What is in this article?:
• Cotton acreage is down in 2012, but cotton production, based on yield per acre, should be up in most Southeast states.
• Soybean acreage will be up significantly and yields in all states other than Virginia are projected to increase from last year.
• Peanut production is up across the board in the Southeast and most states are reporting good to excellent crop production so far this year.
• Corn harvest in nearly done across much of the Southeast and early season drought may keep yields down some, but most growers report a good crop.
White mold outbreaks
Scattered reports of heavier than usual outbreaks of white mold have been reported in some areas that have had frequent rainfall over the past few weeks.
Overall, nearly 75 percent of the Florida Peanut Belt reports above average rainfall for the growing season.
Rank growth and subsequent disease and insect problems have slowed the progress of Florida’s cotton crop, but with harvest season rapidly approaching, post Isaac dry weather could help growers once again harvest a high quality and high yielding crop.
The Florida Department of Agriculture reports condition of pastures ranged from very poor to excellent, with most in good condition. Recent rainfall improved pasture conditions but some flooding now exists from Tropical Storm Isaac.
The condition of the cattle was poor to excellent, with most in good condition. In the Panhandle, conditions of pasture and cattle were poor to excellent with drought limiting the condition of some pastures.
In the northern areas, pasture conditions were mostly good with some pastures in poor condition due to flooding.
Rain from Hurricane Isaac is expected to alleviate moderate to severe drought conditions that still exist in a relatively small band of counties from the Alabama line to near Macon in central Georgia. Other than that one belt, much of Georgia has received ample rainfall for crop development.
The National Agricultural Statistics Service report for Georgia says, “Statewide topsoil moisture was rated at 5 percent very short, 28 percent short, 61 percent adequate and 6 percent surplus.
Subsoil moisture was reported to be 10 percent very short, 43 percent short, 43 percent adequate and 4 percent surplus.
Warm days and frequent rain showers have resulted in an increase in white mold and early leaf spot pressure is building in Georgia’s peanut crop.
Expected rainfall from Hurricane Isaac may make the peanut disease problem worse, but can bring needed rainfall to southwest Georgia’s peanut crop.
Soybean rust has now made its way throughout much of the state and growers are finding more and more of the disease in commercial soybean fields. Again, wind and rain associated with Hurricane Isaac are likely to move disease spores around and create a good environment for the disease to develop.
Target spot (Corynespora leaf spot) is causing sporadic problems in parts of southeast Georgia. Extension specialists report fungicides are working well, but in too many cases growers are not properly identifying the disease and are spraying in fields that don’t need to be sprayed for target spot.
Only a few spots in the state are reporting abnormally dry conditions and none are categorized as being in a drought. Virtually all crops are poised for increased production over last year and cotton, peanuts and soybeans are poised for really good crops.