The following mid-April report comes from Jeff Hoy with the LSU AgCenter.

“Brown rust is becoming severe in some fields, mostly HoCP 96-540 plant cane so far, in southern areas of the industry. It is therefore time to apply fungicide to minimize loss due to rust.

“The most immediate need for fungicide application will be HoCP 96-540 plant cane fields on light soil. Stubble fields of 540 on light soil should be watched closely, but the rust will probably not get severe in stubble fields for a while.

“Wait and see when rust starts to get bad in L 99-226. Further north, fungicide application may not be needed for another week or two.

“We have a confused crop out there after warm weather in January and February then cold weather during March. The growth and yield potential of the crop have been set back.

“Fungicide application will avoid having brown rust continue the rough start for the crop. 540 is still the number one variety; we need to give it the opportunity to finally take off.

“It is wet in most places. If fungicide can be applied later this week or next week, a second application will probably be needed. If it gets hot earlier than normal, we may get by with only one fungicide application.”