Recent Posts by Robert Boulton

Cotton Harlequin Bug

The Cotton Harlequin Bug (also known as Hibiscus Harlequin Bugs), part of the Jewel Bug family, can be a fairly common sight in the cotton and are considered a minor pest, though we rarely treat for them. Their feeding can allow the introduction of disease into the cotton boll where boll rot can occur. They…
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Top 4 Cotton Defoliation Application Tips for Growers

It is that time of the year again when the Cotton is rapidly maturing and approaching defoliation. I won’t get into defoliant rates or how to tell when to defoliate as there is plenty of literature out there describing how to achieve this including the CSD’s facts on Friday series.  My main focus in this…
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Cotton Aphids: A closer look

Black Earth recently acquired a Mobile phone microscope x60 to assist in identification of pests and we have not been disappointed with the results. The photos of Cotton Aphids in this article where taken using the scope and an iPhone 6 while still in the field. There is some difficulty in steadying the phone long enough…
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Starane Spray Damage in Cotton

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A combination of factors appear to have increased the prevalence of Starane damage found in Cotton crops this year.

The 2015/16 cotton growing season on the Darling Downs has seen the planting of Sorghum directly next to existing Cotton fields with subsequent applications of Starane and Atrazine in the Sorghum to control weeds. This has led to a number of Cotton crops effected by Starane particularly to Cotton plants on the edges of fields. In some cases, Starane effected cotton plants have been seen across entire fields.

Growers’ previous experience with the Starane and Atrazine mix has often shown the mix to have low drift potential when compared to other herbicides but this may have lulled some into a false sense of security.  As evidenced by the damage to cotton described above, some herbicide applications have been performed in disregarded to wind direction and speed and have resulted in widespread crop damage.

When applying any Starane this season growers should be mindful of neighbouring crops and the possible impacts of applying the herbicide in unfavourable conditions. The majority of growers understand how to minimise spray drift already but here are a few links to governments websites discussing how to minimise spray drift.

Spray Drift Prevention QLD

NSW DPI Spray Drift

Written by Robert Boulton

Black Earth Agronomy

2nd Dec 2015

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