Owen Taylor, Editor


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Heavy rains through portions of the South have once again put things on hold. Areas in Alabama and Florida received hurricane-like amounts and portions of the upper Delta also were deluged. The rain will likely push more of those yet-unplanted corn acres into other crops. Connect in our Links section for additional reports.


North Carolina Extension Small Grains Specialist Randy Weisz issued a wheat head scab advisory today for certain areas along the state’s coast and in the northeastern counties. In Georgia, Extension agents in Seminole and Thomas Counties noted that head scab was turning up in some of their fields, as well. Connect to the North Carolina and Georgia postings in our Links section.


Stripe rust was reported in Arkansas wheat for the first time this season, probably coming too late to matter, according to Jason Kelley, Arkansas Extension Grain Specialist. See his comments below and connect to a blog entry he made today.


Soybean planting has started on a wider basis in the Midsouth and more beans are up to a stand. Soybeans also have been planted in scattered locations in the Southeast.


Wheat is heading at least a little now throughout most of the region.


Sugarcane aphids gave grain sorghum growers fits last year in parts of Louisiana and Texas. Honeydew secretions from the insects gummed up combines enough to destroy belts and cause other internal damage. M.O. Way, Texas A&M Entomologist based in Beaumont, said this week that a colony of the aphids had been found this week at the station in Beaumont. He noted that colleagues also had been seeing the insect on already-heading grain sorghum that was planted in February in parts of south Texas, plus the aphids were present on Johnsongrass in the Corpus Christi area. Connect to more reports from Texas in our Links section.


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Scott Holder, Helena Chemical Co., Cleveland, Mississippi: “For the most part, people who wanted to plant corn were able to finish, although we won’t have as much corn this year, anyway. Surprisingly, wheat looks pretty good. It’s been slow to develop. It’s heading out now. I haven’t seen any disease in the wheat I’ve looked at so far this week.”


John Wilson, MRM Ag Services, East Prairie, Missouri: “Our corn planting is pretty much finished now, and up until the end of last week that was everybody’s focus. One guy will probably start planting soybeans as soon as it dries up. My area received anywhere from 4 to 8.5 inches of rain with this last big storm. Things had actually dried up and ditches were drained out, but that rain came so fast that everything filled up again. Also, the Ohio River is jumping up, which affects our drainage, too.


“Wheat on cotton ground looks good. But on our good dryland corn ground it stayed wet, so we’ve got a lot of yellow plants due to nitrogen issues. Heads in stems look to have nice sizing and we’ll probably see some coming out next week. We’re hoping for a good grain fill period to make up for slow growth last year. Normally, our wheat is still growing at least a little toward Christmas, but a cold December put things on hold.”


Wade Thomason, Virginia Extension Grain Specialist: “In the eastern part of the state where it hasn’t been too wet we’re 85% done with corn planting, which is about where we should be. In some counties where it’s still wet we’re maybe over the 50% mark, and those guys are talking about how much further into May they should go with corn or whether to put those unplanted acres in something else. Soybeans would be the main option but a few growers might put it in cotton.


"Some of our corn has been in the ground since the last week of March, although it didn’t grow a lot until recently. Things cooled off with this last rain and it’s still raining this morning (5/1) in places.


"In wheat, the crop on the east side of the state is getting close to heading if it hasn’t already started in some fields. We’re thinking now about what to do in terms of disease, whether to put on a fungicide now or wait for flowering and then go with a head scab treatment. We watch scab pretty closely and pay attention to the model, but if it’s raining at this point and it looks like it will rain, we will probably have head scab.”


Blake Foust, Consultant, Southern Heritage Cotton, LLC, Forrest City, Arkansas: “We got a pretty good run for planting soybeans, at least for the guys who weren’t trying to plant rice. We’re not quite caught up to where we have wheat but some growers are 70% to 80% finished. A lot of beans are up and more are emerging. The forecast looks good and we’ll probably start farming by this weekend. If we can get 10 good days we’ll knock a hole in it.”


Brandon Phillips, Phillips Ag Services, LLC, Douglas, Georgia: “The main push right now in corn is getting nitrogen and herbicides out. A lot of nitrogen has been delayed because of the weather and we’ve had corn that turned what I’d call school bus yellow. It was sickening to look at. For the most part we didn’t have a window last week to do much. That should be turning around now, though. Our corn crop now ranges from some at about V8 to places where we’ve just finished replanting.


“All of our wheat is heading and we’ll probably be cutting some at the end of the month. In scattered places it's blown over with all the wind we’ve had. No issues with disease in corn or wheat. We got about an inch of rain around Fitzgerald and maybe 0.3 in some other areas yesterday and today (5/1), with a 50% chance tomorrow.


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“We’d been gearing up to plant peanuts last week before this weather system appeared to be developing, so people got gun shy and held off. If that had gone as planned, we’d have been planting corn, cotton and peanuts all at the same time. About 500 acres of cotton were planted and the rain hit it perfectly. By Monday, weather permitting, people will be running wide open and it will be chaos around here.”


Hugh Whitby, KC Consulting, Wynne, Arkansas: “I don’t have a lot of corn this year, but what I have is all up. Quite a few of our soybeans have been planted but only 1,000 acres or so are probably up to a stand. I don’t know how we did it except that the ground that dried up first was where growers planned to have soybeans this year. Wheat is holding its own. It’s pretty clean, with no disease or insects to speak of. We had a little hail in the last few days but I haven’t seen any damage. We got 2 to 4 inches of rain on Sunday (4/27) when all that bad weather hit the state.”


Charles Denver, Denver Crop Consulting, Watson, Arkansas: "Most everybody planted a little less corn than they’d intended, but our corn acreage was going to be down anyway. We’ll probably have 35% less corn than we did last year. Around Dermott people have sprayed corn a little. It’s probably not dry enough yet (4/30) to plant any soybeans but growers might be able to start in places tomorrow.”


David Gunter, Corn and Soybean Specialist, Edisto REC, South Carolina: “Where anybody is still planting corn it would be someone who mainly grows corn and beans, not the people with cotton or peanuts. Those growers have moved on to something else. A lot of the corn on sandier soils has yellowing in it. More than likely, nitrogen and sulfur have leached below it with all this rain or it could be some ratio problem. On the hills, corn looks streaky but in bottoms and on better soils it’s greened up like you’d want.


“Wheat is all headed out nicely. Disease pressure has been relatively low – septoria more than anything else and some mildew. Warmer weather ought to finish off the mildew. Starting on Monday we’re suppose to move into the high 80s and low 90s.


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“We’ve had scattered showers. East of Interstate 90 in the Pee Dee region it probably rained an inch over the last week, but it’s probably rained only a quarter of an inch through this area. A few growers who are mainly grain producers have started planting a few early maturing soybeans.”


Jason Kelley, Arkansas Extension Grain Specialist: “Overall, the wheat crop looks okay but the last few weeks of rain have taken a toll. Yellow pockets of wheat in mud holes are more common than they should be. Foliar disease levels have been low, with the exception of septoria leaf blotch, which is common in most fields lower in the canopy. It has moved up the plant in the last week on more susceptible varieties.


“I found a small hot spot of stripe rust on Wednesday (4/30) at my plots at Marianna. This was the first reported stripe rust in the state. With most wheat headed, heading or soon to be headed, stripe rust will most likely not have enough time to get well established or be a big issue this year.”




U.S. Drought Monitor – April 29  5-2


Alabama: Heavy Rains Delaying Crop Planting 4-30


Don’t Let Field Work Keep You from Checking Stored Grain – DTN  5-1


DTN Fertilizer Trends: Retail Prices Keep Rising  4-30


AgFax Grain Review: Record U.S. Corn Shipments; Achieving Optimal Yields  4-29


Arkansas Corn: Identification of Leaf Stages 5-2


Arkansas Wheat: Crop Mostly OK but Much Later Than Usual 5-2


Georgia Wheat: Fusarium Head Blight in Thomas, Mitchell Counties 5-2


Georgia Wheat: Head Scab Showing Up 5-1


Georgia: Wheat Heading but Keep Eye Out for Insects 4-29


Georgia Corn: Dealing with Nematodes 4-28


Georgia Corn: Rainy Conditions Have Leached Sulfur 4-28


Kentucky Corn: Delayed Planting Doesn’t Mean Lower Yields 5-2


Louisiana Soybeans: Management of Foliar Diseases and Fungicide Applications 5-1


Mississippi Sorghum: Seeding Rates and Other Planting Tips 4-30


Mississippi Wheat: Fungicide Applications Likely Unnecessary 4-28


Flint on Crops: Should We Grow a Wider Range of Crops? 4-28


Missouri Corn: Oxygen Depletion a Concern in Flooded Fields 5-1


North Carolina Wheat: Head Scab Alert For Selected Counties 5-2


North Carolina Wheat: Insect, Disease Pressure Light 5-2


Texas Sorghum: Sugarcane Aphids All Across the LRG Valley 5-2


Texas Grain Sorghum: Aphids Apparent In Coastal-Area Plots 5-2


Texas Crop Weather: Worse Freeze Damage to Wheat from Abilene to San Angelo 4-29


Texas Wheat: Freeze Assessment – Damage Largely Dependent on Growth Stage 4-29



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