Welcome to our Ag Blog. Our field scouts will offer a unique ground-level perspective from the field to you as an independent field scout with the San Joaquin Sustainable Farming Project. Our mission is to promote sustainable farming systems throughout the Central Valley and provide you with the latest information about cotton, almond and alfalfa crops. From time to time, you'll also find guest posts from our project team and other contributors. This Blog is produced by Gilbert Mohtes-Chan.
Monday, September 10, 2018
Cut-out Is a Sign of Maturity for Cotton Plants In the Valley
Around cotton country, there are signs the harvest
is just around the corner.
is a little more than a week away. The fruit on the plants have reached
maturity and new terminal growth has pretty much stopped. And many growers have
put a stop on irrigation.
Cotton growers are ending irrigation for the season.
Field scout Damien Jelen says we can officially say
cotton has reached cut-out – the final stage of plant growth before the bolls
open.In fact, Damien did spot one field in which bolls were starting to crack
cotton, cut-out takes place when plants are at three to five Nodes Above White
Flower (NAWF). Cut-out means cotton bolls are mature and about 95 percent of
the crop has been set. This is an important barometer for growers because cut-out
provides a good indication about the cotton yield during harvest time.
“Growers were thinking we were going to have an
early season. But the cool weather lately slowed things down,” Damien says,
pointing to temperatures in the low 90s and high 80s at the end of August.
“Cotton likes the heat.”
As a result, Damien says, cotton gins are preparing
for a normal harvest season in October and early November in some cases.
Lygus bugs are no longer a threat to cotton.
on the pest front, lygus is no longer a threat. Normally, growers stop monitoring
for lygus about 10 days after cut-out. Their attention now turns to aphids and
whitefly, which can lead to sticky cotton.
So far, the good news is aphids and whitefly are
under control. “The counts are all down,” Damien says about his pest findings
during his sweeps in the cotton fields.
alfalfa, growers have wrapped up another harvest and are irrigating
their fields again. Many will continue cutting through October – with a few
trying to squeeze in another harvest in November, depending on the weather.