Neighboring Crops Increasing Cotton Pest Pressures

Taylor Hillman Cotton, Field & Row Crops

A lot of cotton growers have neighboring alfalfa fields that are going fallow during this drought, and that can aid pest pressures.

Cotton and Pest Pressures

Advisors talked to cotton growers at a recent field day about lygus populations and damage. The bug prefers crops that often surround cotton fields, and one of their favorites is alfalfa. Cooperative Extension Specialist Bob Hutmacher says a lot of attention has been devoted to finding a way to keep those lygus populations in those fields so they don’t migrate to neighboring cotton. He says advisors are recommending leaving a small outer strip of alfalfa when you cut to hold those infestations.

Hutmacher says these problems are multiplied during drought conditions. Some growers are letting neighboring alfalfa fields go fallow and there are some other crops that are drought friendly and can also harbor the pest.