Keys to Pest Management with the Systems Approach

December 7, 2010 09:53 PM

In episode 7 of Corn College TV, Farm Journal Associate Field Agronomist Missy Bauer explains how pest management fits into the systems approach.

“This includes everything from diseases to weeds to insects to nematodes,” Bauer explains. “And all are important because all of those pests affect yield.”

Whether you are looking to management a pest that plagues you every year or an emerging problem, Bauer encourages you to remember the pest triangle: pest, host, and conditions.

All three have to be present. And it’s important to be alert every season.

“Conditions change every year,” she says. “For example, insects are heat unit based. So in 2010, we were ahead of previous year with our heat units so our scouting had to shift forward for certain pests.”

Use weather stations and local data to know when to scout.

Bauer notes that one of the best ways to approach pest management is with one point person.

“Identify and designate a person as the pest boss,” Bauer says. “They need to be available on a timely basis, stay current on pest issues, and know who to call if there are problems.”

Learn more in Episode 7 of Corn College TV. Head to the field with Bauer and host Clinton Griffiths to investigate the damage that can be done by western bean cutworm.

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