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Owen Taylor, Editor
Here is this week's issue of AgFax Southeast Cotton.
Our thanks to SePRO – maker of Brake herbicide – for once again sponsoring our coverage.
Whitefly infestations continue to be the major concern in Georgia and have been gaining ground in southeast Alabama, as well. As of this week, about 200,000 acres have been sprayed in Georgia. At least some cotton in Alabama has reached treatment level. See comments by Ron Smith and Phillip Roberts.
Some bollworm treatments continue. Heavy populations have been reported in parts of north Alabama and at least in some pockets elsewhere.
Stink bug applications have been going out. Aphids and spider mites are present in parts of the region but no widescale treatments were reported. The same mostly applies to plant bugs.
Rains continue in portions of the Southeast and temperatures have moderated. We continue to hear that the crop generally looks good. One indication of this being a wet year: reports of high dryland corn yields where harvest has started.
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Brandon Dillard, Regional Agronomist, Geneva, Alabama
“Our cotton looks really good and we’re super excited about the potential. We don’t need this rain to cut off. Some older cotton has bolled up pretty well, with nicely sized lower bolls. Nothing has opened yet.
“Some whitefly have come in, although I don’t know of anyone who’s sprayed (as of 8/8). I’ve seen some aphids. A few people have talked about treating them but I don’t know anyone who’s actually followed through with that yet.
“Mostly, just our regular stink bug and Pix sprays are going out. In the last month, we’ve seen some sulfur deficiency due to the big spring rains, but that’s been corrected. Some areas received good rains last week but other places missed it. Rain has been hit or miss but it’s been more hit than miss.
“Some corn harvest is going on. I did a National Corn Growers Association yield check last week where a grower planted on dry land but treated the crop like it was irrigated, and it averaged 220 bu/acre. That’s almost unheard of for us.
“However, I am hearing that some irrigated corn is off about 20% due to cloudy weather and tip dieback. Yields are mostly still good, though.
“Even our later planted peanuts are canopied now. Weed escapes are noticeable in places where earlier rains washed away preemerge herbicides. At this point, farmers will likely just harvest weedy peanuts rather than subject the crop to harsh herbicides. The earlier fields are putting on their limb crop and the main focus with all this rain is keeping white mold at bay.
“Some April-planted soybeans are starting to dry down, and I’ve been in fields that could go 50 to 60 bu/acre.”
Dominic Reisig, NCSU Extension Specialist, Entomology, Plymouth, North Carolina
“It’s been pretty dry but we’ve now settled into a cooler, wetter pattern. We needed the rain, and I’m hearing reports of 0.5 to one inch. Another front is moving into the western part of the state (mid-day, 8/8), so we possibly have more rain to come.
“It was hot and dry enough that some cotton started shedding fruit. I’m not a plant physiologist, but this sudden shift to cooler temperatures doesn’t sound ideal. At least we did get rain. It’s not quite 1 p.m. and the temperature is 75, so it definitely doesn’t feel like August.
“Insect activity is down a little. We’ve got low, nagging populations of plant bugs in places and a few treatments are going out for aphids. It’s not hard to find spider mites but I haven’t heard of any treatments.
“Bollworms are still being treated. In some fields treated earlier with Besiege, a few larvae are apparent now. I’m only seeing a few moths around and trap counts have gone down.
“Some soybeans have been sprayed for bollworms on a spotty basis, especially farther east. I’m finally seeing some corn being cut.”
Brad Smith, Crop Production Services, Selma, Alabama
“Cotton is progressing nicely. We are still dealing with the effects of all the early rain. Yields probably won’t be quite as good as last year’s, but cotton does look decent.
“Our insect situation is relatively light. Some brown stink bugs are starting to appear but nothing major. We haven’t run into bollworm issues like people are reporting north of us.
“Growers are just starting to cut a little corn, and early yields exceeded our expectations. The only disappointment has been those spots that were lost when corn went under water and drowned. Still, though, I’m hearing averages at 150 to 200 bu/acre, with plenty of spots solidly at 200 on the yield monitor. Mostly, we plan for 120 to 150 bu/acre dryland in a good year.
“Insects are relatively light in soybeans. I understand that soybean rust has been confirmed in Noxubee County, Mississippi, which isn’t far from us. I’m hoping that any younger beans that haven’t been treated with a fungicide will be in the next few days.”
Kyle Skinner, Skinner Ag, Starkville, Mississippi
“From yesterday (8/7) morning to right now, most guys have gotten rain – from 2 to 6 inches, depending on the location. This should finish us up on at least some irrigation. We’ve got a shallow root system due to all the rain and saturated soils early, so people have been irrigating hard over the last couple of weeks.
“I have 4 fields of dryland cotton that were planted on April 10 and bolls are starting to open in some of that. A big part of our crop ranges from 5 NAWF to bloomed out the top. I’ve still got 2,000 acres that we couldn’t plant until June, and it just started blooming last week.
“We had 20% to 45% eggs in spots 10 to 14 days ago and sprayed based on the sheer numbers. That’s been the main thing with insects and most of that happened in Noxubee County. We’re finding stink bugs just here and there.
“Some corn is being shelled at high moisture. Other fields also would be ready but moisture is holding it up. With this weather, it will be on hold for a while.”
Ron Smith, Alabama Extension Entomologist
“The crop is really coming along with the moisture we’ve had. The April cotton has a tremendous fruit load. The jury is still out on cotton planted later.
“A lot of attention has been drawn to escaped worms in the Tennessee Valley in the last 7 days or so. We kind of expect that in the regular WideStrike fields but this also has happened in some Bollgard 2 fields.
“The pressure has varied, though. In some fields, the worms have been worse than in others. I’m wondering if some of this is due to the presence or absence of fire ants. Certain materials used earlier for plant bugs might have had more activity on ants.
“With stink bugs, we’re finding a higher percentage of southern greens in the mix now. In July, it was predominately browns.
“In southeast Alabama, silverleaf whitefly (SLWF) are becoming more apparent. I talked with a grower there today (8/8) who described to me what sounded like a threshold situation, with both immatures and adults on every plant.
“We had pockets of SLWF in Mobile County in maybe 2008, which we thought had been influenced by the greenhouse industry there. We’ve also had them on pumpkins around Headland. But we’ve never seen them in cotton quite like this – certainly not in huge fields in August. Melons also are grown in southeast Alabama, and they may have been hosting SLWF.
“Potentially, a lot of young cotton in that part of the state could be affected. Planting in those fields was delayed by spring weather. I am concerned that we might run out of appropriate materials for SLWF, specifically the insect growth regulators. Those are specialized materials and we have a very small market for them in most years. As a result, dealers don’t heavily stock them.
“We’ve got to be careful and not do anything that will aggravate the situation. I would recommend going with pyrethroids for bug control for the rest of the year where whitefly are a concern. The OP-type materials tend to create greater problems with whitely.
“In soybeans, velvetbean caterpillars and soybean loopers are slowly starting to build in places. In some areas, kudzu bugs are making a comeback, but today at Prattville we saw immatures dying off from the fungus. Watch for that before deciding to spray. You don’t want to wade in there with a pyrethroid when we could have heavy loopers in the next week or two. Depending on what you see with kudzu bugs, it might be better to let them go.
“Corn earworm moths have been heavy in peanuts in places. Typically, those caterpillars never really materialize in August. We’ll see what happens.”
Jeremy Greene, Clemson University Cotton Entomologist, Blackville, South Carolina
“We’re still watching for stink bugs and spraying as needed, basing that on the dynamic boll injury threshold. Stink bug pressure has varied widely. I’ve heard of fields that haven’t been treated yet but others have been sprayed 3 times.
“The numbers in our bollworm pheromone traps are starting to inch up again. Pyrethroids are going out for stink bugs should have some activity on bollworms, although they’re probably less effective than in past years. We’re still monitoring that.”
Phillip Roberts, Extension Entomologist, Tifton, Georgia
“We have a good crop going and sure need to protect it. With corn earworms (CEW), we don’t have any widespread major issues but over-sprays have been made in sporadic fields. So, we need to be watching closely and reacting if necessary.
“We’re mostly dealing with pockets. It might amount to 5% to 10% of the crop. That underscores why someone needs to be scouting your cotton. Don’t assume that you either have worms or you don’t have worms.
“As a whole, stink bug pressure is lighter than normal, but in places they are at threshold. We’re also seeing cotton aphids make a bit of a resurgence, primarily in the mid-canopy part of the plant. I found some in our plots this week but the fungus kicked in and took them out. That’s what we would expect to happen. They’re mainly light to moderate and I’m hoping that the fungus takes out a lot of them in short order.
“Even though we’ve been getting good rainfall, it’s been pretty amazing how we’re still seeing spider mites in some fields. I don’t think many acres have been treated, but enough mites are apparent to get people’s attention. With what few treatments have been made, abamectin seems to be doing a good job. Fortunately, we’re not detecting abamectin resistance issues like folks are reporting in other states.
“Whitefly are detectable on a lot of acres. They’re not at problem levels everywhere but close scouting is critical, nonetheless. So far, about 15% of our crop may have been treated (as of 8/8) for whitefly. That’s about 200,000 acres.
“A little cotton is opening, so be mindful that whitefly honeydew can impact cotton quality, aside from effects on yield.
“Historically, whitely have had a limited range in Georgia, but this year they are more widespread. Consequently, many people – growers and those advising them – have never dealt with it in the past, and that’s a concern.
“We’re seeing good control where people are applying insect growth regulators as soon as the insect hits treatment level. You can’t underestimate this pest and you can’t afford to get behind with it.
“Where it hasn’t been managed appropriately, we’re seeing some honeydew. If an infestation continues, you see what we call general leaf decline and premature defoliation. We haven’t found anything extreme like that yet, but it could potentially happen. They seem to be more of an issue on our later cotton.
“Growers have been able to get product but are having to work a little harder to locate it. Manufacturers are moving key materials to us as well as they can.”
Georgia: Pest Manager Training, Tifton, Aug. 31 8-10
Georgia Peanuts: Through the Eyes of a Farmer – The Akins Family – Video 8-10
Virginia Cotton: Most Pests Below Threshold but Keep Scouting 8-10
Virginia Peanuts: Some Plants Turning Yellow, a Variety of Possible Causes 8-9
Tennessee Cotton, Soybeans: Bollworm Update – Good News and Bad News 8-9
AgFax Southwest Cotton: Fall in the Air; Plenty of ‘Cutout’ Talk 8-9
Georgia Corn: Yields Expected to Be Higher in Dryland Fields, Lower in Irrigated 8-9
South Carolina Corn: Harvest Underway in the Pee Dee, Yields Look Good 8-8
North Carolina Cotton, Soybeans: Considerations for Pyrethroids Used Against Bollworm 8-8
Georgia Peanuts: Hopper Burn Showing Up, Considerations for Management 8-8
Irrigation Manufacturer Netafim Will Be Bought By Mexican Company 8-8
More Cotton News | More Peanut News
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