Mississippi hosting emergency forum on red-banded stink bug

In Delta Farm Press

by Mary Hightower

August has shaped up as an explosive month for the redbanded stink bug, a difficult-to-control and highly damaging pest in soybean, prompting organization of the Ark-La-Miss Emergency Forum on Redbanded Stink Bugs, set for Aug. 17 at the Capps Center in Stoneville, Miss.

The forum begins at 2 p.m. There’s no cost to attend and the event will be live steamed and recorded for those who cannot make it to Stoneville. For information, contact the Delta Research and Extension Center at 662-686-3214. Continue reading

Extension demo plot shows most economic management tool during heavy fall armyworm year

In Delta Farm Press

by Mary Hightower, University of Arkansas

Fall armyworms don’t bother with calendars. They’re here, they’re hungry and – never mind that it’s mid-summer — they’re in their second generation.

However, they can be managed, and that’s what Kelly Loftin, Extension entomologist, and Hank Chaney, regional agricultural and natural resources specialist, have been working with Steven Stone, Lincoln County Extension staff chair, all with the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture, have been eager to show in a pasture outside of Star City in southeastern Arkansas. Continue reading

Target spot lowered soybean yields in Arkansas this year

by David Bennett, Delta Farm Press

While more producers push past 100-bushel-per-acre soybean yields, a problem disease appears to have kept a lid on the potential of many northeast Arkansas fields. Target spot, once thought a negligible problem, is now making its mark.

Dr. Lanny Ashlock, retired University of Arkansas soybean specialist and current chairman of the Natural Soybean and Grain Alliance, “couldn’t be happier that more and more growers are participating in (the state’s yield contest), and going over, 100 bushels.” Continue reading

Planting cover crops ensures healthy, productive soil next season

University of Arkansas

As farmers finish harvesting their summer crops, they should consider planting cover crops to revitalize their soil’s nutrient content, Shaun Francis, Extension horticulture specialist for the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, said. When seeded in the fall and grown throughout the winter, crops such as grains, grasses or legumes can help ensure healthy, productive soil for the next growing season.

“Cover crops are not grown for harvest, but rather to protect and improve soils,” he said. “They are commonly referred to as ‘green manure’ because at the end of their growing cycle, cover crops should be terminated and tilled back into the soil, where nutrients are released as the plants decay.” Continue reading

Telling the difference between Southern versus common rust in corn

In Delta Farm Press

According to Travis Faske, Extension plant pathologist with the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture, growers can tell the difference between Southern corn rust and common rust by the colors of the pustules.

Orange pustules, the University of Tennessee’s jersey colors, are more likely to be symptoms of Southern corn rust. University of Arkansas Razorback red pustules most likely belong to common rust. Continue reading

Kudzu bugs move toward Arkansas soybeans

In Delta Farm Press

by Ryan McGeeney, University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture

After almost five years of waiting, the inevitable has finally arrived: Kudzu bugs have made their way across the Delta, into Arkansas, and are poised to begin affecting soybeans in the fall.

The pest, which overwinters in kudzu, was first detected in Arkansas in 2013, mostly in small numbers. Robert Goodson, Phillips County agricultural agent for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture, said that only within recent weeks had the pest been discovered in large numbers in a commercial soybean field near Helena, Ark. Continue reading

Seven steps to reduce rice diseases

In Delta Farm Press

by Yeshi Wamishe, University of Arkansas

Disease management starts long before going to the field to plant rice.

(1) Match variety with field: To maximize productivity with minimum risk, knowing the history of your field and using the right variety for the field is essential. Often this may mean planting more than one or two varieties on multiple farms.

Hybrids have the best resistance to diseases such as rice blast, bacterial panicle blight, and sheath blight. Hybrids would be good candidates in fields with histories of such diseases. Note that hybrids are not immune to these diseases but can be more tolerant. Continue reading