Sandy Stewart, Bagwell, Ralph D., Stephenson, Daniel O., Van Osdell, Mary Ann | 7/29/2008 8:06:00 PM
Farmers in North Louisiana heard the latest information about cotton variety trials, insects and weeds from LSU AgCenter faculty at a field tour July 22.
The event began at Sonny and Ryan Kirby’s farm, south of Belcher – one of 16 locations for on-farm cotton variety trials in Louisiana.
Caddo is the sixth largest parish for cotton production in the state.
It appears the cotton harvest this year will be earlier than in the past, said Dr. Sandy Stewart, LSU AgCenter cotton specialist.
“It’s been a fast crop,” Stewart said. “Frankly, I don’t think it’s an excellent crop. We’ve had some dry conditions.”
Stewart said he expects harvest to begin around Aug. 20 and “certainly by Labor Day.”
Dr. Ralph Bagwell, LSU AgCenter entomologist, said he has seen a jump in mites across the state. He said farmers are reluctant to spend the money required for a full miticide treatment and are looking for alternatives.
“At this point in time, I don’t have any really good solutions, but at the same time, you have to control spider mites,” Bagwell said.
Bagwell said leaf loss can cause some fairly significant yield losses – enough to more than pay for treatments.
The entomologist also is getting calls about treating fall armyworms in cotton. “This is in some of the irrigated cotton,” he said.
Late-season weeds can be less of a problem if cotton is kept weed-free for six weeks after emergence, said LSU AgCenter weed scientist Dr. Daniel Stephenson.
“If we cannot control weeds, it’s going to reduce yield greatly,” he said.
Although growers voiced concerns about pigweeds, “We’re not close to Georgia’s problem right now,” Stephenson said.
He encouraged farmers to call the LSU AgCenter if they see a weed problem they cannot control to determine whether it is an application or resistance issue.
Writer: Mary Ann Van Osdell (318) 741-7430, ext. 1104, or firstname.lastname@example.org
The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture