Integrated Crop Management News

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Fall is Prime Time to Sample Fields for SCN

November 6, 2023
Soybean roots grown in windblown soil recovered from a snow drift. SCN females are the small cream-colored objects on the roots (yellow arrows).

The soybean cyst nematode (SCN) is the most damaging pathogen of soybeans in Iowa and the entire US, costing producers $1.5 billion annually. The pathogen warrants more attention and effort to detect and manage than often is given. It is easily detected and quantified from soil samples. An optimum time to collect soil samples from fields is immediately after corn and soybean harvest are complete. This article explains why and how to collect and submit soil samples for SCN testing.

Delay Manure Applications if you Want to Cut Your Nitrogen Bill

October 9, 2023
Applying fertilizer to a field.

Harvest has taken off in recent weeks as crops are quickly drying down. The open fields are tempting manure applicators to get started on their manure applications; however, it is worthwhile to pause and consider the fertilizer value that is given up when manure is applied to warm soils.

What is the value and cost of manure?

Keep an Eye out for Asian Copperleaf

September 28, 2023
Map of currently known Asian copperleaf infestations in Iowa, September 2023.

With yet another sighting of Asian copperleaf (Acalypha australis) this fall, it’s a good reminder to keep an eye out for this new species during harvest. Asian copperleaf (Acalypha australis) was first discovered in Iowa in 2016 in a corn field near Cedar Falls. Prior to this discovery, the only documented infestation in North America was within New York City. Since the initial discovery, it has been found in four other locations, totaling five counties across north central Iowa (Figure 1).

Tips for 2023 Harvest: Handling grain when moisture is low and variability is high

September 25, 2023
Combine dumping harvested corn.

Across Iowa, grain harvest is ramping up. A challenge this harvest season will be dealing with variable grain moistures from field to field as well as within individual fields. Additionally, drought conditions that have persisted all year and rapid accumulation of growing degree days are leading to grain that quickly became overly dry. Follow the below set of tips to limit yield loss this fall.

Fall Phosphorus and Potassium Fertilization Decisions with Variable Prices and Updated Soil-Test Interpretations

September 15, 2023

Decisions for phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) fertilization should consider slightly lower but still fluctuating crop and fertilizer prices compared with last year and very variable rainfall across the state. The current or expected crop and fertilizer prices after harvest and the yield level this harvest have a major impact on producers' fertilization decisions.

Soil-test P and K interpretations were updated last winter

Dicamba-resistant Waterhemp in Iowa

September 5, 2023

While the registration of 2,4-D and dicamba products for over-the-top use in resistant-varieties has improved waterhemp control for many farmers, weed scientists warned that these herbicides would eventually select for resistant waterhemp populations. Bayer recently reported the discovery of two likely dicamba-resistant waterhemp populations in Iowa, which warrants a discussion on best management practices to slow the evolution of resistant waterhemp populations.

A New Palmer Amaranth Find Underscores Importance of Scouting

August 16, 2023
Palmer amaranth leaf with a petiole longer than the leaf blade. Folding the leaf over at the base is the fastest way to check for this trait.

This is a great time of year to scout for Palmer amaranth (Amaranthus palmeri) in Iowa crop fields. While Palmer amaranth has been identified in more than half of Iowa’s counties, new identifications have slowed since the widespread introductions on non-crop acres in 2016. A new Palmer amaranth introduction was recently identified in a crop field in central Iowa, highlighting the importance for farmers and agribusiness professionals to remain vigilant in scouting for this species.

Corn Aphids Observed in Iowa

August 7, 2023
Photo 1. Corn plant with corn leaf aphid and English grain aphids.

Since 2010, aphids have been colonizing corn later in the summer and can build up to surprising levels in Iowa. They can be found at the base of the stalk, around the ear and sometimes above the ear leaf. Aphids have been sighted in corn again this summer.

Aphids have been confirmed in corn fields for about two weeks, particularly in north central and northeastern Iowa. In some fields, the infestations are only along the edge rows, but in others, aphids may extend into the field interior. Spot checking fields for aphid activity is recommended as the growing season progresses.

Speed Scout this Year for Soybean Aphid

August 7, 2023
Infested soybean leaflet.

Soybean aphids have been quiet the last few growing seasons in Iowa. This year there have been isolated fields in northern counties that exceeded the economic threshold, but most fields have not warranted insecticides. However, many scouting reports and our observations in northern Iowa counties for the last two weeks show soybean aphids are established. We strongly encourage sampling soybean now to gauge the pressure and make timely treatment decisions.

Recycling Pesticide Containers

August 4, 2023
Pesticide containers waiting to be recycled.

The Ag Container Recycling Council (ACRC) works with private and state contractors across the United States to collect and recycle 55-gallon or smaller containers. In 2022, over 900,000 pounds of pesticide containers were collected and recycled in Iowa.