“Corn is at the dent stage. We’re at least three weeks from any of it being mature. We treated most of the acres for Southern rust. I think we’re going to have some pretty good yields. We didn’t get as much sun as we’d like, but you can’t have rain and sunshine. We’ll take what we got.”
Michael Mulvaney, Cropping Systems Specialist, University of Florida, Western Panhandle
“We received a lot of rain when Tropical Storm Cristobal came through, then it turned pretty dry, and it just started raining again this week. Planting was on time for most of our cotton. We have a lot of young grasshoppers showing up, especially where we have residue.
“With all of the rain, many peanut growers are concerned that the gypsum moved out of the pegging zone. Growers who are concerned about whether to reapply gypsum should take a pegging zone sample. For a pegging zone test, sample 3 to 4 inches deep and then write “pegging zone” at the top of the form. The depth of the sample changes the recommendation. Apply gypsum as recommended after receiving the results. Start with fields that show less than 500 lbs calcium per acre in the pegging zone.
“In the Eastern Panhandle, we’re seeing some yellowing and rapid decline in corn, and that may be due to N and K leaching. However, with the crop at this late stage, there’s little we can do about it.
“We do have peanut seed quality issues. I saw a bag label that showed 60% germ. The lesson going into 2021 is to check the germ and set your seeding rate accordingly. We have to pay attention to the germ before we pour the seed into the hopper. It’s unfortunate that we have to do that, but it’s better than being forced to replant.”
Tyler Sandlin, Extension Crop Specialist, North Alabama, Belle Mina
“We turned the corner with our weather. The rain on Monday night (6/22) was particularly needed for our corn, which is at tassel.
“The cold, wet weather at planting delayed our cotton crop, so we’re a couple of weeks behind normal. The majority of the fields are just starting to square. A few plant bug sprays are going out. Our pressure isn’t as heavy as the Mississippi Delta, but plant bugs are a priority pest for us. We control them in most years with 2 to 2.5 sprays, although that can go up to 4 sprays in a heavy year.
“We are putting out N topdressing and sidedress and mixing potassium into some of those applications. With the early-maturity, fast-fruiting cotton varieties that we plant, growers are seeing anecdotal yield increases from supplementing potassium granularly in-season. We don’t yet have the data to support that idea, but a lot of growers are pushing for high-yield crops so they’re pulling a lot out of the soil. From that standpoint, adding nutrition makes sense.
“We are 90%-plus finished with wheat harvest. Although we expected a poor crop due all of the fall and winter rain, we made a decent crop where the wheat was still standing. In places, yields have been exceptional.
“We are watching pigweed closely to determine whether control is slipping with dicamba. We have reports from opposite ends of the state that show poor control on weeds 2 inches or smaller. Auburn weed specialists are walking the fields and screening samples. Growers need to walk behind their treatments to ensure they’re getting good control.”
Jennifer Bearden, Extension Agricultural Agent, Okaloosa County, Florida
“In the aftermath of the six inches of rain Tropical Storm Cristobal dropped here, we are finding cotton seedling disease. We sampled to see which fungus is at fault.
“Grasshopper numbers still are higher than usual, but they’re waning. Plant bugs pressure is light so far.
“Our peanuts look fairly good, considering we are either feast or famine on rain. You would think it would take more of a toll, but the plants are holding up. We were a little worried about seed quality, but nothing is as bad as we feared, given what we were hearing earlier this season. We only have a few skippy stands. We are starting fungicide applications.
“Across the Florida Panhandle, we started a study regarding peanut collapse. The issue started in the Suwanee River Valley area where the study started last year. We expanded it across the Panhandle to look for differences between the areas that are experiencing it and those that aren’t. We don’t know whether it’s a virus, fungus, nematodes or a combination of all. We are sampling everything.”
Sally Taylor, Virginia Tech Extension Entomologist, Tidewater REC
“Stink bug pressure in corn has been light in most regions. Some fields will be affected and corn is susceptible to yield loss in the two weeks prior to tassel through R1. To speed up scouting, check the region of the developing ear and one leaf above and below. Stink bugs tend to prefer this area until reproductive stages of development.
“Most cotton and peanut fields are past thrips susceptibility. We will start scouting plant bugs when squares are on plants.
“In soybean, watch for defoliators and kudzu bugs. Soybean can recover from a good amount of defoliation and even multiple defoliation events. Defoliation thresholds up to two weeks prior to bloom are 30%. That’s a conservative threshold, and we want to focus on avoiding treatments in early season so we can preserve natural enemies. Early-season sprays contribute to repeated sprays later in the year.
“Kudzu bug has been spotted in many regions of Virginia by homeowners and farmers. This could indicate a problem for soybean producers. Until mid-July, soybean can tolerate up to 5 bugs per plant.”
Ron Smith, Extension Entomologist, Auburn University
“Tarnished plant bug adults are leaving the daisy fleabane and moving into our April-planted cotton in central Alabama. Some fields are already over damage threshold. Scout closely. We already have places that are below 70% square set.
“We are mostly finding plant bugs in the oldest-planted fields. By the time the later-planted cotton reaches pinhead square, they may be gone. If you have a sweep net, the threshold is 8 adults per 100 sweeps. If you don’t have a net, use 80% square retention as the threshold.