By AgFax Media LLC, AgFax.com
Pest levels are increasing, as might be expected as we move into July and with more cotton blooming. No runaway situations have been reported. But depending on the area and stage of the crop, populations are mostly trending upward.
Plant bug numbers have bumped higher in spots. Aphids have rebounded in places and treatments have been going out, especially on smaller cotton. The aphid fungus has been reported. If any populations have crashed, it's maybe on a localized basis, according to this week's reports.
Bollworm eggs and larvae are more obvious in the lower Midsouth and treatment activity has picked up.
Spider mites have not necessarily faded away, even with all the rain. Applications have gone out in places, at least on field edges.
The rain continues. A number of areas received soakings ahead of the Fourth of July, and more showers are in the forecast this week through a portion of our coverage area. In places, fields were too wet to hold up equipment last week and more rain since then will stretch out the delays.
LOUISIANA CROP REPORTS
Sebe Brown, Northeast Louisiana Region Extension Entomologist
"Plant bug numbers are definitely picking up now that more corn is drying down. A lot of Diamond and tank mixes are going out. We've had a really widespread bollworm egg lay, and a lot of guys are getting nervous about this. I'm not hearing about many escapes, but we do have eggs in cotton now.
"No spider mites to speak of, although I did get one call today (7/6) about mites being hit or miss in one field. Rains have definitely helped with mites, but if it turns off hot and dry then we can expect mites to build. Aphids are still lingering if they haven't been taken out by Transform or other plant bug sprays. With this hotter weather we're maybe seeing some degree of resurgence with aphids, especially in younger cotton but also to an extent on older plants.
"More cotton started blooming last week once the weather warmed up. We also have fields in peak bloom, and guys are trying hard to set fruit and beat back plant bugs.
"Soybeans are still quiet in north Louisiana, and it's kind of uncanny. Most calls about beans are from people who are trying to figure out if they're missing anything when they scout. The general thinking was that we'd be knee-deep in stink bugs by now, but they're still mostly quiet. Corn earworms have been sporadic in soybeans, depending on the location and stage of the crop."