Recent Updates

Nutrient Deficiency – Nitrogen

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This is the first of several installments dealing with commonly observed nutrient deficiencies in corn and soybean.  Each week, a new macro or micro nutrient will be posted and discussed. The main objective of this series will be to discuss for each nutrient: (1) visual symptomology of deficiency, (2) plant and leaf tissue deficiency levels, (3) common causes of deficiency, and (4) in-season corrective measures. Continue reading

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Tennessee Market Highlights – 05/12/2023

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Corn, cotton, soybeans, and wheat were down for the week.

The May 12 USDA WASDE report provided bearish projections for 2023 corn and soybean
supply and demand estimates. There remains a great deal of uncertainty with the 2023 crop, however if USDA projections are realized corn and soybean prices will be near $4.00 and $12.00 per bushel. Improved weather forecasts have national average trendline yield projected at 52 bu/acre and 181.5 bu/acre, both would be records if realized. U.S. ending stocks for the 2023/24 marketing year are projected at 2.222 billion bushels for corn (up 805 million bushels compared to the current marketing year) and 335 million bushels for soybeans (up 120 million compared to this year). The bearishness in soybeans is more prevalent internationally than domestically. Foreign soybean stocks are projected to increase 669 million bushels. Largely due to Brazil’s record production and a projected drought recovery in Argentina. As mentioned, there is still a lot of time and uncertainty embedded in this year’s crop but the USDA WASDE’s initial estimates for the 2023/24 marketing set a decidedly bearish tone. Continue reading at Tennessee Market Highlights.

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UT Weed Tour will be held June 21, 2023

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JACKSON, Tenn. – The University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture will host the annual Weed Tour on Wednesday, June 21 at the West Tennessee AgResearch and Education Center. The guided tour will feature about 50 weed management research tests in cotton, corn and soybean.

Weed Tour runs from 9 – 12:00 a.m., with registration opening at 8:30 a.m. A light breakfast will be served. Continue reading

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Thrips Considerations in Cotton

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With warm conditions moving into West TN, many producers are well underway with cotton planting. Below are a few things to consider with regards to thrips control.

ThryvOn: ThryvOn is Bayer’s new Bt technology that has activity on thrips and plant bugs. ThryvOn cotton varieties are very effective against thrips and it is not anticipated that any fields will need foliar  treatments. ThryvOn will still have thrips present (adults and immatures) but insecticide applications should not be triggered on thrips numbers but damage level (Fig 1.). Applications should be initiated when plant damage is approaching 3 in figure 1. That being said, I’ve evaluated ThryvOn varieties for several years under excellent and terrible growing conditions and I as well as my colleagues across the cotton belt, have never recommended a foliar spray for thrips.

Thrips Damage Ratings (D. Cook MSU)
Thrips Damage Ratings (D. Cook MSU)

Insecticide Seed Treatments (ISTs): ISTs are the predominate control method for thrips in cotton. IST performance can be highly variable depending on weather conditions and thrips pressure. High thrips pressure and poor growing conditions will often necessitate the use of foliar sprays even with ISTs. Seed treatment packages typically come in a base (storage rate of imidacloprid + fungicide) and field rates of imidacloprid (these have several names) + fungicides, others may have nematicides, biologicals etc. Base treated seed may as well have no insecticide, the small stored product rate will offer almost no control of insects in the field. Standard options of imidacloprid (0.375 mg ai/seed) are the minimum needed for insect control in field cotton.

In-furrow: In-furrow liquid applications of imidacloprid are more effective than seed treatments; however, resistance development to neonicotinoids are diminishing the efficacy of imidacloprid in-furrow. Fields with in-furrow imidacloprid may still require a foliar spray under heavy thrips pressure. Granular AgLogic (aldicarb 15G) is highly effective against thrips populations and works like aldicarb should.

Foliar Spray Options: My recommendations are going to be limited for foliar sprays. Based on ongoing tobacco thrips resistance monitoring, to organophosphates (OPs), started by Scott Stewart several years ago, I am hesitant to recommend Orthene or Bidrin for thrips sprays. Resistance levels, in assayed populations from West TN, and the number of complaint calls I received last year are a good indication that OPs have limited use against our tobacco thrips populations. There may be areas where OP’s worked last year but it’s hard to say if they will work this year. That being said, Intrepid Edge at 3.0 fl oz/a is my go to for foliar thrips control. Although more expensive than the OPs, Intrepid Edge runs no risk of flaring mites or aphids and a surfactant has shown to increase efficacy (herbicide surfactants will work if you’re co-applying). Recolonization vs failure is another subject with foliar sprays. Presence of adults doesn’t mean the application didn’t work, adult thrips are always present on seedling cotton. Presence of immature thrips means adults are feeding and laying eggs and whatever control method you used is broken.

I am big believer in NCSU’s thrips predictor model We utilize the model to target planting when thrips numbers are highest, growers would do the opposite. Model runs for locations around West TN show that cotton planted May 1st through the 15th have a low to very low probability of experiencing large thrips populations. This is hopefully a welcome relief from years of cold, wet springs with large thrips populations plaguing our cotton. The warm, dryish weather will help germinate cotton quicker and standard ISTs may be enough to push us to the 4 true leaf stage (when thrips are typically no longer a concern) without a foliar spray.

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Early-Season Weed Concerns in ThyrvOn Cotton

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Picture 1. Palmer amaranth and goosegrass that emerged at 1 to 2 lf cotton and then escaped Post Application of Engenia + Glyphosate fb/Liberty + Glyphosate. Picture August 2022. Madison County TN

My understanding is that some cotton planted this year will contain the ThryvOn trait.   According to UT entomologist Sebe Brown these varieties will likely not require any POST foliar insecticide application for thrips.  This is great as far as management for that pest but from a weed management perspective this could be a problem. Continue reading

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Tennessee Market Highlights- 05/05/2023

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Corn, cotton, soybeans, and wheat were up for the week.

On Wednesday the Federal Reserve raised interest rates by 0.25%. The change was the 10th
increase in interest rates in 14 months. The Federal Reserve has been raising interest rates to reduce the annual inflation rate to closer to its target of around 2%. Annualized monthly inflation peaked at 9.06% in June 2022 and has since declined to the most recent estimate of 4.98% on March 31, 2023. The bank prime lending rate is now at 8.25%, up 5% compared to March 15, 2022. The increase in interest rates has numerous implications for agricultural producers – increased interest expense on operating capital, reduced access to credit, and higher capital recovery rates on medium-to-long term capital investments (machinery, livestock, land etc.). Continue reading at Tennessee Market Highlights.

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UT Cotton Scout School (May 26, 2023)

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The UT Cotton Scout School is scheduled for the last Friday of the month, May 26th, at the West Tennessee Research and Education Center (605 Airways Blvd, Jackson). There is no fee, and preregistration is not required. Registration begins at 8:00 AM with the program starting at 8:30. Content will include classroom and hands-on training with an optional go-to-the-field session after lunch. Topics covered will include cotton development and identification and symptoms of insect pests, plant diseases, and weeds.

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Tennessee Market Highlights- 04/28/2023

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Corn, soybeans, and wheat were down; cotton was up last week.

The December corn futures contract compared to the previous 10 years, from the start of January to the end of April, experienced its largest decline in 2023. The December 2023 contract decreased 79 cents – opening the year at $6.06 ¾ and closing April at $5.27 ¾. The next largest decline was 67 ¼ cents in 2020 when prices experienced rapid declines, due to the on set of the COVID-19 pandemic. 2022 had the largest gain in the previous 10 years with prices rising a remarkable $2.03 ¾ ($5.47 ½ to $7.51 ¼), due primarily to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022. Volatility has been a feature in corn markets over the past three growing seasons and is likely to continue in 2023. There remains a large amount of uncertainty for the 2023 crop, however with greater acreage in Brazil and the U.S. expected the bias in corn markets is for further price weakness, in the absence of a weather-related production disruption.

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