Owen Taylor, Editor
Freezing temperatures hit wheat in
portions of the Atlantic Southeast this week. We’ve picked up reports in
both North Carolina and South Carolina of temperatures dropping enough
to cause frost. How much damage resulted in individual fields won’t be
immediately apparent. And how much damage wheat took will partly depend
on the growth stage at that point. See comments from Randy Weisz.
urea prices over the last week
may pull a few late corn acres into the soybean column. We’re hearing
more about that in rice and, secondarily, with cotton, but some of these
unplanted corn fields may end up in soybeans, too, especially in areas
where corn planting has stalled due to poor soil moisture.
Corn planting has stopped in
several parts of the region because of that lack of moisture. We’re
hearing about that in portions of the upper Delta and laos in
Insects are still a factor in some
Midsouth rice and corn, particularly true armyworms. Gus Lorenz,
Arkansas Extension IPM Coordinator,
issued an advisory Tuesday. Brown stink bugs also have been
infesting some small corn stands in Mississippi, according to an
advisory from Angus Catchot, Extension IPM Coordinator.
Wheat disease remains apparent in
parts of the region. In places, it's too late to spray. But extended
cooler conditions may provide a small remaining window, depending on the
material and timing.
Combinations of nematodes and low soil
pH are leading to stunting in some Georgia corn, despite a very
favorable start this year. Dewey Lee, Georgia Extension Grain
filed an advisory late Thursday.
Corn injury due to fomesafen carryover
is turning up in Tennessee. See comments from Larry Steckel for more
on the conditions leading to the problem.
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Gus Lorenz, Arkansas Extension IPM
Specialist: “True armyworms just keep coming on. They’re moving into
seedling rice and also into corn where people are burning down
vegetation ahead of planting, especially where fields have grown up with
a lot of winter grass.
“The call volume on this has been huge.
These armyworms also are in pastures in both the northern and southern
parts of the state, and some treatments have been made in south Arkansas
pastures. This is probably one of the largest outbreaks in a long time.
It’s a big deal, and it all gets back to these warmer-than-normal
conditions and the way they’ve pushed bugs in general.
“We sampled wild hosts last week and found
extremely high numbers of tarnished plant bugs, which will be a factor
in cotton and probably necessitate a couple of extra treatments in that
crop. We’re also seeing rice stink bugs in wheat and getting a
few calls about them in corn, too.”
Randy Weisz, North Carolina Extension
Wheat Specialist: “I’ve had a number of calls about cold weather
this week and what effect it might have had on wheat. I know of air
temperatures down to 33 to 34 but there maybe was frost on wheat in
places, too, which means the wheat, itself, got down to 32. In Robeson
County today (4/12) one person said they had ice on cars and the ground,
so it sounds like it got pretty cold there.
“Based on what I’m hearing, some places
definitely had temperatures that could cause damage. The wheat is pretty
far along, and in most places it’s fully headed out, with some fields
already flowered. Where it’s already flowered, wheat can take
temperatures down to 30 for 2 hours. That might do moderate damage,
although not severe damage. Where wheat is flowering, we could see quite
a bit of damage.
“You can’t tell yet. Over the next 5 to 10
days we’ll get a better idea about injury.
“A lot of rust is developing across large
portions of North Carolina. It’s developing fast and needs to be sprayed
anywhere it’s showing up. Resistant varieties are still looking good,
but susceptible varieties are eaten up with rust in numerous fields. The
weather has pretty much stopped powdery mildew, but it’s still out
“With wheat headed out, our common wheat
fungicides are off label. But if it stays cool like this, grain fill
could extend over the next 6 weeks. In that case, the easiest approach
is to go with Folicur or an equivalent, which would still fit in that
situation since it can be applied up to 30 days before harvest. It’s
perfectly good on rust and powdery mildew. So if guys are seeing those
diseases, they need to find that material and treat – sooner rather than
later. If it remains cool I think heads won’t finish filling across much
of our crop until late May.”
Wayne Dulaney, Dulaney Seed Co.,
Clarksdale, Mississippi: "Corn looks pretty good. We’re doing plant
counts right now (4/10) on one customer in the Shaw area, which has
received a good bit more rain than we’ve seen in the upper Delta. Corn,
overall, got off to a good start and has never stressed. Since March 2
when we really started planting corn in this area, I’ve left the house
only one morning with a jacket, and I shed it by 9 a.m.
“We’ve sprayed wheat for a few armyworms
and did some fungicide treatments, too, for a little stripe rust and
septoria. I hope this wheat surprises me. It looks good but not great,
and I’m wondering if we ever had a cold enough winter. The later planted
wheat actually looks better than the early planted wheat, and that later
wheat was flown on due to rain delays and worked in roughly. It was
nothing to be proud of but looks pretty decent now. Wheat planted in the
early part of October has been big all year, but we don’t see the heads
on it like we’d want. One thing about it, this wheat should come off
plenty early, maybe starting around May 25, subject to the weather.
“A lot of soybeans already are up and have
their first true trifoliates. This has been a crazy season in the seed
business. Usually, you see somewhat distinct planting periods – people
start with corn, maybe go to either soybeans or rice – but this year we
had rice, corn and soybean seed on the same truck going to the same
“Ryegrass has been a big issue across
everything. It liked this warm winter. I’ve already got a mat of pigweed
in the rice I’m planting today. We’re back to the good ol’ days on weed
control. Roundup isn’t going to fix everything.”
Wade Thomason, Virginia Extension Grain
Specialist: “In the mountains the lows dropped to 28 to 29 but just
for a short period. So, we had some frost. That left alfalfa a little
piqued but I don’t think it hurt much, otherwise. Our wheat probably
isn’t as far along as it is south of here, so it’s not as vulnerable.
“Wheat is just heading out. I’m looking at
some right now (4/12) in the boot.
“Corn planting has stopped in more places
because of dry soils. Growers aren’t consistently able to get seed in
moisture, so they’ve pulled back on planting. Just a few have stopped,
so far, but that number increases a little more each day that it doesn’t
rain. Some areas haven’t had more than a tenth of an inch in over 30
days. That is a unique situation for us at this point in the year.”
Curt Johnson, CRC Ag Consulting, LLC,
Lake Village, Arkansas: "Corn looks pretty good, all and all. We’ve
gotten enough rain in some areas that buckshot ends look pretty week.
And we had hail in the Portland area about 6 days ago (from 4/10). But I
think that corn is coming back. I can see green across a field that
adjoins one of my client’s fields. Soybean planting is underway, and I’m
told that some of my beans are up around Lake Village. Planters are
running everywhere. Areas that got heavy rain last week are just drying
Dewey Lee, Georgia Extension Grain
Specialist: “In many cases, wheat fields are being abandoned where
plants have had issues with poor vernalization and heading. That’s the
best choice in these cases. Yield potential is so low that it’s better
to scrap the wheat and move forward with a full-season summer crop that
has full yield potential.
“Some fungicides are still being applied
in wheat, but most of the crop has reached the stage where you can’t
legally apply most materials or even expect the crop to respond. Some
growers are still irrigating wheat to help meet its needs and also
ensure adequate subsoil moisture for the next crop.
“We’re not out of the woods with this
crop, and I fully expect a few more problems as wheat matures. We still
could see fusarium, scab and dry rot. Just because you haven’t seen them
yet doesn’t mean they won’t still appear.
“We do expect good yields, overall, in a
year like this where the crop was planted on time, managed well and has
had generally favorable growing conditions.
“We’re already watering corn like we did
last year. And
we have fields where things aren’t going as well as we might
hope. In places this is either due to low soil pH, nematodes or some
combination of the two.”
John Kruse, Louisiana Extension Corn
and Cotton Specialist: “We’ve gotten isolated
reports of green snap or brittle snap in a couple of places near the
Mississippi River. This was associated with one of the thunderstorms
that came through recently. We saw this same situation last year. It’s
somewhat varietal-related but never is a big consideration when people
pick their hybrids for the coming year. It’s not widespread by any
“We’re seeing some continuing zinc
deficiency, even as corn gets older, and people are trying to do what
they can with foliar zinc. But that won’t provide a lot of zinc, and
these are almost cosmetic application. Once you’re behind, you’re
behind. Producers mostly have corn planting finished and are going full
force into soybeans, cotton and other crops.
“This situation with nitrogen has been
very frustrating. While the price of urea has gone up sharply, the price
for solutions didn’t go up as much. Most producers in Louisiana
sidedress with a solution as opposed to a granular urea. Still, though,
it’s kind of painful to see the price of natural gas go down – keeping
in mind that it’s the source of urea – and still see the price of urea
“When you combine that with strong soybean
prices, it will change some acres. A producer in Franklin Parish who has
stuck with cotton through thick and thin told me this is the first year
that he won’t have cotton and will put that land in soybeans. Through
the winter, I thought our cotton acres would stay about what they were
last year, but that number is going backwards now. I don’t think we’ll
have the 570,000 acres of corn we saw in 2011. A lot of farmers are
holding off for soybeans now, I think, after dodging around earlier with
all the rain to find places to plant corn.”
Jason Kelley, Arkansas Extension Grain
Specialist: “Initially, I don’t think temperatures went low enough
this week to affect the wheat. What I kept seeing were lows into the
upper 30s, nothing really below 36. That will slow things down a little
but there’s no big negative effect. My phone wasn’t ringing off the hook
like you’d expect with a widescale frost or freeze, and that’s maybe a
better indicator than the thermometer about how temperatures ran.
“The chance of frost or freeze has
certainly been the big concern for the last 6 weeks. With this cold
snap, we appear to have dodged the bullet.
“USDA estimated that we’re 84% finished
with corn planting, and it’s normally 50% for this period. In reality, I
think we’re about done, just the stragglers now. Overall, the crop looks
good except this last little bit planted in northeast Arkansas where
they’re running short on moisture. We’re starting to see skippy stands
“People are asking if they should water up
corn or water beds and then plant. We simply don’t have research on that
to draw conclusions, and there are a lot of different ways to look at
those questions. The one thing I can say is that an inch of rain would
do us a lot of good and eliminate those concerns. If anything, this is
still some of the best looking corn, generally speaking, that we’ve had
over the last five years. A lot of early planted fields are up to 4 to 5
“People are sidedressing, which is a whole
other can of worms. Farmers are frustrated with nitrogen prices. Those
who took a chance and booked urea or 32% back in the winter probably
felt a good deal of stress about that commitment. But it turned out to
be a sound move. One guy booked some 32% in December or January and said
that it was $45 an acre cheaper than if he’d bought an equivalent amount
of urea at today’s prices. It’s a tough situation. One dealer said he
didn’t have any and was waiting for a barge. Another said he had urea
but was only selling it to his regular customers.”
Larry Steckel, Extension Weed
Specialist, University of Tennessee: "There have been a number of
calls on corn that is showing some stunting and interveinal chlorosis. In
some cases the injury is more substantial, with some leaves showing some
burn. The reason for some of this injury is fomesafen – Flexstar,
Prefix, Reflex, Dawn, Rhythm – carryover from last year. There have not
been many calls yet, but I would expect more as folks evaluate fields
over the next week or so. The last time I recall a significant number of
fomesafen carryover reports was back in 1994. That scenario was very
similar to what we have this spring with an early planted corn crop,
although not this early, following a soybean crop that was late planted
the previous year."
Read his full report here.
Is a Soybean Collapse Imminent?
Brazil: Asian Soybean Rust Stages Dramatic
Arkansas: More Growers Joining Zero
Tolerance Effort to Fight Pigweed
Graphical Illustrations of Proposed Farm
Revenue Programs 4-12
Arkansas: Nitrogen Recommendations for
Corn 4-11 Arkansas Row
Georgia Corn: All These Stunted Plants –
What’s Going On With This Crop?
4-12 Georgia Grain Crops
Kentucky: Current Wheat Crop and Risk for
Head Scab 4-12 Grain
Kentucky: Potential Wheat Freeze Damage
4-10 University of Kentucky Wheat Science News
Louisiana: Brittle Snap Reported in Corn
Following Storms 4-12
Mississippi: Brown Stink Bugs Show Up in
Small Corn 4-10
Mississippi Crop Situation
Tennessee: Fomesafen Carryover in Corn
Texas: Wheat Better Than Anyone Dared Hope
in Some Areas 4-10
Texas AgriLife, Crop Weather
Virginia: Brown Marmorated Stink Bug
Appearing In Sweet Corn – Treatment Options
4-12 Virginia Tech
NEWS SUMMARIES BY CROP
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