Research Update (October 4, 2021)
Diligence Technologies Inc., West Tennessee
EVENTS FROM THE PAST MONTH:
You all know it but in case you have forgotten I will say it again: a cool, wet summer makes for late crops. If you throw in a wet spring that delayed planting to begin with, you have a recipe for a mad scramble at the end to get everything out of the field. That is a pretty good summary of where we find ourselves this fall. In the best case, we will have a long, warm, dry fall that allows everything to finish up nicely. Anything short of that will be a challenge.
Corn and soybeans are behind schedule, but they should be fine. They will just be harvested a bit later than normal. The real challenge for this season may turn out to be cotton. We have not had enough heat this year to mature the crop at a normal pace. As we get deeper into fall, we begin to face issues of how many of the cotton bolls we can expect to get open prior to picking. With the arrival of October, these decisions become less about the stage of crop and more about the amount of time we have before the first frost. Once frost occurs, there is little chance that boll openers and defoliants will be effective. Unless we get some unusually warm weather in October, look for most folks to start shutting the cotton down and getting what they can.
As we begin to finish off our summer projects, we start to think about the winter meetings. If the world holds together this year, we have a full slate of meetings on the schedule including the NCWSS, NAICC, SWSS and others. Zoom meetings were about the best we could do last season, but I could stand a little more of the personal interaction that we have taken for granted in previous years. More details on the winter schedule as meeting season gets closer.
Timing our defoliation trials may be a challenge this season (see above), but we should be able to pull it off. We will find the most mature cotton we can get and start early enough to finish it off before a frost brings the trials to a premature end (or at least that is the plan). Stay tuned to see how well we pull of the balancing act this year.
As we move into October, we will also be starting our winter wheat trials later in the month. We have a few already on the books and room for more if you have the need. Let us know if we can help.
We spent a good deal of time in September getting ready for the opening of the greenhouse. We made general repairs, worked on the irrigation and lighting, and generally just did all those things that need to happen before we open up for the winter. We plan to start running greenhouse trials this month, so if you have a project in the works let us know and we will get it going.
As we already noted, this summer was generally mild with adequate rainfall. In general, crops did not suffer much stress and we would expect corn and soybean yields to be good. The cotton crop has the potential to be good with plenty of bolls on the plants. It remains to be seen how much of that potential will make it into the picker.
With the exception of an early armyworm flight, pest pressure has been anywhere from average to light in most of our crops. Stinkbug pressure is building in our late soybeans and we should have some good numbers in those trials. Our most difficult insect trials this season have been getting good bollworm numbers in cotton. It has been hard to find a good population in our cotton this year.
We have had excellent foliar disease pressure this year. The frequent rains made this a good year to test gray leaf spot control in corn and frogeye leaf spot control in soybeans. Those are the two diseases that we can normally “hang our hat on” and we were pleased with the trials again this year.
Those that have visited lately have noticed our newest addition to the Diligence Technologies family. John Louis Bland joined us in June of this season following his graduation from East Tennessee State University and will be working full time for the company. Please take a few moments to get to know John Louis on your next visit to the farm or greenhouse.
As always, we are thankful for those that brought us trials this summer. We hope to have the remaining data out soon and turn our attentions to winter wheat, fall burndown, and greenhouse trials. Please let us know you have any projects where we can be of service this fall and winter.
The thoughts of the diligent tend only to plenteousness.