Integrated Crop Management News

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Managing Aphids in Corn

August 23, 2016
Aphids in Corn image

In the past, corn leaf aphid could be a problem during corn tasseling. This species aggregated around the ear and silks, and sometimes their honeydew production interfered with pollination. But natural enemies and the environment rarely let them persist past July. Therefore, economic thresholds for corn leaf aphid are targeted around VT-R1 and mostly for drought-stressed cornfields. Since 2010, aphids have been colonizing corn later in the summer and are building up to striking levels. Read more about Managing Aphids in Corn

Palmer Amaranth in Iowa - What We Know

August 19, 2016
Palmer Amaranth locations in Iowa map

Palmer amaranth was first detected in Iowa in 2013 in Harrison County, and until recently the invasive weed had been found in four additional counties. About a month ago, two landowners (both professional agronomists) detected Palmer amaranth in fields planted in spring 2016 with native seed mixes for conservation purposes. In the time since those July detections, Palmer amaranth has been found in an additional five counties (multiple fields in several of the counties). We think it’s safe to say the calm before the storm has ended. Read more about Palmer Amaranth in Iowa - What We Know

Bean Leaf Beetle Activity Noted in 2016

August 4, 2016
Bean Leaf Beetle

In April 2016, an ICM News article showed a prediction for higher survivorship of overwintering bean leaf beetles in Iowa. Not surprisingly, I have been finding more bean leaf beetles in my research plots and hearing about adults in commercial soybean this summer. Most people have reported minor defoliation from overwintering and first generation adults, but some scouts are wondering about the potential for second generation injury. Read more about Bean Leaf Beetle Activity Noted in 2016

Palmer Amaranth on the Move

July 21, 2016
Places where Palmer Amaranth are found in Iowa

Palmer amaranth was first identified in Iowa in 2013. Currently, we know it is established in five Iowa counties, but we suspect it is more widespread than this (Fig. 1). This past weekend we were made aware of a new infestation of Palmer amaranth in Fremont County, distant from the initial infestation in this county.  In addition, a suspicious looking Amaranthus species was found in Madison County – the owner is allowing a few plants to develop seedheads in order to make a positive identification. Read more about Palmer Amaranth on the Move

Soil Compaction and What You Can do About It

July 20, 2016
Soil Compaction example

This spring consisted of wet field conditions for many regions across Iowa during planting season. When soil moisture is at or exceeds field capacity, there is an increased potential for soil compaction, particularly at topsoil depths. Soil compaction at planting time can impact root growth and development for the rest of the growing season, and can be a serious problem for Iowa farmers. However, with proper field management, compaction can be minimized. Read more about Soil Compaction and What You Can do About It

Learning From This Year's Weed Management Triumphs and Failures

July 7, 2016
Weeds in Soybean fields

Most herbicide applications have ceased for the year, but it is not too late to evaluate how well the program worked and what changes might be necessary for next year. Rather than just falling back on old habits, analyze your program closely to look for improvements for future years.

Surviving weeds from this year will affect weed pressure in next year’s crops. Identifying this season’s management successes and failures will make weed management and herbicide purchase decisions easier this winter. Read more about Learning From This Year's Weed Management Triumphs and Failures

Spider Mite Injury Confirmed in Soybean

July 6, 2016
Spider Mite damage

A few places in southeastern Iowa and surrounding states have already reported heavy twospotted spider mite populations with prolonged feeding in soybean this year. I recommend scouting corn and soybean fields for mite infestations this year because they thrive in hot and dry conditions. The U.S. Drought Monitor estimates about 70% of Iowa is abnormally dry or in severe drought as of June 28, 2016. Read more about Spider Mite Injury Confirmed in Soybean

Late-Vegetative Corn Stage Soil Sampling for Nitrate-N

June 28, 2016
Soil Sampling for Nitrate graph

Interest in monitoring and applying nitrogen (N) to corn at mid- to late-vegetative growth stages has gained interest in recent years due to wet spring conditions and equipment available to move through tall corn. Also, some farmers and crop advisers have been monitoring soil nitrate-N concentrations throughout the growing season. The question that has come up is what do soil nitrate-N concentrations mean when sampled at mid- to late-vegetative growth stages? Read more about Late-Vegetative Corn Stage Soil Sampling for Nitrate-N

June 5 to 25 Weather Impacts Crop Yields

June 28, 2016
Weather impacting crop yields graph

Weather conditions over the last three weeks were far from average (Fig. 1). Across our Forecasting and Assessment of Cropping sysTemS (FACTS) locations, precipitation was 48% below average, while heat stress (defined as maximum temperature above 86oF), growth degree days (GDD), and radiation were 53%, 25%, and 19% above the long-term average. However, our northeast Iowa was the exception; it received 7 inches of rain from June 5 to June 25, while all the other sites have received less than 1 inch of rain (Fig. 1).  Read more about June 5 to 25 Weather Impacts Crop Yields