In July, I will be starting my sixth week of my internship. For my internship, the biggest turning point is July 4th. The reason behind this is because the main crops that I scout every week are beginning to develop into the most important stage of their lives.
Cotton is beginning to growing into the “Squaring” stage of its life cycle. This is the stage where you begin to see the cotton bowl start to form called a square. This is what will become the soft fluffy white balls of cotton. It is very important to keep a close eye on the cotton at this stage because a farmer has to worry about many different kinds of insects that will try to eat the squares.
Corn is now beginning to grow out of the “Pre-Tassel” stage of its life and move into the “Tasseling” stage. Just like cotton, this is the start of the development of the fruit of the crop, an ear of corn. As a scout, this is also when I will be looking for more insects trying to eat on the corn plants.
Some particular insects that I have noticed in some fields are Flee Hoppers in cotton fields and Fall Army Worms in corn fields. Both of these insects can severely affect crops if they are not monitored or kept in check. If these insects are not monitored, the crops can potentially not produce or produce a very plentiful harvest.
Right now, it is too late for farmers to replant cotton. So, some farmers have replanted their fields to corn if their cotton has not done very well. For some farmers, cotton was replanted in time to make a good crop. This is one part of my internship that I have enjoyed. Because of what the other interns and I do, James Todd, the independent crop consultant that we intern for, has been able to make recommendations to farmers based off of our observations in the field to help the farmers make decisions with their crops. I have been able to see crops that were either hailed out or that did not have a very good stand replanted and turn into considerably better fields of cotton. When I get to see this, I really feel like I am doing something to help our farmers in this area.
One other thing that I have enjoyed about my internship is getting to wake up every day and see the sun coming up. Once we get out into the fields, it is almost a guarantee that I will hear a pheasant cackle or a bobwhite quail calling out into the morning. It is a pleasure in itself to be able to be outside every day.
My internship is beginning to pick up speed. I am looking forward to staying busy. It is going to be very interesting to see what I will encounter as time moves on. I have enjoyed my internship so far, and I am looking forward to enjoying the rest of the summer as well.