Earlier this spring, we discussed using the PEAQ method (Predictive Equations for Alfalfa Quality) to help determine when to harvest first crop alfalfa. Looking at the PEAQ measurements made around the state, we are getting close to taking the first crop alfalfa.
Integrated Crop Management News
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Whether it's too much rain or perfectly timed rain, many fields are flooded or too wet to continue planting in many parts of Iowa. Delayed and preventative planting crop insurance dates are fast approaching with an unfavorable weather forecast. Decisions surrounding your delayed and prevented planting provision need to involve a conversation with your crop insurance provider. There is a nice article available on the Ag Decision Maker website that talks about the insurance provision implications.
This growing season, delayed planting, combined with continued cool and wet conditions have taken their toll on crops that were planted in the brief periods of optimum weather. Given that there is already delayed emergence, and the wet and cool weather patterns are expected to continue, we could very well see continued delayed growth and development of crops. This means that we can also expect reaching grain fill later in the growing season, which creates a window of opportunity for plant diseases to impact total yield.
The delays in planting get the headlines (for good reason), but another issue with prolonged wet periods is the inability to manage weeds and cover crops in a timely fashion. The following is a brief review of some of the problems that may be encountered.
Nitrogen (N) fertilization for this year’s Iowa corn crop has been complicated by frequent and sometimes excessive rainfall from late last fall through this spring. Many farmers who normally apply N in the fall couldn’t, and spring preplant N application and corn planting has been challenging in many areas with the wet and extended cold soil conditions. Therefore, many farmers are uncertain about the N availability for corn, early post-emergence assessment of soil N supply, and the potential for supplemental sidedress N application.
As of May 20, an estimated 27 percent of Iowa’s soybean crop is planted according to the USDA-NASS Iowa Crop Progress Report. Early-planted soybeans have been exposed to stressful conditions following multiple rainfall events, cold temperatures, and wide temperature swings in the last several weeks.
Handling and disposing of empty pesticide containers is a necessary part of pesticide applications and recycling containers is an environmentally friendly and responsible way of disposing of them. In 2018 763,078 pounds of pesticide containers 55 gallons and smaller were collected and recycled for the state of Iowa. Iowa ranked number one in the Midwest for containers recycled in 2018.
Recycling options vary depending on the container size:
Keep alfalfa weevils in mind while scouting for stands and evaluating for winter injury. A recent ICM News article gave some great tips for assessing winter injury and providing additional resources. Adult alfalfa weevils become active and start laying eggs as soon as temperatures exceed 48°F. Alfalfa weevil eggs develop based on temperature, or accumulating degree days, and hatching can start around 200-300 degree days.
Seedcorn maggot is a seed and seedling pest of corn and soybean. Plant injury is especially prevalent during cool and wet springs. The larvae, or maggots, feed on germinating corn and soybean seeds or seedlings (Photo 1). They can feed on the embryo, delay development or kill the plant. Infestations tend to be field-wide instead of having a patchy distribution like for many other pests. To confirm seedcorn maggot injury, check field areas with stand loss and look for maggots, pupae and damaged seeds (e.g., hollowed out seeds or poorly developing seedlings).
This spring's weather conditions may be slowing down corn planting but soybean planting has not yet been impacted. As of May 5, soybean planting progress is estimated at 8% compared to 11% for the 5-year average (USDA-NASS, 2019). However, because of recent rains and corn planting delays there is concern that soybean planting will soon fall behind. In this article, we discuss the soybean yield potential and maturity selection considerations as planting progresses into late May and possibly June.