“In some fields, we have two crops. We have the crop that emerged right away and then the crop that took longer – and both are in the same field. At times, it was a question of whether to replant or wait for the other plants to come up. Every decision could be a hard field-by-field call.
“Late-season worms could be a problem with so many younger bolls. Harvest is going to be a risk-reward decision that you’re going to have to make. You’ll have to look at the crop and see how much of it is mature. “I think we’ll be able to pick the second crop, but we’ll see how it goes.
“Corn is anywhere from V10 to R3, with good potential in my county. Fungicides are going out, kind of the standard sprays. Not much stink bug pressure in corn that I’m seeing.”
Phillip Roberts, Extension Entomologist, Tifton, Georgia:
“From an insect standpoint, we have not had widespread problems with plant bugs, but we’ve definitely had more frequent problems with plant bugs than in previous years. About half of our cotton is squaring and plant bugs are causing issues in some fields.
“We really want to encourage people to scout for plant bugs and monitor square retention. This is prime time for a squaring pest, and we need to be on top of that.
“Cotton aphid numbers are really beginning to build quickly. That’s to be expected. You’ve got hotspots in fields, but now they’re starting to spread across the fields. We cannot show a consistent yield response to treating aphids in Georgia, and it’s a judgment call as to whether you spray. Look at the health of the plant and determine if it’s under any other stress. A lot of times we just end up riding it out.
“We’re anxiously looking for the fungus that will come in and wipe out the aphids. Look for gray, fuzzy aphid cadavers. Once you see those, we don’t need to spray because the fungus is going to wipe them out.
“Spider mites are around but we’re hoping beneficials will keep them in check.
“A percentage of the cotton is setting bolls. As soon as bolls are present, start scouting for stinkbugs. They prefer feeding on bolls that are 10 to 12 days old, and that’s about the diameter of a quarter. But during the first week of bloom when everything is less than 10 days of age, they’ll feed on what’s there. Feeding on very small bolls can cause them to shed.
“It looks like it’s a buggy year. Otherwise, everything is hunky dory.”
Brad Smith, Nutrien Ag Solutions, Selma, Alabama:
“We’ve had a few rains in west Alabama in several spots that missed earlier rains.”
“For the most part, it hasn’t been a stellar year for dryland corn in Alabama. Over the last four years, we’ve had a pretty corn crop, so the law of averages is working against us.
“Cotton is mostly up. Even though we’ve got wide and varied ages in the same field due to late-emerging cotton, the crop is coming on. It’s been a long time since we’ve had this many replants with so many different growers. There certainly wasn’t any rhyme or reason for it, it was just the situation.
“Unfortunately, we’re going to have another strung-out harvest just because of the maturity dates on some of the cotton – and the beans, too. I can’t recall a year when we’ve had so many replants.
“Most everybody sprayed once and some twice for thrips. Most years, we don’t spray. Because of the weather or whatever, it was sure an issue this year and pressure was tremendously heavier.
“On plant bugs, we’re having to spray a few fields. Spider mites have turned up in a few areas, too, and spider mites are probably an issue because of the acephate that went out for thrips.
“Over the next two weeks, we’ll get all the side dressing finished. We’ll know more about what cotton is going to do come the first of November. Generally, with late-planted soybeans we never attain the yield potential that we do with early planted soybeans. With cotton, there’s always a chance that it will come on. I’ve seen 1,000 lb/acre cotton that was late planted.
“On soybean, a little preventive fungicides are going out. We’re predominately protecting against frogeye. To my knowledge, we haven’t run up against any resistant frogeye in central Alabama.”
Bryce Sutherland, Extension Agent, Worth County, Georgia:
“Overall, we have good moisture, the crop is moving along pretty good and we’re side-dressing cotton.
“With the month of May being so hot and dry – and with excessively hot soils – we had to replant some fields where stand issues developed. That led to differences in plant maturity within certain fields and part of that cotton will be behind. Ahead of harvest, growers will have to time defoliation applications as best they can. Of course, cotton can sometimes impress you with its ability to catch up.
“Beneficial insect populations are strong, and I’m seeing plenty of big-eyed bugs, assassin bugs and parasitic wasps. As far as plant bugs go, we have fields that need to be treated and others where an insecticide isn’t warranted. We’ll keep monitoring for stinkbugs as we’re producing bolls.
“Spider mites have been popping up in places but nothing so far that we need to treat. Same on aphids. We’re finding aphids but nothing that you’d treat. That fungus tends to take aphids out in July, so we typically can get by without spraying them.
“Some growers are starting to put out their plant growth regulator.
“On corn, we’re in late milk and moving into the dough stage. We’ve been keeping our eyes on southern rust. Some people have already put out a fungicide, while others may get by without one if the crop is far enough along.
“A lot of peanuts are in the 35- to 40-day post-plant window. People are putting out land plaster and gearing up for their first white mold application. Conditions have been right for white mold. On the insect side in peanuts, beneficial populations are good. “Overall, peanuts look nice.”
Jack Royal, Royal’s Agricultural Consulting Co., Inc., Leary, Georgia:
“Our cotton looks fairly good across the board. The majority cotton is squaring well and it’s going into first bloom. We’ve had to spray some fields for plant bugs where the square retention was at threshold.
“One thing that’s sort of unusual is the we’re seeing brown stink bugs in pre-bloom cotton. It doesn’t mean we’ll have to spray more, but we’ll probably have to treat stink bugs a little earlier than usual.
“In most years, we would wait until about the third or fourth week of bloom. Stink bugs can’t do much damage until they get the small bolls to feed on, but I’m watching them. We’re not going to let them cause any damage and in the first 1.5 to 2 weeks of bloom we’re probably going to have to hit it. We’ve found no worms in blooms yet, but we’re seeing some corn earworm moths here and there. So, we’re going to watch this closely and be ready for escapes.