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August 2020 Crop Progress Report

Sep 01, 2020

If you haven’t already, it’s time to crank up your combines and get to calibrating! Outside of Texas (they’re wrapping up harvest), the word around GreenPoint AG is that growers are in harvest-mode as soon as the rain shuts off. As y’all probably know, Hurricane Laura hit landfall in the early morning on August 28th about 30-miles west of our Roanoke, Louisiana location and made its way north to Missouri and east across Kentucky, Tennessee, and north Mississippi, delaying harvest for much of the area. Read on to find out the local reports from five of our team members across our 7-state footprint. 

 

Northeast Louisiana

Though the wind and rain wasn’t as strong as the 110-mph winds south Louisiana saw last week, Northeast Louisiana still took a big hit with 80-mph winds as Hurricane Laura made its way up through the state. You may be thinking harvest has stalled in the area, but it’s amazing how quickly sustained high winds can dry out 3.5” of rainfall over the course of a weekend. Talking with Taylor Sadler, GreenPoint AG Sales Representative out of the Mer Rouge, LA location, he categorized harvest in two segments: before and after the hurricane. “Before the hurricane came through, the area had around 50% of the corn acres harvested. We had a really good looking corn crop coming out of the fields.” Post hurricane, Sadler said nearly 75% of the corn acres are either laid over or have the tops snapped out of them. He believes that a lot of the grain can be captured as long as growers combine with their headers low and their drive speed slow. Soybeans prior to the weekend were looking excellent with yields around 85-95 bu/A. Now, everything is twisted up or lodged. Younger soybean acres here are still being sprayed for loopers and stink bugs. Pre-hurricane harvested rice acres Sadler classified as a bumper crop, and shared that most acres are surprisingly still standing. As for the cotton acres, most weathered the storm well with limited boll drop and approximately 90% of the bottom bolls cracking open. The exception to this are acres with heavy bottom bolls as the bulk of these fields are lodged, which will most likely make the nearing defoliation applications trickier than usual. 

 

North Mississippi Delta

Moving up along the Mississippi River, growers near Marks, Mississippi are eager to get started harvesting as soon as the ground dries up. Chad Williams, Location Manager at the Marks, MS GreenPoint AG said, “As long as we don’t get a rain, growers will be in full swing for corn harvest by the end of the week, which also means a lot of combines will be calibrated over the next few weeks.” Rice acres have seen a few combines, but most acres have just recently been drained and scouting is just wrapping up. “We’re about 7 days out for full harvest mode on rice,” shared Williams. With 80% of soybean fields beginning maturity in the R7 growth stage, a few acres have been sprayed with gramoxone to aid in the maturation process. Diligent scouting is still underway as the red-banded stink bug is still sporadically chomping at the soybeans though insect pressure has been light for most of the season. This light pressure was true across cotton as well, as the plant bug pressure stayed out of the field and in the surrounding habitat. However, the bugs shifted their focus fairly uniformly as the ditches began to dry up later in the summer. Currently, 90% of fields have bolls opening or about to crack and the delta is 10-14 days away from defoliating. 

 

South Texas

We can see the light at the end of the tunnel for Harvest 2020,” said Ryan Jung, Location Manager in Port Lavaca, TX. “All but a handful of fields of corn and milo have been harvested, and generally speaking yields were above average.” Corn and milo harvest was fairly smooth for growers in south Texas with only a few rains toward the end. Growers have since shifted their focus to cotton defoliation and harvest as it’s well underway. A majority of the fields have been sprayed at least once with defoliants. While many have been picked, there are some waiting for the pickers to make it before any rain showers or tropical storms hit the area, which are very common in the area this time of year. Most fields are yielding above average. Overall, the weather has been good through harvest, and Jung shared they need two to three weeks of dry weather to provide a quick finish. On the flip side, there are still some late-planted soybeans in the field that could use the moisture and are seeing worms, alfalfa flea hopper, and stink bugs. A Goldilocks scenario, south Texans don’t want too much rain nor not enough. They’re hoping for it to be just right to get the cotton crop out without hurting the soybean yields. 

 

Western Kentucky

Southern rust moved in 2-3 weeks ago In western Kentucky, but the crop is still looking excellent. “Some growers will start harvesting by the weekend, while some still have fields in milk stage.” shared Zachary King, Location Manager at GreenPoint AG in Hardinsburg, KY. Those supplying corn to the bourbon distilleries are already shelling as they tend to prefer the corn to come in around 25-30% moisture for the bourbon production process. Hardinsburg was on the outer edges of Hurricane Laura’s landfall path, receiving about a half inch and no wind damage as it took a turn across the eastern US. King shared that soybeans continue to show great potential, resulting in a lot of preventive fungicide applications in the last few weeks. “We’ve had perfect weather for Frogeye to show up, but luckily we haven’t seen any yet,” said King. Currently, most of the soybean acres are between R4 and R5. Tickled with the potential for a great harvest, growers in Kentucky are hopeful that the corn ears drop soon and the vegetative growth on soybean acres translates over to pod fill. 

 

Missouri Bootheel

Moving west into the Missouri Bootheel, Nick Gilliam, sales representative at GreenPoint AG in Malden, MO says growers are on standby for corn harvest as they wait for the moisture to lower from its current 25-26%. For growers with bins, they’ll be able to harvest as soon as the ground dries up. Popcorn growers had already begun harvest until the hurricane rains came through over the weekend. “We saw 1-2 inches of rain from Hurricane Laura and little to no wind damage, but steady rains are keeping growers from getting in the fields to cut,” shared Gilliams. Soybean acres in the Bootheel are looking excellent as consistent summer showers are finishing out the pods nicely with the only concern being worms. “We’ve been spraying for pod worms in soybeans for the past two weeks,” shared Gilliam. As acres mature, GreenPoint AG is gearing up to help growers with combine calibration and Gilliam encourages growers to remember calibration is key for data collection that will allow a grower to make data-driven decisions for next year’s crop. Cotton acres are seeing their last rounds of mepiquat chloride as everyone’s nearing cut out. Finally, for all you hunters out there, Gilliam said he’s had his eyes open while scouting this last week and the dove report looks good as they’ve really moved in over this past week. 




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