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Growers need to apply more integrated approaches toward insects and diseases in face of Bt resistance

In Delta Farm Press

by Brad Robb, Delta Farm Press

Mid-South cotton growers face several tough decisions for 2018 as they deal with hard-to-control diseases and the increasingly difficult problem of Bt-resistant worm pests.

Tucker Miller, president, Miller Entomological Service Inc., Drew, Ms., speaking Thursday at the National Conservation Systems Conferences in Memphis, Tn., said growers will need to look closely at varieties as well as other management options.  Continue reading

Identification and Management of Leaf Spots in Cotton

by Heather Kelly, University of Tennessee

This year I have gotten more questions about leaf spots in cotton than any other.  It hasn’t always been clear which leaf spot is present, but the following resources can help identify and understand management options of leaf spots in cotton.

This season in cotton bacterial blight is the leading leaf spot culprit, but as canopies have been closed in some fields for over 2 weeks and have had good moisture, target spot might start showing up more often as well as other leaf spots. Use the resources below to identify what leaf spots you’re seeing and what the best management options are:

Continue reading

Cotton farmers need to be wary of diseases like target spot and bacterial blight

by Clint Thompson, University of Georgia

In addition to root-knot nematodes and target spot disease, Georgia cotton farmers should be prepared to fight bacterial blight, said University of Georgia Cooperative Extension plant pathologist Bob Kemerait.

Kemerait advises producers, specifically those who farm in fields with a history of bacterial blight, to consider planting resistant varieties and managing the residue from last year’s crop. Farmers could also rotate the affected field away from cotton for at least one season. Continue reading

AgriLife Research cotton pathologist pursues a mystery

by Steve Byrnes, Texas A&M AgriLife

Dr. Terry Wheeler and her colleagues are embroiled in a mystery.

Wheeler, a Texas A&M AgriLife Research plant pathologist at Lubbock, and her cohorts Dr. Jason Woodward, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service plant pathologist at Lubbock, and Dr. Tom Isakeit, AgriLife Extension plant pathologist, College Station, have been getting calls from cotton growers across the Southern Rolling Plains and High Plains about a problem thought to have been resolved 40 years ago. Continue reading

Resistant cotton varieties are best way to control bacterial blight

In Southwest Farm Press

Bacterial blight is like that really bad case of the flu you had one time years ago: It doesn’t happen often — but you never forgot it. In cotton, it can be just that bad.

It is an opportunistic plant disease in cotton, says Jason Woodward, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension pathologist at Lubbock. “The pathogen has been reported in every country where cotton is grown,” he said at the Red River Crops Conference at Childress, Texas. Continue reading

Oklahoma cotton crop looks good despite bacterial blight

by Ron Smith, Delta Farm Press

Oklahoma farmers are poised to make one of their best cotton crops ever. The National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) estimates place production at 960 pounds per acre, almost 100 pounds higher than last year’s record yield.

Early reports from Southwest Oklahoma gins, Extension specialists, and farmers indicate some irrigated fields closing in on 4 bales per acre, and dryland around 2 bales per acre — all despite a season that started off with weather challenges and included significant losses to bacterial blight in some areas.  Continue reading

How to recognize bacterial blight in cotton

In Southeast Farm Press

by Bob Kemerait, UGA Extension

Bacterial blight has quietly found its way back into cotton fields for the second year in a row. There is little we can do about it now. However, by knowing more about this disease, cotton growers can make decisions to minimize impact next year and beyond.

Now in my 16th year as an Extension specialist at the University of Georgia, I have typically seen only light outbreaks of bacterial blight. This changed in 2015, when seemingly out of nowhere, bacterial blight caused significant premature defoliation and boll rot in a number of fields. The disease was found in more than one variety, but DPL 1454 B2RR, a promising variety with resistance to the southern root-knot nematode, was most severely affected. I was hopeful that the disease would go away if our growers planted varieties other than 1454 this season.  Unfortunately, it is back. Continue reading