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Moor Ag Services LLC
I am a sixth-generation farmer whose family has been growing cotton on our home place in Leflore County, Mississippi, since the 1850s. We always take our photos on a cotton module, and as a young boy in the Delta, I spent countless hours “carpet farming” with my best friend and a fleet of toy tractors.
Tucker Miller was our family’s consultant, and I started working for him in the summer during my junior year at Delta State. After I picked up some growers of my own and began farming with my uncle, I started Moor Ag Services LLC in 2017.
I have never experienced anything like the 2021 season. Early on, we got 14-20 inches of rain on our farm in a one- to two-day period. Eighty acres of the cotton went completely underwater for two days, and the yield was down 300-400 pounds from our average. Last year, insect pressure was average to a little higher than average where the landscape changed and cotton was next to corn.
Control Tarnished Plant Bug To Protect Yield
In cotton, we typically deal with thrips first. Once the crop gets past the thrips stage and goes to pinhead square, we start sweeping for tarnished plant bug and checking square retention. I sweep 50 times in different locations in the field.
When the cotton gets too big for a sweep net, I switch to a drop cloth and search for nymphs. As the cotton continues to mature, I walk the fields to inspect squares and look for dirty blooms. Signs of plant bug damage include black and abscised squares. If left uncontrolled, this pest can be devastating to a cotton crop.
Transform® WG insecticide is a big part of my plant bug control plan. I tankmix Transform and Diamond or Diamond, acephate and Transform. I like to pair Diamond with Transform, especially if we have aphids present in the field. Transform is all we have to combat aphids, and it controls the plant bugs as well.
With prices going up and the supply chain issues we are facing, we have to scout, make timely applications and use products that won’t get washed off in the rain.
We also may save some money by using a high clearance sprayer. We don’t need any waste this year or any extra trips across the field. We have to capture every pound of lint we can and may have to get a little creative.
My advice going into the 2022 season is to stick to the budget as best you can and keep your pencil sharp. This year will be tough because there are so many unknowns. But we will get through it.