|Tyler Hydrick, Hydrick’s Crop Consulting, Inc., Jonesboro, Arkansas:
“Cotton season started out pretty bad, to be honest. We really had two planting dates for this crop – an early planting window and what I’m calling the majority window. These were the only two long breaks in the weather during the earlier part of the year. The early planted cotton has seen some challenges from cold soil temperatures to a wealth of rain to even colder temperatures, but some of the oldest fields are starting to square (June 15).
“We’ve sprayed nearly all the cotton for thrips, and sprays continue to go out. The earlier planted fields have really taken it on the chin. A couple applications have gone out for plant bugs, but I’m not jumping up and down saying the plant bugs are here yet.
“Between the wind and thrips, we did have to replant a few cotton fields with soybeans. However, the majority of the cotton looks really good and is getting nitrogen. We’ve let several fields go that we think can get past thrips, but most fields have had an application this year. They have just been in really high numbers and the weather hasn’t provided the cotton the opportunity to outgrow the thrips so far.
“Stoneville 4550 looks great right now – outshining the other varieties for early vigor and handling the early season stress. DeltaPine 2127 and PhytoGen varieties look to be pretty good based on early season vigor.
“With all the wet weather we’ve had, pigweed broke through the pres when it was wet. Just as it started to dry up enough to make an application, it would rain again. We’re spraying everything right now, and we’re thankful the dicamba restraining order has been extended. We’ll be able to clean up these messy fields, when I say messy, I mean messy fields, using one to two dicamba treatments with a Liberty application.
“My rice is anywhere from two-leaf to green ring. The rice crop looks really good this year. Although we do have some grassy spots, the FullPage system has helped tremendously in a lot of cases. In areas where we have imazethapyr resistance, Clincher has worked really well this year. Airplane applications with Clincher have paired well with the cool temperatures and high moisture this year.
“Ninety percent of my rice is in great shape, 5% might be ugly at the end of the year but will be alright, and the other 5% are traditionally challenging fields we battle every year. It’s all coming along with the weather we’ve been dealt.
“The vigor of the FullPage varieties have really shined this year compared to RiceTec XP753, which was probably our No. 1 hybrid for the last five years. I believe the FullPage varieties will take over next year because RT XP753 did not handle the wet, cold weather we had while the FullPage varieties never checked up.
“Between my dad (David Hydrick) and I, 60% to 70% of our rice is row rice. I don’t think it’s going anywhere any time soon. Yes, I think it’s somewhat a fad, but I also believe it has a major place in the industry. Once you get to the point of critiquing the system rather than learning it, it goes pretty good.
“Soybeans range from just planted to R2 (as of June 15) with the majority between V4 to R2. The non-GMO and Enlist beans we have also look good. I do have one field of beans left to plant, but we knew it would be planted late. We’ve been fortunate that every time we spray it gets incorporated until now with this welcomed dry spell. Like the cotton, it is starting to get messy, so we’re looking to get some sprays out for weeds soon. No pests have been a big problem in the soybeans so far.
“We are expecting 95% of the corn to start tasseling by the end of this week (from June 15). We’re putting out pre-tassel urea on everything right now, which is something I have done my entire consulting career, before and during graduate school. I saw someone ask if anyone puts out pre-tassel urea on Facebook, and it baffled me some people don’t! Putting out a pre-tassel shot of urea has a major benefit. Right before tasseling is one of corn’s biggest nitrogen uptake times, so providing it with the nitrogen it needs at this point can lead to really good yields.
“Starting out the year, peanut seed quality was fairly poor. Several fields had to be replanted across several farms in the area. Most of the peanuts are blooming, and we will begin our fungicide program next week where we put out a fungicide application every two weeks.
“Rice acres may be down a little compared to last year, but we had an exceptional year for rice in 2020. I’m still happy with it this year though. I’m checking more soybean acres than anything this year because of the price. Corn acres are up a little while cotton is pretty flat compared to last year. Everything is coming along, and at these prices, we know everything will work out in the end.”
Sebe Brown, Louisiana Extension Field Crops Entomologist
“Things have quieted down in cotton. We hit 97 degrees today (June 15), the high is 97 again tomorrow, so we’re hovering right around 100 degrees. All these heat units are making the cotton start jumping especially if it has nitrogen under it.
“Thrips are still in the environment, but we’re growing out of the thrips susceptibility stage quickly. My colleague in the northeast part of the state still has higher thrips pressure, so some locations are still going to experience them. We have good cotton growing conditions right now to fight off thrips though. We have the heat units, so if you have the moisture, cotton is going to grow out of the susceptible stage.
“I haven’t had many calls regarding cotton aphids this year. We are definitely not seeing the blow up we saw last year. If we stay hot and dry like this, populations will start to increase. However, with the potential developing tropical depression hitting us at the end of the week, our dry spell may end. The radar does not indicate a defined part of Louisiana that could be affected (as of June 15).
“Some of the growers with the earliest planted cotton have started making applications for plant bugs especially in fields bordering corn. With the high price of corn, we have a lot of it across the state. From what I’m hearing, big populations of plant bugs are gathering in the cotton near corn.
“Our corn acres are moving along. Earlier planted corn is at brown silk with some even moving into dough. Some growers had a window in early March and planted a lot of acres of corn. We’re at the transition point where plant bugs are moving out of corn and into cotton particularly around field edges.
“Soybeans are pretty quiet right now. Around the state our beans range from R3 to cotyledon, and some places are still too wet to get them planted. Today was the last day to get maximum insurance payments, so I think a lot of guys were trying to make decisions on soybeans today.
“We saw an early flush of corn earworms in the vegetative stage beans, but those populations have been drawn into the corn as it’s at the ideal stage for corn earworm infestations. We also have more grain sorghum acres, so between the two, corn earworms are being sucked away from the soybeans. That means we are going to have a lot of susceptible beans and cotton at the opportune growth stage when the corn earworms come out of the corn and grain sorghum.
“It was easy to find worms in the corn I scouted today (June 15). It was not uncommon to find 2 to 3 worms per ear, so they’re in the environment.
“Sugarcane aphids are starting to show up in the earlier planted grain sorghum. Some applications are going today and will continue throughout the week (from June 15). The colonies are not hard to find in the area. It is especially easy to find sugarcane aphids in johnsongrass or grain sorghum near johnsongrass, which many of our grain sorghum acres are inundated with.”