The following information is a Web Extra from the pages of Farm Journal. It corresponds with the article "Changes Bring New Pests” by Darrell Smith. You can find the article on page 46 in the Late Spring 2009 issue.
Here are some tools that can make your field scouting effective, and more comfortable:
- Identification guides for weeds, insects, nematodes and diseases
- Trowel to dig up plants (early in the season)
- Tape measure to check planting depth (early in the season)
- Hatchet to trim stalks and check roots, later in the season (To learn what roots can tell you, visit www.farmjournal.com, click on the Corn College icon and read "Dig for Higher Yields.”)
- Digital camera, to take photos of pests
- GPS unit to map areas of field that need replanting or pesticide
- Prescription bottles or film containers, to preserve insects
- Change of clothes, in case you get soaked during early-morning scouting
- Hat with complete brim, to keep pollen out of ears. Bugs will follow the pollen.
- Safety glasses, unless you wear prescription glasses or sunglasses. "I know from experience that corn will cut your eyeball,” says consultant Bill Bauer. "It feels like sandpaper in your eye for a week.”
Every scouting manual should include reference material about insects, diseases, weeds strategies. Bill Bauer, who operates B & M Crop Consulting in Coldwater, Mich., recommends these:
- 2009 Corn & Soybean Field Guide, published by Purdue University. To order, click here (scroll down). Cost: $6.00.
- Field Crops Pest Management Manual, published by Purdue University. To order, click here. Cost: $80.00.
- Insect, Nematode and Disease Control in Michigan Field Crops, published by Michigan State University. To order, click here. Cost: $7.50.
- 2009 Ohio and Indiana Weed Control Guide, published by Ohio State University and Purdue University. Free download.
- Weeds of the North Central States. Download sections for free. Cost: $13.50.