Here are this week’s snippets on Mississippi cotton pulled from the current issue of AgFax Midsouth Cotton.
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Ty Edwards, Edwards Ag Consulting, LLC, Water Valley, Mississippi:
“We have open bolls now in a good many fields. Except for one or two replanted fields, everything has cracked bolls. Where we have a few green spots still around, it’s not worth the money to protect it any more.
“I think we’ll be able to defoliate a couple of burned up cotton fields in 10 to 14 days but the majority of defoliation is 3 to 4 weeks out. That timetable is based on normal temperatures, although it’s only 82 degrees right now (mid-day, 10/21).
“All of our corn is done and a good bit is waiting to be cut, but not a single stalk has been harvested yet. A lot of our soybeans are either just before R6 or have hit R6. We’ve applied paraquat on about 10% of the crop. Those acres went through drought stress early on. Our really late beans are at early R5.”
Andy Tonos, Delta Ag Consulting, Greenville, Mississippi:
“Cotton is about cut out and we’re seeing some open bolls. I’m still checking here and there but haven’t sprayed anything in over 2 weeks. Mainly, we’re waiting for defoliation.
“Corn yields have been pretty good. Everyone who can dry corn has been cutting for a while. Where people were letting it dry in the field, they started harvest a week or so back (from 8/20). Yields have been better than 200 bu/acre on both dryland and irrigated corn. The highest I’ve heard was 250 to 260. Some thin stands did better than expected.
“Soybeans range from R5 to about ready to cut. We applied desiccants on some fields about 7 days ago. The bulk of our beans are at R6 to R7. We’ve been spraying stink bugs, especially near corn. Some loopers have been treated, too, but most of our beans are outrunning loopers.”
Trey Bullock, Bullock’s Ag Consulting, Hattiesburg, Mississippi:
“We’ve had a lot of rain over the last 5 or 6 days (from 8/20), with totals of 6-plus inches. It seems like it’s rained every day. That wouldn’t be so bad, but we’ve also had a lot of wind and some of this good, heavy cotton has laid over. I guess with all those bolls it had a good reason for that, but we sure need it to dry up.
“We let go of most of the cotton last week. I still have fields that are way late. Stink bugs are really light, and just isolated fields have required treatments. Plant bugs picked up and we hit a lot of the older cotton one more time last week.
“In terms of disease, we have all the target spot you would ever want and a bunch of areolate mildew. In most of our counties the areolate hasn’t hurt us, but this is the second year in a row we’ve taken a pounding from it in our cotton in Covington County. It has really picked on one field there, in particular.
“I’m finding it in a couple of other counties now but those bolls are 20% open, so that cotton is safe. Until last year, I had never really seen it. If I did, it was light and I didn’t think much about it. But last year, it came out of nowhere and hit that field in Covington County.
“This year, it showed up 2 to 3 weeks ago, and we’ve applied some fungicide tests to see what that does. The weird thing is that conditions in Covington County this year had gotten dry, about to the point it would hurt us. Cotton wasn’t burning up but we had gone 10 days without rain, yet the mildew was thriving. In 2017, conditions were much wetter. It rained over and over again.
“Our peanuts are really, really quiet and have been all year. We haven’t been dealing with a lot of disease pressure or insects. I’m seeing a little feeding this week, mainly from a few velvetbean caterpillars and green cloverworms. But on the whole, we’ve maybe treated 100 acres of peanuts all year for worms. Soybeans, on the other hand, are full of green cloverworms and have been for the past 2 weeks.”
Angus Catchot, Mississippi Extension Entomologist:
“Rain this week varied. Some areas received nothing, especially on the east side of the state. In other places, particularly in the Delta, totals ran 1 to 9 inches. I’m hearing about hard locking where the bigger amounts fell, which isn’t surprising.
“A lot of calls in the last 2 weeks have been from people finding plenty of plant bugs in the top and asking whether they should treat. A good part of those fields are past the point that I would recommend spraying. That cotton is 350 DD60s past cutout, so you wouldn’t get your money back on the treatment, anyway.
“A lot of what you’d try to protect wouldn’t make it to harvest, and the viable bolls are safe from plant bug damage. Beyond that, we have trouble gaining plant bug control at this point in the season. By now, those fields have been sprayed with everything under the sun and plant bug control isn’t adequate, regardless of the material. That’s ironic since the bugs are on top where you’d assume control would be great.
“That’s not to say we don’t have younger cotton that still needs to be protected. But where cotton has flowered out the top, you can pretty much call it done.
“In soybeans, loopers are being sprayed in places, although we still can’t find them in some areas. The same goes for green and brown stink bugs. So, everything is situational, depending on geography. With all the rain, no one has been able to check soybeans in parts of the state for the last 4 or 5 days, so things are subject to change once people begin scouting again.”