Corn: Southern rust has been confirmed in Georgia. It was found in Mitchell and Tift county last week and now in Burke County. If you have corn at milk stage or less, then it could be beneficial to spray a fungicide. It is a judgement call on your part, but I would rather be safe than sorry on our younger corn.
Cotton: I am starting to see a fair amount of stink bugs; more browns than greens. If your cotton is setting bolls, it is important to have someone scouting for stink bug damage to bolls so that we can make an insecticide application if need be in a timely manner. As far as other insects, I am seeing more tarnished plant bugs than I probably ever have. Square retention has not been below 80% in fields I have found them, but I still think we need to monitor plant bugs. I have not found any yet, but I want us to be on the lookout for corn earworm damage to bolls in cotton. There has been evidence of corn earworm resistance to Bt cotton, especially in the one or two Bt gene technologies. Our newest varieties have introduced a third Bt gene which is much more effective on corn earworm.
Lastly on cotton, I wanted to remind everybody to stay on schedule with pix applications and use a hooded sprayer if it is necessary.
Peanuts: Conditions are great for leaf spot and white mold. I have been seeing some leaf spot but have not found any white mold. It is important that we stay on a fungicide schedule so that we can stay ahead of these two. Insect and worm pressure has been low so far this year, but that could change overnight so continue to scout. I’m seeing more three-cornered alfalfa hoppers than anything else in peanuts. TCAH girdle the stem of peanuts and will sometimes cause the entire limb to fall off. They normally do not warrant a spray, but if you are seeing an unusually large amount of them in the field, then a spray might be necessary.
Soybeans: Insect and worm pressure is low in beans as well. We are looking closely for one pest in particular this year: red banded stink bug. Red banded stink bugs are more damaging to beans than our normal stink bugs and are a major soybean pest in the Southwest. I have found some in the county but not at threshold levels.