“We are picking up some target spot in beans. With all the rain over the last two weeks, I’m not surprised. Plants developed some dense canopies, so things are staying wet underneath. We will be looking to spray 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. Some April-planted corn will require another watering.”
Harold Lambert, Independent Consultant, Ventress, Louisiana
“Most of the oldest rice is headed out, and it ranges from pollination to late-pollen or early milk. Some of those acres have been treated for stink bugs. The numbers aren’t tremendous like we’ve seen in the past, but we are finding enough to spray.
“We do have a lot of late rice that was planted after crawfish harvest, and I expect to have stink bugs fairly consistently in those fields.
“Corn is pretty much done. A lot of my corn is at black layer, and the rest is close behind.
“The oldest soybeans are at R6. Several of those fields have been treated for stink bugs twice now, and the majority 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.
“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.”
Gus Lorenz, Arkansas Extension IPM Specialist
“Plenty of rice is starting to head. Rice stink bugs (RSB) are out there, but I’m not receiving many calls about them yet. We just don’t have enough rice that is heading out to really see RSB move in and increase to any extent. We will be reaching that point quickly, though, and I think we will know by next week what the future looks like for RSB.
“We’re on the tail end of looking at rice water weevils (RWW). Overall, RWW numbers have been moderate to high, depending on your location and situation. The RWW activity has really been pretty high in areas this year. We’re seeing the value of our seed treatments – especially the combo treatments where we are mixing a neonic and a diamide.
“In soybeans, I’m hearing about ‘trash’ insects like dectes stem borers and threecornered alfalfa hoppers. Overall, 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. Southeast Arkansas is the only area where I know of anyone treating redbanded stink bugs. They’re finding quite a few in the Texarkana area. With so much of this soybean crop planted late, we’re bound to have stink bug issues.”
Wayne Dulaney, Agronomist, Local Seed Co., Clarksdale, Mississippi
“Rice looks pretty good. You’ll see a little grass here and there, but I haven’t had to recommend a salvage treatment yet.
“Some of my very first rice was planted on our own farm, and we’re starting to see heads in it really good this week. We planted that part of the crop around April 10 when we caught one little window. The rest is still moving along.
“A good bit of Clearfield 163 was planted in the Delta this year because of a specialty contract offered by The Rice Company for the South American market, which really likes the milling quality of that variety. But as expected, sheath blight hit it, and we treated it.
“It’s nothing bad, but we just came off the worst two weeks you could have for sheath blight in north Mississippi. Skies were overcast showers fell every other day. Now, it looks like we’re settling into a dry pattern.
“Again, the rice looks really good, but levees were just pulled in some late fields 10 days ago.
“Beans are really advancing quickly. It seems like we went from R1 to R3 overnight, and we’re already starting to see pods. We’re about to put out fungicides but really don’t have any insect pressure.
“We had some corn planted during really favorable conditions this spring, and it looks really good. We’re just watering it now.”
Dustin Harrell, Louisiana Rice Extension Specialist, LSU Rice Research Station, Crowley
“Some of our first rice has been harvested, and that began over the weekend and then into this week. Just a few yield reports have filtered in. Some CL111 ranged from 44 to 46 barrels/acre. A bit of PVL02 averaged 42 barrels and some Clearfield Jasmine went 43. These are just the very earliest fields, and we expect the majority of our harvest to really get going in about a week.
“We’re definitely in a heat wave, with temperatures in the mid-90s most days and nighttime temperatures at or above 75 degrees.
“Those high nighttime lows are bad for rice that’s flowering. These excessive nighttime temperatures can cause fissuring, which would lead to a lower milling yield. Also, the heat causes plants to pack starch too quickly in the grain, which can lead to chalkiness. A portion of the crop is in that space. It went in during the latter part of the recommended planting window.
“However, a big part of our southwest Louisiana crop is out of harm’s way in that regard. The largest share of our rice was planted in early to mid-March, and most of that has been drained and should be fine.
“In northeast Louisiana, growers planted a good bit of medium-grain rice, with a lot of that in row rice production. And in this medium grain, we’re seeing leaf blast. Jupiter, a medium grain variety, is very susceptible to leaf blast. Often, you’ll find leaf blast, but it may not turn into rotten neck blast later. At least, that’s what we see in flooded rice.
“You’ll want to go with a two-fungicide program where you’ve planted a susceptible variety and it’s in row rice production. With leaf blast in paddy rice, you can manage it by raising the water level. In row rice, you don’t have that option.
“The South American rice miner (SARM) seems to be everywhere. It’s also known as the whorl maggot, and in places it’s making rice look ragged and ugly. I’m finding SARM in every late field I walk in southwest Louisiana, with some in central Louisiana, too.
“Now that harvest has begun, it’s time to think about ratoon rice. One of the management practices that has been most successful in increasing yields is stubble management. You want to run a flail or rotary mower and lower stubble height to about eight inches. Or, you can roll the stubble. Either approach forces the ratoon crop to originate from the crown node, not one of the upper nodes.