Japanese beetle is an invasive insect capable of feeding on corn and soybean. This pest has been in Iowa since 1994 but its distribution in field crops is sporadic around the state. Statewide populations have been low since 2014 and it is unclear if pressure will be significant this year. Japanese beetle adults need about 1,030 growing degree days (base 50°F) to complete development and will continue emergence until around 2,150 degree days. Based on accumulating degree day temperatures in 2017, Japanese beetle adults should be active in some areas of southern Iowa this week (Figure 1).
Integrated Crop Management News
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Corn rootworm egg hatch in Iowa typically occurs from late May to the middle of June, with an average peak hatching date of June 6 in central Iowa. In 2017, the average hatching date will be about the same time as the 2014-2016 growing seasons. Development is driven by soil temperature and measured by growing degree days. Research suggests about 50 percent of egg hatch occurs between 684-767 accumulated degree days (base 52°F, soil). Most areas in Iowa have reached peak corn rootworm egg hatch or will within a few days (Figure 1).
Tracking degree days is a useful tool to estimate when common stalk borer larvae begin moving into cornfields from their overwintering hosts. Foliar insecticide applications, if needed, are only effective when larvae are migrating and exposed. Start scouting corn for larvae when 1,300-1,400 degree days (base 41°F) have accumulated. Southern Iowa counties reached this important benchmark over the holiday weekend (Figure 1), and therefore scouting for migrating larvae should begin now to make timely treatment decisions.
Lately it seems to be an annual question with no exception this spring – has there been nitrogen (N) loss from my applied N? That question should also include what has been the N loss from the soil N supply or residual nitrate-N. There is usually tile drainage every spring and sometimes but not usually in the late fall (remember a couple of years ago). Also, losses if soils become saturated (free water filling the soil pores, standing water, anaerobic conditions) and soils are warm then denitrification happens (biological conversion of nitrate to N gas).
The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS), ISU Extension and Outreach Pesticide Safety Education Program, and the Iowa Agribusiness Association of Iowa want to remind pesticide applicators in Iowa that IDALS’ Sensitive Crop Directory has now partnered with the nonprofit company FieldWatch, Inc. to offer producers two online registries for sensitive crops and apiaries with a third online registry for applicators to view and download producer entries. These registries replace the former Iowa Sensitive Crop Directory.
A new ISU Extension and Outreach publication, Use of the Late-Spring Soil Nitrate Test in Iowa Corn Production (CROP 3140), has replaced the previous publication (PM 1714). The publication is available from the ISU Extension Store.
The potential for herbicide injury with preemergence herbicides is greater with soybean than corn. The risk increases with environmental conditions that reduce crop vigor and growth rate, and also with heavy rain that moves the herbicide to the depth of the germinating seed or emerging seedling. Much of the state has experienced these conditions, thus it is likely symptoms will be found in many fields as people return to the field with the improved weather.
The spread of multiple herbicide resistant weeds brought an end to the era of total postemergence programs in soybean. Unfortunately, a prolonged rainy period prevented applications of preemergence treatments on many planted soybean fields in certain areas of the state. By the time fields are fit for field operations soybeans likely will be emerging and limit herbicide options in those fields.
The term “economics of soil health” has been used frequently in an attempt to quantify and validate the value of improving soil health. The traditional thinking about assigning dollar values to soil health metrics, which are many, can be very challenging and it is easier said than done.
One of the challenges in putting a dollar value on soil health is that the improvement in health is a long-term process. Expecting an immediate economic return can defeat the purpose of the long-term sustainability of soil health and its cumulative effects on soil productivity.
A common caterpillar we include in our ISU field guides is hop vine borer (Figure 1), but I can’t even remember the last time I saw one. I’m wondering if it’s an early-season pest of the past? Archived ICM News articles tell me it was most commonly observed in northeastern Iowa and states to the east. It was considered an occasional pest that caused stand loss in corn, particularly in fields with grassy weeds. Have you seen it lately?