Owen Taylor, Editor


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Fusarium head blight/scab of wheat is turning up on a wider basis in the Southeast. Virginia Extension issued an alert Thursday night (connect to the advisory in our Links section). Dewey Lee, Georgia Extension Grain Specialist, this week characterized this as the worst season he’s seen for the disease in Georgia.


Bollworms/corn earworms are becoming evident in soybeans in Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi. A limited amount of acreage has been treated. Mississippi entomologists described bollworms as "plentiful" in places. "The last time that we saw this many bollworms this early was 2010, and it resulted in record numbers of applications to protect soybeans," they noted in a post on the Mississippi Crop Situation blog Friday afternoon. "It is still too early to predict what is going to happen, but signs point to a very heavy bollworm year."


Northern corn leaf blight (NCLB) was found in south Georgia this week, the first known sighting in the state this year. See comments by Dewey Lee and connect to more info in our Links section.


True armyworms are being reported in Arkansas, Mississippi and Tennessee wheat. Connect to reports in our Links section.


Leaf miners are hitting corn in parts of south Georgia. For more info, connect in our Links section.


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Larry Varnadoe, County Extension Agent, Worth County, Georgia: “Wheat is beginning to dry down. I don’t know of anybody who has combined any yet. Corn is beginning to come out of the effects of all the rain. Some fertilizer washed away, I think, and growers have been getting back in the field and fertilizing. The corn, you might say, is beginning to look like corn now. The crop is late, 3 to 4 weeks behind where it should be here.”


Steve Schutz, Ind. Consultant, Coushatta, Louisiana: “Wheat is beginning to turn in a lot of fields. I have some blank heads that I first suspected were due to Roundup drift. I’ve seen drift symptoms in some fields already. But as it turns out this probably was due to birds, not Roundup or frost. Birds have really been bad, to the point that we’ve had to replant 40 acres of rice.


“Our oldest soybeans are maybe at second trifoliate and we’re still planting. We’re spraying for corn earworms in both corn and soybeans. In soybeans they were eating leaves on young beans in one location. In corn, I treated some refuge corn at 2 to 4 leaves where I was afraid they’d take out the growing point. With some 6- to 7-leaf refuge corn, I let them go.


“Preemergence materials have been down for about 2 weeks in soybeans and should be well activated with all the rain we’ve had. We do have some pigweed escapes and the main thing I’m doing in soybeans right now is looking for that. I am seeing morningglory escapes and we’re getting flush after flush.”


Billy McLawhorn, McLawhorn Crop Services, Inc., Cove City, North Carolina: "Corn is all over the board. Most looks pretty good but we’ve actually replanted some as recently as 2 or 3 days ago (from 5/13). Mostly, our corn was planted in mid April but we were pounded with a lot of rain early, which either took out part of the crop or delayed planting. Some farmers missed the whole month of April in terms of being in the field.


“Our wheat is in pretty good shape. Very low insect pressure this year, overall, and the same goes for disease. This was the lightest season for fungicides in wheat that I can remember for several years. We treated just a little for cereal leaf beetles. Some wheat is approaching the milk stage.”


John Stobaugh, Stobaugh Cotton Consulting, Inc., McGehee, Arkansas: “Corn is all planted and up. Our oldest is moving in on V7 as of Sunday, May 11. Soybeans are at about the 75% planted range. With some of our heavier soils, farmers have been waiting on moisture to plant.”


Keith Collins, Richland Parish Extension Agent, Rayville, Louisiana: “Wheat has all turned color and is maturing out and drying down. It’s running 10 to 14 days behind normal due to a cold winter followed by a cool, wet spring. It did change quickly once things dried up. We’re still probably 3 weeks from any harvest. Most of our corn has been laid by.”


Dewey Lee, Georgia Extension Grain Specialist: “In wheat, this has turned into the worst fusarium head blight outbreak in my career. I don’t recall a year in Georgia when it’s been this severe or widespread, despite all the efforts by farmers to protect the crop from diseases we normally have. It’s difficult to predict or control, and while most of our wheat fungicide programs are built around strobilurin materials, triazoles have a better fit with head blight. These infections often come, too, at a time when it’s raining and hard to treat. This reinforces the argument that we need tram lines in wheat fields so we can treat on short notice and not just run over the crop.


“Northern corn leaf blight (NCLB) has started early. Rome Ethredge (Seminole County, Georgia, Extension Coordinator) found it a few days ago. Typically, this disease is as finicky as the weather. When we do find it, the first indications tend to be in south Georgia or adjoining counties in Florida where it’s warmer and corn is a more advanced host.


“Don’t automatically run out and spray everything. With NCLB being found, we need to do two things. First, walk fields and scout. Second, clearly identify which hybrids you’ve planted that are known to be susceptible. Our recommendations are fairly consistent – with a susceptible hybrid you should apply a fungicide somewhere between V6 and V10 to reduce the impact of an ongoing infection. Don’t wait until V12. Your objective is to slow it down. You won’t cure it, so continue scouting after that first application. As you approach tassel, you’ll likely have to make a second application. Rome also reported finding northern corn leaf spot, which is different from blight.


“With this last round of rain, we got 4 to 5 inches and up to 6 inches in places.”


Wendell Minson, Bootheel Crop Consultants, Dexter, Missouri: "We got rain last week and it’s been raining early this week, too, and it couldn’t have come at a worse time for the wheat, which is in mid bloom. This was the big week for pollination. About 80% of our wheat – anything with good yield potential – has had a fungicide for head scab, so I feel good about that. The wind blew for 3 days and we couldn’t put it out as precisely as we wanted and had do do it in a flurry, and I’m hoping it helps.


“Some corn replanting has been necessary, although not as much as anticipated, considering all the rain we’ve had. It’s mainly just been necessary on low ends, with a few cases where we replanted whole fields. A little soybean planting has started, maybe 2% to 3% in this part of the state. None of mine are up but I think I saw one field early this week where they’d emerged.”


Tucker Miller, Ind. Consultant, Drew, Mississippi: “Our most advanced corn is at 6 collared leaves, down to some at 1 to 2. Several people didn’t get all the corn planted they’d expected. Some of that land went to soybeans, although cotton picked up a few more acres, too. Wind has been so high that we couldn’t spray corn when necessary, plus people were trying to finish planting other crops. So, a lot of corn at 4 to 5 collared leaves has weed issues.


Bollworms on soybeans this week in Mississippi. Click to enlarge. Photo by Tucker Miller.


“Soybeans range from being planted up to the third trifoliate coming out. We’ve started finding bollworms on soybeans. Wheat is turning a little (as of 5/12). It probably will be the end of May or first week of June before any harvest starts. Little or no issues in wheat. Some guys put out a fungicide at 80% heading, but I’m not finding diseases or worms in the crop.”


Josh Thompson, Regional IPM Extension Agent, Jackson County, Florida: “Corn looked rough a couple of weeks ago but is starting to green up again and grow. We’re still waiting for the wheat to finish out. I’ve checked some plots today (5/12) and most was in soft dough where it was planted in December. Plots planted earlier than that are in hard dough now.”


Wayne Dulaney, Dulaney Seed Co. and AgVenture, Clarksdale, Mississippi: "The wind has really complicated spraying. Planting soybeans doesn’t mean anything anymore unless you stay even with herbicides. Getting them sprayed – now that’s the key to things. With pigweed, you’re really not finished if all you’ve done is plant.


“A lot of soybeans have been planted and we’ve got fields that are up now. I’ve had several calls about replants. People are dealing with some herbicide situations triggered by all the rain and in some cases it’s maybe being mistaken for pythium. The Mississippi Crop Situation blog (mississippi-crops.com) has had some information about this, and it’s occurring in several counties in our area.



“Corn looks pretty good. A lot is green and growing off, but in places it’s stunted, yellow and not picking up fertilizer like it should, although it’s beginning to come around some. We’ve been tissue testing and are seeing a little sulfur and zinc deficiency and are trying to adjust that now. Where wheat has been closely managed, we see a lot of 90 to 100 bu/acre potential. People who went with 120 units of nitrogen will cut a good crop, but where they applied 150, that will should do better.”


Christy Hicks, Auburn University Regional Extension Agent, Opelika, Alabama: “Corn looks great except where we have some yellowing due to standing water. We mainly need more sunlight but nitrogen deficiency has got to be a factor, too, with all the N that likely leached out. Since corn emerged, I’d venture to say we’ve had 8 to 10 inches of rain in places.


“Some of our wheat is the best that people can remember. Very little disease. One guy did lose some yield to Hessian fly. He planted a variety that lacks resistance to the biotype down here. Some growers applied growth regulators. Usually, those go on around Valentine’s Day, but we didn’t have enough growth and the treatments were somewhat delayed. This is mainly as insurance so that if we have a late, heavy storm we might avoid lodging issues. Heads are starting to turn. I’m in a wheat field right now with yellowish color. Late-planted wheat is just getting into the dough stage.”


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Dan Fromme, Louisiana Extension Cotton And Corn Specialist: “As wet as it’s been, it was hard to believe that we’d have to water corn, but some irrigation started last week before the rain developed. This rain will help a good deal.”


Mark Mitchell, Mitchell Ag Consulting, Inc., Bainbridge, Georgia: “We’re finding a few stink bugs in corn but aren’t treating anything yet. Rome Ethredge (Seminole County Extension Coordinator) reported finding some northern corn leaf blight. So far, we haven’t seen any but are checking closely.”


Curtis Fox, Consultant, Gillette, Arkansas: “Our soybeans range from not planted yet to third trifoliate. South of the Arkansas River those guys should be close to wrapping up planting. North of the river growers are about halfway done. Most of the corn around here has been sidedressed and is running 3 to 5 collars. Considering what the wheat has been through this winter with all the cold and rain, it’s really not bad looking. It will be a late harvest. As it looks, I don’t feel like anybody will cut wheat here in May.”


David Gunter, Corn and Soybean Specialist, Edisto REC, South Carolina: “We got a good rain on Thursday (5/15) pretty much across the state, from an inch to 3.5 inches in places. Corn needed rain, and a lot of people had put out nitrogen and probably some herbicides, so it came at a good time.


“Full-season soybean planting has been going pretty well. Wheat is getting close to being ready. That dry weather probably didn’t have much effect on potential. The crop had pretty much been made by then, I think, and it’s drying down fast.


“Early last week leaf rust turned up in an area near the North Carolina line. So far, I don’t think we’ve seen a lot of head scab. It was certainly easier to find it last year. When our wheat was heading the temperatures were warmer, plus our crop pretty much all headed out at the same time.”




U.S. Drought Outlook: Major Drought Areas Continue Decline  5-16


U.S. Drought Outlook: Major Drought Areas Continue Decline  5-16


Arkansas Wheat: Disease Pressure Still Low 5-13


Arkansas Wheat: True Armyworms May Require Treatment 5-13


Florida: Strip Till Helps Save Money and Soil – Video 5-14


Florida Corn: ‘Farmer’s Intuition’ Way Off This Year 5-14


Georgia Wheat: Large Fusarium Head Blight Losses Expected 5-16


Georgia Corn: Bad Year for Leaf Miners 5-16


Georgia Wheat: Head Blight Damage is Done 5-16


Georgia: Issues in Corn Continue 5-15


Georgia: Northern Corn Leaf Spot Found, Not to Be Confused with NCL Blight 5-14


Georgia Soybeans: Effects of Late Planting on Yields 5-14


Kentucky Soybeans: Proper Adjuvant Selection with Kixxor Technology 5-13


Kentucky: Time to Start Corn, Wheat Pesticide Applications 5-12


Louisiana Corn: Weather Damage Effects on Yield 5-15


Louisiana Corn: Potential Damage from Severe Weather 5-15


Mississippi Soybeans: Bollworms Plentiful in Young Crop 5-16


Mississippi: Rain-Free Week Allowed Planting to Gain Ground 5-16


Mississippi Wheat: True Armyworms Showing Up 5-14


Missouri Corn: Carryover Injury from Last Year’s Herbicides 5-14


Southeast Missouri: 5 Points – Soy Weeds, Corn Replants, Wheat Disease 5-12


North Carolina Corn: On the Insect Watch 5-14


Tennessee Wheat: Armyworm Larvae Being Reported 5-16


Tennessee Corn: Managing Large Palmer Amaranth in Maturing Fields 5-15


Tennessee: Sorghum a Good Option for Late Planted Fields 5-15


Tennessee: Grain Sorghum Basics 5-15


Tennessee: Corn in Good Condition Despite Weather 5-14


Virginia Wheat: Risk of Scab Surfaces in Some Areas 5-16



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