Corn is starting to tassel in scattered parts of the lower South. Soybean planting is gaining momentum in more areas where growers are catching breaks in the weather. Wheat harvest should start in a few areas in the lower South within a couple of weeks.
Sugarcane aphids (SCA) have turned up in at least 3 states in our coverage area – Alabama, Arkansas and Louisiana. No reports of them on grain sorghum yet. EPA broadened its Section 18 exemption for Transform use on grain sorghum to control SCA. Initially, only Texas had been given the exemption, but this week the agency announced that it had been granted to 9 additional states.
Dan Fromme, Louisiana Extension Cotton And Corn Specialist: "We've got a hodge-podge of crop conditions with corn across the state. In south Louisiana it looks really good. But in our northern parishes where so much rain fell earlier, we've got more problems, which also reduced our intended corn acres. Our older corn should be to tassel in the latter part of this month."
Travis Vallee, CenLa Ag Services, Pineville, Louisiana: "Our oldest corn is trying to tassel and we might see a few tassels in it today (5/10). The youngest corn is 18 inches high. With all the rain in the beginning of the planting season, about 40% of what was planted early had to be replanted. I didn't lose a lot of corn to flooding. Where we had to replant, it was mainly due to poor germination and saturated conditions.
"Soybeans mostly look good. We're battling weeds. With 4 to 5 days of good weather we could finish soybeans. Not much going on in grain sorghum. Our sidedress nitrogen and atrazine have gone out and fields are laid by. Now we're just waiting on sugarcane aphids to show up."
David Kerns, Entomologist, Louisiana State University, Macon Ridge Research Station: "Sugarcane aphids (SCA) are real common in places now. We're finding a lot of them in Johnsongrass. So far, I haven't picked up any in grain sorghum and haven't heard any reports of that. But some of the earliest planted fields are reaching the point that insecticidal seed treatments would be wearing off, so we potentially could be finding SCA on the crop in the near future.
"Today (5/11) in Franklin Parish I was finding them in Johnsongrass patches in the middle of nowhere – and it's easy to spot colonies, too. Johnsongrass is scattered over the landscape, of course, but the closer it is to the field, the greater the odds that it will be a source of infestation."