Sebe Brown, Louisiana Extension Field Crops Entomologist:
“A fresh bollworm egg lay is underway, and we are beginning to find more damage. With trickles of moths coming from late corn into cotton, this is about what we expected.
“Plant bug numbers have swung to the bad side over the past week in certain areas, and a good deal of the June-planted cotton is holding plant bugs. But in the early-planted cotton, plant bugs are mostly absent.
“We missed a rain last weekend. We don’t need to irrigate, but it’s extremely hot and things are quickly drying down.
“Farmers are harvesting corn. They’re taking advantage of a favorable window with low humidity and are cutting where they can before any rain comes into the forecast again. Early yield reports range from okay to a bit above average. As challenging as this growing season has been, everyone is happy to get the crop out.
“Stink bug numbers are jumping in soybeans. A mix of redbanded, browns and greens have exploded in the last 5 days. Where early soybeans are ready for desiccation, stink bugs are running upwards of 40 per 25 sweeps. Many of our fields hit R-5 the first week of August, which is usually the point that redbanded stink bugs (RBSB) build. Last week, RBSB were running 2 to 5 per 25 sweeps, but that has since increased to 10 to 15. The farther south, the more intense the pressure.”
Andy Graves, Graves Agronomy Service, Clarksdale, Mississippi:
“Much of the cotton looks good and has high blooms, 1 to 3 nodes above white flower. In the next 10 days, we may be able to terminate applications on a third of our acres.
“A second bollworm egg lay is beginning, and we’re retreating some acres with diamides. It appears another run of worms is forming. While it’s spotty, I am concerned about bollworms slipping through applications. It was interesting to find worms 5 days after a diamide shot. These would have been ‘walk away’ treatments, but in several fields, we’ve found 10% to 20% worms behind diamide applications. Several other consultants in the area report the same thing.
“The Bollgard 2 has our attention, but WideStrike 3 and Bollgard 3 have held up very well. We’re digging deep into those but aren’t seeing anything.
“Plant bug numbers are still low, although spider mite numbers are picking up.
“Last week, treatments went out on many younger soybean fields for podworms. In older dryland fields near R-6, we’ve made applications for stink bugs.
“The corn crop is finished.”
Richard Griffing, Griffing Consulting, LLC, Monterey, Louisiana:
“The oldest cotton is approaching cutout, with about 2 nodes above white flower. It rained 4 to 6 inches last week, so fields are very wet. In 32 years, I’ve never seen anything quite like this season’s weather. We’re actually begging for a string of dry days and sunshine, and the forecast says that may be the case.
“Bollworm eggs aren’t terrible on the south end of my cotton range. However, on the north end, the numbers are picking up in younger cotton. We’re also fighting plant bugs.
“We’ll be contending with soybean pests until mid-September, and I’ll be scouting cotton through early October, which is late for us. Usually, I’m defoliating cotton by early September. This year, I predict it’ll be the second week of October in a number of fields.
“Most soybeans are around R-5.5 to R-6. A diamide went out on all the younger fields for earworms. Last week, stink bugs – redbanded, greens and browns – all picked up in the older crop.
“We’ve desiccated a bit less than 10% of the soybeans. By mid-August, we’ll have 50% of our beans killed. Usually, that would be more like 80%.
“I expect we’ll begin corn harvest in a week. In two weeks, we’ll be running wide open.”
Lee Rogers, Rogers Entomological Service, Steele, Missouri:
“We’re finding bolls in the top in older cotton, with fields moving into full bloom. We’re still dealing with plant bugs but haven’t detected much bollworm activity. Aphids are crashing in some areas but thriving in others.
“We’re still applying Pix and boron, plus irrigating.
“Fungicides are going out on a significant portion of our soybeans. Insect pressure in soybeans remains light, although that can change quickly. I’m finding stink bugs, for example, but they haven’t reached threshold yet.
“The corn is 1 to 2 weeks from finishing.”
Trent LaMastus, Consultant, Cleveland, Mississippi:
“We received good rain last week on nearly all of our farms, and another half-inch to 3 inches fell on Sunday night in places. Only a couple of growers irrigated cotton before it rained, and those fields experienced significant boll shed. It’s too bad because we were close to cutout and would be looking at wrapping up insecticide applications very soon. Plants are trying to restart in some of those fields, so we’ll have to protect that top crop, which will push us close to September.