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