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

Reporting from the South Delta, Herbert Jones, Leland
8/3/2017 – Cotton – Applying my second application of Prevathon to non-Bt cotton. Bollworm egg counts not high but enough to address.
In Bt Cotton – Finding few eggs but not high or consistent enough to spray this week. Plant bug counts are low but whiteflies are increasing.
Soybeans – Older beans at or past R6 stage of growth and okay for now. Younger beans were all sprayed a couple of weeks ago with Prevathon or Intrepid Edge.
Started cutting corn this week but no yields to report.

Reporting from the South Delta, Haley Easley, Greenwood
8/4/2017 – Corn harvest is beginning in isolated places at 18-20% moisture. Yields seem above average but still too early to know.
Beans are R4 – R7. Mostly R6. RBSB are steadily increasing in older beans. Some areas high but mostly 1-3 per 25 sweeps. I am treating a lot of fields for them due to amount of pod damage seeing in some of these fields where they are steady. Bollworms seem to be peaking again. Real spotty on level of egg lay. Seeing really high numbers in some fields and none in other fields. Making applications this week for hatching eggs. Some lambda acephate and some Besiege/Prevathon depending on egg numbers. Going to be more expensive than expected to keep cotton clean this year.

Reporting from the North Delta, Winston Earnheart, Tunica
8/5/2017 – Cotton: The cotton crop in the north delta is somewhat late. We have very little cotton blooming out the top. Worm pressure has been light, but there has been some bleed through of worms through the Bt genetics. Bollgard II looks about like the Widestrike II from the last several years. In addition, the Widestrike III looks better than the Bollgard II. Oversprays with the diamides or pyrethroids have not been close to 100% control. Once a worm hatches in a bloom and enters the little boll under it, it is hard to kill with anything. Plant bugs have been light, and aphids have been controlled with Transform. Where we have been using the heavy aphid rate of Transform, the plant bugs have been also controlled.
Rice: The rice crop looks good over all, and a lot of fields are being drained. We are just now hitting some treatment levels of stink bugs in fields that are just heading. We had quite a bit of acreage that was late about establishing levees and floods. Rice in these conditions will not yield as well. It is hard to grow a rice crop without a flood.
Soybeans: The earlier beans are maturing and look good. Late group IV’s and early V’s, where they were planted later, have had some worm pressure. Control of these has been very good with either the diamides or, surprisingly , the pyrethroids. Most of the looper pressure has been green clover worms, which are easy to kill. Bean leaf beetles are increasing and we are beginning to see more of the red banded stink bugs, but well below treatment levels.

Reporting from the North Delta, Justin George, Merigold
8/6/2017 – Soybeans: we started picking up our first Redbanded Stinkbugs about 10 days ago. From Blaine to Drew and down across to Shaw… easy to get 1-3 per 25 Sweeps plus the hodge-podge of greens and browns. Generally worried about the RBSB and a “what if” scenario of several days of rain chances in the R6.5 beans which is where most of our good, early beans are now. Early dryland in Bolivar county suffered from month long drought during July. We watered most fields 3 times and some were on their 4th irrigation on Thursday/Friday which should be their last round.
Corn: hoping to start harvest this week. Sampling showed moisture at @21% on Thursday.
Rice: mostly draining to some very late planted just now at mid-season. Grass control was mostly good this year. Rice Stinkbugs were easy to find (1-5 per 10 Sweeps) and were treated.

Reporting from the North Delta, Tim Sanders, Sarah
8/7/2017 – Corn: With some of the recent rains, all corn is done with irrigation and some is about ready to harvest.
Soybeans range from R2-R7. Some older beans were treated for stinkbugs, but no sign of red banded here yet. Most of the younger beans received a diamide for worms. We began draining a good bit of rice last week and that should continue to trickle out, although some is just getting into boot. Stinkbugs have been treated in most fields that have headed. Cotton ranges from just blooming to bolled-out. We have had a steady stream of bollworms getting through. Many are hatching in the pink flowers. We have treated most considerable acreage with the diamide chemistries. Plantbug numbers have been lower this year but steady. Spider mites continue to pop up. Bacterial blight has been heavier this year than in the past. Hopefully it will stay mostly on leaves, but it is already spreading to bolls in some fields. This is so frustrating to watch.

Reporting from the South Delta, Dee Boykin, Yazoo City
8/7/2017 – Corn – Harvest has begun and the yields I’ve heard are very good.
Soybeans – At this point we’ve treated 25% of our soybean acres for RBSB. My guess is we’ll end up treating about half before it’s done even though most are R6.5 or farther along in maturity. We’ve desiccated a few fields but nothing has been harvested yet. The yield potential looks good.
Cotton – Most of our cotton is 4 to 6 NAWF and total nodes are mostly 20-24. We have the potential for another very good cotton crop. We’ve made very heavy mepaquat applications recently on most to encourage the plants to shut down. Insect pressure has eased up some over the last week to 10 days but we’re still treating fields for bollworms coming from beneath bloom tags and a few plant bugs and spider mites scattered around. We have treated over 90% of our acres with diamides for bollworms and probably 10% twice. They appeared to hold for about 2 weeks and then bollworms began to get by again. In the past years it seemed that one application would get you through the season.
We’ve started pulling a few soil samples on the corn ground and that phase will be wide open soon. I’m ready to get this crop behind us and get busy with sampling.

Reporting from South Mississippi, Trey Bullock, Hattiesburg
8/7/2017 – Cotton is from 1st week of bloom to would be open boll but boll rot is taking care of it. Every field of cotton I looked at today had bollworms under bloom tags feeding into top of bolls. Later cotton had damage in the terminal with worms feeding from one square to the next. Plant bugs are still low but seeing a very low number of nymphs. Fungus is finally showing up in most fields and taking aphids out. Cotton had a few days without rain and really started looking like normal cotton only to get 1-2 inches today. Our late cotton crop may be the best cotton we have this year if rains keep coming in 3 and 4 days at a time.
Peanuts are looking pretty good despite drowned out spots. Disease, for the most part, is low with exception of fields that we’ve been dealing with late leaf spot. Most fields were treated last week with fungicides. We have decreased days between fungicides due to rainy days and not having many days to get in the field. Leaf hoppers are causing some “hopper burn” around the edges but no treatments at this moment. Oldest runner peanuts are 110 days old so harvest should be around a month away.
No corn harvest has begun but will begin as soon as weather breaks or if it breaks.
Loopers are starting to build in soybeans. No treatments at this point but I will look at most soybeans on Wednesday and Thursday and that could change. Velvetbean caterpillars are also beginning to show up in peanuts and soybeans.

Reporting from East Mississippi, Ty Edwards, Water Valley
8/8/2017 – Cotton- We’ve made a world of progress in the last two weeks. Heat and dry weather pushed this crop along, and got most cotton to 4-6 NAWF. Now we’ve just received very much needed rains ranging from .8″ to 3.5″ on all fields. This should really go a long way to finishing this crop out. Bollworms have been the main player on all that I check, although they have only been heavy in a few small locations. We have tried our best to treat on a fairly small area basis, as well as trying to time our diamide applications with an influx in moth activity. 3/4 lb. acephate will still wear bollworm moths out just like it always has, although I don’t know how long that will last with the pyrethroids being a complete failure to control the larvae. So far, I’ve been pleased with the results on about 98% of our acres. Seemed like the earlier they hit, the farther down the stalk the blooms were, and the harder it was to get acceptable control. Our worst boll damage was some of the very first cotton we sprayed, where I was having to part the cotton back and bend down to pull bloom tags in the bottom of the canopy. We sprayed that on about a 25% egg lay, and still took a hit. But I suppose it’s better than the alternative. We were including acephate or Bidrin with every bollworm application, not only for moth control, but also because we had a lot of brown stink bugs showing up in the majority of our cotton. Since then, I can count on one hand the number of plant bugs I’ve seen, and that was all today. Boll retention looks excellent, but a few varieties are really beginning to stand out.
Soybeans- As quiet as I’ve ever seen them. I have officially sprayed 4 bean fields for bugs this year, and only 1 of those was for bollworms. Had one grower that decided to forego his usual R3-R4 fungicide application, and he’s got Septoria and Target blowing out the top of the canopy. I’ve got to think that’s easily gonna cost him in quality, and some yield as well.
Corn-We’ve pulled the irrigation off of all corn now, especially with this rain finishing us out. Crop looks superb if they can get it out. I sprayed more fields with fungicides this year than I have in the past 5 combined. Don’t know if disease pressure was higher, or if seed companies are breeding for yield and not disease package. Sprayed a good bit for rust as well. It moved in a few weeks ago, and those fields still lack about 4-5 days before black layer. No corn on the ground.
Sweet potatoes- We’ve got some that will begin digging in a couple of weeks I think. They caught a few showers a couple of weeks ago, and began sizing up at a rapid pace. This rain should only serve to aid in that process. Have had a few fields where flea beetles have been terrible, but other than that, it’s been slow.

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