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July 21, 2104 Cotton Scouting & Crop Report


Cotton continues to advance showing excellent yield potential. Most plants have 15-20 nodes, are retaining bolls and the most recent first position bloom is 6-8 nodes from the terminal. Thus, an aggressive plant growth regulator approach is suggested. Soil type provides variance in plant height and growth stage so if variable rate application is possible, do so. If not, relay upon a broadcast rate across the field. (Smaller plants are not likely to contribute much to yield at this point anyway). Given the weather outlook for scattered rainfall, remember to add surfactant when the label allows to reduce rain-free time requirement. If boron has not been added recently, add 0.25-0.33 lbs. of boron as a foliar treatment along with the plant growth regulator.

Visual observation shows areas within fields with pale green to almost yellow plants. The most likely cause of this is low nitrogen (N) given that these symptoms show mostly in low areas within fields where saturated soils likely resulted in dentrification losses. Foliar application of N products will provide some change to these areas but will not supply ample N for season-long results. Thus, multiple applications may be warranted. In some cases, these areas are small and probably not worth correction. The point is, most fields look great and do not require additional N. Excessive N will simply increase insect pressure and vegetative growth. However, if time permits or the collective areas are large, a foliar product supply N may be warranted. The NCDA & CS provides tissue testing with rapid results. Submission of samples to the Agronomic Division Plant & Tissue Testing Section is the best means to confirm diagnosis and provide proper corrective application of products. Articles on tissue testing and interpretation of results can be found within the Carolina Cotton Notes at If urea is to be used, refer to the article,  Foliar Nitrogen, at


Growers, dealers and consultants report scattered areas of plant bug and stinkbugs above threshold. Scouting the particular fields selected reveals excellent boll retention, some damage from these pests but no insect above threshold. Keep in mind that both of these pest are likely to be found in only a small percentage of fields at this time of year. Routine scouting is the only means to verify presence and/or damage from these pests.

Information for scouting and management of Plant Bugs was recently posted by Dr. Dominic Reisig, NCSU Entomology, “Handling Plant Bugs Post Bloom. Stinkbugs have a varying threshold based upon week of bloom. Information on threshold and scouting can be downloaded for mobile phones.  A descriptions and overview of this application is available at (If the template is preferred, please visit your local N.C. Cooperative Extension office.) Should a stinkbug threshold be exceeded, selection of materials is critical.