Cotton – Midsouth – Plant Bugs Busy, Bollworms Slow To Start – AgFax

    i
    Laykyn Rainbolt, Contributing Editor

    Owen Taylor, Editor

    i
    Here is this week’s issue of AgFax Midsouth Cotton, sponsored by the Midsouth Cotton Team of Amvac Chemical Corporation.

    OVERVIEW

    Plant bugs are the main player this week. More treatments have cranked up as the insects move into cotton from corn and wild hosts. Heaviest pressure tends to be where cotton adjoins corn. In extreme cases, three or even four plant bug applications have been made.

    Aphids are around and even building in some cotton. The aphid fungus is mostly occurring in spots.

    Bollworm moths are in the air and people are finding eggs, but activity continues to run behind schedule across a big part of our coverage area.

    i

    CROP REPORTS

    Tyler Hydrick, Hydrick’s Crop Consulting, Inc., Jonesboro, Arkansas

    “Almost every field of cotton has started blooming (as of 7/13). Plant bugs are picking up a lot this week, and we’re starting to see high numbers pouring out of corn as it transitions into brown silk.

    “Spider mites are starting up in a few fields, but it’s nothing I would consider damaging yet. With this hot and dry weather, I do expect mites to explode at some point.

    “We have had a lot of pigweed escapes. In places, the numbers are astronomical. In certain fields, we should have wiped out pigweed. But we’ve made three applications of Liberty, and we’re still trying to figure out our options because it’s going to be expensive to chop.

    “We’ve considered cultivating the pigweed. Or, we might cultivate and then bring in choppers, with the idea that we’ll spend less on chopping if we cultivate first. From the first day they limited dicamba usage, I said that would put intense pressure on Liberty. That’s exactly what’s happened this year. We’re ruining that chemistry, I’m afraid.

    “I have loyal DeltaPine growers who feel forced to consider PhytoGen varieties next year so they can go in with Enlist. Not having dicamba is killing our cotton farmers. In a sense, being unable to apply dicamba is our number one pest right now, with plant bugs coming in second. We can’t control anything with Liberty like we used to, even running salvage rates.

    “Most of the soybeans I check are at R3. Over in Mississippi County, beans are probably closer to R4. Fungicide applications are starting on some fields.

    “Our corn is mainly at brown silk. We applied a fungicide on most of it at white silk. Disease isn’t really a huge problem yet in corn, but I have seen some diplodia leaf streak in places.

    “In peanuts, we’re just now seeing pods set on the bottom under the ground, and most of the peanuts have pegged down. A generic fungicide is going out every two weeks.”

     

    Kyle Skinner, Skinner Ag, Starkville, Mississippi:

    “A lot of our cotton started blooming around the Fourth of July. I still have some that’s in the second or third week of squaring because it wasn’t planted until late May or early June.

    “I’m putting Pix out as fast as I can. We have had anywhere from 6 to 11 inches of rain since July 2. On July 2, I had plants that went under water around Nettleton after 6.9 inches of rain fell that day. July has been incredibly wet.

    “Plant bugs have actually been fairly light, and we’re pretty much done spraying them. I did see a couple of bollworm eggs and moths over the past two days (from 7/15). It’s time the moths start moving around, so I’m expecting to see more of those.

    “On the other hand, I haven’t seen any mites.

    “All of my corn is within 2 weeks of dent, but a lot already is in dent. Although some corn didn’t get planted until May, it’s been tasseling for two weeks now.”

     

    Hank Jones, RHJ Ag Services, Winnsboro, Louisiana

    “About 75% of my cotton acres are in the second or third week of bloom (as of 7/13). The cotton looks very good, with a nice fruit set, and we have had some very well-timed rains. We’re into the second week of bloom and haven’t irrigated any cotton yet. We still have a long way to go, but the crop has great potential.

    “We are starting bollworm sprays this week in our dual-gene cotton. This isn’t a tremendous egg lay yet, but moths are depositing eggs low in the plant. It’s not uncommon to find larvae in the bloom tags this time of the year. The moth flight is certainly kicking off, and we are just in the early stages of it.

    “In May-planted cotton adjoining corn, we have been battling terrible and consistent plant bug migrations for the last two weeks. These are maybe the worst plant bug numbers I’ve fought in the last 4 or 5 years. In extreme cases, some areas have been treated 3 or 4 times for plant bugs. However, pressure subsides greatly the farther from corn the cotton is.

    “Fortunately, no spider mite issues have developed this year.

    “Growers are starting to spray a lot of redbanded stink bugs (RBSB) in soybeans. We’re at about 75% threshold (7/13) in places, and we’ve been riding a bunch of sub-threshold RBSB populations for 14 to 17 days. It’s time to clean them up because we are starting to see a few immatures. Small numbers of southern green and a couple of brown stink bugs are in the mix, but we’re mainly spraying RBSB.

    “We are picking up some target spot in beans. With all the rain over the last two weeks, I’m not surprised. Plants developed dense canopies, so things are staying wet underneath. We likely will be spraying those beans soon. Target spot isn’t a disease to take lightly.

    “This might be one of the best corn crops I have ever checked. I found some early March corn in black layer over the past few days, and we’re probably done watering 75% of our corn acres. In places, northern corn leaf blight developed, and we’ve sprayed certain fields twice.”

     

    Scott Stewart, Extension Entomologist, Jackson, Tennessee

    “The earlier-planted cotton is moving into bloom, and we are starting to see more immature plant bugs. The plant bug pressure is increasing overall, which is to be expected, and plenty of treatments will probably go out in the next week. We are usually making applications about this time in July, so it’s nothing out of the norm. The last couple of weeks in July are a crucial period for plant bugs.

    “The heat this week should help a lot of our later cotton catch up. Depending on the area, it’s either very wet or very dry. Along the Mississippi River, many folks are worried about the combination of heat and dry weather on the corn, while locations east and north of Jackson received another 1 to 5 inches of rain last weekend.

    “The Southwestern corn borer flight is coming in, but it’s mostly affecting our typical hotspots for the insect, and people in those areas are pretty used to it.

    “Soybeans are very quiet. Stink bug numbers are very low in beans and cotton, based on reports and what we are seeing, although I’m not sure how long that will last.

    “I don’t think I’ve seen the first kudzu bug this year in our soybeans, although they should be here by now. A good flush of kudzu bugs emerged at one point this winter and started feeding on kudzu. But then a late freeze hit, which burned back the kudzu and greatly reduced kudzu bug numbers, I suspect.

    i

    “A few people have called about green cloverworms in beans, but I haven’t seen or heard about a population large enough to treat. With about half the calls, I’m mainly trying to convince people that these are cloverworms, not soybean loopers.  Cloverworms are easier to control and they don’t feed as voraciously as loopers.”

     

    Joel Moor, Moor Ag Services, LLC, Indianola, Mississippi

    “We have a little late-planted cotton that has yet to start blooming, but 75% to 80% of our crop is blooming.

    “Last week, we sprayed a lot of plant bugs. With all the showers, we went with Diamond and Transform for the rainfastness. We haven’t found any bollworm eggs yet and haven’t had any spider mite issues, either. We have been picking up light aphids, which is another reason we went with Transform.

    “Our soybeans range from about R2.5 to R5. Insect pressure is light in soybeans, but we are picking up a few stink bugs in the older beans. We have seen a bollworm or two on the younger beans, but we are far from finding anything that justifies a treatment.”

     

    Harold Lambert, Independent Consultant, Ventress, Louisiana

    “We’re in the third week of bloom on the oldest cotton, and the younger cotton is just starting to bloom (as of 7/13). Square retention is really good, although we’ve had two spells of heavy rain in the past couple of weeks, and our oldest cotton is starting to shed a lot of small bolls. The hot nights are not helping boll retention, of course.

    “A few applications have gone out for plant bugs, but the numbers aren’t extreme like we’re used to seeing.

    “We are looking pretty hard for bollworms on double-gene cotton, but the egg laying has not been terrible so far. I’ve had to treat very few acres, and there’s basically none in most counts, although that could change at any time. I’m mainly finding them down in the plant on dried bloom tags but not in the terminals. Maybe that’s because it’s so hot.

    “A lot of my corn is at black layer, and the rest is close behind. We are in dry-down mode, and the high heat is helping with that, but moisture is still way too high to harvest right now. We should be harvesting in 2.5 weeks.

    “The oldest soybeans are at R6. Several of those fields have been treated twice for stink bugs, and the majority of them have been treated at least once, which is normal. Redbanded stink bugs have been late showing up, which I think validated how well we handled them near the end of last season. We had no winter kill at all. When combined with counts of other species, we were over threshold in a lot of fields.

    “We have been following our standard fungicide procedure, starting when beans reach R3. Our youngest beans are still around V8 to V10.

    “Aerial blight has only been an issue in a few fields that have a history of it. So far, defoliating caterpillars are staying really light.

    “By this point in July, it’s not uncommon to have bollworm pressure in certain soybean fields, but we haven’t seen that happening so far.”

      

    Angus Catchot, Mississippi Extension Entomologist

    “Nothing is out of control in cotton, but in a few areas plant bugs are picking up pretty heavily compared to last week. However, plant bug numbers remain low in some other locations.

    “Aphids are still lingering and are picking up in a few spots, although it appears that the fungus is taking them out in places. The fungus has been a little less reliable the past few years, but I’ve received a couple of reports about it developing.

    “I’ve also received a few reports about spider mites picking up. But, again, it’s low compared to this point in past years. A few sprays are going out, and mites will likely pick up in the coming days and weeks.

    “The bollworm flight has not materialized yet (7/15). On average, today is when we start receiving widespread reports of high egg lays. Surprisingly, though, no one has told me about any cases where eggs hit threshold or big flights were underway.

    “However, more and more people are kicking up moths and finding scattered eggs. The flight will still happen this year, but I think it will be a little later than usual. The bollworm larvae in the early April-planted corn left the ear 7 to 10 days ago to pupate, so we should start seeing those moths in the fields soon. Late April-planted corn still has larvae in the ears. Moth counts should be increasing by this weekend, I suspect, but the pressure in individual areas may depend on your proximity to corn.

    “In soybeans, I’ve heard about an occasional bollworm turning up in the sweep net. Stink bugs are also still around, and a few people treated redbanded stink bugs. Since we have a lot of late-planted beans, I anticipate high numbers in some areas. To what extent, we don’t know, but many folks will likely experience high numbers.”

     

    Gus Lorenz, Arkansas Extension IPM Specialist

    “Plant bugs have really blown up around the Marianna area and even farther south. I really think they are increasing rapidly all over the state. We were counting 2 to 3 adults in 25 sweeps last week, but this week we are finding 1 to 2 immatures per row foot (as of 7/15).

    “With this hot weather, weeds are drying down on field edges and plant bugs are rapidly coming out of those hosts and out of corn. The pressure has increased tremendously fast. We’re getting close to canopy closure, and I’m advising everyone to bring plant bugs under control ahead of that. Once the canopy closes, it’s much harder to control plant bugs down in the plant.

    “A couple of weeks ago we saw the moth count spike but then mostly decline last week. People are now asking about whether to treat Bollgard 3 and other three-gene cotton. I’m really not seeing enough activity to warrant that. We scouted our plots all day yesterday and didn’t find any worms.

    “I know that scattered treatments are going out like that, but I really caution everyone about spraying three-gene varieties without a solid reason. I’m concerned about growers spending money where they don’t have to, and I challenge anyone to show me worms in three-gene cotton that justify an application.

    i

    “We’re seeing very little activity with spider mites or aphids in most parts of the state. Plant bugs are really the major concern right now.

    “In soybeans, I’m hearing about ‘trash’ insects like dectes stem borers and threecornered alfalfa hoppers. Overall, the worm activity hasn’t caught up to the soybeans yet.

    “Native stink bug species are pretty high throughout the state right now. A lot of R2 to R3 fields are hitting treatment level, and applications are going out. Southeast Arkansas is the only area where I know of anyone treating redbanded stink bugs. With so much of this soybean crop planted late, we’re bound to have stink bug issues.

    “Bollworm pressure is light at the moment in soybeans, but I expect that to change pretty soon.”

     

    Sebe Brown, Louisiana Extension Field Crops Entomologist

    “Plant bugs are really picking up across the state. It’s hot and dry and the corn is starting to dry down, so we’re finding this influx of plant bugs from corn into cotton. Much of the cotton is into the second or third week of bloom, so it has plenty of blooms for plant bugs to go to.

    “In places, guys are having trouble gaining control. We’re also seeing a combination of plant bug damage and physiological shed from a week of cloudy weather. We do have sunlight and heat units this week, and that should continue at least 7 days (from 7/15). All that will help.

    “No spider mite concerns are turning up, and I think that gets back to a good deal of Liberty herbicide being applied both pre- and post-emerge. In places, that likely did a number on mites before the cotton even emerged.

    “Aphids are starting to resurge. Rains kind of beat them down, but they’re coming back with these hot, dry conditions. The aphid fungus moved through in places but it hasn’t been widespread. Aphids are definitely out there but not at super-serious levels, and plant bug applications also are taking them out.

    “The expected bollworm moth flight really hasn’t materialized to any degree. In normal hotspots, eggs are barely reaching threshold on dual-gene cotton. Trap numbers are picking up, but you have to scout hard to find eggs, and damage isn’t there yet. Worms still have time to materialize but the moth flight and egg lay are a little delayed this year.

    “In soybeans, threecornered alfalfa hoppers are starting to blow up in places. Stink bug numbers are picking up, too. We’re seeing surges in stink bug numbers as you go farther north. Another chunk of soybeans will hit R5, and that triggers stink bug movement. We’re finding a mix of redbanded stink bugs, greens, southern greens and browns, but the majority are redbanded.

    “A little rumble has started about soybean loopers in soybeans in far south Louisiana. That’s early for us. But the way this year has gone, I’m not surprised. Numbers aren’t huge yet but are picking up.”

     

    Trey Bullock, Bullock’s Ag Consulting, Hattiesburg, Mississippi

    “Our biggest challenge in the last 10 days has simply been to spray fields. It’s rained that much. Cotton is growing too fast and chunking fruit because we can’t get anything on the plants to slow them down. Some farmers say they’d rather be dry, but I prefer working in the mud. Down here, we’re always a week away from a drought, and that’s always in the back of my mind.

    “We have cotton at 17 to 18 nodes and it’s raining, which makes me happy. We’re in pretty good shape for the shape that we’re in.

    “Aphids kind of blew up on us, and they were bad in places. I had lined up 2,000 acres to spray, with aphids as part of the application. But I called the farmer at the last minute and told him to leave out the aphid material. About 30 miles from his farm yesterday (7/13) I found where the fungus was taking them out.

    “We’re flushing a few sporadic bollworm moths.

    “In peanuts, the rain delayed applying a growth regulator and fungicides. Even though the weather held us up on fungicides, I’ve been examining peanut plants with a 20X lens today and have found zero disease, so we’re in good shape, and peanuts look jam up.”

    AgFax Midsouth Cotton is published by AgFax Media LLC
    Owen Taylor, Editorial Director.
     
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    i
    Laykyn Rainbolt, Contributing Editor

    Owen Taylor, Editor

    i
    Here is this week’s issue of AgFax Midsouth Cotton, sponsored by the Midsouth Cotton Team of Amvac Chemical Corporation.

    OVERVIEW

    Plant bugs are the main player this week. More treatments have cranked up as the insects move into cotton from corn and wild hosts. Heaviest pressure tends to be where cotton adjoins corn. In extreme cases, three or even four plant bug applications have been made.

    Aphids are around and even building in some cotton. The aphid fungus is mostly occurring in spots.

    Bollworm moths are in the air and people are finding eggs, but activity continues to run behind schedule across a big part of our coverage area.

    i

    CROP REPORTS

    Tyler Hydrick, Hydrick’s Crop Consulting, Inc., Jonesboro, Arkansas

    “Almost every field of cotton has started blooming (as of 7/13). Plant bugs are picking up a lot this week, and we’re starting to see high numbers pouring out of corn as it transitions into brown silk.

    “Spider mites are starting up in a few fields, but it’s nothing I would consider damaging yet. With this hot and dry weather, I do expect mites to explode at some point.

    “We have had a lot of pigweed escapes. In places, the numbers are astronomical. In certain fields, we should have wiped out pigweed. But we’ve made three applications of Liberty, and we’re still trying to figure out our options because it’s going to be expensive to chop.

    “We’ve considered cultivating the pigweed. Or, we might cultivate and then bring in choppers, with the idea that we’ll spend less on chopping if we cultivate first. From the first day they limited dicamba usage, I said that would put intense pressure on Liberty. That’s exactly what’s happened this year. We’re ruining that chemistry, I’m afraid.

    “I have loyal DeltaPine growers who feel forced to consider PhytoGen varieties next year so they can go in with Enlist. Not having dicamba is killing our cotton farmers. In a sense, being unable to apply dicamba is our number one pest right now, with plant bugs coming in second. We can’t control anything with Liberty like we used to, even running salvage rates.

    “Most of the soybeans I check are at R3. Over in Mississippi County, beans are probably closer to R4. Fungicide applications are starting on some fields.

    “Our corn is mainly at brown silk. We applied a fungicide on most of it at white silk. Disease isn’t really a huge problem yet in corn, but I have seen some diplodia leaf streak in places.

    “In peanuts, we’re just now seeing pods set on the bottom under the ground, and most of the peanuts have pegged down. A generic fungicide is going out every two weeks.”

     

    Kyle Skinner, Skinner Ag, Starkville, Mississippi:

    “A lot of our cotton started blooming around the Fourth of July. I still have some that’s in the second or third week of squaring because it wasn’t planted until late May or early June.

    “I’m putting Pix out as fast as I can. We have had anywhere from 6 to 11 inches of rain since July 2. On July 2, I had plants that went under water around Nettleton after 6.9 inches of rain fell that day. July has been incredibly wet.

    “Plant bugs have actually been fairly light, and we’re pretty much done spraying them. I did see a couple of bollworm eggs and moths over the past two days (from 7/15). It’s time the moths start moving around, so I’m expecting to see more of those.

    “On the other hand, I haven’t seen any mites.

    “All of my corn is within 2 weeks of dent, but a lot already is in dent. Although some corn didn’t get planted until May, it’s been tasseling for two weeks now.”

     

    Hank Jones, RHJ Ag Services, Winnsboro, Louisiana

    “About 75% of my cotton acres are in the second or third week of bloom (as of 7/13). The cotton looks very good, with a nice fruit set, and we have had some very well-timed rains. We’re into the second week of bloom and haven’t irrigated any cotton yet. We still have a long way to go, but the crop has great potential.

    “We are starting bollworm sprays this week in our dual-gene cotton. This isn’t a tremendous egg lay yet, but moths are depositing eggs low in the plant. It’s not uncommon to find larvae in the bloom tags this time of the year. The moth flight is certainly kicking off, and we are just in the early stages of it.

    “In May-planted cotton adjoining corn, we have been battling terrible and consistent plant bug migrations for the last two weeks. These are maybe the worst plant bug numbers I’ve fought in the last 4 or 5 years. In extreme cases, some areas have been treated 3 or 4 times for plant bugs. However, pressure subsides greatly the farther from corn the cotton is.

    “Fortunately, no spider mite issues have developed this year.

    “Growers are starting to spray a lot of redbanded stink bugs (RBSB) in soybeans. We’re at about 75% threshold (7/13) in places, and we’ve been riding a bunch of sub-threshold RBSB populations for 14 to 17 days. It’s time to clean them up because we are starting to see a few immatures. Small numbers of southern green and a couple of brown stink bugs are in the mix, but we’re mainly spraying RBSB.

    “We are picking up some target spot in beans. With all the rain over the last two weeks, I’m not surprised. Plants developed dense canopies, so things are staying wet underneath. We likely will be spraying those beans soon. Target spot isn’t a disease to take lightly.

    “This might be one of the best corn crops I have ever checked. I found some early March corn in black layer over the past few days, and we’re probably done watering 75% of our corn acres. In places, northern corn leaf blight developed, and we’ve sprayed certain fields twice.”

     

    Scott Stewart, Extension Entomologist, Jackson, Tennessee

    “The earlier-planted cotton is moving into bloom, and we are starting to see more immature plant bugs. The plant bug pressure is increasing overall, which is to be expected, and plenty of treatments will probably go out in the next week. We are usually making applications about this time in July, so it’s nothing out of the norm. The last couple of weeks in July are a crucial period for plant bugs.

    “The heat this week should help a lot of our later cotton catch up. Depending on the area, it’s either very wet or very dry. Along the Mississippi River, many folks are worried about the combination of heat and dry weather on the corn, while locations east and north of Jackson received another 1 to 5 inches of rain last weekend.

    “The Southwestern corn borer flight is coming in, but it’s mostly affecting our typical hotspots for the insect, and people in those areas are pretty used to it.

    “Soybeans are very quiet. Stink bug numbers are very low in beans and cotton, based on reports and what we are seeing, although I’m not sure how long that will last.

    “I don’t think I’ve seen the first kudzu bug this year in our soybeans, although they should be here by now. A good flush of kudzu bugs emerged at one point this winter and started feeding on kudzu. But then a late freeze hit, which burned back the kudzu and greatly reduced kudzu bug numbers, I suspect.

    i

    “A few people have called about green cloverworms in beans, but I haven’t seen or heard about a population large enough to treat. With about half the calls, I’m mainly trying to convince people that these are cloverworms, not soybean loopers.  Cloverworms are easier to control and they don’t feed as voraciously as loopers.”

     

    Joel Moor, Moor Ag Services, LLC, Indianola, Mississippi

    “We have a little late-planted cotton that has yet to start blooming, but 75% to 80% of our crop is blooming.

    “Last week, we sprayed a lot of plant bugs. With all the showers, we went with Diamond and Transform for the rainfastness. We haven’t found any bollworm eggs yet and haven’t had any spider mite issues, either. We have been picking up light aphids, which is another reason we went with Transform.

    “Our soybeans range from about R2.5 to R5. Insect pressure is light in soybeans, but we are picking up a few stink bugs in the older beans. We have seen a bollworm or two on the younger beans, but we are far from finding anything that justifies a treatment.”

     

    Harold Lambert, Independent Consultant, Ventress, Louisiana

    “We’re in the third week of bloom on the oldest cotton, and the younger cotton is just starting to bloom (as of 7/13). Square retention is really good, although we’ve had two spells of heavy rain in the past couple of weeks, and our oldest cotton is starting to shed a lot of small bolls. The hot nights are not helping boll retention, of course.

    “A few applications have gone out for plant bugs, but the numbers aren’t extreme like we’re used to seeing.

    “We are looking pretty hard for bollworms on double-gene cotton, but the egg laying has not been terrible so far. I’ve had to treat very few acres, and there’s basically none in most counts, although that could change at any time. I’m mainly finding them down in the plant on dried bloom tags but not in the terminals. Maybe that’s because it’s so hot.

    “A lot of my corn is at black layer, and the rest is close behind. We are in dry-down mode, and the high heat is helping with that, but moisture is still way too high to harvest right now. We should be harvesting in 2.5 weeks.

    “The oldest soybeans are at R6. Several of those fields have been treated twice for stink bugs, and the majority of them have been treated at least once, which is normal. Redbanded stink bugs have been late showing up, which I think validated how well we handled them near the end of last season. We had no winter kill at all. When combined with counts of other species, we were over threshold in a lot of fields.

    “We have been following our standard fungicide procedure, starting when beans reach R3. Our youngest beans are still around V8 to V10.

    “Aerial blight has only been an issue in a few fields that have a history of it. So far, defoliating caterpillars are staying really light.

    “By this point in July, it’s not uncommon to have bollworm pressure in certain soybean fields, but we haven’t seen that happening so far.”

      

    Angus Catchot, Mississippi Extension Entomologist

    “Nothing is out of control in cotton, but in a few areas plant bugs are picking up pretty heavily compared to last week. However, plant bug numbers remain low in some other locations.

    “Aphids are still lingering and are picking up in a few spots, although it appears that the fungus is taking them out in places. The fungus has been a little less reliable the past few years, but I’ve received a couple of reports about it developing.

    “I’ve also received a few reports about spider mites picking up. But, again, it’s low compared to this point in past years. A few sprays are going out, and mites will likely pick up in the coming days and weeks.

    “The bollworm flight has not materialized yet (7/15). On average, today is when we start receiving widespread reports of high egg lays. Surprisingly, though, no one has told me about any cases where eggs hit threshold or big flights were underway.

    “However, more and more people are kicking up moths and finding scattered eggs. The flight will still happen this year, but I think it will be a little later than usual. The bollworm larvae in the early April-planted corn left the ear 7 to 10 days ago to pupate, so we should start seeing those moths in the fields soon. Late April-planted corn still has larvae in the ears. Moth counts should be increasing by this weekend, I suspect, but the pressure in individual areas may depend on your proximity to corn.

    “In soybeans, I’ve heard about an occasional bollworm turning up in the sweep net. Stink bugs are also still around, and a few people treated redbanded stink bugs. Since we have a lot of late-planted beans, I anticipate high numbers in some areas. To what extent, we don’t know, but many folks will likely experience high numbers.”

     

    Gus Lorenz, Arkansas Extension IPM Specialist

    “Plant bugs have really blown up around the Marianna area and even farther south. I really think they are increasing rapidly all over the state. We were counting 2 to 3 adults in 25 sweeps last week, but this week we are finding 1 to 2 immatures per row foot (as of 7/15).

    “With this hot weather, weeds are drying down on field edges and plant bugs are rapidly coming out of those hosts and out of corn. The pressure has increased tremendously fast. We’re getting close to canopy closure, and I’m advising everyone to bring plant bugs under control ahead of that. Once the canopy closes, it’s much harder to control plant bugs down in the plant.

    “A couple of weeks ago we saw the moth count spike but then mostly decline last week. People are now asking about whether to treat Bollgard 3 and other three-gene cotton. I’m really not seeing enough activity to warrant that. We scouted our plots all day yesterday and didn’t find any worms.

    “I know that scattered treatments are going out like that, but I really caution everyone about spraying three-gene varieties without a solid reason. I’m concerned about growers spending money where they don’t have to, and I challenge anyone to show me worms in three-gene cotton that justify an application.

    i

    “We’re seeing very little activity with spider mites or aphids in most parts of the state. Plant bugs are really the major concern right now.

    “In soybeans, I’m hearing about ‘trash’ insects like dectes stem borers and threecornered alfalfa hoppers. Overall, the worm activity hasn’t caught up to the soybeans yet.

    “Native stink bug species are pretty high throughout the state right now. A lot of R2 to R3 fields are hitting treatment level, and applications are going out. Southeast Arkansas is the only area where I know of anyone treating redbanded stink bugs. With so much of this soybean crop planted late, we’re bound to have stink bug issues.

    “Bollworm pressure is light at the moment in soybeans, but I expect that to change pretty soon.”

     

    Sebe Brown, Louisiana Extension Field Crops Entomologist

    “Plant bugs are really picking up across the state. It’s hot and dry and the corn is starting to dry down, so we’re finding this influx of plant bugs from corn into cotton. Much of the cotton is into the second or third week of bloom, so it has plenty of blooms for plant bugs to go to.

    “In places, guys are having trouble gaining control. We’re also seeing a combination of plant bug damage and physiological shed from a week of cloudy weather. We do have sunlight and heat units this week, and that should continue at least 7 days (from 7/15). All that will help.

    “No spider mite concerns are turning up, and I think that gets back to a good deal of Liberty herbicide being applied both pre- and post-emerge. In places, that likely did a number on mites before the cotton even emerged.

    “Aphids are starting to resurge. Rains kind of beat them down, but they’re coming back with these hot, dry conditions. The aphid fungus moved through in places but it hasn’t been widespread. Aphids are definitely out there but not at super-serious levels, and plant bug applications also are taking them out.

    “The expected bollworm moth flight really hasn’t materialized to any degree. In normal hotspots, eggs are barely reaching threshold on dual-gene cotton. Trap numbers are picking up, but you have to scout hard to find eggs, and damage isn’t there yet. Worms still have time to materialize but the moth flight and egg lay are a little delayed this year.

    “In soybeans, threecornered alfalfa hoppers are starting to blow up in places. Stink bug numbers are picking up, too. We’re seeing surges in stink bug numbers as you go farther north. Another chunk of soybeans will hit R5, and that triggers stink bug movement. We’re finding a mix of redbanded stink bugs, greens, southern greens and browns, but the majority are redbanded.

    “A little rumble has started about soybean loopers in soybeans in far south Louisiana. That’s early for us. But the way this year has gone, I’m not surprised. Numbers aren’t huge yet but are picking up.”

     

    Trey Bullock, Bullock’s Ag Consulting, Hattiesburg, Mississippi

    “Our biggest challenge in the last 10 days has simply been to spray fields. It’s rained that much. Cotton is growing too fast and chunking fruit because we can’t get anything on the plants to slow them down. Some farmers say they’d rather be dry, but I prefer working in the mud. Down here, we’re always a week away from a drought, and that’s always in the back of my mind.

    “We have cotton at 17 to 18 nodes and it’s raining, which makes me happy. We’re in pretty good shape for the shape that we’re in.

    “Aphids kind of blew up on us, and they were bad in places. I had lined up 2,000 acres to spray, with aphids as part of the application. But I called the farmer at the last minute and told him to leave out the aphid material. About 30 miles from his farm yesterday (7/13) I found where the fungus was taking them out.

    “We’re flushing a few sporadic bollworm moths.

    “In peanuts, the rain delayed applying a growth regulator and fungicides. Even though the weather held us up on fungicides, I’ve been examining peanut plants with a 20X lens today and have found zero disease, so we’re in good shape, and peanuts look jam up.”

    AgFax Midsouth Cotton is published by AgFax Media LLC
    Owen Taylor, Editorial Director.
     
    Working-Copy%5B1%5D.jpgThis weekly report is distributed during the cotton production season. It is available to United States residents engaged in cotton farming, field scouting and other qualifying ag professions. Mailing address: 142 Westlake Drive, Brandon, MS 39047. Office: 601-992-9488.
    ©2020 AgFax Media LLC




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