Crop Scouting Can Lead to Seed Selection in 2018

Tech Tuesday Header-01

While you may not get paid directly to walk your fields, I can say without a doubt that it will pay for itself. Mid-season crop scouting is important for two reasons: (1) different weed, insect and disease pressures become evident this time of year; and (2) summer months are a crucial time to decide which traits to implement when buying seed for the next crop year.

By walking fields, you can catch any type of stress early that enhances the likelihood of opportunistic insects such as corn leaf aphids, European corn borer and armyworms. High humidity and heavy dew creates ideal conditions for diseases like we saw last season with Northern Corn Leaf Blight (NCLB).

Black cutworm could be a larger problem this year as they’re known to cause more damage in fields where corn is planted later, and quite a few acres were replanted due to heavy spring rains and ponding. Fields of higher risk also include those that are poorly drained and low-lying; those next to areas of natural vegetation; and those that are weedy or have reduced tillage.

The wide variance in planting dates also may cause rootworm beetles to move between fields. A late-maturing corn field may attract large numbers of beetles if neighboring corn stopped producing pollen, for example. Rootworm beetles may also move into corn and/or soybean fields that have an abundance of pollen-producing weeds, including volunteer corn, ragweed or foxtails.

Controlling weeds will help control corn rootworm populations, as well as other insects like Two-spotted Spider Mites and aphids. Mites and aphids begin feeding along field edges, especially in weedy areas, before eventually developing into a field-wide infestation.

Noting weed infestations can provide you with an opportunity to discuss this with your Latham Dealer and allow them give you to suggestions to mix up modes of action when selecting next year’s seed products. Latham’s Regional Field Days display the trait options available for 2018 planting. Make plans now to attend one of these regional plot days and discover more about the options Latham has to offer next year! Stay tuned for updated information about field day dates and locations in the coming editions of TECHtuesday.