Boots In The Field: Insect Pressures Mount, Herbicide Damage Apparent

11:59AM Jun 30, 2020
Japanese Beetles
When silks are growing well, corn can tolerate a moderate population of silk-clipping insects. But if silks are growing poorly and pollen viability is short, even a small number is a threat.
( Darrell Smith )

As you’re driving through the countryside, you’ll undoubtedly see crops in a variety of stages and conditions. While excessive rainfall in the early season lead to replant or delayed planting for some of the eastern Corn Belt, dry conditions and other aliments are the concern today.

 “As I traveled the state, all of the crops are improving,” says Ken Ferrie, Farm Journal field agronomist from Illinois. “It’s still the good field that catches your eye—most fields have some replant and poor stands from late planting. The crop now looks better from the road that it does out in the field.”

Just a week ago it looked bad from both the field and the road—so there’s a slight improvement in Ferrie’s observations.

Right now these are the top concerns farmers are calling Ferrie with, and here’s how he’s answering them:

  • Yellow, stunted soybeans: This is simply the carbon penalty, like what you see in corn, playing out in the soybeans. The only problem with the carbon penalty is they grow slow and take longer to get to V4 when they’ll come out of it. There is no significant yield effect.
  • Herbicide damage: With so much spot replanting in parts of the Corn Belt, some farmers moved quickly from one troubled field to the next without double checking what was planted. Xtend and Enlist soybeans are not the same, and some herbicide damage is now apparent where there was a mix-up.
  • Japanese beetles: Ferrie started seeing them in late June and the numbers will only grow. Make a plan for spraying.
  • Corn borer: In conventional or non-GMO corn it’s critical that you scout for these pests. Understand what threshold warrants spraying and be ready to act quickly. If they go for too long they can be challenging to control.

Ferrie also reminds farmers to check on nitrates in corn if you haven’t already done so. Recent rainfall, or early rainfall, could mean that some of what you applied originally is no longer available to the crop.

Check out more of Ferrie’s observations and guidance in this week’s Boots in the Field Report:

Free webinar: Tar spot is here to stay. Armyworms are ravaging son of a guns. And corn borer is making a comeback. There are no better teachers than Farm Journal Field Agronomists Missy Bauer and Ken Ferrie. Join at 11 a.m. central July 2.  Click here to register