Cotton -- The University of Georgia









UGA Georgia Cotton Newsletter

July 2, 2002 - Click here for a printable copy

In this issue

  • Tribute to Dr. Michael J. Bader (1952-2002)
  • Crop Situation
  • Mepiquat Chloride Considerations
  • Nematode Round-Up 2002
  • Insect Update
  • Tribute to Dr. Michael J. Bader (1952-2002) Most of you are aware that Dr. Mike Bader, Extension Ag Engineer, passed away at Shands Hospital in Gainesville, Florida, on June 17. He had been receiving treatments for cancer since March.

    Dr. Bader joined The University of Georgia in 1989 to provide educational support to the peanut industry. Later, he assumed duties in both cotton and peanuts, and in 1997 was asked to devote his full efforts toward engineering issues in cotton. Dr. Bader was a humble, quiet man with incredible technical skill. The old description, "He can do almost anything...he can make almost anything," applied to him. With his knowledge and willingness to help, he supported the entire UGA and USDA cotton efforts in Tifton and across Georgia. He was the consummate team player. His common sense and sense of common decency provided stability and direction for us all. Though he was not a gifted speaker or flashy personality, he was a very good communicator, able to deal with folks from every strata of life.

    Dr. Bader's generous spirit, wry humor, and immense ability will be sorely missed. We mourn the loss of our friend and devoted colleague. His contributions to the cotton industry and the cotton team cannot be overestimated. There has never been a more loyal, cooperative, helpful co-worker than Mike Bader.

    Cards can be forwarded to his wife Linda Bader at 509 E. Willingham Street / Sylvester, GA 31791. Her phone number is 229 / 776-2508.

    Crop Situation. (Brown) According to USDA, Georgia cotton producers planted an estimated 1.5 million acres this year. Overall U.S. acreage is down about 9 percent compared to the 2001 crop. Most areas of the state have had scattered showers during the latter half of June, and crop condition mirrors rainfall totals. Much of the April planted crop is in the 3rd week of bloom and dryland fields which have missed the rains altogether are about finished. There are significant areas of dryland and irrigated crops in south Georgia that have exceptional potential. Aphids have peaked and are beginning to crash. Worms and stinkbugs are on the horizon.

    Mepiquat Chloride Considerations. (Jost) As the cotton crop progresses many questions are arising as to the usage of the plant growth regulator mepiquat chloride (MQ). These questions are especially common concerning dryland fields that have been fortunate enough to receive some of these later rains.

    Again, there are still no hard and fast rules concerning MQ rates and timings, however there are some general ideas to keep in mind. The effectiveness of MQ is related to its concentration in the plant. In other words, where 4oz/A might provide adequate height control when applied at early squaring, this rate may be inadequate as the plants approach bloom and are increasing in size. Also, the top 5 internodes of the plant are the ones that are currently growing. The internode lengths below this zone will not be affected. Thus, examining the top 5 internodes is an excellent indicator of the current growth rate of the plant.

    There have been instances in which plants may be severely stunted due to MQ applications. Generally these occurrences are limited to dryland fields that were treated early in the season and then received limited rainfall in subsequent weeks.

    Nematode Round-Up 2002. (Kemerait & Brewer). Your help is needed to understand Georgia's nematode problem in cotton!

    Damage from parasitic nematodes on cotton is a serious problem in many cotton fields in Georgia and promises to only become worse as our growers are unable to use good crop rotations. Breeders continue to search for resistant varieties, and nematicides such as Temik and Telone II can help growers make a crop; however damage from nematodes will continue to hurt our statewide yields. It has been a number of years since the last comprehensive survey of cotton nematodes was conducted and it is important that another survey be completed in 2002. Results from such surveys allow specialists, agents, and researchers in both Georgia and across the nation to better understand a) the distribution of our parasitic nematodes across the state, b) the magnitude of such populations, and c) population shifts over time and space as to which nematodes are most important.

    Today, the most important nematodes in the state are the southern root knot nematode, the reniform nematode, the Columbia lance nematode, and the sting nematode. Several counties have taken a strong interest in managing nematodes in the recent past and have provided some of the information that is needed to better understand these parasites. For example, reniform nematodes are a particular problem in Calhoun County, root knot nematodes in Colquitt County, and a combination of both cause damage in Burke County.

    Because my extension responsibilities are split across four crops and include both pathology and nematology, I cannot successfully complete a survey without the help and support of the agents in counties where cotton is grown. Therefore, Cliff Brewer, who runs the nematode diagnostic lab in Athens, and I have developed a "Cotton Nematode Round-Up" for 2002 and are asking for your participation. Basically, we are asking you to sample cotton fields in your county between the middle of August and the middle of November and submit the samples for screening. Because these samples (from unlimited fields) will be a part of a general survey, there will not be any charge associated with them. We are counting on your help to acquire the samples; we can loan nematode sample probes to agents who need them to complete the task.

    At the completion of the survey, a report will be compiled and all agents who participated will be included as authors. Also, we are developing a system to determine which counties have had the greatest participation based upon the percentage of acreage of cotton in their county that was surveyed and hope to recognize those agents. The information generated from this study will help us to better understand the complex issue of nematode management and will provide information of immediate interest to your growers. A procedure for sampling will be sent to all cotton counties within the next month; without your help this project cannot succeed!

    Insect Update. (Roberts) To date, insect activity has been more active than during recent years. Scouts should be in the field making counts which will allow producers to make good manage-ment decisions. Insecticide selection and timing of applications will be critical for successful management. Aphid populations are crashing due to the naturally occurring fungus in several counties west of I-75. Scouts should be observant for fuzzy grayish aphids which is indicative of the fungus. Once fungal infected aphids are observed in the field, aphid populations crash in about a week. Beet armyworm (BAW) infestations have been reported from east Georgia to southwest Georgia. To date only a small percentage of fields have required treatment for BAW, but this is a pest of which we must be aware. Tobacco budworms (TBW) are infesting fields in southwest Georgia. TBW egg and larval counts began increasing in southernmost Georgia about 7-10 days earlier than during recent years. Stink bugs are also being observed more commonly than during recent years. Stay informed of the insect situation in your area. Management decisions are only as good as the information on which they are based.

    Edited by: Philip H. Jost, Extension Agronomist-Cotton & Ag Crops

    Contributions by:

  • Steven M. Brown, Extension Agronomist-Cotton
  • Philip H. Jost, Extension Agronomist-Cotton & Ag Crops
  • Bob Kemerait & Cliff Brewer, Extension Plant Pathologist and Ag Research Coordinator I
  • Phillip Roberts, Extension Entomologist-Cotton

  • Putting knowledge to work
    The University of Georgia and Fort Valley State University, the U. S. Department of Agriculture and counties of the state cooperating, The Cooperative Extension Service offers educational programs, assistance and materials to all people without regard to race, color, national origin, age, sex or disability. An equal opportunity/affirmative action organization committed to a diverse work force.