Now it’s hot

Peanuts:¬†The weather this week will be perfect for white mold on peanuts. In short rotated fields, I would likely begin white mold applications (along with leaf spot) by 45 days after planting. Everyone needs to be protecting against white mold by 60 days after planting. I haven’t seen any Lesser Cornstalk Borers yet, but they could start showing up with this hot weather. Before we go to slinging a lot of fertilizer out, it may be a good idea to wait until we start drying off a little. Remember, nitrogen fixation is an aerobic process, so no nitrogen fixation happens when the soil is saturated and anaerobic. As the soil begins to dry out, it may seem there is a nitrogen deficiency, but as the oxygen starts to get back into the soil the nitrogen fixation will kick off, and the plants will begin to green back up. Having said that, it is still best to check for nodulation as the soil starts to dry out because if there is a nodulation failure, we can put some Ammonium Sulfate out to kick the plants into gear.

Corn:¬†Southern Rust has only been confirmed in counties along the Florida border. A lot of corn is in the late dough-early dent stage, which doesn’t mean we can turn off the water. Keep watering like normal until you get to the black layer. If your corn is in the dent and the plant goes into drought stress, you can lose about 15% of your yield. Corn looks pretty good right now.

Cotton: I’ve been in more corn and peanuts than I have cotton lately, but I hear talk of higher-than-normal plant bug populations. Keep in mind that during the first 2 weeks of squaring, the threshold is 8 plant bugs per 100 sweeps. Beginning the 3rd week of squaring, the threshold is raised to 15 plant bugs per 100 sweeps. Ideally, we should be monitoring both retention and plant bug adults with sweep nets. Our goal should be to retain at least 80 percent of 1st position squares as we enter bloom. Plants with 80 percent retention at first bloom still have maximum yield potential. It is important that we only treat plant bugs in fields where thresholds are exceeded. Some insecticides for plant bugs will decimate beneficial insects in the field (many predator insects, such as big-eyed bugs, begin colonizing fields as they begin to square). When treating plant bugs, also consider aphid populations. If aphids are present, it makes sense to use a plant bug insecticide which also has activity on aphids. Plant bug insecticides that also have activity on aphids include Transform, Centric, and Imidacloprid. Weed-wise, if you have a history of spiderwort, I would protect against it. It is a wet weather plant, and this could be the year for it.

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