Crop Update

Corn

Our black light traps are showing low to very low levels of western bean cutworm moths, European corn borer, and corn earworm, especially compared to the levels we were finding this time last year. We have found a few corn leaf aphids on some of the heavier ground in our area so be sure to be monitoring your fields for this pest as the summer progresses. Much of the corn in our area is at the tail end of pollination and is looking good. Low levels of rust can be found in most all of the fields in our area. Anthracnose leaf spot is common in fields that are corn after corn. We have only found a few fields with trace amounts of Northern corn leaf blight to date, but with wet weather on the forecast it is likely to spread.

Soybean

Japanese beetle, green clover worm, aphids have been the main insects we have been finding these past few weeks, but no fields have reached economic thresholds yet. Be vigilant in scouting for aphids as the extended forecast of cool weather will be very conducive to aphid reproduction. University thresholds are 250 aphids pre-plant which may sound like a lot, but when the population can double every few days it does not take very long for a field to become infected. Septoria brown spot is slowly building in the lower canopy of many of the soybean fields in our area. Consider a foliar fungicide if you have moderate or heavy disease pressure at this time. The key time for fungicide on soybeans is the R1 (beginning flower) to R3 (beginning pod) stage. Many of our fields are in the R3 stage to R4 (full pod).

Potato

Late blight continues to be a problem and is slowly but surely spreading with each week, bringing one or two more fields found to have been infected. So continue to apply fungicide on your scheduled interval being sure to add premium late blight material especially on the weeks of cool wet weather like we have been having. We are currently in the midst of second generation Colorado potato beetles with adults already laying eggs and larvae hatching. Some of the petiole numbers are starting to crash as the crop begins to pour energy into the tubers. We have been checking tubers for shape and size last week and this week to see if an MH30 application is needed to correct the shape of the tubers.

– Otto Oemig, Agronomist

Advertisements

Crop Update

Corn

This past week we found the first rust pustules of the season which means that rust spores are in the area. Carefully monitor your corn fields for rust as the season goes on, especially those fields with sensitive or less resistant hybrids. Start planning ahead to tasseling which for some may be right around the corner, with as wet a year this has been we should expect higher than average foliar fungus pressure this year so consider an application of a fungicide at Tasseling and R1 in the corn this season.

Soybeans

We are finding low levels of brown spot of soybean in a few fields across the area. Soybeans are growing rapidly at this stage. We are finding soybean aphids in most fields this year. With these levels of aphids this early in the season, combined with the favorable aphid weather we have been having it is very likely that control will be needed in many of the fields in our area this year.

Potatoes

Late blight was found in south central Portage county today. This point of infection is 20 miles north and east from the original infection site. In most of the fields in our area we have the Colorado Potato Beetles under control at this point with just trace levels left in most fields. Early blight continues to remain in check on the lower canopy in fields that are receiving regular fungicide applications. Also we are just starting to find bacterial vine rot in some of the more sensitive varieties.

– Otto Oemig, Agronomist

July Crop Update

Potatoes

Late blight has been found in a potato field west of Plainfield last Friday, 6/28. With late blight in the area it is important to step up your fungicide program by shortening intervals and using premium products. Be sure to be scouting shaded East borders as they remain wetter later in the day and are therefore at a higher risk of infection by late blight especially if you are spraying by air only. This week we are fighting 3rd and 4th instar Colorado potato beetle larvae who survived earlier insecticide applications especially on edges.

Corn

In corn, we are making sure that the fields are weed free and continue monitoring for foliar diseases and insects. Our black light trap moth counts have remained low for most corn insects. We are seeing quite a few rose chafer beetles in several fields in the area, yet we are not seeing much feeding from them at all but will continue to monitor them.

Soybeans

In soybeans, we are cleaning up weeds across most of the area this week and monitoring fields for early insects and disease.

– Otto Oemig, Agronomist

More wet weather this week (June 10-14)

More wet weather ahead in the forecast makes for tough hay drying weather, and more rain is the last thing we need on some of the wetter ground that we have been waiting to plant all season long. Also, this cool wet weather favors pythium in the soybeans and we have been finding some dead seedlings in several fields across the area.

In the potatoes, the second hilling is getting finished up and fields should be checked for weed escapes. Also, Colorado potato beetles are laying eggs in full force, expect the first generation of larvae to emerge next week. The black light traps are extremely quiet right now with only a few cutworm moths.

Looking forward into the future, consider doing some nematode testing on your farm this year. Nematodes are microscopic worms that exist in almost all soils and, while many are harmless or even beneficial, there are several plant parasitic nematodes that may be secretly robbing yield year after year. Many of you are probably familiar with soybean cyst nematode, but there are many other nematodes that affect other crops. Nematodes that are particularly damaging in corn are dagger, lance, root lesion, and needle.

At Pest Pros, a division of Allied Cooperative, we sample and test soils for nematodes to measure a fields relative risk for nematodes in the future. Such information can help you identify and begin to manage a nematode problem. Sampling can also help you asses your Poncho/Votivo and Avicta programs. For more information on nematode testing, contact the Pest Pros lab at (715) 335-4046.

– Otto Oemig, Agronomist

Dealing with wet fields, weeds, and pests this week (June 3-7)

This week is shaping up to be a wet one which is a problem for some of the fields that are weedy and too wet for us to get into to spray. Consider increasing rates, and heating up your tank mixes for better weed control on taller weeds when you do get into these fields later. Continue to be vigilant in looking for black cutworm clipping of corn.  The threshold is 3% of plants clipped to warrant a spray. In the potatoes, the first generation Colorado beetles are laying eggs so look for newly hatched larvae next week. Do stem and stand counts this week to determine populations, and weed scouting to see if the hilling operation missed any weeds. Watch out for common ragweed especially as they are very difficult to control if they get larger than 2 inches.

Colorado potato beetle

Colorado potato beetle

Common ragweed

Common ragweed

– Otto Oemig, Agronomist

Watch out for pests in corn and potatoes this week (May 27-31)

This week we have soybeans emerging, and we’re on the lookout for black cutworms in the corn. In potatoes, it is mostly weed scouting at this point, but we are finding first generation adult Colorado potato beetles. Also, some of the severe weather has left some crops with wind damage, especially the newly emerged soybeans.

– Otto Oemig, Agronomist

Watch out for moths

Much of the corn across the area is emerging and some is already at V1 to V2. With the cool spring we have had we are seeing a lot of yellowing in the corn as it emerges. Due to the cold weather, insects have been slow to emerge and migrate in. Not many corn insects have been observed this week. We will be setting up our black light traps later this week to capture and monitor the levels of moths in the area. Key moths we watch out for are European corn borer, corn earworm, black cutworm, various armyworms, stalk borer, and hop vine borer. We monitor these moth counts to better focus our scouting operations on what pests are in the area at what times of the season. Watch out for frost damage later in the week as it is set to get almost to freezing on Thursday across much of our area. Many times the cold air can settle into low parts of the field and do damage.

– Otto Oemig, Agronomist

And so it begins…

Excitement and dust are in the air as potatoes are finally going in! Everything this year seems to be very late compared to the fact that we were so far ahead by this point last spring due to the unseasonably warm weather we enjoyed last year. With such a polar opposite spring this year – with such cold weather – it seemed winter never wanted to end. General consensus is that last year we were 10 days ahead and this year appears to be about 7 days late. What a difference a year makes!

– Otto Oemig, Agronomist