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Mississippi Researcher Update: “What’s Happening in the Field?”

This month, we asked two Mississippi State University (MSU) researchers what they are seeing so far this season and what is important to share with Mississippi farmers this summer.


Trent Irby, Extension Soybean Specialist, Mississippi State University — We are still planting in several areas of the state, so the season is just beginning for most. Our oldest crop is just now reaching the stage where early postemergence herbicides are being applied. Our main issue to date has been achieving adequate stands due to various reasons. It seems that we have gone from one extreme to another very fast this planting season. Air and soil temperatures remained cooler than normal, even through the month of April. We had some of our earliest planted crop go through these cool conditions with lots of rain, ultimately resulting in less than ideal stands. More recently, the weather has turned hot and dry so now we are seeing less than optimum stands as a result of lack of soil moisture. Regardless of the reason, part of our acreage this year will consist of less than ideal plant populations. This  may result in lower yield potential, depending on the popula tion. It is also possible to see additional herbicide application(s) required due to the inability of the crop to canopy properly with these reduced plant populations. These are challenges that we have to keep in mind, particularly as we make management decisions to maximize profitability moving forward. To read the full story, click here.


Jason Bond, Extension/Research Professor, Mississippi State University — As far as weed control was concerned, the biggest problem with planting was that many residual herbicide treatments at planting did not receive rainfall adequate for incorporation. Where moisture was adequate, some weeds emerged and postemergence treatments had to be applied sooner than anticipated. We are in year two of conditional labeling for application of registered dicamba products to Roundup Ready 2 Xtend soybean. Off-target movement of dicamba was a problem in some areas of Mississisppi in 2017, and I have already had several calls this year. Soybean producers in Mississippi should be aware of this and use caution when making applications according to label directions, which are very specific for registered dicamba products. Communication with neighbors is also critical to help mitigate concerns with off-target movement.


Tom Allen, Extension/Research Associate Professor, Mississippi State University, via Twitter — We are receiving calls regarding southern blight (sclerotium blight) of soybeans killing seedling plants in numerous fields. White, ropey fungal growth just below the soil line is the most diagnostic feature. Sclerotia on dead plants may also occur. Read more about Southern blight in our scouting guide here.