“I haven’t treated a single field for spider mites or aphids, and we have not treated any of the 3-gene cotton, either. Yes, we’ve seen worms but haven’t had to treat them yet. But I am finding enough worms on some of this cotton to be a bit concerned about how the technology might hold up going forward.
“In corn, two of my farmers just started cutting, and some other people started earlier. Based on a few conversations, yields are running above 200 bu/acre.
“My soybeans look tremendous. I’ve treated a few fields for bollworms. Those beans are mostly in R2 or R3, but some were at R4. I actually treated a few R5 fields, maybe 2 or 3 of them. We haven’t seen any redbanded stinkbugs. I have found browns and greens, and I’ve treated a few fields. They always like to come in at R5 or so, but activity seems to be less than normal right now.”
Andy Graves, Graves Agronomy Service, Clarksdale, Mississippi
“I’m going back through all of my cotton one more time this week, and I’ll be letting go of 50% to 60% of it. There’s no worm pressure at all. I’ve maybe seen two moths over the last few days.
“Plant bug numbers did start increasing about 2 weeks ago. Now that cotton is finishing out, they are focusing on any greener cotton that’s still out there. Some pretty high numbers have developed in places, and we’re trying to beat them back.
“A lot of our cotton has open bolls, and we’re waiting to see what the hurricane (Laura) does. Last year, we defoliated later because of all the wet weather. We really didn’t start until the second or third week of September, but we’ll hit some fields sooner than that this year.
“In soybeans, we’ve had very little insect pressure this year except for a little run of bollworms in some later beans. But stinkbug numbers are quickly picking up in a number of fields, and in several places, they’ve reached threshold. We sprayed one soybean field last week for stinkbugs. I checked those beans this week and saw two or three redbanded stinkbugs in it. I was surprised to find them six days behind that treatment.
“Normally by now, we’d be cutting beans. This is the widest range of soybeans I’ve ever seen. I have beans only at R3 and beans that we’re about to desiccate.
“Corn harvest has just started. No word yet on yields.”
Sebe Brown, Louisiana Extension Field Crops Entomologist
“Our guys are pretty much at the finish line with cotton and are mainly waiting to defoliate. Cotton is opening all across the state. Other than a few of our latest fields, I think most guys have turned loose the vast majority of this cotton crop.
“In soybeans, loopers are popping up in spots. Some are at threshold, others aren’t. In most cases, guys are finding about a third of a threshold, 10 to 12 per 25 sweeps. A lot of people are asking when they can turn loose of beans for loopers. At R6-plus, people are letting them go.
“The big story right now is this hurricane (Laura). Some people are putting out insecticides to have protection in place ahead of the storm. The forecast says rainfall totals could run from 4 inches maybe 12-plus inches, depending on what side of the storm you’re on and where it goes.
“Farmers are trying to get a lot done because they’re expecting to be out of the field for an extended period. They know they won’t be able to spray by air after it calms down because all the applications already will be booked solid.
“Along with all that spraying, farmers are cutting a lot of corn and soybeans ahead of the storm. But some growers are opting not to apply a desiccant right now. They’re figuring that the leaves on the plants will help deflect some of the rainwater, and that would help maintain quality.”
Scott Gifford, Gifford Crop Consulting, Manila, Arkansas
“Last week was our last week with cotton, and we’re officially done with the crop. We’re at about 450 heat units past NAWF 5, and I suspect we’ll be defoliating cotton by the middle of next month. Compared to last year, our cotton is probably running a little earlier. All my cotton was planted in April this year, and we may have started planting a bit earlier than in 2019.
“In our rice, I’m probably draining 25% of it right now. By the end of the week, that number will be around 50%, and by the end of next week, we will at 75%. The last 25% is late-planted rice, so it needs another couple of weeks.
“If the weather permits, we will cut some rice on Thursday. With this incoming hurricane (Laura), I don’t think that will happen, but we do have some that would be ready.
“Very few of my earlier rice fields were sprayed for rice stinkbugs, and up to this point, we haven’t sprayed any of the later rice that’s heading now.
“We’re about 25% done with the beans. By this time next week, we’ll be finished with 50% of them. The rest are later-planted beans that we’ll keep an eye on for the next couple of weeks.
“In the later planted beans that are around R4, we’re still finding worms. They’re not in every field, but several acres are still being sprayed for them.
“None of my growers have cut any corn yet, but some corn around here has been harvested. Weather permitting, we will be in to the corn at the end of this week.”
Gus Lorenz, Arkansas Extension IPM Specialist
“We’re pretty much at the end of the season with cotton. People are still checking some of the late-planted fields, but we’re reaching the last effective boll date with much of this crop. We’re mainly finding worms in late-planted cotton and it’s a dual-gene variety. But even that is pretty much over.
“We’re still looking at spider mites in a few areas, but that hurricane (Laura) ought to take care of them if it tracks through the central part of the state like some forecasts show.
“I’m starting to see open bolls around, and they’re pretty common in the earliest-planted cotton.
“In soybeans, we talked all year about the potential insect pressure in the late-planted fields, and that’s playing out in many fields that are still at R2 to R4. Worms are bad in narrow-row and drilled beans and also in stressed dryland acres.
“People are making tough decisions about whether to treat and what to use. They’re taking into account yield potential in fields that missed out on rain. In a lot of cases, guys applied diamides for worms 17 to 20 days ago, but loopers and bollworms are now coming into those beans. That’s a pretty common complex in late beans, plus stinkbugs are now in the mix in places. When stinkbugs are in those fields, you’ll have to go with a tank mix, which adds to treatment costs.
“With less-than-great yield potential, people don’t want to go in with a diamide at this point for bollworms because of the cost. Applying a pyrethroid-acephate tank mix will knock back what they’re finding, but the odds are that bollworms will re-infest fields. Plus, loopers are coming, too.
“I’m hearing about cases where people went with the tank mix but now worms are heavier now than before they treated. So, the farmer will have to make two applications, which would be about the same cost as making that diamide treatment earlier.
“Loopers have pretty much made it across the state, and numbers are increasing in more areas. You’ve got to check for them down in the plant, not just ‘windshield’ the beans when you drive down the highway. By the time loopers blow out the top, they’ve done a good deal of damage.
“Velvetbean caterpillars (VBC) also are moving across the state pretty good. Typically, we say you can kill them with just about anything. But we have seen less-than-desirable results oneor two times with lambda, although we don’t know if that was due to an application error. I’m recommending a lot of Intrepid or a generic equivalent for VBC. However, in many cases loopers are out there, so go with Intrepid and bifenthrin in that situation.”
Blake Foust, Consultant, Southern Heritage Cotton, LLC, Forrest City, Arkansas
“We’ve turned loose all of the cotton, but I don’t think any defoliation will start before Labor Day. Usually, the first application goes out in the first week in September.
“In soybeans, we’re close to letting go of a whole lot of acres. We’ve already quit watering and quit checking some. We have later beans and have sprayed loopers here and there, and we treated some more fields for bollworms. But it hasn’t been terrible, and we’re pretty close to letting go of a lot of those soybeans, too.
“We may not desiccate many soybean acres this year, considering all the corn and rice that farmers are trying to harvest now. We’ll be in a bind to get all of that out of the field as it is, much less start into soybeans, too.
“Our corn harvest is really just beginning. Moisture is still up. One guy began cutting dryland corn that was down to maybe 19% moisture. Other farmers are cutting and will run the corn through a drier to get started. No word yet on yields.
“In rice, a couple of samples were cut yesterday (8/25). One was at 22% moisture, the other at 24%. Nothing will happen in the rice until the storm passes through, but things might be moving pretty good next week.”
Angus Catchot, Mississippi Extension Entomologist
“Stinkbugs have required a few treatments where they moved into cotton that farmers need to carry a little longer. It’s nothing major, just a few places. Mostly, though, cotton is really quiet.
“I’m seeing open bolls around.