Watch out for black cutwork feeding!

As I have been out monitoring my black cutworm pheromone traps I am seeing a spike in moth flights, which could eventually lead to serious black cutworm issues in the next following month. DATCP is projecting that May 20th will be the average date when larvae are reaching their maximum damage potential.  One black cutworm can cut down as many as 4 or 5 plants in its larval stage.

With a wide range of hosts black cutworm can be a problem not only in corn but also in soybeans, sunflowers, and other agronomic crops. When scouting be sure to pay attention to low wet areas, patches of fields that have early weed development as well as fields that use reduced tillage systems.

When scouting fields check 10 plants in 10 different areas of the field to record the percent of plants displaying feeding symptoms, if feeding is greater than 3% an insecticide treatment may be considered.

Consult your Allied Agronomy Advisor for control options if you believe you are at threshold. — Josh Johnson, Agronomist

BCW pheromone traps

Pictured above are the black cutworm moths that I found in my pheromone trap.

Cutworm damage

Evidence of black cutworms feeding on young corn plant.


A young corn plant that was cut off by a black cutworm.

Now is a Good Time to Evaluate if Your Corn Fields had Enough Nitrogen Applied

Now is a great time to do some investing in your corn fields. Check to see if any deficiency symptoms are showing up.  Iowa State has put together some excellent information on common deficiency symptoms. Click on the following to read this informative data: nutrientdeficiency

Please let us know if you have any questions on what is going on in your fields. — Rob Shields, Agronomist

leaves firing up

WBCW (western bean cutworm) Moth Found

Congratulations to our Intern from Galesville, Alissa Geske, for being the first one on our staff to fine a WBCW (western bean cutworm) moth this summer. Some of our hybrids, like the Smart Stax varieties, have protection against this pest. But a lot of our field corn and sweet corn varieties Western Bean Cutworm moth 7-18-14are still at risk. The best way to determine when this pest is in the area is with the pheromone traps, like the ones our interns are checking every week. Please click on the links below for reference materials to help you learn more about this destructive pest.

Western Bean Cutworm tech sheet

Moth ID guide A3855

If you need help determining if this pest is a problem on your farm please contact your local Agronomy Advisor at Allied Cooperative.  — Rob Shields, Agronomist

First Field Corn Tassels Seen Today!

I know the old saying is “knee high by the fourth of July”, but how about tasseled corn by July 9th? I’m doing some crop scouting up by Galesville today and in a lot of the First field corn tassels seen today!fields I’m seeing V14 to V15, and this earlier planted field has its tassels emerging this morning.

A quick reminder on fungicides on field corn. Please make sure you have full tassel emergence on 100% of the field and the axillaries (little side branches) on the tassels are folded out. An example of a product you could look at in the very near future would be Headline AMP at 10 to 14 oz per acre.  For more information click on the following link …  headline-amp—technical-information-bulletin

Please let your local Allied Agronomy Advisor know if you have any questions  — Rob Shields, Agronomist

Did I get hail in my beans or is something eating them?

Bacterial blight startingThe short answer is neither. I have looked at a number of fields in the area and it looks like we have some Bacterial Blight in our soybeans. I attached a photo from an area field, and some nice publications from Iowa State going over what these disease look like. When I looked closely at area fields you could find the missing pieces of the soybean leaf. So this helped to prove that nothing had eaten the plant but rather it is the result of a bacterial disease attacking the plant and pieces of the leaf tissue falling to the ground.

Remember a foliar fungicide will not do anything for bacterial diseaseas, but if you have any fungal diseases present in your soybeans, fungicides will help in that situation.

Please let your local Allied Agronomy Advisor know if you need help looking at your soybean fields. We would like to help you evaluate what, if any, disease pressure you are experiencing currently and offer recommendations to assist you.  — Rob Shields, Agronomist

Bacterial Blight                            soybeandiseases

Is your corn sulfur deficient?

A lot of our corn is hitting the rapid growth phase — that is gaining height at a fast pace. I was just in a field that had some intervienal chlorosis — that is yellow between Intervienal chlorosisthe veins. This can be a symptom of Sulfur deficiency. It is always best to confirm this with a tissue test. Please contact your local Agronomy Advisor at Allied Cooperative to help you scout and sample your corn fields now.

We can help you determine if additional sulfur would be beneficial to your crop at this time and if so develop a recipe that will work at your operation. –– Rob Shields, Agronomist


Time for CORN Tissue Testing

Well after 2.5 inches of rain yesterday afternoon and evening at our house, my wife should not have to water the garden tonight.  I had wanted a little bit of rain to keep the crop moving forward but I received a lot more than that.


Last week we looked at a lot of corn that was V2 to V4.   This week is critical in field corn.  The weeds need to be cleaned up and a residual product laid down to keep the field clean until canopy.  An example of a recipe you could use in glyphosate tolerant corn would be 24oz of a 5# glyphosate, 1.5pts Atrazine 4L (if you are not in a restricted area & you have not already used Atrazine), and  2 to 3 oz. of Capreno.   Remember to always check labels and check with your Agronomist at Allied before making any applications.


Now is the perfect time to call us to have your tissue samples taken for field corn.  We want them pulled at V4 to V5 to confirm where the nutrient levels are at in the corn plant.  We have many interns and staff available to help in this effort.  We will also ask when the last time you pulled a soil sample.   If it has been more than 3 years we will want to pull a soil sample at the same time the tissue sample is pulled.


Please take the time with the weather delays to check on your corn stands (see pictures below).   Check populations, look for missing plants, find out why they are missing.   Bring along a shovel and check planting depth and look for any disease or insect pressure.   If you do not have time please give us a call we would like to help you evaluate your fields.


Have a safe and productive week!   — Rob Shields, Agronomy

looking at corn populations

Looking at Corn Populations

Corn plant in trouble

Corn Plant in Trouble

Stand assessment for wheat, fungicide on oats and some interesting data on corn production

It feels a little bit more like spring today. I talked to one farmer last week and he said the ground was still solid 8” down in the field by his house. It will be warmer today, then it sounds like cooler weather is expected the rest of the week.

It will soon be time to review your wheat stands, so I thought I would pass on this information from the University of Wisconsin to assist you in the process …… click here

There has been some talk on using fungicide on oats, check this article by the small grain team at the University of Wisconsin if oats is in your crop plan for 2014.….. click here

Finally, here is some interesting information from the University of Illinois on corn yields …… click here

Have a safe week!                  —  Rob Shields, Agronomist

Sign Up Now for Private Applicator Training & Testing

We have to get used to writing 2014 now.   The year 2013 is now over, and what a roller coaster ride it was — a late wet spring followed by a dry summer. Hopefully 2014 can provide us with a season that is more favorable for crop production in Wisconsin.

The 2014 season is only a few months away. Now is a great time to start planning for what is needed during the next crop season.  One thing you don’t want to limit yourself on is what crop protection product your farm has access to. If you do your own spraying please check to make sure your Private Applicator license is up to date.  If not please sign up NOW with your local UW Extension office. (See below for more information on these classes.)  This way you will have access to any of the crop protection products that are sold at your local Allied Cooperative Agronomy center. Please have a safe and productive 2014 season!   — Rob Shields, Agronomist

Private Pesticide Applicator Training classes will once again be offered by your local UW-Extension office. Anyone who intends to purchase, mix, load, apply, or direct the use of restricted use pesticides as a private applicator must be certified. Certification is good for five years. There are two ways to become certified. Purchase and study the training manual and attend an all-day training class offered by your local UW-Extension office. These classes consist of presentations followed by a written exam at the end of the day. If you are unable to attend one of the classroom sessions, the second option is to self-study and schedule time through the UW-Extension office to take the exam on your own. Training manuals are available at your local UW-Extension office and must be purchased at least five (5) days before the class or individual exam is taken.

January 23 – Green Lake County

January 24 – Waushara County

January 31 – Adams County

February 5 – Marquette County

February 14 – Wood County

February 21 – Juneau County

February 21 – Portage County

February 27 – Waupaca County

March 4 – Waupaca County

March 7 – Portage County

March 10 – Adams County

March 14 – Green Lake County

March 21 – Waushara County

Should you evaluate your corn fields now for weed control? Yes!

Is now a good time to evaluate your 2013 weed control program?  Yes it is.  Once your corn fields are harvested, or even while you are harvesting them take a look to see what survived or competed with your crop this summer.

Crabgrass photo after harvest

This photo shows a field that had some crabgrass competing with the field corn during the summer of 2013. This matt of crabgrass not only stole moisture but crop nutrients as well.  I would have like this field to have been spayed again prior to canopy with some residual corn herbicides.  An example of a recipe that could have been is a 5# glyphosate, Capreno, Atrazine, Prowl H20.  Rates and products used always depend on crop stage and weeds present.   Always be sure to follow label directions, and in some areas of our state Atrazine can NOT be used.  The Wisconsin DATCP site has an excellent, interactive map showing what areas can not receive Atrazine.  For more on this click the link below.  Let us know if you have any questions this fall that we can assist you with.  — Rob Shields