“We were spraying cotton and peanuts for pigweed, but 5 inches of rain fell at the start of the week. So, we may not be back in the field until next week. With this current weather, it’s easy for pigweeds to get ahead of us.
“The peanut situation isn’t good because we are having trouble getting into the field. We’re at 28 to 30 days post-planting with our peanuts and they’re pretty clean. But I’m concerned about how quickly we can return to the field. We might be late with herbicides, so we’ll have to make a lot of different decisions about our approach.
“The guys who had to replant peanuts are in the most difficult situation. Let me emphasize that this isn’t an across-the-board problem. Probably eight out of 10 growers are fine. But those other 2 guys are contending with poor germination, and they don’t have time to replant peanuts, plus take care of everything else.
“A few foliage feeders are showing up in peanuts, but nothing at threshold so far. Rain is keeping lesser cornstalk borers at bay.”
“We sprayed all of our field corn for Southern rust. The corn crop is anywhere from pollinating to soft dough stage. We are looking at about 3 to 3.5 more weeks of watering the oldest corn. Sweet corn has a good market right now, and our crop is one of the best we’ve had.”
Billy McLawhorn, McLawhorn Crop Services, Inc., Cove City, North Carolina
“This has been a hard spring. We had four or five days in May when it was warm enough and we could plant just about anything. But the last two days of May were right before a 4-inch rain, so it’s some of the worst looking acreage now.
“Too much rain and extremely cold temperatures in May created problems that aren’t common here — more herbicide injury, replant situations in cotton and peanuts, and prevented planting in cotton. About 20% of our peanuts are being replanted. About a third of our intended cotton acreage wasn’t planted. We will be working a lot more soybeans than we have in a long time, simply by default.
“Thrips pressure has increased in cotton and peanuts. A lot of the effect on the plants gets back to cold conditions and slow growth, not to any huge populations of thrips. In our area, one indicator of thrips populations is the degree to which we find tomato spotted wilt virus in tobacco. This year, we haven’t seen much of it.
“Overall, corn appears to have slightly better than average potential. However, we also have fields that will be written off as disasters.
“Soybeans could end up being outstanding.
“We finally had a good solid week for getting things done. To a large extent, farmers have been able to catch up on herbicide work and apply fungicides and insecticides as needed.
“In times like these, you try to go back to some simplistic sayings. It may sound trite, but one of them is, ‘A bad start can make for a great ending.’ It will be an uneven finish, and it won’t all be great, but maybe we will come out okay.”
Jeremy Greene, Clemson University Entomologist, Blackville, South Carolina
“We are in the same holding pattern that we were last week. Insect pressure is mostly light. In cotton, we’re at the tail end of the thrips window. We’re not totally out of the woods on thrips, and some of the later planted cotton is infested and may need treatment. But we’re getting there. With this moisture and the sun, they’ll outgrow thrips injury and be good.
“In soybeans, we swept some young fields and found grasshoppers and threecornered alfalfa hoppers. But we didn’t see anything that needed attention.”
Guy Collins, Extension Cotton Specialist, North Carolina State University
“With this warm weather and sunshine, cotton is starting to grow. Growers planted or replanted a little more cotton, and that finishes it for us. We’re seeing a good many bad stands, and how stands look pretty much depends this year on planting date and when it rained. The question was whether to move to soybeans or frantically replant – and I say frantically because we were out of time.
“Growers made numerous thrips sprays and some continue to treat. Herbicides are going out but we’re not quite ready to apply plant growth regulators. We have cotton that’s old enough for a PGR but it’s not big enough yet.”
Brad Smith, Nutrien Ag Solutions, Selma, Alabama
“We are muddy, thankfully. It’s always good to be a little muddy a time or two in June. Most fields have been sprayed for thrips at least once and some twice. Most cotton is growing fast enough to get ahead of the thrips, we think.
“We’re trying to avoid any additional thrips sprays that could flare spider mites. But we also know we need to have a cotton crop before we can worry about spider mites.
“We just need a little better price for cotton, and the market seems to be working with us on that. It held above the 60-cent resistance level on Monday (6/8), so hopefully that will be a new floor.
“Soybeans are starting to pod up well. Corn is already tasseling. Most growers have planned a fungicide application, and they’re trying to make as much yield as they can. With this stormy weather pushing in, we want to protect our crop, and the conditions are ripe for disease.”
Bryce Sutherland, S&R Ag Consulting, Sylvester, Georgia
“We caught some rain on Monday, so things are starting to progress well. The oldest cotton is squaring and we will soon apply a plant growth regulator. Plant bugs don’t look bad. Aphids are starting to show up.
“We are beginning to find caterpillars in peanuts, corn and grain sorghum. We are keeping a close eye on them, but nothing concerns us yet.