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

Reporting from the North Delta, James Bowen, Boyle
9/5/2017 – Rice – all of my acres have been drained. About 60-70% has been harvested. Harvest is about on schedule. Yields have been really good so far. We had good temperatures and no rain during the middle of the day while the crop was heading.
Soybeans – almost all of my May planted beans have been treated for RBSB. Some fields have been sprayed twice. Irrigation has been terminated on all of my acres. The two things that stick out about this year are dicamba drift and the RBSB.

Reporting from East Mississippi, Phillip McKibben, Maben
9/7/2017 – We’ve been spraying Gramoxone and cutting beans as the weather has allowed, but trying not to get too far ahead of the combine with all of the rain that we’ve had in the past 2 weeks. Yields have been really good, but evidently not quite as good as some growers thought (I had one grower disappointed when a dryland field averaged “only” 70 bushels).
Later beans got hammered by Loopers a couple weeks ago, and now Red-Bands are moving into some fields that are approaching R6, and we’re taking them out.
Corn yields have all been good, but some fields have yielded 300+ bushels (some dryland), and we’re trying to sort out some common factors to exploit in the future. I believe that drainage (surface as well as internal) is a key component in this variation.
Our cotton crop is still good, but might not be as ‘great’ as it appeared the first of August. We’ve terminated all insect control, and are beginning to monitor NACB and open boll percentages.
This sweet potato crop was greatly altered by the heavy rains that we received the first half of August. There are some fields that lost 75% of the harvestable yield due to excessive rotting. Many fields have some measure of ‘water damage’, Southern Blight, and bacterial rots, which are often not detected during harvest, but will cause the roots to break down in the bins during storage (especially if moved directly into curing rooms). With this type of damage, the full effects will not be known for several months, as the bulk of this (and every) crop will be stored until the Thanksgiving and Christmas markets. When the potatoes are fully cured, washed, graded, and packed… that’s when the pain is felt. We are roughly 20% harvested, and some growers are in salvage mode already.

Reporting from the South Delta, Andy Tonos, Greenville
9/9/2017 – Corn crop was good – all yields were great.
Rice yields have been good overall. Still have some later crop in the field. Unfortunately, some of this is due to Hurricane Harvey.
Soybean yields have been good to great, taking some damage due to weather. Nothing unacceptable overall but hoping for a break next year with RBSB.
Cotton is starting to open but still 1-2 weeks away from defoliation.

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