Early Growth Regulator Applications: I’ve touched on this in a previous news article. Most “Pix” applications should be made at or before early bloom. In many fields we can get by with 16-20 oz/acre of mepiquat-based growth regulators around first bloom. However, I prefer split applications on strong ground, beginning with a reduced rate at match-head square and following up with 16-24 oz near first bloom (depending on conditions). This approach may be especially appropriate given our slow start to discourage excessive vegetative growth that can lead to a later maturing crop. Be sure to adjust rates if using Stance, an alternative growth regulator. This product typically should not be used at a rate exceeding 3 oz/acre and less if applying prior to bloom. Please refer to pages 6-7 of UT’s Cotton Production Guide for more details about applying plant growth regulators.
Also, there is a webcast on the use of plant growth regulators by Dr. Guy Collins (University of Georgia, Extension Cotton Agronomist) as part of the Focus on Cotton webcast series courtesy of Cotton Incorporated and the Plant Management Network.
Plant Bug Situation: I am getting multiple reports of threshold levels of plant bugs as we enter the early squaring period. This is not really out of the norm, and I do not expect a reprieve from plant bugs in 2013. Reduced acreage and a wet spring are often associated with above average plant bug populations during mid and late season. I discussed treatment options last week. As a reminder, UT recommended treatment thresholds are provided below.
- During the first two weeks of squaring, treat when an 8 or more plant bugs are found per 100 sweeps. Be more aggressive if square retention approaches 80% or less. Remember, the goal is to hit first bloom with at least 80% retention.
- Use a threshold of 15 plant bugs per 100 sweeps from the third week of squaring until early bloom, again with a goal of maintaining square retention at 80% or higher.