are expected to be in the 70s for daytime highs and in the 60s for nighttime to early morning lows. We are also getting a much-needed chance of rain starting this afternoon, as I am finishing this newsletter, parts of Gaines and Yoakum Counties are receiving showers. This rain will help our dryland crop progress, as it is limping along waiting for much needed moisture, and will help prevent drought stress in our irrigated crop which could cause square loss in cotton and poor pollination and pegging in peanuts, let’s just hope these storms are not accompanied by hail, and high winds.

COTTON:

Cotton is ranging from 2-true leaves up to 8 -true leaves, and pinhead squares are starting to form. This week squares were found in half of the scouting programs fields, and the first fruiting branch is between node 5 and node 7, with a 100 percent square retention. This variability in growth stage puts us in a situation where we are still checking for thrips in some fields, while in others we are moving to check for fleahopper and other plant bugs. Over the course of the last seven days, no fleahoppers have been found, but I would like to talk about identification and economic thresholds for fleahoppers in this newsletter to give you an idea of what we need to be looking for. Cotton fleahopper are pale green in color and are about 1/8th of an inch long. Their body is flat and elongated with an oval outline. On the back of the adults there are minute black hairs and spots. Nymphs of the cotton fleahopper appear the same as the adults, but without wings, however, initially are white in color until they feed. Once a Nymph has fed their color will turn to pale green with reddish eyes. Cotton fleahoppers have numerous wild host which they can overwinter on, these include silver leaf nightshade, woolly croton, and horsemint to name a few. Cotton fleahoppers use their piercing sucking mouthparts to remove plant sap from the tender portions of the plant. Square that are smaller than pinhead size is most susceptible to fleahopper damage, and square feeding can cause the square to die, and turn brown. Economic thresholds for fleahopper in our area is based on the number of insects per 100 terminals, and the percent of square set (Table 1). Treatment for fleahoppers is rarely justified after the 3rd week of squaring, because at that time we should be blooming and at this point cotton is typically able to compensate for some square loss. Last year Kerry Siders, Extension Agent-IPM for Hockley Cochran and Lamb Counties and Dr. Pat Porter, Extension Entomologist in Lubbock produced an excellent YouTube video covering the fundamental of scouting for fleahoppers on the Texas High Plains, it can be found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=epVctkRkTHs. Additional information of biology and chemicals that effectively manage fleahopper populations can be found at http://cottonbugs.tamu.edu/fruit-feeding-pests/cotton-fleahopper/.






.
PEANUTS:

Peanuts are faring well for the recent hot and dry spell we have been in, and all the peanut fields began blooming this week, with one field starting to show peg development. This is time where we need to be applying our nitrogen to fields that are lacking in root nodules. Over the last two week the field scouts and I have been taking nodule counts, and most of the fields are averaging less than 10 nodules per plant. This low nodulation could be because of the roller coaster of a weather pattern we have been on the last 6-8 weeks, lack of putting inoculant down, or even inadequate storage of inoculants. With most of the fields having below 10 nodules per plant, these fields will benefit from a nitrogen application, and fields that have less than 6 nodules will need Nitrogen applications.

Diseases have yet to be found in the scouting program’s fields, and we are getting to the time where a shot of a fungicide such as Azoxystrobin (Abound) can be used as a preventative. Timing of this application typically occurs between 60 and 90 days after planting. When getting ready to apply we want to make sure we are starting to set pegs, as this will allow you to maximize the amount of fungicide in the active pod development zone of the soil. Knowing what pod rot pathogens are present in your field can help you to effectively manage this disease by selecting the correct fungicide, as not all fungicide effectively manages both pod rot pathogens. Azoxystrobin the active ingredient of Abound, Artisan, and Convoy for example is active against Rhizoctonia, but is only known to suppress Pythium pod rot, at the maximum labeled rate of 24.5 oz/acre. Pythium pod rot on the other hand can be effectively managed by using Ridomil, which has numerous formulations such as liquid and granular. The last thing to consider is application method. These products work extremely well when applied using a chemigation system, but can lead to bare soil being treated. Application cost can be reduced when these products are banded over the effect pegging and pod development zone, but it is best to increase the carrier volume to a minimum of 20 gallons as some fungicides are such as Ridomil formulations bind to the surface of leaves rather quickly. Irrigating shortly after application can also increase the amount of fungicide that reaches the pod development zone.





Thank you to all the sponsors of the South-West Plains IPM Program. The sponsors of the program for the 2017 growing season are below.

Platinum Sponsors:

Gold Sponsors:
Doyle Fincher Farm
Golden Peanuts and Tree Nuts

Silver Sponsors: 
Birdsong Peanuts

Bronze Sponsors:
Crop Production Services
New-Tex Gin, Inc. 




Sunday, June 18, 2017

South-West Plain IPM Update Volume 17, Issue 6

GENERAL CONDITIONS:
                 Hot, dry, and wind has been the story of the last 7-10 days, and this weather pattern that we are in has been harsh to crops in Gaines, Terry, and Yoakum Counties. This weather has negatively affected our cotton from getting a stand. Cotton in the scouting program is ranging from just emerging to the 4-true leaf stage. Thrips are still present in local cotton and peanut fields, but none of the fields in the scouting program have reached threshold. Earlier this week we were seeing wind damage to young cotton plants that was mimicking thrips damage, more on this will be in the cotton section of this newsletter. Some areas in Terry County this week received some rain, however, like any storm around this time of year high winds and hail accompanied it. There are reports of fields being lost due to hail damage around the FM211 and FM168 intersection. I am not aware of how wide spread this damage is, but it does not appear to be South of Highway 380 and West of Highway 385, as I drove around trying to see the extent of the damage.
Peanuts are starting to bloom, and if you have not evaluated your field(s) inoculation program, now is the time. Evaluating our nodulation on a field by field basis helps to determine which fields could benefit from mid-season Nitrogen applications. We have not observed diseases in peanuts yet this year, but soil inhabiting insects, such as wireworms and grub worms are being found more often.

COTTON:
Thrips are still a concern for most of the cotton fields in the area, but are still staying below threshold. Thrips are only an economic pest until the 5-true leaf or once the plant begins to square. At our current situation, our irrigated cotton will reach this stage in a very short time. Cotton need between 50 and 60 Growing Degree Day 60 (DD60s) to emerge after planting, and need another 425 to 475 DD60s to reach squaring. Based on the DD60s below (Table 1), cotton planted before May 10th, bearing inadequate weather conditions should be squaring within the next 7 to 10 days.



On Monday of this week, I walked into a cotton field that is in the scouting program, and saw what I thought to be thrips damage (Figure 1). At first, I was afraid my field scouts and I missed a heavy population of thirps. Once I check about 20 plants within the field it was apparent to me that this was not actually thrips damage, but instead wind damage from the high winds that have plagued most of the area. This damage was caused by our soil getting hot during the afternoon, and then when the picks up the hot blowing sand hits the tender cotton leaves, and desiccates the leaf margins causing the leaves to curl and pucker as they continue to gain size. If you see this damage in the fields, it is best to check to make sure thrips are not the true cause of the cupped or puckered leaves. This can be done by looking at the underside of the leaves to check for thrips feeding damage, and check the terminal and unfurled leaves for actual thrips. Thrips damage appears as sunken silver tissues (Figure 2) that is caused when the thrips use their piercing/rasping mouthparts to rupture the plant’s cell so they can feed on the plant fluids. Kerry Siders, Extension Agent IPM for Hockley, Cochran, and Lamb Counties wrote and excellent description about this type of abiotic damage, and the article can be found on AgFax at http://agfax.com/2017/06/14/texas-west-plains-cotton-not-thrips-its-heat-wind-damage/.



PEANUTS:
                 Peanuts are progressing nicely, and fields in Gaines County have started to bloom this week. If it has not been done yet, now is the time we need to be checking on the amount of root nodules per plant. Ideally, we would like to see 15 or more nodules per plant. To inspect peanut nodulation, one should dig up 3 row feet of peanuts and count the number of nodules on the plant at each site and the number of plants at each site. You can average these for each site and average out these averages, or you can keep a running total for the whole field and calculate the average once finished with the field. If a field averages less than 15 nodules per plant, the field will need some Nitrogen, but still at a slightly reduced rate. If a field averages less than 6 nodules per plant, one should also try to figure out what happened with their inoculant.
Diseases have not been observed in the peanut fields the IPM program is scouting this year, but as we start irrigating our peanuts more we should really keep an eye out for leafspot diseases. Common leaf spot diseases of peanuts for our area include early and late leaf spot (Figure 3). Both leaf spot diseases can look similar on the upper leaf surface, however early leaf spot typically has a yellow halo around the lesion where this is inconspicuous to absent around late leafspot lesions. Spores of early leafspot are typically produced on the upper leaf surface, where late leaf spot usually produces it spores on the lower leaf surface. Use of preventative fungicides around 60-70 days after planting usually provides good management of these diseases, however late in the season another foliar fungicide may be needed if conditions favor disease development.
 

Wireworms and white grubs are still being found in area fields, and in some fields are becoming more common. These insects right now are feeding on secondary roots of the plant which will decrease the amount of water and nutrients taken up by the plant. Later in the season when we start setting pods, they will be feeding on both the pods and roots of the plant. Control options are minimal as there are no insecticides that effectively control these insects. An application of Lorsban has shown to surpress the damage caused by these insects, and depending on the fate of Lorsban with the EPA may be applied if populations are high enough. Foliar feeding worms are still being found, but are very sparse, find no more than 1 worm per a single field. If these insects begin to increased and reach numbers of 8 to 10 per foot in runner type peanuts and 6-8 in Spanish type peanuts insecticide applications may be warranted.


Thank you to all the sponsors of the South-West Plains IPM Program. The sponsors of the program for the 2017 growing season are below.

Platinum Sponsors:

Gold Sponsors:
Doyle Fincher Farm
Golden Peanuts and Tree Nuts

Silver Sponsors: 
Birdsong Peanuts

Bronze Sponsors:
Crop Production Services


New-Tex Gin, Inc. 


Saturday, June 3, 2017

South-West Plains IPM Update Volume 17, Issue 5

GENERAL CONDITIONS:
           
              Cotton planting is still underway, although planters are stopped in some areas thanks to much needed rain. Although they were widespread, much of the area received much needed rain, especially our dry land fields. Cotton ranges from still in the bag to 1 true leaf is the fields I am checking.  Insects are moving into young cotton plants as our pastures become drier, and our winter crops are harvested or terminated. Additionally, I have found a few aphids in cotton outside of Plains this week.
               Peanuts are moving along well, and there are no big issues in peanuts yet. Over the last 7 days I have started to notice more wireworms and white grubs in area peanut fields. Foliage feeding worms were found in one peanut field in Yoakum County and one in Terry County, these populations are still well below the threshold and is a sign that we need to begin looking for them in our fields.


COTTON:
             
               Local cotton fields range from just planted to 1 true leaf. Thrips are starting to be found in cotton fields that I am scouting this week. These populations are well below the 12 plus thrips per plant that Blayne Reed, Extension Agent-IPM for Hale, Swisher, and Floyd Counties, is seeing in his cotton fields. One field in Yoakum County was starting to have immature thrips show up, and this is a sign that our insecticide seed treatments are playing out. As our seed treatments play out we need to keep our eye on the thrips population in our fields, to minimize the damage caused by thrips. In last week’s newsletter, I discussed identification (Figure 1-A), damage (Figure 1-B), and ways to manage thrips.

               I am seeing fields with poor stands, and hearing reports of fields needing to be replanted. Most of these fields were planted before the 17th of May, or are dryland fields that had enough moisture to start the germination process, but thanks to the hot temperatures and high winds last week (May 21-27) top soil moisture depleted before the crop could emerge. Cotton can overcome some stand loss, but if fields get below 1.5 seeds per foot in our area we can see a decrease in yield. When determining when to replant we need to weight the cost of replanting against the benefits of replanting. As we get deeper into the month of June the potential yield of replanted fields are reduced and you may be able to yield the same without replanting the field.

PEANUTS:

             Peanuts are growing nicely, and some of our earlier planted fields are starting to set root nodules. As we are now at the point where some of our fields are reaching 4 weeks since planting we need to start evaluating our inoculant program. By evaluating our inoculant program, we can determine if we need to apply mid-season nitrogen to our peanuts. To evaluate our nodulation, we need to get an average number of nodules per plant across the field. This can be done by checking 1 site for every 10 acres of peanuts, and digging up 3 row feet of plants, count the total number of nodules, and dividing by the number of plants at that site. For example, at 1 site we count a total of 240 nodules, at that site there were 12 plants in 3 row feet; at this site, the average nodules per plant is 20 nodules. Ideally, we would like to average 16 or more nodules per plant. If we get below 16 nodules per plant a mid-season nitrogen program would help reach our expected yields (Table 1). If a field is averaging 10 or fewer nodules per plant we also need to investigate why our field did not nodulate as expected.  Some common reason our inoculation programs fail include: exposure to high temperature (especially above 90 F), exposure to direct sunlight, mixed with chlorinated water, improper placement of inoculant in the furrow, using low rates of inoculant, planting shallower than an inch and a half, inoculant was not compatible with other in furrow products, placing large amounts of N fertilizer in furrow, and using old or expired inoculum.

              
                 I am still seeing thrips and wireworms in area peanut fields. This week I have also started seeing white grubs and foliage feeding worms. White grubs are the larvae of June beetles, are white with a reddish-brown head, and when found in the soil are curled up in a c-shape (Figure 2). This insect early in the season will feed on secondary roots reducing the amount of water and nutrients the plant can absorbed by the plant, and during pod set and fill can be found feeding on the pods often times eating the all the kernels within the pod. There currently are no effective insecticides for white grubs, and it is recommended heavily infested fields be dug early to avoid Seg. III (aflatoxin contamination) issues at the buying point. 

Foliage feeding worms include numerous insect species, some which occur in other crops around the area (Figure 3). Common foliage feeding worms in the area include cabbage loopers, velvet bean caterpillar, yellowstriped armyworm, and occasionally corn earworm/bollworm. These insects primarily feed on the leaves of the plants, but occasionally can be found feeding on pegs. Peanut plants can tolerate a good amount of defoliation from foliage feeders, but extensive defoliation from these insects can lead to yield loss. There are economic thresholds set for foliage feeding worms in peanuts, and include 10-12 worms per a row foot in runner type peanuts and 6-8 worms per row foot in Spanish peanuts. However, if the worms move down in the canopy and start clipping pegs off, treatment may be justified before they reach the current threshold. Insecticides labeled for control of foliage feeding worms include the active ingredients Chlorantraniliprole, Esfenvalerate, Lambda-cyhalothrin, Methomyl, Acephate, Carbaryl, Indoxacard, and Spinosad. When deciding to spray, we also need to make sure we protect our beneficial insect population, so we do not flare secondary pests like spider mites.


Thank you to all the sponsors of the South-West Plains IPM Program. The sponsors of the program for the 2017 growing season are below.

Platinum Sponsors:

Gold Sponsors:
Doyle Fincher Farm
Golden Peanuts and Tree Nuts

Silver Sponsors: 
Birdsong Peanuts

Bronze Sponsors:
Crop Production Services
New-Tex Gin, Inc. 





Saturday, May 27, 2017

South-West Plain IPM Update Volume 17, Issue 4

GENERAL CODITIONS:
            
Peanut planting for most producers is complete, and peanuts are cracking and forming uniform stands. Thrips are present in peanut fields where drying winter grains are in close proximity to fields, but the fields I have scouted are well below the population of needing to be sprayed.  I have also observed wireworms in some fields in Gaines County. Cotton planting is just starting for some producers. Cotton is starting to emerge in some fields around the area, and as our winter grain crops are starting to dry down we need to be cautious of thrips. If rain chances  materialize next week, and the weather stays warm the meteorologist are predicting thrips may not be a big issue, but is still an insect we need to keep our eye on. 

COTTON:

Cotton planting is still well underway, with some producers just getting started. Now is the time we need to be on  the look out for thrips in cotton, as our winter grain crops are starting to dry down or being baled for hay.  Thrips are small straw colored insects that are shaped like small cigars (Figure 1). Thrips damage can be easily confused with wind/sand damage, and common sings are crinkling of leaves, silvering of leaves, and dead terminals. Their damage can cause a delay of maturity, loss of apical dominance leading to crazy cotton, and in some cases death of the plant. Thrips damage can be magnified when growing conditions are suboptimal, such as cool wet conditions. Our insecticidal seed treatments should last for up to about 30 days, and can provide effective control of thrips. Current economic thresholds for thrips are 1 thrips per a true leaf (Table 1).  When needed there are numerous insecticides that can be used to manage thrips populations in cotton, these include  the active ingredients Acephate, Dicrotophos, and Dimethoate.




PEANUTS:

            
 Peanut planting is pretty much complete with the exception of a few producers that tried to wait for rains. A majority of the peanut fields I am looking at this year  are up and making really good stands. As I started scouting peanuts this week I have found a few pest occurring around the area. The first pest are thrips, which alone pose little economic importance to  peanut production, but their ability to transmit the Tomato Spotted Wilt Virus makes them worth keeping an eye on. Thrips damage in peanuts  can be seen as silvering of leaves, cupping and curling of leaves. Tomato Spotted Wilt symptoms include chlorotic spots, mottling, as well as necrotic and chlorotic rings/streaks (Figure 2). Management of thrips and TSWV starts when you purchase your seed. Planting a high quality seed that has the right seed treatment and resistance to TSWV is the first step in managing the virus and its vector. At plant systemic insecticides may provide some control for thrips in peanuts, but past research has not found a yield benefit when they are used. Additionally, there are numerous insecticides labeled for thrips management in peanuts, including Dimethoate and Acephate.

The last insect pest I have observed in area peanut fields are wireworms and false wire worm. These insect are soil inhabiting insects that early in the season feed on the hypocotyl and developing roots. Their damage can lead to decreased stands from plants being chewed off below the ground, a decrease in the amount of water and nutrients taken up by the plant, and in some cases infection of soil borne diseases.   After bloom, during pegging and pod maturation, these insect feed on pegs and developing pods. Feeding on pegs will lead to a loss of the pod, where pod feeding als leads to a decrease in pods and also a greater potential of seeing pod rotting diseases. Wireworms enter the pod by chewing small jagged edged hole in the side of the pod, and consume some to all of the kernels within a pod (Figure 3). Wireworms are slender hard worm like insects that are a tannish brown color (Figure 3), where false wireworms have a hard slender body that looks like wireworms but are a reddish brown color.  Currently the only management options include application of Chlorpyrifos for suppression, or digging heavily infested fields early to avoid Segregation III peanuts.



Thank You to the sponsors of the Gaines, Terry, Yoakum Integrated Pest Management Program. Sponsors of the program sponsors include:
Platinum Sponsors:
Gold Sponsors: Doyle Fincher Farms, Golden Peanut & Tree Nuts
Silver Sponsors: Birdsong Peanuts
Bronze Sponsors: Crop Production Services of Brownfield; New-Tex Gin, Inc.

Monday, April 3, 2017

2016 Results and Demonstration Book

The 2016 Results and Demonstration Book has been added to the Terry County webpage. You can also access the book by clicking here.  Please fill free pass this along as you see fit.

Friday, February 10, 2017

South-West Plains IPM Update Volume 17, Issue 1

The first issue of the South-West Plains IPM Update newsletter has been published. An electronic copy of this newsletter can be found here. Please feel free to pass this newsletter along as you see fit. If you would like to receive this newsletter by email please contact me at tyler.mays@ag.tamu.edu or the Terry County AgriLife Extension office at (806) 637-4060.