Andy Graves, Graves Agronomy Service, Clarksdale, Mississippi
“Our cotton ranges from cutout to just starting to bloom. A round of irrigation went out in the cotton, and we’re waiting to see if the forecasted rain materializes before we irrigate again.
“It’s been a weird year for plant growth regulators. I think the early rains prevented plants from growing as much and developing a fuller root system. A lot of my cotton is pretty short-stalked, and we really haven’t had to put out much Pix.
“Plant bug numbers have really fallen off in the last 10 days, even around corn and soybeans. Aphids have crashed, too.
“We are in the middle of a bollworm flight right now (7/28), and we’re pretty much making a diamide application on all the cotton. I’m treating a number of fields for spider mites in the same application.
“I’ve been very happy with the diamide. I just walked out of a field that was one of the first fields where we saw an egg lay, and I found a couple of dead worms, so I’m thrilled with the performance. I’m not thrilled about the cost, but it works well. Some worms did get through it last year, but I think that was due to the canopy and egg placement.
“I’m going to start looking in WideStrike and Bt 3 fields today for worms because we found a lot of hatching over the weekend. We’re looking for any survivors because we’re not sure where that technology stands yet.
“We’re treating a lot of the young beans for podworms, but otherwise the soybean insect pressure has been very light this year. We are picking up a redbanded stink bug once in a while, maybe as few as one or two a week.
“Fungicide applications are still going out on the R3 beans, and bollworm treatments are piggybacking off of that.
“My oldest corn is almost at black layer, and the youngest is just now tasseling. We are seeing some southern rust and northern leaf blight in a lot of it, but I think the corn is far enough along that those won’t present an issue.”
Scott Gifford, Gifford Crop Consulting, Manila, Arkansas
“Plant bug sprays are still going out. We’re about to get them under control, and the numbers have dropped this week compared to last week. We picked up our first worms in cotton this week but they don’t look too bad yet.
“Spider mites have been a widespread issue in the last two weeks, and we’ve sprayed 70% of our acres for mites over that period.
“Corn is in the dough stage, and we only have a couple of waterings left on it.
“We have started picking up a good many green cloverworms in soybeans. If the numbers continue to rise, we’ll have to treat them. I have never treated green cloverworms, so that will be a first for me.
“I think we’re on the front end of a worm flight in soybeans because we picked up a few worms, plus plenty of moths are out there this week. I think we will be fighting worms in beans in 7 to 10 days.”
Steve Schutz, Ind. Consultant, Coushatta, Louisiana
“It rained yet again over the weekend. I guess we’ve had wetter years, but 2020 has been incredibly wet. At my house, we’ve hit 53 inches so far this year. The historic average for that same period is 30 inches. I’ve had 2.5 inches in the last seven days and 8 inches in the last 30 days (from 7/27).
“The cotton really needs some hotter days. It was 69 degrees this morning, and the forecast shows low 70s and mid 80s for this week.
“Overall, cotton looks good right now, although we are seeing plenty of shed from weather and bugs. In places, we couldn’t apply insecticides in time due to rain, plus the rain washed off a number of treatments. Pix didn’t go out when needed in certain fields, again due to the rain, so we’re seeing shed because the cotton is growing like crazy.
“Overall, the cotton is 6 to 10 inches taller than I would like it to be, and canopies are pretty thick. All that said, the load still looks pretty good. Between 60% and 70% of the cotton responded pretty well to Pix.
“We do have cases where you can tell the results weren’t what we wanted. I was in a client’s cotton yesterday that is nearly six feet tall, although it does have fruit from top to bottom. Another client has vegetative growth like that, but the lower fruit load is lacking. The upper load – above the tenth or eleventh node – looks really good since we got the warmer weather a few weeks ago, but it is going to be a little behind the rest of the cotton.
“I did find a spot of target spot just starting in the southern part of my territory.
“Insect sprays are lighter this week than they were last week. Plant bugs are pretty consistent in the cotton. We don’t really have the big numbers like they typically deal with in northeast Louisiana, but plant bugs just won’t quit this year.
“We’re using a little acephate, and I’m using Diamond on 300 acres. This is the first time I’ve ever had a case where I thought Diamond would fit – a big load of juveniles but not many adults. The price for that material is more reasonable than it has been, so if it holds it for two weeks, it’ll be worth it. Otherwise, we’ll go back to acephate.
“We had a big egg lay about 10 days ago, and freshly hatched worms started showing up last week. Rains held people back from spraying when they wanted, so treatments probably went out a day or two later than needed.
“The egg lay is moving north because I found a bunch of eggs Friday around Gilliam that were hatching this morning, and we’ll do a shot up there soon. The highest count is maybe 10% to 12% fresh-hatched worms in pink blooms. So, numbers aren’t outrageous but are still above threshold. I also found some green stink bugs in cotton on Sunday morning.
“In places, we’re spraying redbanded stink bugs in soybeans. Most of the corn is at black layer, and the rest should be in 7-10 days.”
Blake Foust, Consultant, Southern Heritage Cotton, LLC, Forrest City, Arkansas
“Quite a few of our cotton fields are at cutout. We’ve sprayed about 15% of our acres for egg lay, and all of that so far has been in Bollgard II. Plant bugs are becoming quite an issue on some of it, and we’re fighting them pretty hard.
“Pivots are running on some cotton, but most of it is holding up fairly well. We’re in pretty good shape in terms of moisture levels, and rain is in the forecast for the end of this week (as of 7/28).
“We have a few fields that we made the first application for plant bugs all season.
“If we catch any rain at all, 80% of the corn won’t need another irrigation. If it rains this week and dries next week, farmers will flush through the rest and that corn will be done, as well.
“Beans are totally quiet. We sprayed two early-planted fields for stink bugs today (7/28). Moths are showing up in some of the younger beans but no worms yet. A few loopers also are around.”
Scott Stewart, Extension Entomologist, Jackson, Tennessee
“Plant bug numbers are still lower than normal, but most everyone has had to treat. Generally, people are finding enough to justify an application, but in certain places, plant bugs don’t seem to be there.
“Anyone who hasn’t already treated will probably spray within the next 7 to 10 days. That’s the typical pattern for this time of the year because populations of immatures are peaking about now. We’re recommending Transform, acephate, Bidrin, Diamond or some combination of those.