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Owen Taylor, Editor
FIRST ISSUE FOR 2018 - Our 21st Year
Here is our first issue of AgFax Southeast Cotton for 2018.
This marks the start of our 21st season covering the region’s cotton crop.
Our thanks to SePRO – maker of Brake herbicide – for once again sponsoring our coverage. This is the third year that SePRO has exclusively sponsored both AgFax Southeast Cotton and AgFax Midsouth Cotton.
Cotton planting has started on a wide basis this week. Weather conditions turned warmer and a drier weather pattern has shaped up across much of the region, so the planting forecasts look mostly favorable.
Where any cotton was planted earlier than this week, it probably took at least some hit from that last bit of cold temperatures in late April.
Cotton acres will be up, our contacts mostly confirmed. Depending on the area, those acres are being pulled from corn, peanuts or both. In places, soybean acres might slip a bit in favor of cotton.
John Burleson, Consultant, Swan Quarter, North Carolina:
“Some cotton will go in this week and some soybeans already have been planted. Maybe 25% of our corn planting has been finished, and a lot of big farmers in the area haven’t planted many acres.
“It rained another inch on Friday (4/27), and it may be the middle to end of this week before we can start again to any extent. It’s been a few years since we’ve seen a season like this.
“Cotton acres will increase in the county next to me, although not by a drastic amount. I don’t anticipate any increase in this area.”
Ron Smith, Alabama Extension Entomologist:
“I doubt if any cotton was planted until today (4/30) or maybe just in spots over the weekend. I think the plans were to start rolling today and go all day and maybe at night, too, depending on the grower.
“I interact on Facebook with several big farmers in north Alabama and at this point they’ll go continuously up there until they run out of moisture or get rained out. I think people feel like they’re a little behind. Corn planting definitely was strung out in places for as long as 6 weeks.”
Guy Collins, Extension Cotton Specialist, North Carolina State University:
“Cotton planting is really just starting. A few early birds jumped out there last week but those are the exceptions. I put in my first plots this morning (4/30) and I think most people are at least trying to plant today.
“We’re not really recommending that they begin today because we expect cool temperatures tonight, although the rest of the week looks good as far as heat goes. Where anyone is planting today, they’re mostly just testing their planters on a few acres to work out the kinks. By next week, though, we’ll be planting on a wide basis.
“Our cotton acres will go up this year, I think. I don’t know by how much, but the price outlook for December still seems appealing. That may pull a few more acres toward cotton. Some people may still be planting corn, but I don’t have a good read on how much of those final acres might swing to cotton.”
Trey Bullock, Bullock's Ag Consulting, Hattiesburg, Mississippi:
“One client near the Mississippi River has probably planted 300 or 400 acres of cotton. But to the east where the bulk of my acres are, we haven’t started yet. However, we’ll probably see planters moving on Wednesday (5/2).
“We’ve had delays due to all the rain and cool weather. Also, growers have been desperately trying to repair infrastructure when they could catch dry conditions. All the storms – both last year and this year – dumped huge amounts of rain. That blew out culverts and clogged drainage tile. It’s been a mess. Some clients are still scrambling to fix as much of that as they can.
“I won’t have any corn this year and maybe only 300 acres of soybeans. I expect to have close to an equal amount of cotton and peanut acres. I have growers with 2,000 to 3,000 acres that have been split between corn and beans for years, but all that ground will be in cotton in 2018.”
Phillip Roberts, Extension Entomologist, Tifton, Georgia:
“We’ve started planting in earnest but haven’t covered a lot of acres so far. Maybe 10% has been planted by now (4/30). For the most part, we just got going this week. It’s been abnormally cool in South Georgia this year – both in March and in April. A little cotton is up and is still in the cotyledon stage.
“Cotton acres will be up. Whatever increase we see in cotton acres will mostly come out of peanuts and maybe growers will also plant more of our available land.”
Brad Smith, Crop Production Services, Selma, Alabama:
“Very little cotton has been planted. Where some has been planted, I’m afraid someone will have to drive back through the field with seed in the planter due to the cold weather. It was 37 or 38 this morning (4/30). We may be as much as 90% finished with planting corn, but this is the final date for crop insurance, so we may be nearing 100% planted anyway. A few MG IV soybeans have been planted on sandier land.”
Jack Royal, Royal’s Agricultural Consulting Co., Inc., Leary, Georgia:
“Cotton planting began cranking up a little this week. I’m just starting to calibrate a few cotton planters and peanut planters. Cool weather has held things back. It was down to 48 here last night (4/29). But the weather has transitioned into a warming trend and people are planting a little more each day.
“Cotton acres probably will be up some, maybe 10% to 15%. Some of that acreage will come out of corn and peanuts. Corn prices went up and I think people would have planted a little more corn if they had known that would happen.
“It was fairly dry in February, so we were able to get plenty of field work done and plant more of the corn when we wanted. So far, this is a good-looking corn crop and most of it has been in the ground since mid-March.”
Jeremy Greene, Clemson University Cotton Entomologist, Blackville, South Carolina:
“People are planting now. I put in a trial yesterday (5/1), myself.
“According to the predictive model for tobacco thrips injury, this isn’t the week to be planting in the general latitude where our station is located. If you do plant right now in this part of South Carolina, you will be accepting more risk. And, in fact, we tend to see better yields when cotton is planted in mid-May to even late May.
“If growers have a large number of acres, I understand why they need to jump in there this week. But small to medium sized growers might consider holding off. Let me add that the risk window is relatively brief but it also slides northward, based on the calendar. We anticipate that cotton acres will be up 10% to 15%, based on feedback and other indicators. We’ll see.”
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Alabama Corn: Sulfur and Magnesium – Key Nutrients for Crop Development 5-2
Cotton – Southwest: The “D” Word is Back; Weeds Cranking Up – AgFax 5-2
Georgia: Corn Reaching V6, Weed Control Still Important 5-2
Georgia Cotton: What’s Your Risk for Thrips? 5-1
Alabama Cotton: Bollworm Management on 2 Gene Crops – 2018 5-1
Alabama Field Reports: Cotton, Peanut, Soybean Planting Underway 5-1
North Carolina Field Reports: Lots of Rain, Still Some Corn Planted 5-1
Georgia Field Reports: Peanut, Cotton Planting in Full Swing 5-1
Georgia Peanut Commission Referendum Passes by 94% – Highest Ever 5-1
More Cotton News | More Peanut News
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