Consultant Commentary – Up-to-Date Information from Mississippi’s Crop Professionals

Reporting from South Mississippi, Trey Bullock, Hattiesburg
6/15/17 – Cotton is from just coming up to 13th node. Aphids are really picking up in some areas. Plant bugs in areas are running 20-30% on pinhead cotton. These fields were grown up with large weeds last week and I guess were harboring large numbers. When weeds died they moved into cotton. We are still too wet in some fields but actually saw a little dust flying today.
Peanuts are from 20 – 60 days old and are looking better where they’ve had a few sunny days. Still have fields that are waterlogged bad and seem to catch every scattered shower that come through. Gypsum was being applied to most fields I looked at today.
The few soybeans I have up are at R4.5 and look really good. Not a lot of insects at the present time. Hopefully planters will be able to run in the next day or two.

Reporting from East Mississippi, Phillip McKibben, Maben
6/15/17 – This year we will find out whether sweetpotato production and Xtend technologies are compatible. Our sweetpotato plant-beds were hit with dicamba drift early, and we have fields that have had exposure to multiple waves of dicamba drift in Tallahatchie County. And we fully expect them to be exposed to more waves of dicamba drift in the near future. It’s hard to be optimistic when neighboring fields of knee-high soybeans are being destroyed and replanted right across the turn-row because of dicamba drift injury. Time will tell the effect on our crop.
Corn is in full tassel to blister stage, and moisture is almost adequate in most locations. Pivots will begin and pumps will be humming next week for sure though. We’ve seen some common rust, and there’s no shortage of earworms in non-Bt varieties.
Soybeans are growing rapidly. We’re bouncing between R2 and R2-R3, hoping to maintain vegetative growth in our indeterminate varieties on dryland acres. Alfalfa hoppers have finally shown up, but numbers are very much suppressed in our traditional hotbed locations compared with recent years. We’re finding odd mixes of cloverworms, grape colaspis, and stinkbugs of all flavors, but no issues requiring treatment as of yet.
Cotton is finally beginning to grow. Some 7-leaf cotton is only this week looking like a crop that one wants to claim, yet some of our earlier cotton has had 10 oz. of mepiquat, and likely will get more next week, and looks great. Plantbugs have been a little heavier than we usually see, but we’ve been able to reduce them by tank-mixing imidacloprid with herbicides or growth regulator so far.
We finished transplanting sweetpotatoes this week (or will by this weekend). This crop has had a great start overall, and excepting herbicide complaints in the delta, we’ve had little else to occupy us. The early crop is plowed, sprayed with Dual and layed by.These acres will be lapped by the middle of next week. What’s been set in the past two weeks looks decent in most places.

Reporting from the North Delta, Justin George, Merigold
6/16/2017 – Rice: ranges from Midseason fertilize timing to some just planted. 1/2 is flooded, 1/4 is going to flood… We have had a lot of success keeping early fields almost grass free. Early seems to be the key with most things these days.
Sharpen in Rice fields seems to hold pigweeds better/longer than some our Soybean pre programs. Rice is a good rotational Crop for the pigweed acre!
Soybeans: ranging from just Planted to R4 (in early dryland). Struggled on the front with some Low Germ/Low vigor “Premium” Varieties this year. This caused replant in May planted beans which had fine conditions for emergence. 80% germ ended up being 50% stands (???). I hope they all make up for it in the end – yield wise. Great Heart and Agrigold Varieties came up with gusto (95% plus stands) btw, in the same fields….same planting date.
The Pigweed game is really changing for me. We’ve had real pressure for years. In April planted fields, the RR program approach does great. BUT if the Gramoxone shot is missed or not perfect in May, the wheels just fall off without Liberty or Extend. Sitting on a farm now that had two burndowns (with residual) and TWO Paraquat (with residual) apps at planting and still had pigweeds 2 weeks later. Corn seems to be the best fix if it is planted/sprayed before the pigs emerge. I’m 90% Extend based off of the growers’ decisions to play defense against Drift from neighbors. So glad they choose that route too. Very few have had to use the technology but those that chose to got very good efficacy out of the product. The others have protected themselves at some place on every farm from an off site Drift. Finding volunteer Soybeans in our fields, that are 1/4 mile away from Dicamba sprayed fields, that are twisted up. Some Drift, some is Volatility. Who knows?
Corn: mostly R3-R4. Great looking corn in Bolivar/Sunflower county. Haven’t sprayed Fungicide yet, and probably won’t… but the Common Rust itself is bothering me. We’ve only had to water one time. Wish price was $4.50-$5.00 per bushel.
Wheat: mostly cut… haven’t heard yields. Rains delayed harvest by two weeks. Did spray for Rust. No worms.

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