A warm weather pattern in late February caused soil temperatures across most of Iowa to rise above 40 degrees Fahrenheit (F). This warm period was likely long enough for alfalfa and some forage grasses (most ryegrass varieties and less winter-hardy orchardgrass and tall fescue varieties) to break dormancy. When low temperatures resume, alfalfa plants can reharden to a degree, but only to the extent that it still has stored carbohydrates available. Read more about Plan to scout alfalfa stands for winter survival
Integrated Crop Management News
Links to these articles are strongly encouraged. Articles may be republished without further permission if published as written and if credit is given to the author, Integrated Crop Management News, and Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. If articles are used in any other manner, permission from the author is required.
Soybean aphid remains the most important soybean insect pest in Iowa, and management over the last fifteen years has primarily relied on using foliar insecticides. The economic injury level was defined in 2007, and is approximately 675 aphids per plant or 5,560 cumulative aphid days. From that multi-state research, a conservative economic threshold was developed to protect yield: 250 aphids per plant with 80% of the plants infested through the seed set plant growth stage (R5.5). Read more about Resistance management plan for soybean aphid
More than 100 fields throughout Iowa were surveyed for the presence of the soybean cyst nematode (SCN) in 2016 in a project sponsored by the ISU Soybean Research Center and the Iowa Soybean Association (ISA). Soil samples were collected by ISU Extension and Outreach field agronomists and ISA staff and interns. Samples in the survey collected from Allamakee County were found to have low population densities of SCN. The presence of SCN in the samples was confirmed through greenhouse testing. This finding represents the first discovery of SCN in Allamakee County and confirms the presence of SCN in the last of Iowa’s 99 counties. Read more about Last County in Iowa Found Infested with SCN
The anticipated increase in dicamba and 2,4-D use associated with XtendTM and EnlistTM crops will require enhanced stewardship to prevent problems with off-target movement. While many factors influence herbicide drift, high wind speeds pose the greatest threat of moving herbicides off the intended target. Read more about Wind Speed and Herbicide Application
Soybean varieties that are resistant to the soybean cyst nematode (SCN) are an essential tool for managing the pest. The SCN control provided by resistant soybean varieties can vary greatly, just as yield. Iowa State University evaluates the SCN control and yield of SCN-resistant soybean varieties in field experiments conducted throughout Iowa annually. Results of the 2016 experiments are now available online and will be distributed in print in January 2017. Read more about Performance of SCN-resistant soybean varieties in Iowa in 2016
Leaving crop residue on the soil surface improves nutrient cycling and, ultimately, soil quality that will increase and sustain soil productivity. Through conservation practices that include balanced residue management and soil fertility, environmental quality can be substantially enhanced. By retaining crop residue on the soil surface, soil organic carbon (SOC) and nutrient-holding capacity are increased while protecting the soil from wind and water erosion. Read more about Effects of Crop Residue Removal, Upcoming Soil Health Conference
Despite the environmental and soil benefits that cover crops provide, many farmers are reluctant to try cover crops because of reports of possible yield reduction in the following crop. Recently, Dr. Sotorius Archontoulis suggested that biotic factors could influence whether rye affects corn yield. Read more about Reducing the Risk of Corn Seedling Disease, Yield Loss After Cereal Rye Cover Crop
The 2016 crop year is in the books. While there were a couple of periods where it looked like the weather was going to have significant impact, it turns out only to be short lived. State average yields are projected to be a record for both corn (199 bushels per acre) and soybean (59 bushels per acre). Read more about 2016 FACTS Crop Year in Review
The EPA recently approved a new, low-volatile dicamba formulation - M1768 (XtendimaxTM with VaporGripTM Technology) for dicamba-resistant soybean cultivars. While we recognize the benefit this technology provides in managing the growing herbicide resistance problem, we have concerns regarding the risks for non-target plant injury associated with an anticipated expanded use of dicamba. Read more about Increased Dicamba Use Requires Enhanced Stewardship
The soybean cyst nematode (SCN) is capable of causing serious yield loss on soybeans every year. Back in the “good ole days,” a farmer was “good to go” with SCN management if he or she knew what fields were infested with the nematode and then grew SCN-resistant soybean varieties in rotation with the nonhost crop corn. Nowadays, things are more complicated. SCN numbers may be building up and causing increased yield loss and the buildup can go unrecognized because a soybean crop often does not appear stressed above ground, even though yield loss is occurring. This article explains why this SCN numbers might be building up in your fields and how to check. Read more about What’s the Situation with SCN in Your Fields?