Scout early to identify and manage pests

As we mentioned last week in our post on corn nematodes, this year’s early planting brought the opportunity and challenge of scouting crops early. Early scouting helps ensure you can identify and resolve any challenges before they become a bigger issue for your fields. A recent article in Wallaces Farmer included information about specific pests you should watch for this season.

Early growth stage pests to keep an eye out for this year include armyworms, black cutworms, white grubs and wireworms. Also keep an eye out for early signs of bean leaf beetle in soybeans.

The black cutworm is another pest that may try to visit your fields this year. The cutworm leaves small shot holes in corn leaves and when it grows to a half-inch long, can cut the plant. Stand loss or irregular stands may result. Significant flights of black cutworms have been reported in Missouri, with the very first capture taking place in mid-March, proving it will be a threat to some regions this year.

Grub species, such as the Japanese Beetle are common pests to both corn and soybeans. While they’re common in Illinois and the eastern Corn Belt, the article said they can range into Nebraska, as well. While a common pest, they should still be taken seriously as people have reported adult beetles defoliating soybeans.

Please let us know if you have any questions about how to identify or manage these pests.

Click here to read the full article.