By AgFax.com, AgFax Media LLC
Rain has fallen across a wide portion of the Midsouth, and up to 4 inches have accumulated in certain places since our last report. With a few exceptions, the rain was needed where it fell, but dry areas remain. Much of Louisiana and parts of south Arkansas missed showers. Rain is still in the forecast through the region. A tropical system in the Gulf of Mexico also could bring rain over the weekend.
A significant portion of the Midsouth crop has been planted. Dry conditions in Louisiana continue to stall progress. In parts of the region where heavier amounts of rain fell, growers also are on hold. At least a small amount of late planting appears to be in the cards, depending on how much it rains in the near term and where the rain develops. The price of soybeans also may influence how late growers are willing to go with the last of their cotton.
Spider mite treatments are going out on some seedling cotton in Louisiana, according to Sebe Brown, Louisiana Extension Entomologist. Thrips are being treated on what sounds like a scattered basis this week through parts of the region.
LOUISIANA CROP REPORTS
Gary Wolfe, La-Ark Agricultural Consulting, Ida, Louisiana:
"We've finished planting cotton. We had to replant some early-April cotton that was caught by a packing rain. Most cotton is up, although we still have some in dry dirt that's waiting to come up. We're getting desperate for a rain, and we'll need to water up some of this if it doesn't rain soon.
"By the end of this week we'll have cotton beginning to square. Everything had a seed treatment. In places, growers are adding something for thrips when they go across with herbicides. A lot of this is a judgment call. In certain fields I would have addressed thrips but some farmers chose not to do so.
"Our cotton acres are up 20% to 25%. My acres jumped just within my established group of clients. Corn acres are down and I'll only check about 300 acres of beans this year."
Dan Fromme, Louisiana Extension Cotton and Corn Specialist:
"This is really summer-like weather and it's generating isolated pockets of rain for people who apparently are lucky. Over the weekend (5/19-20), it maybe rained 1.5 inches in 10 minutes but only in small areas. As I said, some people were lucky.
"Generally, it's still dry across the state. Little if any cotton has been planted in the last week. We like to have cotton planting finished by May 15. With planting dates after that, yield potential declines. But soybeans this late aren't too attractive in Louisiana, either.
"We always have some cotton planted in late May and early June, either because it's too wet or too dry. For the moment, it's too dry.
"Thrips have been pretty heavy, at least in central Louisiana. Natural hosts around the field are drying down, so they're moving into cotton. We haven't had enough moisture to activate seed treatments, so that's another factor. On the plus side, a good deal of this cotton made a quick start and is growing well. It's not sitting in waterlogged soils, which often happens in Louisiana. On the whole, cotton that's up isn't hurting. Corn is taking a lick from temperatures into the 90s and farmers are irrigating corn where they can."