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Owen Taylor, Editor
Here is this week's issue of AgFax Midsouth Cotton.
Our thanks to SePRO – maker of Brake herbicide – for sponsoring our coverage.
Open bolls are turning up on a scattered basis in the south Delta and insect control is being terminated in places.
The crop is running ahead of schedule in many areas, our contacts continue to report.
Bollworms are still in the picture but some cotton is past the point that they matter much. Where cotton is far enough along, less expensive insecticides are being used to buy a little more time at the end. If any diamides are still going out, it’s on later fields that haven’t cut out.
Plant bugs are being sprayed on more of a localized basis now.
Spider mites remain a nagging issue in parts of the upper Delta.
Soybean harvest started this week in Louisiana on a limited basis and a bit more corn harvest has cranked up, mainly where growers have dryers.
Larry Walker, Walker Cotton Technical Services, Flintville, Tennessee:
“A lot of our cotton is now at 3 NAWF and it’s finishing strong. We have a really nice load on this crop. A big portion of our acreage received showers this week and the rest needs a rain. I feel like we’ve made our last Pix application and plants seem to be in good shape as far as growth management goes.
“We have not had an onslaught of bollworms in cotton or soybeans (as of 7/31) and we’re waiting to see if they do materialize. Scattered aphids developed but the fungus seems to have come into play where rain fell, plus we’re finding ladybug larvae in those fields.”
David Skinner, Agronomist, CPS, Macon, Mississippi:
“We have a big crop in Noxubee County and need another rain or two. Cotton ranges from 2 to 5 NAWF. Rain is in the forecast (as of 7/31) for 2 or 3 days and that would really help top off this crop. A little of our early dryland cotton isn’t in great shape. It got rain too late and has bloomed out the top. Maybe it has enough bolls that it will pay for itself. Much of our dryland crop, though, does look good.
“Plant bugs are kind of coming back but just in small areas, maybe 30 acres here and 100 acres there. Treatments have been necessary on about 300 acres, I think.
“Stink bugs are practically nonexistent. I’ve probably seen no more than 10 stink bugs so far this season. Last year, they were tearing us up. We had one flush of bollworm moths and treated once with diamides. Eggs were running 30% to 50%. They haven’t come back.
“The first guy started harvesting corn yesterday. Moisture was running 17% to 18%, but he has a drier. In 10 days, we should see corn harvest on a wider basis.”
Lee Rogers, Rogers Entomological Service, Steele, Missouri:
“My growers have been mostly missing rain lately. It’s rained all around us but not where my farmers need it, and a lot of our dryland cotton will be just about done after this week. We’re trying to keep plant bugs from knocking off the top in some of those fields where we still have green growth.
“It’s been about a month (as of 7/31) since a lot of areas received any rain, even though forecasts called for 40% to 60% chances. It’s been very disappointing, although that kind of thing happens now and then.
“Irrigated cotton looks good. I’m not finding enough bollworms to treat at this point.
“Most of our soybeans have had a fungicide. Like with the cotton, irrigated beans look really good, dryland soybeans not so good. A big portion of our corn will be just about at black layer after this week.”
Trent LaMastus, Consultant, Cleveland, Mississippi:
“Cotton is progressing really fast, and we may terminate bug spraying on some fields this week. We do have later cotton, though, that we’ll be looking at until maybe the middle of September.
“A little moth activity is still going on, depending on the last time those fields were treated. In some cotton, we’re getting 12 to 15 days with the diamides. We are having to come in every 7 to 10 days with pyrethroids or acephate on our older cotton where we’re just trying to hold off worms a little longer. Control has been pretty good where applications weren’t washed off.
“Plant bugs have been a bit of a problem. Where we’re putting out acephate and it doesn’t rain for a couple of dry days, control has been reasonably good. If it rains within 24 hours, we’re having to come back and spray again. It seems like we’ve been spraying around the weather for 3 weeks. In a lot of cases, these haven’t been big rains, just what you’d call ‘wash-off rains’. We treated isolated fields for aphids in July but they’ve mostly crashed on their own.
“Our cotton ranges from zero to 8 or 9 NAWF in some late cotton. I found an open boll in a sand blow last Thursday (7/26). We’ll probably have open bolls in some irrigated cotton late next week.
“Stink bugs are picking up in soybeans – browns, greens and an occasional redbanded – but I haven’t seen a treatable level of redbanded yet. We’ll probably apply desiccants on some irrigated beans in the second half of next week. We’re picking up an occasional looper but haven’t had to treat.
“Corn has wrapped up and we’ll probably have a combine running later this week if we miss rain. A lot of corn was blown down about 2 weeks ago. It was a really bad situation with one particular hybrid.”
David Hydrick, Hydrick’s Crop Consulting, Inc., Jonesboro, Arkansas:
“Cotton is beginning to finish up and it seems like this is happening a couple of weeks earlier than normal. We’ve really lessened our Pix applications and also lessened our insecticide applications on a lot of cotton. That said, we still have some green cotton that we’re having to treat.
“We did begin spraying aphids a little last week and a little more this week. Plant bugs are still bad in places and we’ve treated a lot of whole fields for mites where they’ve blown up. We’ve been treating spider mites all along but they’ve really flared in places now and we’re spraying almost every field in a couple of areas.
“We’re finishing up Pix on the younger cotton. Overall, this crop looks good. I was in some dryland cotton today on strong river dirt that could push 3 bales. Of course, we do have a lot of dryland acreage that doesn’t look that good.
“I could terminate some cotton right now but it just seems a little early to do that. We’ll keep an eye on it for another week or two. But we’ll let go of some acres by August 10 to August 15, and that’s almost unheard of here.
“With 80% of our corn, we’ve either wrapped up irrigation or have one more watering to go. We’re probably 2 weeks from letting go of many beans. In blooming beans, we’ve been fighting a pretty good level of bollworms and budworms for 2 weeks. The pressure hasn’t been astronomical but enough to spray.”
Angus Catchot, Mississippi Extension Entomologist:
“We still have areas with worms and some people are starting on a second worm shot. Where anyone is still applying diamides, it’s in some later cotton that’s still at 5 or 6 NAWF. We still have a few eggs and worms showing up where fields are at 2 or 3 NAWF.
“That cotton is almost done but not quite to the point that we can let it go. So, we’re just applying some acephate and pyrethroids. In a lot of areas, it seems like the bollworm flight is subsiding. Overall, this is the point with worms that we don’t have a one-size-fits-all recommendation.
“In some situations, people are letting them go where cotton has flowered out the top. In situations where we’re not quite there, people are choosing not to spend money for diamides and are going with something less expensive.
“In soybeans, we’re still picking up bollworms. We’re not hearing about the high numbers reported in Arkansas and maybe some other places. But we are finding worms at or near threshold.”
Richard Griffing, Griffing Consulting, LLC, Monterey, Louisiana:
“Cotton is about to cut out. Insect-wise, everything is under pretty good control. We’re still having to stay on top of plant bugs but it’s nothing out of hand.
“Everything except the triple-gene cotton was sprayed with a diamide and that’s held really well. Now, we’re coming in with Diamond and Bidrin to finish out the crop.
“It will be 3 weeks before defoliation starts in any of our fields. Cotton is blooming out the top and maturing rapidly. I found a boll 2 days ago (from 7/31) that had started opening. We’ve got a front moving through, but after that we’ll get into drier weather and bolls should start popping fast.
“Even after a tremendous amount of shed, the crop really looks good. As long as we don’t have a repeat of last August, we’ll be in good shape. In 2017, it rained 25 out of 31 days. In places where it looked like 1,400 to 1,500 lbs/acre averages, the yields dropped to 700 to 1,250, depending on the area.
“A few people have pecked around to try to harvest some corn, but our main corn harvest will start in earnest in 5 or 10 days.
“One client has already cut about 400 acres of soybeans that were planted on March 20 on some really dry fields with rolling ridges. They burned up yet still cut in the upper 40s (bu/acre). But most of my beans are at R6 and insects are slowly picking up.
“We have brown and green stink bugs in beans, with a few redbanded. I’ve border-sprayed a few fields and treated some whole fields. We’re finding clusters of freshly hatched browns. I don’t think stink bugs will be bad this year but we’ll end up having to treat some more acres. We had a pretty good run of corn earworms in beans about 2 weeks ago and treated those. So far, so good.”
Gus Lorenz, Arkansas Extension IPM Specialist:
“A few people are still fighting worms. We’re getting on the back side of plant bug issues. People in northeast Arkansas have been fighting spider mites and that continues.
“In general, we’re getting pretty close to the finish line. This seems early but a lot of this cotton has bolls or blooms out the top and we’re quickly reaching NAWF 5 plus 350. So for a lot of those fields, it’s time to cut them loose in terms of worms and plant bugs. In northeast Arkansas, I think a lot of growers will probably outrun worms.
“In soybeans, the bollworm flight moved through central Arkansas and into our northern counties, and we’re seeing treatment levels of bollworms now in northeast Arkansas. In spots, it’s not uncommon to hit 2X to 5X threshold, with even higher numbers in spots. Loopers are building in places, too, and we’re finding hatches of saltmarsh caterpillars. We’re picking up just an occasional redbanded stink bug. No real issues with it.”
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