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Owen Taylor, Editor
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Here is this week's issue of AgFax Southeast Cotton.
This season's reports are exclusively sponsored by SePRO, manufacturer of Brake® Herbicide.
Picking has started in parts of the lower Southeast. Most harvest this week has been in drought-stressed fields that cut out early, but a certain amount of picking also is underway in fields that were planted early and have reasonable yield prospects. Many of our contacts this week noted that the crop moved fast this year and is finishing early in many areas.
Defoliation is underway on a wider basis through much of the region. Chances of rain, though, have put some defoliation plans on hold. The remnants of tropical storm Julia continues to bring rains to parts of the Atlantic Southeast.
Whitefly continue to demand attention in parts of Georgia. While whitefly typically turn up in most years in a couple of the state’s counties, this year they have spread into additional counties and have prompted treatments in areas where applications are rarely made.
LAST REPORT FOR 2016
This is our last regular issue for the year.
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Johnny Parker, Agronomist, Commonwealth Gin, Windsor, Virginia: "DD-60 accumulations for Holland have passed 2,100, and both Capron and Waverly are not far behind. Once we pass 2,000 we typically start finding some early fields that are ready to defoliate. This year, though, it’s not quite that easy.
“The measurement for those heat units begins on May 1, but we didn’t plant much cotton that early. Also, the cotton plant has a way of responding to rainfall by sometimes adding late crop, which creates questions about whether to wait for those top bolls to mature. Better soils also tend to hold more top fruit than lighter soils, and when you have both types of soil in the same field, it’s more difficult to decide when to pull the trigger on defoliation.
“Cotton is ready for defoliation when closed bolls are 4 nodes above the top cracked boll. Also we like to see tan seed coats in top bolls that are difficult to cut with a sharp knife. Usually, you can see a few white bolls across the top of the plants from the field edge when it is ready. Last week, there were hardly any fields like that north of U.S. 460. But around the state line we should be close to starting defoliation in a few days to a week (from 9/12).
“I was surprised how inconsistent things seemed to be last week from field to field. Temperatures are supposed to be a little more comfortable than they have been but still above normal through the remainder of September.”
Christy Hicks, Auburn University Regional Extension Agent, Opelika, Alabama: “Defoliation started last week in several fields. If the weather holds, applications should go out on a good bit of cotton this week. Rains last week probably held some people back. In places, 0.6 of an inch or more fell, although a few areas remained dry. A good band of showers moved through the eastern part of the state yesterday (9/11), and southeast Alabama is getting a pretty good rain today.
“Where people can defoliate now, some of that is dryland cotton that cut out early. But we also have fields planted in an April 23-24 window, and that cotton is simply ready. Hotter temperatures and more growing degree days have really pushed development. Cotton is at least 2 weeks ahead of where it was at this point in 2016.”
John D. Beasley, South Georgia Crop Services, Inc., Screven, Georgia: “We started defoliation in our first fields last Thursday (9/8). More could go out, but we’re on hold with further applications due to a chance of rain this week. What we have put out appears to be working well, and cotton looks better than expected now that some leaves are off.
“I thought we’d have disappointing situations with dryland cotton, but out of the fields I’m checking I’m also finding what appear to be some 700 to 900 lb/acre averages. We’re still spraying some re-growth where cotton was drought stressed but then started growing again with that rain a couple of weeks ago.
“We’re still dealing with insects in places. Certain fields have whitefly. Otherwise, we’re mostly just beating down stink bugs and putting out a heavy rate of plant growth regulator. Whitefly aren’t a typical issue for us. In all the years I’ve been consulting I’ve maybe sprayed 3 fields in my area for whitefly. Last Friday, though, I had to spray 200 acres of multiple fields. I just walked out of another field (9/12) that we’ll have to treat.
“I thought I would have to treat more than that, but the storm (Hermine) blew most of them away. What we’re finding now are immatures hatching out. Compared to our history with whitefly, this is a much worse year for us, and I can’t imagine how bad they are west of us in Tifton County, which tends to be where they deal with them in most years.”
Guy Collins, Extension Cotton Specialist, North Carolina State University: “I haven’t seen any cotton defoliation starting yet (as of 9/13). I’ve heard about it beginning in one field but can’t confirm that. We are getting close, though. If the weather cooperates, we should see some starting next week – if a few people don’t begin on a limited basis this week.”
Richard Davis, Davis Ag Consulting, Montgomery, Alabama: “We started defoliating last week – just 200 to 300 acres here and there. So far, the treatments appear to be doing a pretty good job.
“I’ve been watching whitefly in 400 to 500 acres in one location, and that’s the only place I’ve got them. I’ve been monitoring for sooty mold, trying to decide whether to treat, but I think I’ll go ahead and pull the trigger on defoliation. That cotton is close enough to being ready that we can get defoliation going and skip having to spray for whitefly.
“Whitefly very seldom turn up here to any extent, and it’s been years since I’ve treated any. One grower asked me how bad they were. I told him I didn’t know. They’re such an infrequent pest for us that I don’t have a good frame of reference for making any comparisons.
“This crop’s potential isn’t what it was at one time. We were looking at a great crop earlier. But we lost some fruit due to the heat and dry weather, and there’s nothing we could do about that. I’ve sprayed one field for target spot. It’s a really sandy, irrigated field, and we have to keep water on it all the time.”
Phillip Roberts, Extension Entomologist, Tifton, Georgia: "Whitefly and stink bugs are still present in a few late-planted fields. Otherwise, it’s almost over, and they’re the only thing we’re dealing with now in cotton.
“Whitefly have been a little more widespread this year. They were still on limited acreage but over a somewhat wider geography. In most years they’re confined to two counties. This year, though, they spread a couple of counties out from that usual range. We had a dry summer, which favored their development. Whitefly have moderated some now. The storm (Hermine) knocked them back. They have rebounded but not to the levels they were at before the storm.
“On some later planted cotton we’ll probably need to scout stink bugs to the end of the month, depending on where it’s located. We hope to make bolls from blooms that came out in the first week of September, weather permitting. If you add 25 days, that takes you to the end of the month.
“More and more cotton defoliation has started. This crop moved fast. A little cotton has already been picked. No yield reports yet. Mostly, stressed dryland acreage has been harvested, but a little irrigated cotton also has been picked.”
Tyler Sandlin, Extension Crop Specialist, North Alabama, Belle Mina: “Several fields have been defoliated, mostly stressed cotton and earlier planted cotton. But the crop overall is finishing quickly, and several fields will soon follow. That’s not to say everything will be ready, but we certainly have cotton nearing that point.”
Billy McLawhorn, McLawhorn Crop Services, Inc., Cove City, North Carolina: "I just started cranking out a few defoliation recommendations today (9/14). We usually start a little defoliation in the first week of September but often don’t push into it much until the third week of September, so we’re close to being on an average schedule.
“Some other crops – like peanuts – are particularly early this year. I’ve already started profiling peanuts, and some digging actually started yesterday in fields planted in late April. They were absolutely beautiful. We’re within 3 to 4 days of digging some peanuts planted in mid-May. I’ll look at whole lot more peanuts tomorrow and start lining them up, too.”
Ron Smith, Alabama Extension Entomologist: "I haven’t seen any pickers going yet, although they may be running in places. Some of the earliest planted cotton in our plots has been defoliated at Headland, E.V. Smith Research Center and at Prattville. All of it was planted in April, and we’ll start picking in a few days.”
Alabama: PPO Resistant Pigweed Likely Present in Northern Areas 9-14
North Carolina Cotton: Considerations for Defoliation 9-15
Cotton – Southwest – Bollworms, Stinkbugs, Re-Growth; Defoliation Picks Up Speed – AgFax 9-14
Bayer, Monsanto Come to Terms – DTN 9-14
Record U.S. Peanut Exports, Strong Shipments to China, Vietnam 9-14
World Cotton Market: U.S. Share of World Trade Rises as Exports Expand 9-14
Georgia Farmer Produces Record Soybean Crop 9-14
Bayer Absorbing Monsanto – Agreement Reached 9-14
Virginia Cotton: Heat Units Ahead on Late Planted Crop 9-13
Alabama Field Reports: Corn Harvest Nearly Finished; Cotton Defoliation, Peanut Digging Begin 9-13
Georgia Field Reports: Peanut Digging Underway, Limited Harvest Begins 9-13
Virginia Field Reports: Harvest Moves Forward, Crops Remain Stressed 9-13
South Carolina Field Reports: Corn Harvest Nearly Finished, Attention Turns to Peanuts 9-13
North Carolina Field Reports: Hermine Rains Slow Corn Harvest 9-13
More Cotton News | More Peanut News
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