Early warm weather has everything, including insects, about two weeks ahead of schedule.
According to the calendar, it may still seem too early to be pestered by insects, but insects are arriving extra early this year.
Phil Pellitteri, University of Wisconsin Extension insect diagnostician, says this year is full of unprecedented early pest pressure. "Basically, we’re seeing things three or four weeks earlier than we have ever recorded and then as we track this out as the year goes on the phenomena continues. And so you do have to pretend it’s really two to three weeks later than it is."
Pellitteri says some of the immigration insects arrived an entire month or more early, and many insects hatched two or three weeks earlier than normal.
With the early arrival of insects, Pellitteri encourages farmers to start scouting and treating sooner than later.
"If you’re used to treating something on the 1st of July the recommendation, easily, to make right now is that plants could probably be treated about the 15th of June or maybe even a week earlier than that. If you use the calendar this year, unfortunately, you will be incorrect and will have missed your opportunity."
For corn, soybean and alfalfa growers in his area, Pellitteri suggests they keep an eye on two specific pests.
"The Potato Leaf Hopper, which is the real curse, especially of alfalfa, did get up here dramatically early. We just got to keep records on this." Additionally, he says, even though there were low populations of the European Corn Borer this spring, they have been active two or three weeks earlier than normal.
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