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.

Cutworm_corn

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

Advertisements

Wisconsin corn planting progress way ahead of last year!

According to the latest USDA Wisconsin Crop Progress & Condition report, we are at 85% planted vs. the five year average of 53%.  Last year we were only at 34% planted at this time of year.  To see the full crop progress report, please click on the following link.  

Wisconsin Crop Progress & Condition report 5-18-15

Soybean harvest under way

The soybean harvest has taken off in the area. I just talked with a grower west of Galesville and they are opening up some fields as we speak. He said they are definitely dry enough and to plan on soil sampling everything early next week. Fall is a great time to get all of your soil sampling completed. A few key things to remember about sampling this fall: sample the fields prior to any tillage, and before any manure, fertilizer, or lime is applied. This way you get an accurate sample. A corn field was also recently harvested up this way, the moisture ranged from 16% to 31% and test weights from 49 to 52.

– Rob Shields, Agronomist

Stink bugs damaging my corn?

According to the following article from Ohio State, we can see injury in corn. See the pictures they provided in the article below so you can see what the damage looks like. The authors also mention that sweet corn is more prone to stink bug damage. Read the article below for further information and let us know if you think you spot some in one of your fields.

Corn Ears Showing Stink Bug Injury

Andy Michel, Ron Hammond, Celeste Welty, Peter Thomison, Ohio State University  |   September 23, 2013
Stink bugs on corn.

Stink bugs on corn.

Stink bug damage in soybeans is well documented in Ohio. However farmers may be surprised to learn that stink bug injury can also be seen in corn. Usually the damage in field corn is localized to “scarring on kernels” or causing a “mottled” appearance near the tip of the ear but severe injury has been observed (see photo). Sweet corn is particularly susceptible to stink bugs, with similar damage symptoms.’

Stink bug damage on corn.

Stink bug damage on corn.

Last week we saw stink bug injury at the Northwest Branch near Hoytville and the Waterman Farm in Columbus. At Waterman, the damage was associated with brown marmorated stink bugs, but green stink bugs were more common at NW Branch. Damage was evident on husks where stink bugs appeared to be feeding (see photo). In the southern states, stink bugs cause significant losses in field corn. When stink bugs pierce through the husk and feed on the ear during early development, the cob will not develop on that side, but continue growing on the back side giving the ear a characteristic banana shaped appearance.

The shuck will also stop developing, exposing the grain to bird and insect damage. Injury also includes shrunken and/or missing kernels. Heavy stink bug populations can reduce not only yields but also the quality of the grain. While we have not seen any economic losses from stink bugs in field corn, growers should be aware of their presence and the damage they can cause.

Source: http://corn.osu.edu/newsletters/2013/2013-31/corn-ears-showing-stink-bug-injury.

– Rob Shields, Agronomist

– Rob Shields, Agronomist

Corn silage moisture dropping fast!

One of our sales agronomists at Mauston checked some corn silage fields today and dried down 4 different samples today in our microwave. The samples ranged from 62 to 67% moisture, so it is time to harvest these fields and many others. Please check your fields now or ask one of our feed or agronomy specialists for assistance. Please have a safe corn silage harvest season.

– Rob Shields, Agronomist

Insect activity found today…

Near Galesville today I found my first Western Bean Cutworm Egg Mass. The moth counts are very low this year. We put out 5 pheromone traps and have found very few this season. I also found a fair number of Corn Rootworm beetles feeding on the fresh silks today. Please keep a watchful eye on your corn fields during the critical pollination phase. The published threshold is “when silk clipping is occurring on 25% or more of the plants during pollen shed.” Also, if this field will be corn next year, it is best to plan your management strategy to combat this pest now due to the fact that they will be laying eggs now to attack next year’s corn crop. Please let us know if you have questions on any of these issues. Thank you.

– Rob Shields, Agronomist

Western bean cutworm egg masses.

Western bean cutworm egg masses.

Corn rootworm beetle feeding.

Corn rootworm beetle feeding.

Corn rootworm beetle feeding.

Corn rootworm beetle feeding.

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

Japanese Beetles Attack!

A lot of our field and vegetable crops are now being attacked by Japanese Beetles, see photos. They consume the leaves of many crops, such as corn, soybeans, snap beans, tomatoes, melons, etc. Please check your fields now or contact one of our Allied Cooperative agronomists to assist you.

 – Rob Shields, Agronomist

Japanese beetle 1

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