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Timing, Application Rates Key Factors For Insects, PGRs print email

Greg Jacobson
JT Enterprises
Buckeye, Arizona

Arizona’s 2011 cotton crop is quickly coming to an end with just a few acres left to pick and rood.* For the most part, it appears to have been a good year for the majority of the growers in our area.

There have been outstanding yields reported for some of the earlier planted fields and surprisingly good yields on some of the later season plantings behind grain. However, August was especially brutal this past year with high temperatures and humidity taking their toll on the crop. Mid-season plantings appear to have been affected the most as far as yield loss to boll shed. Early season plantings had pretty much reached the cutout stage by this time and were able to come back and finish with a strong top crop.

We are fortunate in not having to battle with our former No.1 enemy – the pink bollworm – with the implementation of Bt varieties and the Pink Bollworm Eradication Program.

Lygus continues to be a key pest for most of us in the Arizona desert but varies according to location. I had certain areas requiring three to four Lygus-specific treatments, with the majority receiving one to two, and some acreage not being treated at all.

The whitefly also varied this year in terms of numbers and pressure. For me, several of the first plantings in Buckeye and Harquahala needed treatment early on. The control was good and consistent and didn’t pose too much of a threat throughout the remainder of the season. The Paloma area was a different story as pressure came on late. Then it was difficult to get ample and consistent control.

We have good tools to use against Lygus and whitefly, but they can’t always be relied upon as “clean-up” materials. Scouting fields twice a week, closely monitoring populations and timing applications correctly are vital in controlling these two key cotton pests.

Timing and application rates of PGRs in accordance to variety, plant condition, soil type and water availability on a field-by-field basis also play an important role in managing our crop for its highest yield.

The retiring of some of our long-standing top performers and the introduction each year of new varieties will require us to find the ones that best fit for our area and growers.

With this being the crop’s foundation, it’s a good practice to plant a few small variety trials each year.

All in all, 2011 has been a good year for Arizona cotton and here’s to preparing and looking forward to as good, or even better, crop for 2012.

Click here to ask Greg Jacobson a question or submit a comment about this month’s Cotton Consultant’s Corner.

• Attended Glendale Community College
• Graduate of Paloma University
• Independent consultant for 31 years on cotton,
  alfalfa, corn, wheat and barley
• Arizona Pest Control Advisor (PCA)
• Married to wife Tracy; 5 children, 6 grandchildren
• Enjoys family, hunting, surfing, mountain biking,
 and tinkering on older car-truck projects
  with sons

Recap:
Timing, Application Rates Are Key

1. Lygus continues to be an important pest for most of us in the Arizona desert but varies according to location.

2. In 2011, the whitefly varied in terms of numbers and pressure with several of the first plantings in Buckeye and Harquahala needing treatment early on.

3. The control was good and consistent and didn’t pose too much of a threat throughout the remainder of the season.

4. In the Paloma area, pressure came on late so it was difficult to get good and consistent control.

5. Scouting fields twice a week, closely monitoring populations and timing applications correctly are vital in Lygus and whitefly control.

6. PGR timing and application rates in accordance to variety, plant condition, soil type and water availability on a field-by-field basis also are important in managing our crop for its highest yield.

* A rood, named after inventor William Rood, is a machine that picks up cotton dropped on the ground by mechanical pickers or lost during bad weather.

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