Ron Smith, Extension Entomologist, Auburn University:
“We are definitely winding down our insect management programs, except in our late soybeans that still have so many stink bugs. We’ve also had quite a run with defoliators such as loopers and velvet bean caterpillars.
“Our earliest cotton is beginning defoliation and corn harvest is well underway. In fact, we’re probably more than halfway done, and yields have been excellent. Most cotton that was planted on time has really good yield potential, too.
“We are really concerned about our later-planted cotton because it is still susceptible to stink bug damage, and now we have white flies, too. Hopefully it is nothing we will have to spray for, but it is a race to maturity. The heat units we’ve accumulated lately have really sped up the maturity of the cotton, so I don’t think it will be much longer of a season.”
Brandon Phillips, Phillips Ag Services, LLC, Fitzgerald Georgia:
“I wouldn’t say we’re done quite yet. We still have to keep an eye out for stink bugs, white flies and spider mites in the later-planted cotton. I think about 50% of our cotton is done and is at least 30% to 40% open. We are just holding off on defoliating because I like to have three or four days of sunshine behind us before we defoliate but it looks like we will have some rain for the rest of the week. We will probably kick off defoliating at the beginning of next week.
“It has been a give-and-take season. I saw some of the early cotton get torn up with boll rot, but the later-planted cotton has fared a lot better. It has been a pretty rough year for plant bugs; we don’t usually deal with a lot of those and some fields this year had to be sprayed twice for them. With stink bugs, we can usually get by with one or two sprays. This year, about 50% of the fields I dealt with needed to be sprayed three times. There was a lot more corn this year and it didn’t come out of the field fast enough, so it was harboring a lot of the stink bugs. We had two migrations of them (once when the corn was drying out and another when corn was cut), so it’s been a heavy year for them, especially for the later cotton.