Drought continues to take its toll on the 2012 cotton crop. Significant chances of rainfall were forecasted over the past weekend, but little if any materialized over much of the cotton growing area. Based on Mesonet data, some parts of Caddo County picked up some beneficial rainfall. Chances of badly needed precipitation continue for the next few days. As of this writing, significant rainfall was obtained today in some parts of Harmon County. Triple digit heat has finally disappeared from the forecast and a few rain chances are still noted for several days for the next week. Based on 30-year “normal” temperatures, we have passed the date (around August 10th) when high temperatures have peaked and begin to decline.
Results from IPM Extension Assistant Jerry Goodson’s monitoring of 25 program fields indicate that as of this week, all have encountered “hard cutout” (bloomed through the terminal). Recall that the “Jackson County irrigated” sites (in the Lugert-Altus Irrigation District) were actually “dryland” as no water was available this year. Many irrigated fields had a bloom period of about 4 weeks (see nodes above white flower graph below). Dryland fields crashed rapidly toward hard cutout. This indicates that for many locations, yields will be disappointing. For results from selected sites, see below.
Scouting observations and consultant conversations indicate very little insect pest activity at this time. Regardless of cotton pest activity, with respect to insecticide applications for most pests, we are rapidly approaching 350 heat units past nodes above white flower = 5. The 350 heat units past NAWF=5 threshold indicates that harvestable bolls in many locations are sufficiently mature and typically do not need additional protection.
August 21, 2012 Volume 2 Edition 11 Volume 1 Edition 7
OSU Southwest Oklahoma Research and Extension Center