May 2020 Southern Crop Progress Report

May 22, 2020

May 2020 Southern Crop Progress Report
Rain. Lots of it. That’s the major theme across GreenPoint AG’s 7-state footprint over the last 8 weeks. Excluded in this are our friends down in South Texas that just recently received a much-needed rain and could stand for another inch or so in the coming weeks to help with grain fill and to get the cotton crop growing. As you continue to work your way through 2020 , be sure to follow along with our in-season crop progress reports. Each month , we’ll feature what’s happening in various areas across the acres we service.
Corn acres are just getting started in Northern Mississippi , says Wyatt Huffman , GreenPoint AG salesman in Houston , Mississippi , as the area has seen anywhere between 38-45 inches of precipitation so far this spring. The corn acres that have been planted range anywhere from VE to V6. Those acres that were planted early lack uniformity , while those that have been planted in the past 2 to 3 weeks have uniform stands. 
Cotton and soybeans acres are nearly 50 percent planted and are beginning to emerge nicely. While growers are not out of the woods just yet , stands are looking promising with very little seedling disease present despite all of the rain the area is experiencing , with only a small percentage of acres are requiring replanting at this point. 
Insect pressure is sparse , but don’t get too comfortable. Some cutworm presence has been observed in cotton fields previously occupied by a wheat cover crop. Growers should watch for thrips across their cotton acres over the next 15 to 30 days and be ready to treat once it meets your economic threshold. Growers should also watch for and test for soil-mobile nutrient deficiencies , such as nitrogen (N) and sulfur (S) that are vital nutrients for healthy plant development.
Crops are staging all over the board in Northern Louisiana , says Taylor Sadler , GreenPoint AG salesman in Mer Rouge , Louisiana. Planting started around the first week in April for corn and soybeans , but rain has been intermittent—turning planting season into waiting season until producers were able to move fast and furious over the past 10 days to get their crops in the ground before another 0.5 to 0.75-inch rain event occurred on May 17. Sadler says that during this window , nearly 80 percent of the soybean crop was planted. 
Corn is anywhere from VE to V11 , cotton acres are beginning to emerge , and rice stands are anywhere between VE and the 3-leaf stage. While some of the early corn had to be replanted , the later-planted corn is looking good right now and holding off to plant soybeans until recently has made replant look unlikely , shares Sadler. Though 65 to 75 percent of the rice acres are planted so far , most of those acres have been medium grain. Hybrid or long-grain rice still needs to be planted in much of the region.
Producers who didn’t apply zinc (Zn) at dry out saw some significant deficiencies early on. Applications of Zinc 10% LS have corrected much of this , but it’s time to start tissue sampling as the ample rainfall could have leached soil-mobile nutrients. Ear girth and length is determined during the vegetative stages , starting with girth at V5. For those fields that are nearing V5 , this is the time to pull tissue samples so growers can address any fertility issues.
Some light armyworm pressure was noted early on in corn , but most have moved over to pasture , making insect pressure light at the moment. However , grass is starting to break through in spots where a residual herbicide didn’t go down behind the planter , so growers should prepare to take control across the acres that haven’t canopied yet. Over the next 30 days , producers will begin spoon-feeding nitrogen across medium grain rice acres , and any fields experiencing crop stress (whether drought or excess rain) should consider using a stress mitigation product from GreenPoint AG.
The season started off with good planting moisture in Southern Texas , but it dried quickly , says Ryan Jung , GreenPoint AG location manager in Port Lavaca. The majority of the corn and cotton acres were desperate for moisture early on until the coastal bend received a much-needed rainfall this past week. However , this occurred after tassel in corn , so while it should help the corn fill out , expect yields to be slightly down. Most acres are currently at the R2 to R3 stage.
For the cotton acres , the rain gave the crop a good jump start to grow strong , with most stands currently in the 5 to 7 leaf stage. While some flea hoppers and aphids have been observed , pressure continues to be low and no disease has been reported , but we don’t see cotton disease appear until later in the season , says Jung. With the rain received recently , be on the lookout for newly germinated broadleaves and be ready to treat. Continue to watch for flea hoppers and prepare for plant growth regulator applications to prevent tall , leggy stems.
Most of the Missouri Bootheel’s corn acres have been planted and are somewhere between V3 to V5. There are several prevent plant acres across the area , says Nick Gilliam , GreenPoint AG salesman in Malden , Missouri. A lot of stands are yellowing as they’re starved of nitrogen (N) since growers haven’t been able to get in the fields due to the wet conditions and the rain that fell on May 17 , stopping them in their tracks once again. It will be vital to fertilize those acres as soon as the weather permits to preserve yield potential. Hail-damaged corn acres could also benefit from a shot of a strobilurin fungicide to prevent spreading and introduction of disease to damaged leaves. 
For the cotton plants that have emerged , most are sitting idle because of the cool and wet weather sustained in recent weeks. For those that are still to be planted , recognize that it may take longer for growth to really get going if the cool weather continues. Much of the soybean acres are still being planted or have just emerged as well. Though the soybean acres will germinate relatively quickly , growers should scout for seedling diseases if saturated soil conditions persist.
As for pest management , cutworms are showing up in fields coming over from wheat , and grass is coming in strong where pre-plant and at-plant herbicide control is breaking. Weed control achieved by burndown applications is starting to break , so it will be important to apply pre-emergent herbicides on the acres still to be planted or that haven’t emerged quite yet. Growers should prepare to make weed control applications as soon as field conditions allow and should prepare to side-dress nitrogen on corn.
West Tennessee is itching for a ‘wide-open’ planting window , but rain has prevented most growers from checking planting off of their to-do list just yet. As several acres were planted last week , there are a limited number of acres that have emerged , says Todd Rankin , GreenPoint AG salesman in Covington , Tennessee. However , Rankin says those stands that have emerged are looking really good with the most mature fields staging at V4. 
Fields reaching V4 are ready to side-dress as soon as weather permits , and growers should watch for the break in weed control. As for insects , a few kudzu bugs have already been observed , but are not causing any major damage yet. Be ready to manage them if economic thresholds are met as stands continue to establish across the area. 

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