Faulkner County Agriculture Update
August 28, 2020
General Conditions
Weather

Tropical Storm Laura made it into Faulkner County yesterday with somewhat of a bang. The storm brought in varying amounts of rain all over the county. Reported rain amounts were 1.75 inches in the northern part of the county to 4 inches in the Lollie bottoms. Wind damage on crops was very minimal. There is a few acres of downed rice but not enough to get too concerned over. I haven't seen any blown over corn or soybeans. The rain was much needed on hay and pastures as we were extremely dry in the county. We have chances of more rain next week and if you look out in the Atlantic another system is starting much like Laura did a few weeks ago.      
Row Crop
Rice

Rice seemed to escape major damage. I was more worried about the rice crop than any other crop in the county. Luckily, we only had a few acres that were down. One field in the Cadron Bottoms area got the majority of the damage. We had a few more fields that were starting to be drained ahead of the storm and I am glad they got it started. We continue to watch the late heading rice for stink bugs, but there just aren't that many out there.     
Soybeans

This was a much needed rain on several thirsty beans. Pivots have been going on acres that have them, and this week several producers were planning to lay down poly pipe and start irrigation but held off waiting on TS Laura. That was a wise decision. 3 inches of rain on top of beans that had just been watered wouldn't have been good.

Insects are out there, but at levels below threshold. Green stink bugs and loopers seem to be on the uptick and need to be monitored. Velvetbean caterpillars are still at low levels, but you can clearly see the defoliation they are causing. Corn earworms are just hard to find. We may find one or two per 25 sweeps, but that is it.  
SRVP (Soybean Research Verification Program) Field

The SRVP field is at R5 as we begin filling pods. This field needed this rain bad. We received 0.3 inches of rain on Wednesday that helped bring our moisture up, and then the 3.5 inches from yesterday brought the field back up to field capacity on moisture. We continue to find Heligen infected corn earworms. I am disappointed that I see some pod feeding, but it is minimal. We did notice some Dectes stem borer damage this week. This is a minor pest, and the damage is minimal, but it is out there.
Moth Trap Counts for this week

Corn Earworm Trap 1: 20
Corn Earworm Trap 2: 75
Beef & Forage
Hay and Pastures

Is it too late to fertilize my forages? - John Jennings

With the recent rains, producers are asking about fertilizing fields for a last hay cutting. For warm season forages such as bermudagrass and bahiagrass we are at the end of the season. The UA Fertilizer Recommendations Manual states that warm season forages should not be fertilized after September 1. Realistically, on drought stressed forages, the cutoff date should be earlier than that. The reasoning is that even after rain, drought stressed forages make take a week to even show greenup, another week to accumulate any leaf area, leaving only about a week to produce any significant amount of forage before short days and cooler nights in late September start shutting down warm season grass growth. When night temperatures drop into the 50’s warm season grass growth stalls and it could take a few days to restart. When night temps drop into the 40’s growth stops and by that time of year there are not enough warm hours in a day to restart the engine.

Arkansas research on stockpiling bermudagrass shows that at Batesville and Fayetteville, delaying N application from August 1 to September 1 reduced forage dry matter yield from 60-80%. That would apply for hay production as well. In south Arkansas that date could be moved from August 1 to August 15. Each day closer to September reduces warm season grass yield potential and viability of making late fertilizer applications economical.

However, timing for fertilizing fescue is right now. Our research on fertilizer timing for fall fescue growth, either for fall pasture or stockpiled winter pasture, showed that early September is the optimum time to apply nitrogen fertilizer. Waiting until early to mid-October produced no more dry matter yield than the unfertilized control.

So if producers need fall forage, fescue fertilization is a good option, and it’s too late to expect a good response from fertilizing warm-season forages. Other options for fall forage include planting oats or brassicas in early September. Delays past mid September on planting brassicas essentially produce no grazeable forage in the fall. Millets such as pearl millet, browntop, and japanese millet, can produce some forage if planted the first week of September. Ryegrass is a poor fall forage producer, but can be mixed with winter or summer annual forages to produce spring grazing. 
Hay and Pasture Insects

Several fields of armyworms were sprayed this week. I saw the classic armyworm style of damage this week. You look one day and everything is fine then the next day you see big patches of damage. We continue to work on collecting data on a correlation between square foot counts and counts using a sweep net. If we can come up with a good threshold, working with a sweep net is much easier than using the square method, and you can also find worms much earlier than you can with a square. If you plant winter annuals, keep an eye on the armyworms. They can take out a stand very quickly.    
2020 Southeast U.S. Hay Feeding Survey

Extension forage specialists with the University Of Arkansas Division Of Agriculture and in the southeast U.S. would like your help in gathering information on hay feeding methods and time required for feeding hay to help develop more effective forage educational programs.
 
We would appreciate you taking the time to complete a survey regarding your hay feeding methods. If you do choose to participate, we appreciate your feedback and all information will be kept confidential to the extent allowed by applicable State and Federal law. By completing the survey, you are agreeing to allow the use of your responses for educational purposes. If you do not wish to complete the survey, your refusal to do so will have not any effect on your relationship with the University Of Arkansas System Division Of Agriculture. To opt out of taking the survey, simply do not complete the survey.
 
If you have questions or concerns about this study, you may contact John Jennings at (501) 671-2350 or by email at jjennings@uaex.edu. For questions or concerns about your rights as a research participant, please contact Ro Windwalker, the University’s IRB Coordinator, at (479) 575-2208 or by e-mail at irb@uark.edu.
 
Information gathered from the survey will provide direct insights into current hay feeding practices, and allow us to better develop forage educational programs. Additionally, the information provided will be used to prioritize research and Extension outreach efforts moving forward to more effectively address your needs.
 
Please click on the link below to access the survey. It should take approximately 10 minutes to complete.
Livestock Market Report

The weekly livestock market report is available on the Arkansas Department of Agriculture website.
Pesticide Applicator Training
Anyone that needs a private applicators license can use the online course as their required training to obtain a license. The Arkansas State Plant Board has made an exception and will allow producers that are certifying for the first time to be able to use the online training.

Upcoming Events
Corn Virtual Field Day - September 3 at 6:00 pm. Register at this link https://aaes.uark.edu/field-days/corn/

Soybean Virtual Field Day - September 17 at 6:00 pm. Register at this link
Contact Kevin Lawson, County Extension Agent–Staff Chair, Faulkner County | www.uaex.edu/faulkner