|“Bollworms haven’t been an issue yet, but I also expect them to pick up in the next couple weeks. A lot of our cotton is late. Bollworms typically go into the blooming cotton first, but we won’t have a lot of cotton blooming at the same time the soybeans will be blooming this year. I’m predicting what bollworms we do see in early July will be more so in soybeans rather than cotton.
“We are a little behind where we would like to be going into July, but a large portion of our beans are starting to bloom. More and more fields are starting to be irrigated, and we are still working on cleaning up a few fields. Given the year we’ve had, we’re in the best shape we can be.
“I expect to have some rice in early boot when I go check it tomorrow (June 30). Most of my rice is row rice, but I do have a little flooded rice. The flooded rice is younger, and we had to spray for armyworms when it was three-leaf rice. But a lot of the row rice is moving into the early boot stage. Overall, my row rice looks like it has higher potential than last year.
“Last year, it was dry in May and June, so we had a hard time getting fertilizer incorporated evenly. However, this year we have had plenty of rain to assist with even fertilizer, so my rice looks better this year than it did in 2020.
“On the other hand, we didn’t have many weeds last year because we were forced to start watering earlier, which caused pre-emergents to be activated great. But this year, we were late getting sprays out because it was so wet. I have more broadleaf weeds in most of my fields than normal. A lot of my row rice is intercropped very close to cotton and soybeans, and that has really limited the products we can safely use. We do have some pigweed and some other unexpected weeds we don’t typically see thanks to the flood.
“There are hundreds, if not thousands, of rice stink bugs (RSB) waiting to jump on this rice from around the environment. When we sweep the field edges and ditches, we are finding higher RSB populations than we typically find at this point. I’m hopeful those just disappear, but we will more than likely have to be on top of that when the time comes.
“I’m pleased with the rice and cotton. The beans do still have a long way to go, but we’re in good shape for what we’ve endured this year.
“I have yet to find aphids in the milo I’m scouting this year. I can’t make heads or tails of that – we just seemingly have very low aphid pressure this year in milo.”
Sebe Brown, Louisiana Extension Field Crops Entomologist:
“Cotton has been pretty quiet. I’m starting to get more reports of adult plant bugs migrating in good numbers especially adjacent to corn. A lot of our corn has hit brown silk, so we would expect the plant bugs to start moving over. Some are fighting an uphill battle because they just can’t get the plant bugs under control. Especially with the amount of corn we have across the state this year, this is not a novel fight. Various growers fight plant bugs this hard every year.
“Some of our earliest cotton has blooms on it, but it’s a very limited amount across the state. Our latest cotton is still at the three or four-true leaf stage. It’s all over the board.
“Although I haven’t heard of any bollworm issues yet, they could very well be coming soon. We have a lot of corn earworms in the corn right now that will be looking to move into the cotton or soybeans soon. The cotton that is blooming will be the most attractive. We don’t usually see bollworm movement into squaring cotton, but it can happen. Our crop is typically further along at this point in the year than it is, so it is not currently at the most attractive stage for this bollworm migration. Growers with late soybeans and grain sorghum should be prepared and start scouting for corn earworms from this flight.
“I’m still getting calls about armyworms in beans, grain sorghum, rice and pastures. Tremendous armyworm flights are going on across the state right now. We’re getting 70 to 80 armyworms in 10 sweeps right now.
“We are seeing some of the same issues Mississippi State saw with lack of control with pyrethroids particularly in rice and pastures here. This could be due to a mix of grass-strain and corn-strain armyworms. Things are starting to settle down, and guys are starting to get better control with pyrethroids even in areas where they know the armyworms are coming out of grass.
“However, I have received reports of pyrethroid failures in rice in the northeast part of the state last week (week of June 21). Rice is a tough one because of the limited available products outside of pyrethroids. Dimilin is about the only option other than pyrethroids for rice, and a lot of guys are not confident in using pyrethroids right now because of the misses some are experiencing.
“In soybeans, pyrethroids are working very well in fields where we know the armyworms are coming off grass. We’re having more problems in clean fields with no surrounding grass, which is the corn-strain. We’re recommending Dimilin, Diamond, Diamide, Intrepid or Intrepid Edge in those situations, and those are all working very well. You should be leery of using a pyrethroid because of the misses we’ve had, but no one talks about the success. The focus is always on the misses, and I think we’ve had fewer failures than what is circulating.
“I’m hearing the same issues from grain sorghum, and product options are also very limited in grain sorghum especially when the worms are in the whorl. We don’t typically recommend treating for worms in the whorl (including fall armyworms), but I received photos from one grower where the sorghum was literally being eaten to the ground. It was the worst feeding by armyworms in grain sorghum I’ve ever seen, but that is not the norm. The few applications that have gone out have been in 6- to 8-inch grain sorghum that was being chewed to the ground, and those growers have been happy with the results.
“Redbanded stink bugs (RBSB) are in the environment. We started picking them up last week (week of June 21), but we haven’t seen any threshold populations. I heard of the first spray two weeks ago in St. Mary Parish, which is about as far south as you can go. They were at a threshold population of RBSB that had to be sprayed, but we aren’t seeing huge numbers.