Thursday, March 20,  2014's Update!


Thrips Control Gains More Importance With High-Yielding Cotton


The most important thing to remember about cotton thrips is getting seedling cotton plants to grow through their thrips-susceptible window, which is about the first through fifth true leaf. Choosing the right strategy and products can get young cotton through it.

"You want your plants to move through that window as fast as possible. Anything you can do to make your plants grow faster will minimize the thrips problem. They cause fewer problems on rapidly growing plants," said Ron Smith, Auburn University Extension entomologist.

Seed treatments are valuable, he says. "You can't live without them, but they don't always hold thrips injury below the threshold level. We've got Gaucho, which is imidacloprid, and Cruiser, which is thimethoxan.

Certain weather conditions sometimes will favor one of those over the other. For example, Cruiser is a little bit more water-soluble than Gaucho. So Cruiser will perform better in a dry spring while Gaucho will perform better in a wet spring like last year."

Acetate, including Orthene and the generics, at 1 pound in-furrow is not nearly as effective as a seed treatment and sometimes not much more effective than an untreated seed alone, says Smith.

"We have imidacloprid in a liquid, which is Admire Pro and is applied in-furrow. It can be as effective as a seed treatment, but the application method appears to be a critical limiting factor. It definitely wasn't as good as a seed treatment. Most of us were putting it out with a flat-fan nozzle sprayed right in the furrow, and it didn't help at all. It looked good with folks who did it with a .55 orifice nozzle pointed directly down with low pressure right above the furrow. It was equal to the seed treatments."

Foliar sprays are needed on top of seed treatments when cotton is not growing rapidly, says Smith. "We're now recommending that cotton planted up to about May 10 should get an automatic spray on top of the seed treatment at the first true-leaf stage."



New Report Explains Impact of Labor Shortages on Agriculture, U.S. Economy


The Partnership for a New American Economy and the Agriculture Coalition for Immigration Reform has released a new report titled No Longer Home Grown - How Labor Shortages are Increasing America's Reliance on Imported Fresh Produce and Slowing U.S. Economic Growth. The report is part of the #iFarmImmigration campaign of more than 70 agriculture groups - including the American Farm Bureau Federation - partnering to express the importance of immigration reform to lawmakers. Partnership for a New American Economy Chair John Feinblatt says American consumers want fresh U.S. grown fruits and vegetables - but U.S. farmers don't have the labor force available to meet that demand - which means more produce is imported - resulting in the U.S. economy losing millions of dollars and thousands of jobs each year. AFBF President Bob Stallman says more evidence points in the same direction - farmers and consumers both need responsible immigration reform.

The report shows the share of fresh fruits and vegetables imported and consumed by American families has grown by 79.3-percent in recent years. It also shows America's production of fresh produce and consumer demands are out of sync because fresh produce consumption has grown - but production levels have barely grown or declined. Another finding from the report is that U.S. GDP would have been 12.4-billion dollars higher in 2012 if U.S. fresh fruit and vegetable growers had been able to maintain the domestic market share they held from 1998 to 2000. The report also notes labor challenges faced by U.S. farmers and the inadequacies of the H-2A visa program are a key reason why American farmers have been unable to maintain that domestic market share. Labor alone accounts for as much as 3.3-billion dollars in missed GDP growth in 2012 and for 1.4-billion dollars in farm income not realized in 2012. 



Former Volunteer Firefighter Arrested in Connection with Arsons


A former volunteer firefighter with the Washington Parish Fire District #2, Johnny Erin Tarver, is accused of setting 20 fires in Washington Parish over the course of two months. These arsons included fires set in wooded areas and three separate incidents where hay bales were burned.   In the early morning hours of March 15, 2014, the Washington Parish Sheriff's Office arrested Tarver, 23, and placed him in the Washington Parish Jail, charged with 20 counts of simple arson. Tarver had been a volunteer fireman with the Washington Parish Fire District #2 since November 2013.  

On March 14, deputies responded to a brush fire that was not controlled. The complainant who reported the brush fire stated that a man driving a red four door sedan had stopped and tried to convince her the fire was a controlled burn.  The man refused to identify himself. 

A short time later, investigators say a deputy observed the vehicle and determined that it was registered to Tarver who was wanted by the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry (LDAF) for 20 counts of simple arson.  The vehicle was stopped and Tarver was arrested.

LDAF forestry enforcement investigators became involved in this case on March 11, 2014. A follow up investigation by LDAF investigators, Washington Parish Fire District #2 and the Washington Parish Sheriff's Office resulted in LDAF investigators issuing arrest warrants for Tarver charging him with 20 counts of simple arson.   

LDAF Commissioner Mike Strain, D.V.M. said, "Thanks to an alert Washington Parish deputy, a suspected arsonist was arrested. It's especially disappointing to learn the suspect was, until shortly before being taken into custody, a volunteer firefighter.  It is our job to help bring to justice people who put lives in danger and property at risk of being destroyed by acting irresponsibly." 

If convicted of a single charge of simple arson where the damage is less than five hundred dollars, punishment can be a fine up to $2,500 or imprisonment up to five years, or both.

Let's all sing together:  "It's The Most Wonderful Meal of the Year!"



Wednesday's   Closing Market Prices


Nov  Soybeans                  1191 up 6.4

Dec Cotton                         7999 down 25

North & South

   Delta Cotton                    8937 down 31

Sept  Corn                          488.6 up 1

Sept   Rice                          1427.5 up 2.5

Sept  Wheat                        723.6 up 21

#16 Sugar May                    1732 up 18

April Live Cattle                   146-27.5 up 57.5

April Feeder Cattle              176-70 down 20

Don Molino & Neil Melancon 

Please contact us with any questions or feedback regarding information you would like to receive in this e-letter. 


Don Molino

Senior Farm Broadcaster


(225) 291-2727, ext. 210