“We had to spray for thrips, which doesn’t surprise me because the cotton got to that button stage or first true leaf and just sat there for a while. It’s moving on now but thrips found it in the meantime. The cotton we sprayed last week for thrips has reached four to five leaves, so it’ll be out of danger. That’s probably a third of my acres.
“Weeds are coming up now, but we’ve got plenty of options for that. It’s been wet, so those weeds haven’t hardened off yet, and we’ve been able to kill much bigger weeds than normal. Sometimes that worries me because people might get a false sense of security about how well certain herbicides will normally perform.
“We couldn’t use dicamba because rain kept us out of the fields so much. But we used Liberty in our beans and corn, and it did really well. Even the pigweed that it normally wouldn’t kill was gone. Again, we had that moisture on our side. Right now, we’re holding our own.
“Corn started out rough, but with this sunshine now, it’s taking off. Where corn is into the fertilizer, it looks especially strong. But I think, again, people could end up with a false sense of security. That corn looks like it could be above average, but I’m seeing areas where roots were waterlogged and aren’t as developed as we’d expect. Farmers might be tempted to add extra nitrogen, but I’m thinking it won’t give an economic return.
“Early on, we found instances of Northern corn leaf blight, but it has since disappeared.
“People are still planting soybeans. Older soybeans are already up to the third or fourth true leaf. Some of my narrow-row fields are actually beginning to canopy. Like with the other crops, they’ve really taken off in the last several days. The beans came up better, too, than corn or cotton. Farmers concentrated on planting those other crops during mostly poor conditions. That delayed soybeans. By the time we could plant beans, soil temperatures had improved.”
Brian Pieralisi, Extension Cotton Specialist, Mississippi State University
“We have cotton that’s at four or five leaves now, and the earlier planted cotton is growing fast. The vast majority of the crop is probably between one and two leaves.
“This warm weather makes everything much easier. Other than a few calls about thrips, it really hasn’t been bad. A few people also called about seedling disease and poor stands. We’ve seen some plants dying off, and in places enough stand loss has occurred to prompt decisions about whether to replant.
“Other than some replanting, we’re mostly done. But even then, I’m not hearing of many cases where people will replant. Heavy rains fell over the weekend in northeast Mississippi around Itawamba County, and they’ve been waiting for the water to move off the field to decide if they’ll have to replant.
“It’s relatively quiet now. I’m starting to see herbicide injury – off-target injury or where the wrong herbicides went out on cotton with a specific seed technology.”
Blake Foust, Consultant, Southern Heritage Cotton, LLC, Forrest City, Arkansas
“We’ve finished planting cotton, and I think most everybody wrapped it up before the first of June. Our oldest cotton is at around the fifth node, and that’s about where I would expect it right now.
“Herbicides and fertilizer are going out on a lot of it, but it’s kind of been a slow start. The cotton should be past thrips, but we still see them hanging around. But I believe the cotton is growing fast enough now that thrips aren’t much of a concern. Most of what we’re spraying are plants that were caught in that bit of cool weather, which delayed growth and left them more susceptible to thrips.
“Corn is just about all laid by, and I think we pretty much finished that before all the rain last week. A lot of soybeans are still being planted on heavy ground. We’ve laid by our oldest soybeans, and some of those are starting to bloom right on schedule.
“Peanuts have grown pretty slowly, and it took a long time to call some of them at a stand.”
Ashley Peters, Peters Crop Consulting, Crowville, Louisiana
“Our cotton ranges from two true leaves up to some of the oldest that’s starting to put on little squares. We’re cleaning up thrips in several fields where we’re applying herbicides.
“We’ve finished planting cotton. This time last year, it was dry, and we were watering fields to try to get cotton up to a stand. From that standpoint, we’re in better shape this year. We’ve got a stand on everything, and we aren’t having to run water.
“I did see some aphids yesterday (6/1), which is kind of weird considering how early it is, but they would have to be a lot worse before I would be concerned.
“The bulk of our corn has finished pollinating. We’ve watered most of it where we can and are probably on the second irrigation on much of it. A very limited acreage of our soybeans are at R4, but the bulk of them range from emerging to just starting to bloom.”
Andy Graves, Graves Agronomy Service, Clarksdale, Mississippi
“We’ve had a rough time because of all the rain. We’re in a mess right now with weeds, but we’re working towards cleaning them up. Thrips pressure is getting pretty heavy and I’m spraying, but we’re not finding the kind of results you’d like to see. We’re trying to piggyback insecticides with herbicides, and we have to avoid certain combinations that are too hot. That’s reducing some of the effect on thrips.
“We have a good crop and it came up to pretty good stands aside from a few little issues here and there. Now, we’re struggling to clean it all up.
“Spraying weather is good right now. Hopefully, we can get a shot of herbicide on everything this week and then receive rain to move us out of the thrips problem.
“With cotton, we planted pretty much everything that we wanted. I’ll have a hundred acres here and there that we didn’t plant because we simply ran out of time. One of my growers actually finished replanting yesterday (6/1). We’re doing a little spot planting now, but that’s mainly to put something in skips and bare spots for weed control.
“We’ve had trouble with replanting because it’s been so wet. It rained four inches last week, and it was already wet when that happened.”
Sebe Brown, Louisiana Extension Field Crops Entomologist
“Places in central Louisiana that received too much rain earlier now need a decent rain. It’s hot and dry in spots. In north Louisiana, irrigation started up in a lot of corn. I’ve also heard that irrigation cranked up in some of the older cotton on that tougher ground that needs a shower about every 10 days.
“That tropical storm (Cristobal) in the Gulf of Mexico could bring rain, but hopefully not too much.
“We hit almost another wave of thrips in specific parts of the state, like Tensas Parish, which is our largest cotton parish. In places, thrips pressure was pretty severe, although in other areas they weren’t an immediate issue.
“Where thrips developed in Tensas Parish, it was in cotton planted in the first and second weeks of May. People were finding upwards of 20 immatures on plants. Oversprays went out in places but, again, parts of the parish didn’t have treatable numbers.
“Thrips are mostly coming off alternate hosts. Weeds along ditch banks have been drying down in places. Herbicide applications also are taking out hosts. Italian ryegrass has been pretty common in places, and herbicides desiccated it, which pushed thrips into cotton. Wheat is another host for thrips, but wheat acres are pretty negligible this year.
“Aphid numbers also are picking up in cotton, and applications have started on some farms. We’ve gone without rain for 10 days and highs have moved into the 90s, which is a recipe for aphids. I wouldn’t be surprised if spider mites aren’t far behind.