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Weather Forecast

May 31, 2016

Stiles Farm Field Day

Stiles Farm is hosting their annual field day on June 21st, which will offer 3 CEUs (1 Laws and Regs, 1 General, and 1 IPM). Check out the brochure and webpage for more information.

May 24, 2016

SCA Update

Sugarcane and Yellow Sugarcane aphids are slowly increasing in population, and individuals and small colonies (3-4 aphids) can be seen on the mid-upper leaves. Populations remain well below thresholds.
Producers sprayed at least once for SCA in the LRGV, some sprayed twice. Some are spraying currently in Corpus as aphids build in numbers there.
The pictures below (taken today) show SCA on sorghum here in Hill County. Only a few populations this large have been seen in the fields, and these were isolated colonies (surrounding plants were clean). You can see larvae of the Scymnas ladybug (also called 'mealybug destroyer', look like fuzzy white bugs) preying on the aphids. Beneficial activity has been high.

May 20, 2016

Yellowing Corn Plants

A lot of the corn in Hill County is looking a bit under the weather (pun intended). 
Yellowed corn plants in the Blacklands this year are most likely a result of the following issues:
1. Oxygen-starved roots from overly wet soils.
2. Nitrogen deficiency caused by cool, wet soils that hinder the corn plant from taking up N.
3. Nitrogen deficiency caused by the rain leaching N from the soil or denitrification (N evaporating from water-logged fields).
In the first two cases, we can expect the corn to fare much better when it dries out, and it may simply be a matter of waiting. However, we might be waiting a while with more rain on the way next week.
In the third case, fields may need more N input. Take some soil samples to assess the nitrogen levels in your fields if needed.

May 12, 2016

Pest Update

Aphids of all species remain in very low numbers on the sorghum this week, keeping to the lowest leaves. One larger colony of SCA was found, but SCA and Yellow SCA (top picture) remain well under thresholds and aren't causing any damage.
Thrips and aphids have been doing some damage to seedling cotton, which may be struggling due to the high soil moisture and therefore more susceptible to feeding damage by these pests.Some cotton may need to be sprayed and all of it needs to be scouted. After a spray, it is very important to continue scouting to make sure the treatment was effective.

May 9, 2016

SCA on Sorghum in Hill County

A few sugarcane aphids (SCA) have been found feeding on sorghum around Itasca as of Friday. Aphid numbers are very small, on less than 1% of plants with only one or two aphids per colony. The rain this week will likely slow their population growth, and typically populations only reach damaging levels around boot or flowering. These small, isolated populations are not concerning, but scouting should continue on a regular basis. SCA were found last year as early as May 29th.
Above is a picture (taken last Friday on milo) of a sugarcane aphid in a colony of yellow sugarcane aphids. Treatment thresholds are different for each aphid, so it is important to know the difference. Yellow sugarcane aphids (YSCA) have also been seen in small numbers. YSCA inject a toxin as they feed, while the sugarcane aphid does not. Just one or two YSCA can cause a leaf to die, turning purple or yellow, due to the toxin (second picture). As of now, YSCA populations are not concerning, and have been seen on around 2% of plants.