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Hartselle Enquirer

Alabama crops update: All over the board 

by Katie Nichols  

Although the summer weather pattern in the state is on par with the standard, the late summer update remains the same for Alabama crops—it’s all over the board. 

Some areas of the state have received ample rainfall, while others have had sporadic showers. There are also those with an in-between situation. In addition, there is recent talk of insecticide shortages and difficulty finding desired products. Alabama Cooperative Extension System regional agents and specialists have been paying close attention to weather patterns and crop situations across the state in order to provide Alabama farmers with timely, relevant information. 

Insecticide shortages 

Scott Graham, an Alabama Extension cotton, soybean and peanut entomologist, said he is starting to hear about insecticide shortages, while other products are difficult to find. Up to this point, producers have been able to get the products they wanted, but now some products are running short. 

“In situations where farmers cannot get the chemicals they want, it will be important to make sure what they are able to get will do the job,” Graham said. “In other words, make sure the second (or third) option has activity on the target pest and will provide adequate control.” 

Alabama crops update 

Extension Agronomist Tyler Sandlin, is based in the Tennessee Valley. He said corn is definitely the hardest hit crop in north Alabama because of persistent drought and heat stress during critical reproductive stages. 

“Some acres may not have a combine run through the field,” Sandlin said. “A lot of growers will likely hope to break even on other corn acres. There are a few dryland fields that may have respectable yields, but they are few and far between.” 

Sandlin said a lot of full-season soybeans are in the same boat as corn. Recent late rains will help to mitigate some of the early drought damage, but there are still challenges. These late rains do have the potential to help out double-cropped soybean acres planted behind wheat. 

“It just depends on where the rain has been falling and how much,” he said. “It’s truly a mixed bag.” 

Cotton seems to have the most potential right now. There are still plenty of drought-challenged acres, but many areas have had recent rains that will go a long way towards having respectable yields. 

“Likely no bumper crop in the majority of areas in north Alabama, however there is still strong yield potential for a lot of acres,” Sandlin said.