Integrated Crop Management News

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A Tough Winter for Bean Leaf Beetle

April 25, 2018
Predicted bean leaf beetle mortality by year for central Iowa

Bean leaf beetle adults (Photo 1) are susceptible to cold weather and most will die when air temperatures fall below 14°F (-10°C). However, they have adapted to winter by protecting themselves under plant debris and loose soil. Each spring, adult beetles emerge from overwintering habitat and migrate to available hosts, such as alfalfa, tick trefoil, and various clovers. As the season progresses, bean leaf beetles move to preferred hosts, like soybean. While initial adult activity can begin before soybean emergence, peak abundance often coincides with early-vegetative soybean.

Fertilization Can Help with Cool Soils and Late Planting Dates

April 23, 2018

With delayed spring weather and low or uncertain grain prices, farmers and crop consultants are asking questions about starter fertilizer for corn this spring. The placement of small amounts of plant nutrients in bands offset to the side and below the seed row or in the seed furrow increases the concentration of nutrients near seedling roots. Common starter fertilizers have nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K) and sometimes sulfur (S) or micronutrients.

Seedcorn Maggot Active in Southern Iowa

April 23, 2018
degree day map of seedcorn maggot emergence

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 grouped together like 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).

FieldWatch® – Before You Spray

April 18, 2018

Before making pesticide applications this year check the FieldWatch® online registry so you are aware of sensitive crops and beehives in the area. In 2017 the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship Pesticide Bureau received a record number of complaints regarding pesticide applications. Taking the time to review what is near a field prior to applications can help mitigate future problems.

A Late Spring - Nitrogen Considerations

April 17, 2018

Winter seems to be never ending, and spring not arriving. This could lead to a compressed period for field work before corn planting begins. There are conversations underway about switching planned spring preplant anhydrous ammonia to another nitrogen (N) product like urea-ammonium nitrate solution (28 or 32% UAN) or granulated urea. And likely discussions about changing from preplant to sidedress applications. What should be considered?

Corn Row Spacing Considerations

March 12, 2018
corn row spacing graph.

Corn row spacing and plant population have been the focus of many studies throughout the years in an effort to identify ways to increase yields and minimize production costs. Many studies have shown that there was a yield increase going from a 40-inch row spacing to a 30-inch row spacing. Studies had varying results when it comes to less than a 30-inch row spacing. In some cases, row spacing has had no effect on yield whereas others have seen anywhere from a 2-7% increase in yield by narrowing row spacing from the more common 30-inch.

Consider 15-inch Row Spacing in Soybean

February 22, 2018
graph showing row spacing.

Row spacing is a management decision that often comes up as a priority for achieving high-yielding soybean. Research across the Midwest over several years has consistently shown that soybean planted in narrow rows (<30 inches) has a yield advantage compared to wide rows (≥ 30 inches). The primary reason for this advantage is light utilization; canopy closure is approximately 15 days earlier in 15-inch rows compared to 30-inch rows. Canopy closure earlier in the growing season results in greater light interception and higher growth ra

Frogeye Leaf Spot Fungicide Resistance Confirmed in Iowa Soybean

February 19, 2018
Frogeye leaf spot is a common foliar disease in Iowa, appearing as gray lesions surrounded by a reddish-brown border on soybean leaves.

Plant pathologists at Iowa State University and University of Kentucky have confirmed that isolates of Cercospora sojina, the pathogen that causes frogeye leaf spot of soybean, have shown resistance to quinone outside inhibitor (QoI, strobilurin) fungicides in Iowa.

Should We be Spraying Fungicides on Corn at V12?

February 8, 2018
graph of humidity at ISU research farms

In 2017, we tested several foliar fungicides on corn at six locations in Iowa: ISU Northwest Research and Demonstration Farm (NWRF), Sutherland; Northeast Research and Demonstration Farm (NERF), Nashua; Northern Research and Demonstration Farm (NRF), Kanawha; Southwest Research and Demonstration Farm (SWRF), Lewis; Southeast Research and Demonstration Farm (SERF), Crawfordsville; and the Ag Engineering and Agronomy (AEA) Farm, Boone.

Downwind Buffers and Susceptible Crop Restrictions for New Dicamba Products

January 13, 2018
dicamba spraying diagram

In response to problems with off-target movement and injury associated with dicamba applications on dicamba-resistant (Xtend) soybean, the EPA made significant changes to labels of the new dicamba products.  While much of the discussion has focused on the Restricted Use designation and the requirement for applicators to receive dicamba-specific training, the EPA also clarified how downwind buffers and protections of susceptible crops are to be implemented.

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