Owen Taylor, Editor



Fall armyworms have pressed farther north in the Midsouth. Treatments are being made on a wider scale in soybeans, although more so in rice.


Kudzu bugs are still moving into soybeans in the Southeast and immatures are being found more commonly. Still no reports of treatments.


Heavy rains in parts of the upper Midsouth put as many as 75,000 acres of crops under water late last week, according to estimates by Arkansas Extension. Soybeans took the brunt of the flooding.


Areas along the Southeast's Atlantic Coast already were receiving rain from Hurricane Arthur. Forecasters predict that it will make landfall somewhere along North Carolina’s Outer Banks. Generally, farmers could use a rain but would just as soon do without high winds.


North Carolina Extension advised Thursday that southern rust was reportedly found in corn near Kinston. "We (also) have a reliable report that southern rust...has been found at a few locations in North Carolina," the advisory further noted. "Southern rust has been found this week in South Carolina and is found throughout much of Georgia at this time. Growers need to be prepared to make a fungicide application. High temperatures next week should restrict development...in the short term." However, Hurricane Arthur "may spread rust over larger areas."


More fungicide applications were going out on corn in the Southeast and starting on a wider basis in the Midsouth. Fungicide sprays have started on a wider basis in the Midsouth on soybeans. Frogeye leaf spot is turning up in more areas in the Midsouth.


Early corn in the lower Southeast is approaching black layer. Scattered pivots will likely be shut off next week. In the Midsouth it's rained enough so far that pivots have barely turned in places and Polypipe has gone unused.


White sugarcane aphids appear to be crashing in some Louisiana grain sorghum. See comments by Sebe Brown.


Stink bugs are present in corn in parts of the region and are being treated.


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Mace Bauer, Extension Agent, Columbia County, Florida: “We might see some field corn cut as early as July 15 but at least maybe by July 21. Southern rust has been pretty bad and we’ve put 2 fungicides on a lot of corn. It’s gotten dry, and farmers have been struggling over the last 14 days to keep corn irrigated, which is important because we’re at the most important time to maintain adequate moisture.”


Gus Lorenz, Arkansas Extension IPM Specialist: “Fall armyworms have now moved north of Interstate 40 and are just south of Jonesboro (as of 7/1). They’re wearing some folks out, mostly in rice but in soybeans, too. If anything, they’re gaining momentum. Watch late-planted soybeans. We’re kicking up a few more bollworm moths in soybeans, too, so we’re probably on the front of a flight. A lot of milo is beginning to head, so we could see some movement into that crop, too. Some midge is in milo, as well.


“In conjuction with Mississippi and Tennessee, we’ve dropped our threshold on headworms/corn ear worms in milo from 2 per head to 1 per head, based on multiple trials in all 3 states. We realized that results are so much better with new materials. When we compared data, treating at 2 per head resulted in about a 6 bu/acre yield loss. We reasoned that if we moved it back to 1 per head we could stop that yield loss to a great degree. We’ve picked up white sugarcane aphids in several more fields of grain sorghum in Ashley and Chicot Counties. They haven’t been detected north of there. We’re expecting emergency use clearance for Transform for control.”


Gary Swords, Swords Consulting, Arlington, Georgia: “We had a certain amount of waterlogging in our corn, plus we’re finding odd things this year, like long silks that came out before the tassel, unusually shaped ears, base kernel abortion, wide maturity differences in the same row and scattered instances of bad pollination, more so than in several years. We’re finding some ears with 4 kernels. People point to an early May cold snap as the reason. We do have some real good corn on heavy red clay soils.


“We’ve battled southern rust, and some corn has had 4 fungicide sprays. In spots in certain fields, it’s gotten to the top of the plant. In a handful of fields with corn behind corn we’ve got every common corn disease in this area. We’ve at least held all of it at bay. We hope we can ride out some of this in older fields for 3 more weeks. That corn is right at dent, with some at full dent, and we’ll shut off water in 3 weeks.


“We’re finding soybean plants that have laid over and then turned back up as they headed for sunlight. At the base of the stem we’re finding lesions that are leading to the stem breaking over. I’m told this is a naturally occurring phenominum caused by rapid growth in good conditions. We’re finding this to some extent in every field. Most of our beans are around V4. Kudzu bugs are present in certain fields. No treatments yet. I’m in soybeans right now (7/1) and moths are flying all around. Off hand, I think they’re bollworm moths.”


Amy Beth Dowdy, ABD Crop Consulting, Dexter, Missouri: "Some of my farmers got 5 to 6 inches of rain from storms last week, and we had flooding in places. A lot of beans that had been planted a second time will now be planted a third time.”


Barry L. Freeman, Extension Entomologist (Retired), Belle Mina, Alabama: "Kudzu bugs are out there but not a lot. I’m hearing about an occasional field where growers are finding them and are worried, but I haven’t heard of any actual spraying.”


Curt Johnson, CRC Ag Consulting, LLC, Lake Village, Arkansas: "Insects in our soybeans are nill. We’re hearing about issues north and south of us, but we’ve touched base with 4 or 5 other consultants between here and Pine Bluff and they’re not dealing with anything in soybeans, either. We have some beans at R5 and they’re marching on. In places, fall armyworms have come out of grass and ragged up milo pretty badly.”


John Burleson, Consultant, Swan Quarter, North Carolina: "Our soybeans range from V1 to V7. I did find some kudzu bugs on blooming beans that aren’t any of mine. I ran across them on field borders and found eggs hatching, so at least in that field there were eggs, immatures and adults. Corn ranges from pollination to blister stage. Some 88-day corn probably will be harvested in 3 weeks, which is a rarity for us. The grower will try soybeans behind it. Once our corn made it through all the wet weather in April, it started looking better, and I’m optimistic.”


Sebe Brown, Northeast Louisiana Region Extension Entomologist: “We’re still finding a few fall armyworms (FAW) in soybeans, and in places they’ve been tough. One consultant in central Louisiana said he’s treated some soybeans for FAW every week since beans emerged. He said they’d been that thick. Stink bugs are quiet, but soybeans are just setting pods. Our earliest are at R3 to R4.


“I got a call Monday morning (6/30) about corn earworms in corn. Enough pressure developed that they’ve started moving into Bt corn. In places, people are finding 3 or 4 worms per ear. We don’t recommend spraying once they’ve bored into the ear because you can’t reach them.


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“In grain sorghum, headworms are starting to pick up. White sugarcane aphids seem to be crashing in a few places. We’re thinking this is due to beneficial numbers catching up to them. Issues remain in some fields, but at least in certain cases populations have dropped.”


Jeremy Greene, Clemson University Cotton Entomologist, Blackville, South Carolina: “We’re seeing more adult kudzu bugs filtering into soybeans, especially beans planted early.”


David Hydrick, Hydrick’s Crop Consulting, Inc., Jonesboro, Arkansas: “Our soybeans range from just emerging to R4. We’ve been watering them somewhat. But with the rain this season, certain fields don’t have Polypipe yet. We’re doing a lot of fungicides on corn and soybeans. Some corn is past brown silk. Our immediate area didn’t get that flooding rain that started last week. South of us and around Memphis it rained 6 inches, but I’ve heard totals up to 11 inches in places. Through here, it maybe rained 1.5 to 2.5 inches.”


Dominic Reisig, NCSU Extension Specialist, Entomology, Plymouth, North Carolina: “A few kudzu bugs are moving into early-planted soybeans. Numbers are extremely light compared to previous years. I’m getting a ton of calls about stink bugs in corn, and numbers seem to be pretty heavy this year. Typically, they move into corn from adjacent wheat fields and mostly build on edges. But in places this year they’re not connected to wheat and are distributed across the fields. Some spraying is going on. We’ve evaluated aerially spraying for stink bugs, but numbers were the same, whether we treated or didn’t. Best results were with a high-clearance tractor.”


Hank Jones, C&J Ag Consulting, Pioneer, Louisiana: “We’re seeing stand issues on some wheat beans, but as late as it’s getting we’ll keep them. We’re not sure if this was due to something with the seed or just poor growing conditions right after planting. Our oldest are up to R4. We sprayed a substantial amount of our soybeans for fall armyworms where we had any grasss in the fields. In places, the numbers were in what you might call Biblical proportions. Otherwise, pests in beans haven’t amounted to much. Earlier fields are getting into dough. It’s rained enough that some corn on heavy clay may get by with one more rain.”


Scott Stewart, Extension Entomologist, Jackson, Tennessee: “Other than a few mentions about green clover worms in places, we’re not finding much in soybeans. Stink bugs are congregating in our earliest beans and are heavy in places. They really zero in on those fields, and if you’ve got them in a small area, that could constitute a trap crop, so spraying now might knock down later pressure for you and your neighbors.


“Japanese beetles are turning up in corn. It’s big, showy and dramatic and tends to build on edges where you can see it eating silks. The threshold is 3 per ear. I’ve seen more than that on a single ear but not on a representative sampling when I averaged it out. Typically, the numbers decline sharply out in the field. People are going out with a fungicide and are itching to include an insecticide in the tank. My advice: fight that urge.”


Phillip McKibben, McKibben Ag Services, Mathiston, Mississippi: “In some soybeans we’re mixing a pyrethroid with our second applications of Roundup to control alfalfa hoppers. Numbers aren't high but we’re finding some damage. Through the years, lower numbers seem to do worse damage in certain places, although I haven’t figured out why. Most of our corn is at R2. I couldn’t be happier with the crop. Disease has been exceptionally light. Of all the corn we can water, we’ve only irrigated it once, and even then we practically had to stop the pivots because it started raining.”


Wade Parker, Extension Agent, Jenkins County, Georgia: “In corn we’re at or approaching the dough stage. Probably 75% of the county is dry and pivots are running at full capacity over corn. Soybeans are probably at V5. This ended up being an average wheat year, maybe 55 bu/acre across the crop.”


Joe Townsend, Ind. Consultant, Coahoma, Mississippi: “We’ve had to spray some fields for insects. Fall armyworms have been active in places but we’ve also found some mix of stink bugs – greens, browns and southern greens. However, we also have fields that are okay. Corn is running a little behind in development. All of it is silking. Growers are actually still cutting wheat. All the rain delayed them. The good news today (6/30) is that we haven’t gotten stuck.”


Ames Herbert, Virginia Extension Entomologist: "I’m still sort of surprised that we haven’t seen kudzu bugs yet in soybeans. They are stacked up in kudzu, though.”


Kyle Skinner, Skinner Ag, Starkville, Mississippi: “Our MG IV soybeans are putting on little pods on the bottom now and some MG Vs are blooming here and there. The last of our beans are still being planted, both behind wheat and where soils stayed wet. Corn is tasseling or beginning to. All of our corn was planted within about 10 days. When conditions got dry enough, some guys ran 24 hours a day.”


Wes Briggs, Briggs Crop Services, Inc., Bainbridge, Georgia: "Soybeans are still tiny, maybe first trifoliate in places, and we’re spraying beet armyworms on cotyledon beans. That's kind of a given in south Georgia within this timeframe. We’ll probably shut off water on some of our older corn in a week. It’s ahead of schedule, even though the heat-unit accumulations look like they’re behind normal. The crop looks average to somewhat better-than-average. We’ve got the ability to pump on a lot of fertilizer and have been able to keep nitrogen available to it.



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“Southern rust is still an issue. All of my corn at 100 to 105 days will receive another fungicide and also something for stink bugs. We’re readily finding brown stink bugs in corn 21 days after the last treatment. We’re hoping the fungicide and insecticide carry us through. We’re looking for black layer at 120 to 125 days, so by then corn will be mature enough that nothing could hurt it.”


Bill Brooks, Mid-South Farmers Cooperative, Alamo, Tennessee: “Full-season beans look real good, and I think our weed control in those fields is done. Growers are still struggling to get the rest of the wheat out. We’ve been blessed with rain, and you never want to talk badly about rain, but it’s making it inconvenient to finish wheat harvest and apply herbicides. In tasseling corn, we’re in the midst of fungicide applications. We’re at brown silk on some corn. This crop has set up nicely and is loving all the rain and cool weather.”



Scott Holder, Helena Chemical Co., Cleveland, Mississippi: “We’re applying fungicides on beans today (7/2) and this weekend we’ll attempt to replant some soybeans for the third time. The rain has really delayed things and stretched out this season. Beans range from really young to a lot of fields that are lapped up and look pretty good. No insect problems that I can find. Corn has ample moisture and looks really good now. If we got rain over the next 3 weeks we may not have to water some of it again. I found dents in some of our oldest corn.”


Ryan Neely, Crop Production Services, Owensboro, Kentucky: "Corn is really popping and is starting to tassel. Fungicides will be starting soon. A few areas could use a good shower, but for the most part the rains have been hitting just about right. With the cooler temperatures so far, corn is tasseling at the perfect temperature. We're expecting excellent grain fill if temperatures stay low. Soybeans are at R1 and R2. We're a little further along in the Owensboro area, so fungicide applications will be starting here soon, but the majority of the surrounding area is not quite there yet. Double-crop soybean planting is very close to being done."


Ron Smith, Alabama Extension Entomologist: "Questions are coming in about how to handle kudzu bugs. These mainly are from areas where kudzu bugs might have been confirmed last year but didn’t develop into an issue. As often happens, they become more obvious the next year, and people are trying to decide what to do. We’re encourage growers to not make applications until immatures build. More snakes are turning up in fields, both rattlesnakes and copperheads. One consultant was bitten twice last year in Georgia when he stepped into the wrong place.”


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