Cotton planting in Mississippi will begin next week as weather conditions allow. Some small acreage has been planted as growers set planters; however, weather conditions up to this point have not been ideal for planting cotton. In the table below, planting forecasts for different areas of the state are provided. Cooler temperatures are predicted to follow today’s rainfall; however, next week temperatures are predicted to be at levels that provide a very good planting forecast.
As planting season begins, it is important to consider a couple final points prior to putting seed in the ground. It was announced some time ago that Temik® will no longer be produced; however, this loss is happening sooner rather than later due to the termination of production of one of the key compounds in this product. This will not affect those who have chosen to use seed treatments in place of this product; however, for those that still utilized this product for insect and/or nematode control, alternate plans must be made. Seed treatments are effective and convenient as long as the limitations of a seed treatment are understood. This is especially true when nematodes are problematic in your field. Nematode seed treatments are generally considered effective on low to moderate populations of nematodes; however, as populations climb to higher levels seed treatments are likely not totally preventing losses due to nematodes. In these situations, the loss of Temik® becomes apparent. Without Temik® as an option, the choices for in-season (and leading up to the growing season) control are Telone II® and Vydate®. Telone II® has been shown to be highly effective on nematodes; however, applications are costly and require specialized equipment. The cost of Telone II® is usually only justified when extremely high numbers of nematodes are present. Vydate® is an option for nematode control when applied postemergence to cotton. Typically, either one (at early pinhead square) or two applications (prior to pinhead square followed by a second application two weeks later) are made. Insect pressure within a given field should also be considered when making the decision whether or not to use this product. At higher nematode populations, neither a seed treatment alone nor Vydate® alone will likely prevent losses due to nematodes. If cotton yields have been declining for no apparent reason, nematodes may be an issue. The only way to determine if you have a nematode problem is through soil sampling.