Late-Season Scouting Leads to Better Seed Decisions


Rootworm pressure may be low, but it’s present. Latham Corn Specialist Nick Benson (@LathamCornGuy) saw evident this week in a continuous corn field.

The effects of our wet, cold planting season continue to surface. As one drives the back roads now, you’ll see where Sudden Death Syndrome (SDS) is affecting many soybean fields. You also may notice soybean fields turning yellow, which is a common symptom of Iron Deficiency Chlorosis (IDC).  IDC is a function of the soil type, so it’s most common in poorly-drained soils with higher-than-normal pH values.

Plants under stress get taken advantage of by pests like Soybean Cyst Nematode (SCN). Doing a “drive by” or even walking through the fields may not be enough to detect SCN. Visual symptoms, such as above-ground stunting and/or yellowing, may not be evident for years. That’s why it’s best to check fields for the presence of SCN during the growing season by digging roots. You can also sample this fall for SCN by gently removing soil from the roots. Look for the egg-filled, round, white SCN females on the roots.

While your shovel is at the ready, also be sure to conduct a few root digs in your corn fields. Latham Corn Product Specialist Nick Benson dug roots Sept. 2 in Fayette County Iowa, where he found evidence of rootworm feeding. In addition to looking for corn rootworm damage, note signs of sidewall compaction and hard pans. Also look at leaves and ears for signs of disease.

It’s important to identify late-season corn and soybean diseases, as well as insect damage, so you can better manage them in the future. One way to control corn rootworms, for example, is to rotate rootworm-resistance traits developed by Monsanto, Syngenta and Dow.

As an independent seed company, Latham Hi-Tech Seeds has access to traits and technologies from all the major providers. We can work with you to develop a diverse crop plan that include Latham’s GladiatorTM Hybrids, which combine the best genetics and traits available to help maximize yields from corn-on-corn acres.

To help simplify your soybean seed selection process, our website lists Latham® IRONCLAD™ Soybeans that include exceptional genetics and industry-leading protective traits to battle against yield-robbing threats from pests and diseases. Each IRONCLAD soybean brand must be Soybean Cyst Nematode resistant and carry an Iron Deficiency Chlorosis rating of 2.2 or better.  IRONCLAD brands must protect against either White Mold or Sudden Death Syndrome with a rating of 2.2 or higher.

White Mold and SDS have both been an issue this season in different parts of our territory, so farmers will want to plant IRONCLAD soybeans on affected acres in the future. Plus, IRONCLAD products have strong defensive ratings against Phytophthora Root Rot and Brown Stem Rot.

For more information about selecting the right seed for your situation, visit with your local Latham® representative. Also feel free to contact me at 1-877-GO-LATHAM (1.877.465.2842).