Scouting for Cotton Bollworms

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This video is a how to guide for scouting for Helicoverpa zea, the cotton bollworm, in cotton. The methods demonstrated are recommended in the Texas A&M Agrilife Managing Cotton Insects in Texas guide. This video was filmed by David Otradovsky in Wharton county Texas. Please feel free to contact your local county extension office if you have any questions.


1st Annual AgriLife Upper Gulf Coast Wildlife Expo

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Extension News Release

1st Annual Upper AgriLife Gulf Coast  Wildlife Expo – August 24th

By Corrie Bowen
County Extension Agent
Wharton County, Texas

Texas A&M AgriLife Extension in Wharton and Matagorda County are excited to announce that we’ll be hosting a Wildlife Expo in Bay City, Texas on Saturday, August 24th.  The event will be held at the WCJC Bay City Campus at 4000 Ave. F, Bay City, Texas.  County Extension Agents and Texas Parks and Wildlife officials have put together an agenda of topics and presenters that we think many will find interesting.  Beginning at 9 a.m. Mr. Todd Pilcik, TPWD Private Lands Biologist will speak on white-tailed deer and waterfowl habitat management and the use of prescribed fire to enhance wildlife habitat.  At 10 a.m. Dr. Azure Bevington with the Texas Coastal Exchange will present on the sale of carbon credits benefiting Texas marshes and prairies.  Those attending will gain an understanding of the carbon sequestration capacity of coastal ecosystems and the premise of generating cash flow for landowners from the sale of carbon credits.  Break time will be included to allow participants time to visit with our program sponsors and visit vendor booths.  At 11 a.m. Dr. Charles Gilliland from the Texas A&M Real Estate Center will present on the current developments and trends in land use and land markets in Texas.    We’ll enjoy a catered lunch at noon, provided by our generous sponsors.  At 1 p.m. participants will choose to attend one of two concurrent sessions:  a deer necropsy demonstration OR a sausage making demonstration.  It will most likely be hot out outside, so not to worry, these will all be indoor demonstrations and presentations!  Dr. Bob Dittmar, TPWD State Wildlife Veterinarian will conduct a necropsy on a white-tailed deer to teach wildlife managers what it is that their managing, and he’ll discuss current wildlife diseases in Texas.  The sausage making demonstration will bring in some local talent to teach participants how to make their own wildlife sausage.  Please RSVP no later than August 21, 2019 by calling the Matagorda County Extension Office at 979-245-4100.   There is no fee to attend this program.


Wharton County Cotton & Soybean Turn Row Meeting

Wharton – AgriLife Extension to host Soybean and Cotton Turn Row Meeting – July 10th

By Corrie Bowen
County Extension Agent
Wharton County

Texas A&M AgriLife Extension, Wharton County Office will host a  Soybean and Cotton Turn Row Meeting on Wednesday, July 10, 2019.  The soybean turn row meeting will begin at 9 a.m. at the Howard and Dolly Wittig Farm in Lane City.  You may have seen the soybean variety plot from Hwy 60 in Lane City.  The soybean plot is located at the corner of Hwy 60 South and CR 122.  The soybean plot is an exceptionally large variety trial, consisting of 47 replicated treatments.  We’re certain to have a lot to look at.  We’ll hear from Dr. Ron Schnell, our AgriLife Cropping Systems Specialist regarding soybean agronomics.  Dr. Tom Isakeit will discuss diseases in soybeans.  Following the visit to the soybean plot we’ll proceed to the Cotton RACE trial in Crescent.

The Cotton turn row meeting will begin at 11 a.m. in Crescent.  The cotton variety trial is located 1 mile south of FM 961 on CR 461.  If you are coming from the Wharton County Fairgrounds on FM 961 S heading toward Wharton, you’ll take the first county road to your right.  Proceed one mile on CR 461 and the plot is on your right.  We have a total of 10 cotton varieties in this year’s Replication Agronomic Cotton Evaluation (RACE) trial, plus two varieties selected by the cooperating grower.  This is also a very large, replicated strip trial.  The purpose of the RACE trial is to generate accurate, replicated yield data on commercially available cotton varieties for our area of Texas.  Dale Mott, Extension Program Specialist for Cotton will discuss current observations in cotton research.  Dr. Tom Isakeit will brief growers on cotton diseases and diagnosis for the 2019 crop as we progress toward harvest.  We’ll plan to conclude the turn row meeting around lunchtime.  2 CEUs will be offered for TDA pesticide license holders and 2 CCA credits have been applied for.  Please call the Extension Office by 12:00 p.m. on July 9 just to let us know that you’ll be attending.  A flyer for the July 10th turn-row meeting is available at  The flyer include maps and GPS coordinates for the two turn row meeting locations.  I hope to see you there!

The members of Texas A&M AgriLife will provide equal opportunities in programs and activities, education, and employment to all persons regardless of race, color, sex, religion, national origin, age, disability, genetic information, veteran status, sexual orientation or gender identity and will strive to achieve full and equal employment opportunity throughout Texas A&M AgriLife. The Texas A&M University System, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the County Commissioners Courts of Texas Cooperating.  Individuals with disabilities who require an auxiliary aid, service or accommodation in order to participate in any Extension activity, are encouraged to contact the County Extension Office for assistance 5 days prior to the activity.



Texas A&M AgriLife Extension
Wharton County
Corrie Bowen, CEA-Ag/NR



PVAMU: Heroes 4 Health

El Campo and Louise Library Summer Programming
Week 1

Location: Wharton County Library in El Campo and Louise
TX Drugs and Alcohol with our special guest from The El Campo Police Department and Wharton County Police Department: Officer Mark Biskup, Officer Beemer, and Officer Bill Holt 

During our first week of Heroes for Health we were honored to have  3 guest speakers. The audience was really excited to see Officer Beemer (the K9 police dog)! Both officers gave a well received presentation about the risks and affects of indulging in drugs and alcohol. Even though Wharton County is a tight knit community, drug awareness is an important factor here. Officer Beemer gave us a show! He is very intelligent and trained to detect illegal substances. Every participant left with a drug free coloring page, sticker, pencil, and drug free pledge. Again, thank you officers!

Kashara L. Bell
Extension Agent, Wharton County
Prairie View A&M University Cooperative Extension Program
Family & Community Health
315 E. Milam St., Suite 112
Wharton, TX 77488

p: (979) 532-3371 | f: (979) 532-8863

Questions Regarding Cotton Stalks Standing from the 2018 Crop

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Questions regarding cotton stalks standing from the 2018 crop

April 12, 2019
Corrie Bowen
County Extension Agent
Wharton County

This past week there have been complaints about cotton that is still standing in fields from last years’ crop – with a reference to cotton stalk destruction.  With the crazy, wet weather we experienced from September through February it’s understandable that some fields could not be harvested, and that some stalks were standing through the winter.  But now the ground is dry, and farmers have been in the field for the past several weeks.

To best address this concern I should probably begin with an explanation of what is required for  Texas Department of Agriculture’s Pest Management and Cotton Stalk Destruction Zone 3.  Wharton County is in Zone 3. What the TDA regulations say in Chapter 20 Cotton Pest Control , it that in Zone 3 “all cotton plants must be rendered non-hostable by the stalk destruction date of October 31.   Destruction shall be performed periodically to prevent the presence of hostable fruiting structures.”  Due to the weather that we had last year, a Blanket Extension for stalk destruction extended the October 31st deadline to December 1st.  One key event this past Fall was the November 13th frost/freeze event that rendered any remaining cotton stalks or cotton plants non-hostable.

A cotton plant that is hostable to the boll weevil is a cotton plant that has squares, blooms, or green bolls.  A standing cotton plant after the December 1st deadline is not hostable unless it has squares, blooms, or green bolls.  Any cotton at pin-head square stage to green boll is considered hostable for the boll weevil.

What’s important to note is that stalks or cotton plants from last year that were not destroyed can begin to regrow, put on new leaves, and  develop hostable structures.  Under the TDA laws, destruction methods must be complete by emergence of the new cotton crop.  It is critical to prevent last years’ cotton plants/volunteer cotton plants from reaching this stage for the overall success of the Texas Boll Weevil Eradication Program and to prevent the levying of any fees or fines for non-commercial cotton found in fields.

Tillage is probably one of the most effective tools for managing volunteer cotton in fallow situations or prior to planting any crop. However, in-season crop cultivation will leave approximately 15 to 25% of the area undisturbed where cotton plants can survive.  Various herbicides will provide excellent volunteer cotton control during either the fallow period or growing season.  To ensure the highest herbicide efficacy and eradicate boll weevil hostable plants, volunteer cotton should not exceed the 5 leaf stage at the time of herbicide application. Cotton plants at or beyond the 5 leaf stage have a high probability of surviving the herbicide application and becoming hostable plants.

The El Campo office of the Texas Boll Weevil Eradication Foundation is calling those with standing stalks to make sure they are aware of the rules if it comes back hostable.  The ones they have talked to so far say they will go back with cotton within the next week or so.  These fields with standing stalks are disappearing daily. If anyone has questions or concerns regarding the Texas Boll Weevil Eradication Foundation and cotton stalk destruction, contact Michael Hester the East Texas Maintenance Area office at  979-543-7770  or send an email to