AgFax Midsouth Cotton - Louisiana

By AgFax Media LLC,


A limited amount of cotton has been picked and defoliation started on a wider basis once the weather turned drier and warmer.

Too much rain and cloudy weather have clearly taken a toll on cotton in parts of our coverage area. Much of the damage – boll rot, hardlocking and fruit shed – was triggered by rains and cloudy conditions that predated hurricanes Harvey and Irma.


Richard Griffing, Griffing Consulting, LLC, Monterey, Louisiana

"We've got about 3,000 acres of cotton that haven't had a shot of defoliant yet and 300 acres of late beans remaining to be desiccated, so we're almost through. A little cotton has been picked around the area. The earliest any of my clients will start picking will be Monday, I think. 

"We've probably lost 200 lbs/acre of yield due to rains in August – if not more in places. We actually didn't get much rain from the hurricane (Harvey), relatively speaking, maybe 4 inches over that full week. But it consistently rained through August. One grower said he recorded rain during 25 days in August. 

"Boll rot is terrible in parts of the crop, plus pretty bad fruit shed and target spot are obvious. Some of this cotton is really ugly.

"Soybean yields have been pretty good. A lot of dryland beans are averaging 50 to 60 bu/acre, with irrigated fields are running in the 60s to 80s. However, the crop has sustained some damage. A lot of people report 10% to 15% damage in the earlier fields. Now, though, it's more like 2% to 5%. Maybe those somewhat later beans weren't as vulnerable when all the rain fell or the elevators are tired of farmers complaining (about dockage) – or some combination of both.

"My growers finished corn harvest and this is probably the best corn crop we've ever made. Rice seems to be turning out pretty well, too."

Sebe Brown, Northeast Louisiana Region Extension Entomologist

"Defoliation is pretty much going full swing now (9/14). A lot already has gone out and more will be applied this week. A few guys are starting to pick.

"Preliminary yields are running 800 to about 1,000 lbs/acre. We've had an uphill battle with this crop – too much rain too often, extended periods with overcast skies, plus worm escapes and heavy pressure, among other things. It seems like we've been fighting one thing or another ever since cotton emerged.

"Unfortunately, this seems to be becoming a typical season here. 

"With soybeans, we're still seeing that green-island effect where stink bugs congregate on the latest beans. It's primarily redbanded stink bugs but other species are in the mix, too. Loopers blew up over a couple of weeks but then disappeared after Harvey. Green cloverworm numbers crashed, as well. These conditions have promoted epizootics, which are taking out a lot of worms."

Gary Wolfe, La-Ark Agricultural Consulting, Ida, Louisiana

"Harvey didn't affect us a lot. Areas down toward Shreveport did get more rain than needed but we missed most of it up here. Still, though, we can find a lot of hardlocked bolls in the bottom, and that's mainly been due to earlier rains.  

"We're defoliating now, and everyone has at least made some applications. As far as timing goes, this is pretty much when we might expect to start. The crop looks good, but we won't know how it will yield until we see how much is left after the picker runs through. 

"I looked at some early soybeans (on 9/13) that I think will cut 60 bu/acre or better, but I'm expecting heavy damage, too, taking into account how wet it's been."