Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Cotton or Texas Root Rot / Grasshoopers

I have been reviving a lot of call from alfalfa growers about dead spots in their hay. Most of the ones I have looked have been Cotton or Texas root rot http://aces.nmsu.edu/pubs/_a/A229.pdf This is one of the most difficult situations I run across. This soil fungus in the 25 years I have had to deal with it is the most unpredictable problems. For some reason it seem to be worse in some years than in others. This is one of those years. Dr. Goldberg did an excellent job on the above publication and it is worth your time to read it if you are having this problem. The photo in this publication show alfalfa death pattern. I have also been called out with large dry area that look nothing like the Cotton root rot. I have found up to 40 grasshoppers per square yard and they are consuming the young tender leaf on the alfalfa right after cutting. With out those leafs to create sugars the alfalfa has a hard time coming back. I recommend insecticidal application to give the plants a chance to get some regrowth as soon as possible after bailing. There are a number of product that are labeled for grasshoppers. Grasshopper control is never 100% but if you can give the alfalfa a chance to get some growth it will help.

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