“Our beans look really good. The stand issues in 2019 weren’t as prevalent this year, and we didn’t encounter any real vigor problems. We have nice looking stands, ample soil moisture and promising yield potential. Unfortunately, soybean prices are sorry.
“With beans at $8-$9/bushel, farmers still want to protect them, but no one can afford to fully protect them at these prices.”
Richard Griffing, Griffing Consulting, LLC, Monterey, Louisiana
“Concordia Parish received between half an inch to 2 inches of rain yesterday (7/5), and right now it’s thundering all around me. We’ve been getting a lot of rain, and hopefully it will dry out by the end of the week.
“In my oldest cotton – planted in late March – I’m seeing a lot of shed because of the rain. That cotton started blooming on June 5. The rest of my cotton is only in the second week of bloom, so there’s not much shed in it.
“When this weather evens out after Wednesday, we’ll probably be applying diamides to our Bollguard 2 because we’re seeing a lot of moths, both in the field and in traps. Although moths are around, we aren’t finding many eggs, but we expect egg numbers to pick up in the next few days.
“I also expect to put out a good deal of Pix and plant bug materials over the next week, but we can’t do anything until the weather clears a little.
“Plant bugs have been fairly light, but I’ve already sprayed most of my cotton twice for them. The corn is drying down and plant bugs will go crazy in the cotton, I think.
“Pretty much all my crops are running early this year. Around September 1, I’ll be completely done except for a few acres planted behind seep water along the river.
“About 80% of our bean crop is early, and most are at R5.5. Some of the earliest beans are starting to turn and desiccation should begin in 2 weeks on them. Stinkbugs are building quickly as beans approach R6. It’s mostly a mix of redbanded and green with a few browns. Treatments are going out on a lot of fields.
“Our corn is beginning to dry down and we should begin harvest around early August.”
Larry Walker, Walker Cotton Technical Services, Flintville, Tennessee
“We’ve had four straight days when it hasn’t rained (as of 7/6), and I think that’s the longest ‘drought’ we’ve had since October. It’s finally warm enough and with the right moisture levels to really allow the cotton to grow. We’re trying to spray Pix and also apply herbicides to bring weeds under control. In our oldest cotton, we have started spraying for plant bugs.
“The oldest cotton has five to six fruiting branches and we’re about a week away from blooms. Our fruit set is quite good. If the cotton starts blooming next week as it should, we will be two weeks behind last year. Compared to the long-term average, the crop is probably running 10 days behind.
“Our concern with cotton being this late is whether we’ll have enough water in August for the crop to grow. Right now, the predictions are that rainfall will be average for that timeframe.
“We got about 6 inches of rain in the week before July 4. In the eastern part of the Tennessee Valley, growers are still trying to harvest wheat.
“We have one 20-acre bottom that averaged 1,800 pounds per acre a couple of years ago. So far this year, it’s been planted and then replanted two more times due to all the rain. At this point, I hope it averages a bale. It’s going to take close management in that field, and it was much easier to make 1,800 pounds on it than it will be to average a bale this year.
“I’m looking at some ragged fields of cotton, but I also remember Will McCarty (former Mississippi Extension Cotton Specialist) saying, ‘You don’t just give up on cotton. It will come along eventually.’ We’ll see how that works out this year. In the Tennessee Valley, June 15 to July 15 is a very important time for cotton growth and development.
“The first beans of the year were planted in the end of April on higher ground, and they look good, and the late MG III beans appear to be set up for a good crop. We’ve applied a fungicide on our oldest beans. We are aware we have strobilurin-resistant frogeye, so we are staying away from any Qol fungicides.
“Our target harvest date for soybeans is the end of August and into the beginning of September.”
Trent LaMastus, Consultant, Cleveland, Mississippi
“Most of my cotton ranges from V14 to V17 and is in the first or second week of bloom (as of 7/6). Square retention is excellent in most places, but we had a little square loss from herbicide applications and weather delayed insecticide applications on a few fields.
“Plant bugs have been very, very light compared to past years, but the pressure increases where older corn or older soybeans are nearby. Plant bugs are starting to flush out of the older corn and beans in a hurry. We’ve maintained control up to this point, but with all the rain we’re having difficulty making applications now.
“I’ve seen one field with spider mites, but we haven’t found them in our typical hotspots. We’ve seen aphids, and some of our applications were for both plant bugs and aphids.
“All this rain is a real complication. Insects will build in cotton as they leave the browning corn silks and soybeans that are moving into full pod set, and we will have a harder time controlling them if they get established in the cotton. This weather will make it difficult to treat as needed.
“We’re already in that situation with plant growth regulators. It’s been too wet to apply Pix on time in many cases. We were rolling along fine until about 2.5 weeks ago (from 7/6), but pretty much the entire area has been wet since then. Several Pix applications were 3 to 9 days late, which puts the entire schedule behind and makes it difficult to catch up.
“In soybeans, we started finding 1% to 4% redbanded stink bugs about three weeks ago. We were sweeping up 10-15 % in some R5 beans today and will be treating for them as soon as the rain clears out.
“Some beans were ready for a fungicide 10 to 12 days ago, but not all those beans received a treatment. A number of growers are being more conservative with budgets, hoping that nothing flares up. In later planted beans where beans are following beans, we might apply an automatic fungicide, but we’re holding off any application on the older beans that were in a rotation with anything other than soybeans.
“Corn started going into dent early last week. The rest is at R4, so it should go into dent early next week.”
Eddy Cates, Cates Agritech Inc., Marion, Arkansas
“A lot of our cotton is just now blooming but some also is just in the second week of squaring. A big migration of plant bugs started into cotton this week, and we’ve sprayed several fields.
“We are also working to lay out polypipe and prepare to start watering cotton. Although we’ve had a lot of spotty, light rains, the temperatures have been in the low to mid 90s, so we want to be ready to turn on irrigation when the time comes.
“We have also sprayed several fields for spider mites, both on field borders and entire fields.