Aphid causes problems for Louisiana grain sorghum
LSU AgCenter experts urged farmers who experienced harvest problems caused by the white sugarcane aphid in grain sorghum to report their difficulties to state agriculture officials to help obtain approval for a pesticide to control the insect.
Josh Lofton, LSU AgCenter agronomist, said grain sorghum yields were good last year, but the residue left by the aphids in many fields created a gummy mess in combines.
He said an application for a Section 18 permit from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is being made for Transform pesticide by the LSU AgCenter and the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry.
Kurt Guidry, LSU AgCenter economist, urged farmers to provide details about problems caused by the aphid last year to convince the EPA that it should approve the use of Transform in Louisiana grain sorghum.
Guidry said grain sorghum prices are likely to be close to corn prices in 2014. He said corn demand is down because less ethanol is being produced. But, he said, cheaper fertilizer prices will allow many farmers to continue growing corn, which probably will be priced from $4 to $5.50 a bushel.
He said soybean stocks are tight with continued demand, but that could be offset by a large South American soybean crop. He said soybean prices should remain in the range of $11 to $12.50 per bushel for the next few months.
“We hope we’ll have demand for corn, but we pretty much know we’ll have demand for soybeans,” he said.
He said wheat prices have not increased but should reach $6 to $7 a bushel.
Lofton said this year’s Louisiana’s wheat crop was not damaged by the mid-January cold snap, but last year’s crop had significant damage from freezing spring temperatures. “We had some with entire fields of aborted seed heads,” he said.
Trey Price, LSU AgCenter plant pathologist, said more fungicide-resistant diseases will be found in soybean and corn crops. He said 85 percent of frogeye leafspot disease samples showed resistance to strobilurin fungicides in 21 of 27 parishes. “I saw more frogeye last year than I did Cercospora,” he said.
Ron Levy, LSU AgCenter soybean specialist, said he expects soybean acreage to increase in 2014 because of good prices. Last year’s crop exceeded 1 million acres and yielded an average of 48 bushels, a one bushel increase from 2012, he said.
The average yield would have been higher, but the crop in south Louisiana was hurt by moisture problems, he said.
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