September 11, 2017
With remnants of rain from Hurricane Harvey behind them, Alabama producers are back in the fields. Around half the state’s corn crop is harvested, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Sept. 5 Crop Progress and Conditions Report.
Farmers aren’t just battling weather. Pests also pose a risk to Alabama crops.
As cotton bolls open across the state, Alabama Cooperative Extension System agents encourage farmers to scout for silverleaf whiteflies.
Cotton planted from mid-May into June is at greatest risk. The most economical treatment is around $23 an acre. Consultants recommend treating hardest-hit fields twice. ACES specialists say peanuts are not as susceptible, but encourage growers to watch soybeans.
“Producers have found cases of soybean rust in half of Alabama’s counties,” said Carla Hornady, the Alabama Farmers Federation’s Cotton, Soybeans and Wheat & Feed Grain divisions director. “Excess rain has taken a toll on crops in some parts of Alabama, while other regions had near-perfect growing conditions. We won’t know the real effects until the combines stop and checks start rolling in later this year.”
Issues from last year’s drought also drag on as southern pine beetles plague the state’s timber.
The Alabama Forestry Commission (AFC) urges landowners to monitor property and contact their local AFC office or registered forester for management recommendations.