Weather for Lubbock, TX

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Be on the Lookout for Bollworms in Cotton

We’ve made it through this growing season with little to no insect activity, so it makes sense that we would run into some issues in late August. Brad Easterling (EA-IPM, Glassock, Reagan, and Upton counties) is reporting above threshold levels of bollworms in Bt cotton fields near Garden City. While we don’t yet know the cause of this, entomologists and IPM agents around the state are working to determine the nature of the problem we are dealing with.

Locally, trap catches in Crosby county (Fig. 1) for adult bollworm moths indicated a large flight around the second week of August, but numbers have been decreasing since. This is not to say that we should be complacent in our scouting of cotton; sorghum and cotton (especially lush cotton, Bt or not) should be scouted regularly.

Figure 1. Trap catches of adult fall army worms (black bars) and bollworms (blue bars) in Crosbyton, TX. 

Dr. Suhas Vyavhare, Cotton Entomologist with Texas A&M Agrilife Extension, says that when scouting for bollworm larvae you should do whole plant inspections, including squares, white and pink blooms, bloom tags, and bolls. At least 100 randomly selected plants covering major areas in the field should be inspected. When plants are 3 nodes above white flower (NAWF) or less, they are typically safe from bollworm injury.

Check out this video on how to scout for bollworms in cotton from Blayne Reed (EA-IPM, Hale, Swisher, and Floyd counties).

If you do see any unexpected feeding damage or have any questions about bollworms, feel free to give me a call!

Upcoming Field Days in the Area

August 31 – Texas Alliance for Water Conservation Field Day, Ollie Liner Center, Plainview, 
7:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Site directions and more information available at

September 8 – PhytoGen/Enlist Field Day, Texas A&M AgriLife Research
and Extension Center, 1102 E. FM 1294, Lubbock. Two identical sessions;
morning tour, 8:30 a.m. registration, ends with lunch; afternoon tour
begins with lunch and ends at 4:30 p.m. Questions: Ken Legé, 806-773-7310,
or your local PhytoGen sales rep.

September 15 - Americot Field Day, Bob Glodt Research Farm, Edmonson,
TX. 9:30 a.m. registration, tour begins at 10 a.m.; ends with lunch.
Questions: Gary Sanders, 806-777-4534; or Jerry Montgomery, 806-577-8011.

September 20 - Americot Field Day, Inside 4 Bar K, 302 E. 82nd St,
Lubbock.  9:30 a.m. registration, tour of the Heinrich Brothers farms
begins at 10 a.m.; ends with lunch at Inside 4 Bar K. Questions: Gary
Sanders, 806-777-4534; or Jerry Montgomery, 806-577-8011.

September 22 – Deltapine Field Day, Steve Chapman Farm near Lorenzo. 11
a.m., lunch served. Questions: Eric Best, 806-790-4646.  

September 27 – Deltapine Field Day, Nichols Barn in Seminole. 10 a.m.,
lunch served. Questions: Eric Best, 806-790-4646.

September 29 – Bayer CropScience West Texas Field Day, location in the
Lubbock area to be determined. Questions: contact your local Bayer
CropScience sales representative.

Thanks to Mary Jane Buerkle of Plains Cotton Growers for compiling this list! 

Friday, August 19, 2016

Southern High Plains IPM Newsletter, Aug 19

Click here to read this week's newsletter! 

CDC Issues Travel Warning for All of Miami-Dade County

The CDC has issued a travel advisory for all of Miami-Dade County today, Friday, August 19. There is a second area of local transmission that includes popular tourists hotspots and pregnant women should avoid the area completely, given the birth defects associated with this virus.

There are currently 36 known cases of the Zika virus in Miami caused by local transmission, however this number is most likely higher. In the United States, there are over 2000 cases of Zika and are mostly travel-related.

Texas A&M Agrilife Extension has put together some great resources on preventing Zika to help you and your family stay safe this summer!

Friday, August 5, 2016

Southern High Plains IPM Newsletter, Aug 5

Click here to read this week's newsletter!

Let me know if you would like to receive the newsletter via email each week and I will add you to the distribution list.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Sugarcane Aphids Have Reached Threshold in Lubbock County

Sugarcane aphids have reached thresholds in sorghum in east Lubbock County. Last week we were optimistic that the beneficials were doing their jobs and preventing the aphids from exploding, but their reproductive capabilities are proved too great. I was in a field today that had approximately 50% plants infested with aphid colonies, some as big as several thousand, with heavy honeydew in some areas. I am also seeing more winged adults. While beneficial activity is still high, they cannot compete with the exponential growth rate of aphids once they get to populations this high.

Tommy Doederlein (EA-IPM, Dawson and Lynn Counties) has reported today that SCA have exploded over the weekend. Where there were 10-20 aphids late last week, there are now several hundred if not thousand, and honeydew is heavy. They are currently treating.

Greg Cronholm, independent crop consultant in Hale County, reported today seeing SCA colonies on the upper one third of the plant. Colonies are substantial with winged adults present.

Scouting for Aphids – Whole Plant Method
SCA will start colonies on the underside of leaves, so you must look there when scouting your fields. One method that is quick and easy is to cut the entire plant with your pocket knife and turn it upside down to inspect the bottom of each leaf individually. The smaller colonies will be harder to spot so examining the plant up-close will give you a better chance of spotting them.

Pre-boot: 20% of plants with aphids.
Boot: 20% of plants infested with 50 aphids per leaf.
Flowering to Milk: 30% of plants infested with 50 aphids per leaf.
Soft dough through dough: 30% of plants infested, localized areas with heavy honeydew, and established aphid colonies.
Black layer: Heavy honeydew and established aphid colonies with treatment only for preventing harvest problems.

What to Spray
It is crucial that you preserve your beneficials while still getting high efficacy. Insecticide efficacy trials on the High Plains last year confirmed that there are only two good choices when it comes to SCA: Sivanto and Transform. (FYI – Both of these products will take out both SCA and Yellow SCA!).

The data below are from Dr. Ed Bynum and Dr. Pat Porter’s SCA trial in Bushland in 2015. The significant spikes in aphid numbers following treatments of Karate and Nufos (Chlorpyrifos, also sold as Lorsban) are because the treatment also killed the beneficials. Nufos (Chlorpyrifos) at one pint, and Karate at 1.92 oz provided poor control, but to make matters worse, any aphids that escaped the treatment were allowed to reproduce without any pressure from predators.

Chlorpyrifos can be effective at one quart per acre (while killing beneficials and allowing population resurgence), but at this rate has a preharvest interval (PHI) of 60 days. Transform has a PHI of only 14 days for grain or straw harvest and 7 days for grazing, or forage, fodder, or hay harvest. Sivanto has a PHI of 7 days for forage and 14 days for dried grain, stover, or straw. Always make sure to read your labels before using any chemical.