“In soybeans, redbanded stink bugs (RBSB) are here to stay at this point in the year. The majority of the acres I check have been sprayed at least once for RBSBs, and 15% to 20% have been sprayed twice. This will be the biggest pest across all the crop for the rest of the season.
“That second treatment was triggered by an explosion in redbanded numbers. When beans reached R5.5 to R6.5, RBSBs rapidly gained a foothold. I am actually checking a lot of beans twice a week to assure RBSBs are not coming in behind me.
“All the treatments going out for redbanded stink bugs are working well, so far. We are starting to pick up a few loopers, but populations are not high enough to spray for specifically. As we continue to treat RBSBs, we are bound to flare the loopers.
“South of I-20, most of the corn is being harvested. Yields are 5% to 10% above what we expected – a lot of corn acres are yielding 200-plus bushels per acre. The only yield issues I’m hearing of are in areas where northern corn leaf blight got bad, and those yields are slightly disappointing.
“North of Interstate 20, they are just starting to tiptoe into harvesting corn. They were a bit behind on the plant dates.”
Tyler Hydrick, Hydrick’s Crop Consulting, Inc., Jonesboro, Arkansas
“I drained my first four rice fields today (8/10). It has been a long journey to get here, and this also has been the most abnormal year for rice stink bugs (RSB) I’ve seen. We’ve sprayed almost no acres for them, which is miraculous for us, and we haven’t seen the big populations we expected.
“We do have more rice acres across my territory this year, so maybe RSBs spread out over a larger number of acres. That, in turn, diluted the pressure.
“Some late fields haven’t headed yet, and we are applying fungicides on those. Once these late-planted fields head out, RSBs will likely concentrate in those last fields, and we probably will have to treat then.
“We have let go of over 50% of the corn. One of my growers will start cutting corn in the next two weeks, going at high moisture and running it through a grain dryer. For the majority of my guys, it will be another month before harvest really starts.
“In soybeans, we’re pretty much just fighting bollworms now. Everyone is trying to justify what to spray on $8 beans for bollworms. Bollworm sprays aren’t cheap, but those worms cause so much damage that you can’t afford not to spray.
“Luckily, I haven’t heard of any issues with redbanded stink bugs (RBSB) in our area
Gus Lorenz, Arkansas Extension IPM Specialist
“in row rice, we are starting to see extensive billbug damage across the state. In some cases, I would call the damage severe. We are trying to come up with solutions to manage billbugs, but that won’t happen before this season ends.
“Rice stink bugs (RSB) are also starting to build back up in several fields, and we’re seeing a lot of immatures hatch out in places across the state. In certain fields, a second treatment was necessary, and I think that will continue as the younger rice matures.
“We predicted heavy RSB populations early, but they didn’t materialize. But I think they are starting to get established now, so scout closely. The threshold in the first two weeks is 5 per 10 sweeps, then 10 per 10 sweeps in the second two weeks of heading.
“Based on our research, when you see 60% hard dough – 60% straw colored kernels on the panicle – you can quit spraying a clean crop. However, if you’re at treatment level at 60% hard dough, clean it up again.”
Bobby Golden, Mississippi Extension Rice and Soil Fertility Agronomist
“We’re probably pushing 75% headed, and I saw a couple of more rice fields being drained this week. With this heat, the rice is taking up a lot of water, so I’m strongly advising growers not to get too lax in pumping. Even if they’re moving towards draining, I don’t want them to start too early and hurt yield potential.
“As far as harvesting any rice goes, I think a few growers might start cutting samples at the very end of next week, but that’s maybe an optimistic prediction. However, it’s so hot right now that it won’t take fields as long to drain. Generally, once we start draining, it’s at least 2 weeks until harvest starts in that rice.
“We are seeing more stinkbugs every day, and treatments are going out. We’re also at that time of the year when black birds start becoming an issue, although there’s nothing we can do about that. In my own plots I can tell when the rice is about ready because blackbirds are moving into it.”
Dustin Harrell, Louisiana Rice Extension Specialist, LSU Rice Research Station, Crowley
“Rice harvest continues in southwest Louisiana, and we’ve cut 65% to 70% of the main crop in this part of the state. We’ve passed the midway point statewide, and our crop looks very good. We just hope the yields hold up for the remainder of the year.
“We’re also a couple of weeks away from hearing about yields in northeast Louisiana, which accounts for 25% of our crop. The crop in that part of the state does look good. A big portion of northeast Louisiana is in row rice. So, I’m anxiously awaiting word on how it does.
“I have received a handful of disappointing yield reports that have come in more recently. These were in the lower 40s (barrels/acre), and I think a lot of those fields were flowering when we had that 10 days of high heat and high nighttime temperatures above 75 degrees.
“We found some blanking in sections of the panicle and also secondary diseases that moved in on the blanked grain,which led us to that conclusion. Again, just a few fields have been in that situation so far, and we hope it’s not too widespread. However, we always expect yields to drop as we move into later-planted rice. Otherwise, the rice crop looks very good overall.
“The ratoon crop also looks really nice so far and seems to be coming back well.”
Jarrod T. Hardke, Arkansas Extension Rice Specialist
“I’m waiting on someone to tell me that they’ve stuck a combine in a rice field. That won’t happen today (8/12) because scattered storms moved through parts of the state. But I know that a few farmers are chomping at the bit, hoping to start harvest. Some may begin moving later this week or into the weekend.