Rise Of The Pests

Soybean Aphids

After an almost balmy December for much of the Midwest, a cold snap hit in February. Alas, it was not severe enough by any means to wipe out many pests, believes Christian Krupke, Purdue University. “Overwintering survival of most pest species should be quite good.”

Aphid Fever

Overwintering populations of soybean aphids in parts of the Midwest are large this winter — as indicated by 1) fall captures of winged aphids in suction traps and 2) very large numbers of eggs that entomologists have found on buckthorn, says Kevin Steffey, Extension entomologist with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Krupke was happy to report that Indiana’s soybean aphid numbers during the growing season were very low. “The vast majority of fields we monitored registered zero aphids throughout the season,” he says. But he agrees with Steffey that 2007 should be a different story, as “in the fall we had unprecedented high numbers of aphids going into overwintering sites, particularly in the northern half of the state,” he says. “It may be an early and active aphid year.”

Both experts suggest growers and retailers start watching for aphids in late June and July, after they fly from buckthorn to soybean and begin establishing colonies in soybean fields. “The critical time for scouting is when the soybeans are in the reproductive stages of growth,” Steffey emphasizes.

Coby Long, senior insecticide brand manager with Syngenta, says the soybean aphid has spread from its roots in the upper Midwest around the Great Lakes, and now covers New York to Iowa. “That whole dynamic has really exploded,” he notes.

Corn Feeders

With low numbers, western corn rootworm (WCR) was kind to Indiana fields, though a cold, wet spell in early May caused larger than normal losses in corn planted just before this period. Other pests such as white grubs, seedcorn maggot, and wireworms may have done the deed, says Purdue’s Krupke. “But this kind of damage is unavoidable after such weather conditions. There are no insecticides that will offer protection under extended cool, wet conditions just after planting.”

He doesn’t see enough acreage in Indiana being shifted to corn — perhaps 10% in the coming year — to impact rootworm populations in the  near-term, but in areas such as southern Indiana where the soybean variant isn’t yet present, continuous corn would lead to higher pressure.

In Illinois, however, western corn rootworm and western bean cutworm are among the corn pests to watch for in 2007, says Steffey. “We anticipate that the rootworm larvae will cause injury to corn planted after soybeans anywhere in the state where the soybean variant has been established — basically any county north of the I-70 corridor. Although the focus on rootworms in recent years has been on corn planted after soybeans, corn rootworms will still threaten corn-after-corn, just as they have for decades.”

Still new to the state, western bean cutworm arrived in Illinois in 2004 — but northwestern counties in particular will want to pay close attention, as moths have been found in most traps across the northern half of the state.

Defining The Epicenter

“The epicenter of this cutworm has been eastern Nebraska and western Iowa,” says Hank King, product manager with Dow AgroSciences. “It continues to grow in its geographic scope” and has gone the distance to northeast Kansas and northern Missouri. One reason for the insect’s rise could be the move to more genetically modified crops, says Aaron Locker, product manager with FMC Corp. These modified hybrids are strong against certain pests, but have caused shifts to other problem pests including cutworms, wireworms, and armyworms, he says.

Steffey notes that Japanese beetle numbers were extremely large in southern and central Illinois and in pockets to the north. “Because they overwinter as grubs in the soil, we anticipate their return in 2007,” he says. Some soils may have gotten cold enough (about 20ºF) to kill off some, but snow cover insulated the ground in many areas. “We’ll watch for the adults to emerge from the soil in mid- to late June and keep our eyes peeled for silk clipping in corn and defoliation in soybeans,” he says.

Rust & Company Coming To Dinner?

As Daren Mueller, Extension program specialist with Iowa State, poetically puts it, “each year the table is reset” when it comes to the possibility of Asian soybean rust reaching the Midwest. “There have been some cold snaps moving deep into the South — as far as Tampa, FL, so survival of soybean rust has been lower than in previous winters. Rust did not survive in Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana, which is a positive for many of the Midwestern soybean growers.

“We got a glimpse of how fast soybean rust can spread during its rapid spread in October 2006, when inoculum built up in Louisiana,” he adds. At that time, weather broke in the South: Temperatures started to cool and more moisture arrived, reports Gary Fellows, technical marketing manager with BASF. “That happened in the September-October time frame, but when rust did come up, it moved very rapidly.”

“Beyond rust, there’s a continuing trend for more sudden death syndrome, frogeye leaf spot, and Cercospora leaf blight in soybean,” says Mueller. In addition, bean pod mottle virus (BPMV, vectored by the bean leaf beetle) was detected in every county in Iowa last year, reports his colleague, Alison Robertson, Extension field crops pathologist with Iowa State. “Depending on the survival of the beetle this winter, we may see a high incidence of BPMV in 2007,” she says.

In the South, both frogeye leaf spot and Cercospera are already very prevalent, and BASF’s Fellows would expect some of those diseases could be worse this year because of the warm early winter.

As more acres move from soybean to corn, many soybean pathogens “will not be happy about the extended rotations away from soybean,” which could lead to lower incidence of soybean diseases, says Mueller. Examples are the two “biggies:” soybean cyst nematode and sudden death syndrome.

Corn Diseases In Waiting

But while soybean diseases may not like a double dose of corn, corn diseases will thrive. “With more growers considering corn following corn, if we have a cool, wet spring, seedling blights — and therefore stand establishment — may be an issue,” believes Alison Robertson, Extension field crops pathologist with Iowa State University. Corn-on-corn fields, especially those with surface residue, will be more prone to seedling diseases thanks to inoculum pressure and cooler, wetter soils, she says.

Also lurking in that residue is inoculum for foliar diseases such as gray leaf spot, anthracnose leaf blight, northern leaf blight, and eyespot. Robertson says scouting will be critical in corn-on-corn fields to make sure fungicides, if being used for management of corn diseases, are applied at the right time. The goal is to protect the ear leaf and leaves above the ear from infection and extensive blight development during grain fill.

Topics:

Leave a Reply

Insecticides Stories
InsecticidesHow To Scout For Corn Earworms In Corn
July 28, 2014
In her weekly report, University of Missouri Agronomy Specialist Jill Scheidt discusses what to look for when scouting for corn earworm. Read More
InsecticidesEPA Grants Besiege Insecticide Additional Approvals
June 18, 2014
EPA has granted additional registration approvals for the use of Syngenta's Besiege insecticide on sorghum, cereal grains and peanuts. Read More
InsecticidesPrevathon Insect Control Approved For Cereal Crops
January 13, 2014
DuPont's Prevathon insect control powered by Rynaxypyr has received U.S. EPA registration for use on cereal crops, including wheat, most other small grains and sorghum. Read More
InsecticidesInsecticides 2014: Insect Pressure, Solutions On The Rise
January 2, 2014
Bt resistance, weather concerns and myriad other issues have led to an increase in both traditional pest pressures as well as new pests. Read More
Top 100 Articles
CropLife 100BRANDT Commemorates National Ag Day
March 20, 2015
The Illinois agriculture community gathered at BRANDT global headquarters on March 18 to celebrate National Ag Day behind this year's theme Sustaining Future Generations. Read More
Wheat Growers, North Central Farmers Elevator Pursue Merger
CropLife 100Wheat Growers, North Central Farmers Elevator Pursue Merger
March 3, 2015
Two CropLife 100 retailers — South Dakota Wheat Growers (ranked No. 11) and North Central Farmers Elevator (No. 19) — have entered into a Letter of Intent to unify the two companies into a newly named cooperative. Read More
Growmark Group
CropLife 100GROWMARK In 2015: Back, To The Future
March 2, 2015
The nation’s third largest ag retail organization is simultaneously moving forward while remembering its past. Read More
CropLife 100Pinnacle Expands Sanders Brand In The South
February 27, 2015
Pinnacle has acquired Hopkins Seed and Chemical in Qulin, MO, which expands the company's Sanders brand to nine Southern states. Read More
CropLife 100Pinnacle Launches New Providence Agriculture Location In Indiana
February 27, 2015
Pinnacle Agriculture Holdings — ranked No. 6 on the CropLife 100 — has established a new retail location in New Castle, IN, which will operate as part of Pinnacle's Providence Agriculture brand. Read More
Carl Casale of CHS
CropLife 100Cooperative CHS Returns $518 Million To Owners
February 23, 2015
The 2015 cash return to owners is based on CHS net income of $1.1 billion, the company's second highest on record. Read More
Latest News
FungicidesSyngenta Suing Willowood Over Azoxystrobin Fungicide
March 27, 2015
Syngenta announced today that it has sued agrochemical maker Willowood, LLC., for patent and copyright infringement, as well as unfair Read More
ManagementRetail Week: The Future Of Mycogen Seeds; The 4Rs At Na…
March 27, 2015
Editors Eric Sfiligoj and Matt Hopkins discuss recent trips, including a look at the future of Mycogen Seeds at Dow Read More
Eric SfiligojMonsanto Hears The WHO
March 27, 2015
Another challenge to the safety of glyphosate, and the responses from supporters and opponents, calls to mind a classic Dr. Seuss story. Read More
Industry NewsMonty’s Plant Food Expands Sales Team
March 27, 2015
Monty’s Plant Food Company, a leader in natural soil enhancement and  plant fertility products, has hired Andrew Bullock as a Read More
Crop InputsSyngenta Louisiana Plant Poised For 2015 Production
March 26, 2015
As the 2015 planting season gets underway, growers across the country will need crop protection products to combat pests and Read More
Lake Erie Nutrient Stewardship
LegislationOhio Lawmakers Finalize Phosphorus Restrictions
March 25, 2015
State lawmakers on Wednesday finalized new rules designed to curb toxic algal blooms on Lake Erie, calling the regulations a major step forward in addressing the problem. Read More
Spreaders17 Fertilizer Spreaders For 2015
March 25, 2015
Manufacturers shoot for versatility and accuracy in this year's crop of fertilizer spreaders. Read More
Industry NewsMonty’s Hires Mid-South Product Consultant
March 25, 2015
Monty's Plant Food Co. has hired Matt Woodring as a Product Consultant for portions of Central Kentucky and Tennessee.    Read More
StewardshipMapShots Integrates With DriftWatch
March 23, 2015
Growers and agricultural providers using AgStudio FARM and AgStudio PRO can now view vital information about specialty crops and apiaries through a recent integration with the DriftWatch Specialty Crop Site Registry from FieldWatch, Inc. Read More
Crop InputsWorld Health Organization Report Contradicts Scientific…
March 23, 2015
A new report from the World Health Organization has classified glyphosate with a “2A” rating as a probable carcinogen, a Read More
Eric SfiligojSeed Treatment Stays Necessary
March 20, 2015
Grower-customers looking to scale back spending in 2015 won’t consider seed treatment, say experts. Read More
HerbicidesMARCH MADNESS: Industry Rallies Around Glyphosate Safet…
March 20, 2015
A newly published report from the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classifies the herbicide glyphosate as a "2A-rated possible carcinogen" and the ag industry responds by circling the wagons. Read More
ManagementRetail Week: Precision survey, a technology acquisition…
March 20, 2015
Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sflilgoj discuss recent travel, the upcoming precision adoption survey, and an unusual sighting at a Read More
CropLife 100BRANDT Commemorates National Ag Day
March 20, 2015
The Illinois agriculture community gathered at BRANDT global headquarters on March 18 to celebrate National Ag Day behind this year's theme Sustaining Future Generations. Read More
Crop InputsBioSafe Launching TerraGrow Soil Inoculant
March 20, 2015
TerraGrow is a blend of beneficial bacterial and fungal spores and nutrients carefully designed to promote healthier soil and crops. Read More
Winter Wheat
AdjuvantsMax Systems Debuts New Adjuvant NanoRevolution 2.0
March 18, 2015
Added to a tank mix of glyphosate at the conservative rate of two to four ounces per acre, NanoRevolution 2.0 has proven effective in killing resistant weed species that had already had up to two applications of the leading glyphosate product. Read More
Photo credit: United Soybean Board/the Soybean Checkoff
Seed/BiotechAgnition Launches Microbial Catalyst Seed Treatment
March 18, 2015
Agnition it has launched Commence for Soybeans, a microbial catalyst seed treatment for soybeans that stimulates microbial activity for healthier soil and a superior growth environment. Read More
4R Certified, Nutrient Stewardship Council,
StewardshipTyler Grain & Fertilizer Now 4R Certified
March 18, 2015
The 4R Nutrient Stewardship Certification Program has announced Tyler Grain & Fertilizer Co. in Smithville, OH, has been added to Read More