AgFax Midsouth Cotton - Louisiana

By AgFax Media LLC, AgFax.com

LOUISIANA CROP REPORTS

Harold Lambert, Independent Consultant, Innis, Louisiana

"Our cotton has taken a pretty hard lick all season from rain. We already were finding hard locking before the storm (Harvey) and now (8/5) we have a little more. That's not good.

"A lot of cotton I checked today had 30% to 60% open bolls. But after all we've been through, we're not talking about a great crop.

"Hit or miss showers fell in the week preceding the storm, and that kept combines from running in places. Some beans that were ready did take some damage from Harvey.

"We received 6 to 7 inches around here from Harvey. Since the storm, our better ground dried up enough that people could start cutting beans again. Damage on samples has definitely increased since the storm. But considering all the rain we've had since May 1, that's actually been close to a normal week for us.

"We planted a fair number of MG V soybeans, and they're between R6 and R6.5 now. When you drive through the area, those look beautiful, green and juicy, and stink bugs (RBSB) are finding them. At this point, it's mainly the redbanded stink bug. We either have to deal with them or face the consequences.

"We're past the point that caterpillars would matter in most soybeans. Generally speaking, rice fared well in the storm. I don't have any hard numbers on rice yields, but people seem to be pleased."

Hank Jones, C&J Ag Consulting, Pioneer, Louisiana

"We got about 3.5 inches of rain out of Harvey in this area. The rainfall from Harvey, in and of itself, wasn't the bad part. The thing that hurt was the 6 to 10 inches ahead of the storm and 4 or 5 days without sunshine.

"We no longer have a cotton crop to brag about. We still will see some 1,000 lb/acre yields, but we went through 2 big rounds of fruit shedding in August. By and large, this will be a below-average crop. Usually, we're waiting for cotton to mature out so we can finish it up, but right now (9/5) cotton is as green as a gourd and very little maturing is taking place.

"We will maybe start defoliation in 3 or 4 fields next week and see how that goes. The crop looked huge at one time. I have learned that a crop that looks bad tends to turn out a little better than expected and a cotton crop that looks awesome is never quite as good as you thing it is. However this one goes, we'll need a good fall to finish it out.

"Soybeans are sprouting in some fields and we can find true deterioration. Again, we'll have to see how this turns out. Whenever a consultant or farmer hand-shells beans in this situation, it always looks like 100% damage and you're thinking there's no way that field will be worth anything.

"Several guys did start harvesting beans on Sunday and, yes, there is damage, from 6% to 14%. At 14% we are sustaining a good deal of loss, but at least we're able to deliver beans and the yields are holding up. That's not a worst-case situation, and we're in about the same shape we were during last August when we had to battle out the crop.

"We're still dealing with redbanded stink bugs (RBSB) and will be in that mode until the last bean is out of the field. In July, we thought we'd have to spray them every 2 weeks, then in August it was every 10 days and now it's every 7 to 10 days. We'll see if this cooler weather does anything to curtail RBSB or slow them down.

"This was a good overall corn crop. On ground where we thought we should average 200 bu/acre, it was 200. In places where we had too much water earlier, yields ran 50 to 60 bu/acre. It could have been so much better but everyone, I think, made a corn crop they could be reasonably proud of."

Sebe Brown, Northeast Louisiana Region Extension Entomologist

"We had minimal effect from the hurricane (Harvey) but had rain before that storm and then have had more since then.

"Not much defoliation has started and guys are waiting for this last round of rain to move through. After that, we are supposed to transition into a solid 10-day stretch of dry weather and sunshine. So, a lot of defoliation should get underway.

"In soybeans, redbanded stink bugs (RBSB) are still definitely here. In extreme cases, they're running up to 10X threshold. They're into the young and late-maturing fields and we're seeing that green-island effect where they congregate in whatever's left.

"Soybean loopers are still very much with us. We've also had a pretty good influx of velvetbean caterpillars and green cloverworms, but most beans are past the point that they would pull those in."