Cotton – Midsouth – Planting Roars Ahead, Final Acres Uncertain – AgFax

    Owen Taylor, Editor
    Questions, comments, complaints? My door is always open.

    Here is this week’s issue of AgFax Midsouth Cotton, sponsored by
    the Midsouth Cotton Team of AMVAC Chemical Corporation


    Cotton planting has all but wrapped up in parts of the region, with a big share of it completed in the second half of May. Some acres are left to plant and an unknown number slipped into prevented planting. Growers also are replanting and spot planting in some locations.

    The weather has turned drier and hotter through a big part of our coverage area. A line of thunderstorms was moving through western Arkansas and northwest Louisiana as we closed this issue Wednesday night.

    Thrips are picking up in places as non-crop hosts dry down. Some foliar applications are going out.

    Thrips pressure in the Midsouth sounds relatively light compared to what our contacts in the Southeast report. In parts of south Alabama and North Carolina growers are making a second spray or are at least considering it. Ron Smith, veteran Auburn University Extension Entomologist, said that pressure in south Alabama is probably the heaviest he’s seen in 10 years. The weather in the Southeast has been hotter and drier than in the Midsouth, so plenty of cotton has been growing slowly, giving thrips ample time to pile on.



    Scott Gifford, Gifford Crop Consulting, Manila, Arkansas:

    “All of my cotton has been planted the first time (as of 5/28). We’ll end up with 80% of what growers intended to have and those remaining acres went to soybeans.

    “Currently, we’re spot-planting low spots or where water backed into low ends of fields. Otherwise, only two fields have had to be entirely replanted.

    “The first over-the-top herbicide is going out on some of the earliest planted cotton. Thrips have been light so far and we’ve done just limited spraying. Cotton that’s up looks pretty good but we just don’t have much of it.”

    Scott Stewart, Extension Entomologist, Jackson, Tennessee:

    “Thrips are light – maybe the least amount of pressure since I started doing trials in Tennessee in 2002. Conditions turned off hot and warm and I think that’s helping plants grow quickly, plus we don’t seem to have huge numbers of thrips.

    “Other people report light thrips pressure, too. All the rain earlier definitely helped hold down thrips numbers in clover and other non-crop hosts before cotton emerged.

    “It’s gotten dry and some folks probably will have to stop planting cotton in certain locations at the end of this week if we don’t get a rain. Generally, though, we still have ample moisture. Mississippi River bottoms remain flooded, so there won’t be any cotton planted there, based on how things look right now (5/28).

    Sebe Brown, Louisiana Extension Field Crops Entomologist:

    “Thrips are quiet and our seed treatments appear to be holding really well. I’ve had very few calls about thrips and haven’t heard of anyone going with a rescue foliar spray for them.

    “With all the wet and cold weather, we were late getting a lot of cotton planted, but heat units are very good now and cotton is roaring out of the ground. Some of our older cotton is probably just out of the thrips window and some of the earliest may be starting to square.

    “But the vast majority of our cotton was planted late and part of the crop is still in the bag. They’re expecting to open the Morganza spillway next week, so that could affect some acreage. Also, seep water along levees in our river parishes has kept growers from planting that acreage, and a lot of it was slated for cotton.

    “In soybeans, a few applications have gone out for redbanded stink bugs. That’s in the southern part of the state where some soybeans already are at R4, which is pod formation, and are moving toward R5 when seeds form. Stink bugs tend to move into beans at R5, and our threshold for redbanded is 4 per 25 sweeps.


    “In corn, we’re starting to find corn earworms eggs on silks. A lot of people asked if all the rain in the winter and spring would drown out corn earworm larvae. Evidently, the answer is no. Those adults are out now and laying eggs.”

    Bill Brooks, Mid-South Farmers Cooperative, Alamo, Tennessee:

    “We’re probably 95% done with cotton planting, with just a small amount of first plantings left and some replanting that’s going on. Starting after May 15, we’ve made good headway with cotton planting, and plenty can get done in a short timeframe.

    “Some ground came out of cotton due to prevented planting, although I don’t believe it’s a huge number of acres. Most farmers, I think, are planting about as much cotton as they intended.

    “Over-the-top dicamba sprays started at the end of last week on the earliest cotton, so the pigweed fight has begun.

    “Growers are planting beans and a couple of guys are still planting a little corn, going in some bottoms that had been too wet earlier. They were trying to choose between corn and beans and decided to roll the dice and go with corn.

    “We’re probably 75% done with beans and will wrap that up in another week. Things are moving quickly. We missed a couple of the last predicted rains. Rain was in the forecast for this Thursday but it’s down to zero now (5/28). It’s actually dry enough in places that we could benefit from a shower.”

    Steve Schutz, Ind. Consultant, Coushatta, Louisiana:

    “Some cotton is still being planted but we’re on the downhill side of that, plus we have a little replanting to do. Usually, cotton is the slowest crop to emerge, but anything planted lately has shot up and the stands look good.

    “What we’ve just planted is emerging and our oldest is moving along nicely and is probably at the fourth leaf stage now (5/27). So far, we haven’t had to treat for thrips and a lot of this cotton will outgrow them, as it looks right now. That’s probably just as well because it’s been too windy to spray. Where we have anything that looks like thrips injury, it’s probably from wind damage or sand blasting.

    “Weeds aren’t a problem in cotton. We have some preemerge herbicides down. All of my Louisiana cotton will be dicamba cotton. The cotton I work in Arkansas will be treated with Liberty.

    “Preemerge materials are breaking just a little in places. Mostly, I’m seeing weeds that were common in ‘the old days’. Morningglory and grass are coming up, for example. We’ve had so much rain that we’re maybe not getting as much activity from preemerge materials in places. A few pigweeds emerged in wet areas where we couldn’t get in to spray.

    “In corn, we’ve had issues with northern corn leaf blight (NCLB) in certain hybrids. We’re kind of in a Catch 22 as far as fungicides go for NCLB. Based on what I’ve read and specialists say, fungicides work better on NCLB when you spray in the vegetative stage. But if you spray at that point, you may have to spray a second time later.

    “In soybeans, some MG IVs are at the sixth trifoliate with a few blooms. A few bollworms are present but those little leaves don’t provide adequate nourishment, so those small worms can’t molt and they’ll die. Damage is running less than 2%.

    “In our Louisiana beans, nobody has used dicamba yet, but we don’t have any pigweed issues, either. Everything but pigweed is coming up, though. We still have quite a few soybean acres that haven’t been planted yet and some of those beds are rough.”

    Bob Griffin, Griffin Ag Consulting, Jonesboro, Arkansas:

    “My growers should be able to finish planting cotton in the next day or two (from 5/27). So far, our crop ranges from not up yet to the biggest at fourth leaf.

    “The main thing has been weeds. Our deadline for being able to legally use dicamba was Saturday (5/25). That’s it for the rest of the year, so things are tough. Once we get things cleaned up, we’ll be in good shape, but it’s going to be a more expensive process.

     “Of the cotton that’s up, 90% looks excellent. Thrips haven’t been a problem at all. Cotton is healthy, the weather is warm and we definitely have enough moisture. Only a negligible amount has had to be replanted. We’re applying fertilizer now.

    “Most of our corn is at V4 to V8. We haven’t had to replant any corn but had to plant a portion of it late due to the rain. We should have some tassels within the next two weeks. With

    “With both corn and cotton, my growers will plant everything they intended. The crops look pretty and we’re optimistic. Our oldest soybeans should start blooming within the next week, but half of my soybeans haven’t been planted yet.”

    Ashley Peters, Peters Crop Consulting, Crowville, Louisiana:

    “Some of our oldest cotton is probably at 6 to 7 leaves and some is still just being planted. Maybe a little was planted yesterday (5/27) and a little replanting is left to do.

    “Overall, we’re 90% to 95% finished with cotton planting and folks planted most of their intended acres, I think, although some went to prevented planting.

    “Our better growing conditions this year have been from mid-May to now. Soils are warm, most places have decent moisture and sunshine is abundant. Cotton came up growing, so maybe we won’t lose that much time.

    “Not much is happening with thrips, probably because of these more ideal growing conditions. We’ll find them here and there but we haven’t had to worry about treating and might get by okay. We’ll see how it goes with cotton planted in the last 2 to 3 days.


    “In corn, guys have been putting out polypipe and began watering some. The forecast calls for a chance of rain on Thursday but accumulation will be light.”

    Ty Edwards, Edwards Ag Consulting, LLC, Water Valley, Mississippi:

    “As of today (5/27), we’re probably 99% planted, and our cotton acreage has actually increased over what was initially intended. A lot of corn around the area wasn’t planted and nobody wanted to plant soybeans. So, they either planted cotton or let it go to prevented planting.

    “Maybe 20% was planted in late April or the first couple of days of May and it’s at the fourth to fifth true leaf now. Another 15% was planted in the week after that, around May 8 to May 10. Pretty much everything else was planted in the last 10 days.

    “For the most part, we still have moisture, and some no-till fields still have too much. But in places, growers are sticking seed down to 1.5 inches to get them into moisture, which could set us up for a mess if we get a rain.

    “Thankfully, most of our cotton is up to a stand. It’s the last 15% that isn’t quite up yet. Most people just started planting soybeans. They wanted to get all their cotton in the ground first, and soybeans became the stepchild this year and didn’t get a fair shake.”

    Angus Catchot, Mississippi Extension Entomologist:

    “We’ve been talking about how wet things have been but we’re now into a dry spell, at least in spots.

    “Thrips have built in places and some treatments are going out. From the best I can tell, seed treatments are mostly holding up, even under some pretty heavy pressure. Those tend to be areas with good moisture, so the cotton is growing well and the plants are kind of outrunning the thrips.

    “But in places, it’s gotten dry and cotton is just sitting there and quite a few thrips have built on it. Spraying has been isolated (as of 5/29) but that probably will increase in the next 7 days.

    “Rain would help but not much is in the forecast. Early on, the rain helped beat thrips off the plants but now the adults are moving in. However, we’re not necessarily seeing an expected amount of damage because people put some extra protection in place – Orthene in furrow and then a seed treatment on top of the regular seed treatment.

    “These adults are coming off of other hosts that are drying down, I suspect. With this weather, rye grass has really dried up in places. If there’s a silver lining, a lot of these areas had pretty high slug pressure, but that diminished as hot and dry weather settled in.”

    AgFax Midsouth Cotton is published by AgFax Media LLC
    Owen Taylor, Editorial Director.
    Working-Copy%5B1%5D.jpgThis weekly report is distributed during the cotton production season. It is available to United States residents engaged in cotton farming, field scouting and other qualifying ag professions. Mailing address: 142 Westlake Drive, Brandon, MS 39047. Office: 601-992-9488.
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