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.

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

Trending Articles

InsecticidesNew Research Study Shows The Value Of Neonics
October 29, 2014
The study evaluated seed treatment, soil and foliar uses of neonicotinoid insecticides in the U.S. and Canada. Read More
Crop InputsPlatform Specialty Products To Acquire Arysta LifeScience
October 20, 2014
Once the acquisition is complete, Platform Specialty Products will combine Arysta LifeScience with previously acquired companies Agriphar and Chemtura Crop Solutions. Read More
Seed/BiotechMonsanto Offers New Support For Ferguson, Area Communities
October 8, 2014
Monsanto Co. has committed $1 million in new support for several collaborative efforts in Ferguson, MO, and surrounding communities in North St. Louis County. Read More
Seed/BiotechUnapproved Genetically Modified Wheat Found In Montana
October 3, 2014
USDA reports that one year after discovery of Monsanto's unapproved wheat in a single Oregon field disrupted U.S. wheat export sales, the GMO wheat has again been found in Montana. Read More
Equipment2014 Product Of The Year Voting
September 19, 2014
The deadline to vote for the 2014 CropLife IRON Product of the Year is October 31. Please cast your vote today to help us determine the winner. Read More
FertilizerFall Fertility 2014: Forecasting Fertilizer Use
September 7, 2014
Great crops this year have tapped the soil, and fall work is definitely called for, but how challenging will that get? Read More

Latest News

StewardshipTFI Recognizes Michigan, Maryland Farms For 4R Stewards…
October 31, 2014
As farming practices increasingly attract interest from the general public, two farmers are ensuring they meet public approval. Read More
Eric SfiligojBig Brother Is Already Watching
October 31, 2014
Opponents to UAVs seem to think they could be used to spy on other people. But spying is already taking place, through the Internet. Read More
StewardshipAsmark Institute’s New Training Center Focused On…
October 31, 2014
The newly dedicated Ford B. West Center for Responsible Agriculture will be used as a national training and education center for professionals in the ag input industry. Read More
StewardshipCTIC Tour Dives Deep Into Everglades
October 31, 2014
The most recent Conservation In Action Tour (CTIC) hit South Florida recently to tour the Everglades Agricultural Area. Read More
StewardshipResponsibleAg Begins Auditor Training
October 31, 2014
ResponsibleAg auditor training is now underway at the Ford B. West Center for Responsible Agriculture in Owensboro, KY. Read More
CropLife 100ValueAct Buys Stake In Fertilizer Dealer Agrium
October 30, 2014
ValueAct has bought 8.2 million shares in Calgary, Alberta-based Agrium, making them the second largest investor in the fertilizer dealer. Read More
InsecticidesNew Research Study Shows The Value Of Neonics
October 29, 2014
The study evaluated seed treatment, soil and foliar uses of neonicotinoid insecticides in the U.S. and Canada. Read More
StewardshipUSDA To Provide $4 Million For Honey Bee Habitat
October 29, 2014
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced today that more than $4 million in technical and financial assistance will be provided to Read More
Crop InputsValent Launches New Low VOC ProGibb LV Plus Plant Growt…
October 29, 2014
ProGibb LV Plus PGR is a high-potency, liquid gibberellic acid formulation designed to comply with California’s new air quality standards for high volatile organic compound agricultural products. Read More
Crop InputsBayer CropScience Acquires Certain DuPont Crop Protecti…
October 29, 2014
Bayer CropScience and DuPont Crop Protection have signed an agreement for Bayer to purchase certain DuPont Crop Protection Land Management assets in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Australia and New Zealand. Read More
ManagementWest Central Names New President
October 29, 2014
West Central’s board of directors have announced their unanimous decision to name Milan Kucerak President and CEO-elect following Jeff Stroburg’s retirement at the end of the fiscal year. Read More
InsecticidesValent U.S.A., MGK Form Marketing Agreement
October 24, 2014
Valent has formed an agreement with Minneapolis-based MGK to manage the marketing and sales of MGK’s crop protection line of insect control products within the U.S. beginning April 1, 2015. Read More
StewardshipFlorida’s 4R Advocate Keeps Improving
October 24, 2014
Florida farmer Alan Jones uses the 4R principles of nutrient stewardship as the core of his fertility program, which allows him to maximize production and keep costs in check. Read More
Seed/BiotechMonsanto Named One Of The World’s Best Multinational …
October 23, 2014
Monsanto ranked No. 8 in the world’s largest annual study of workplace excellence that identifies the top 25 best multinational companies in terms of workplace culture. Read More
Crop InputsArysta Hires Former Agri-Chem, CPS Employee For Delta S…
October 23, 2014
New Territory Sales Manager Mark Peel’s primary role will focus on working with growers regarding fungicides in Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas and Tennessee. Read More
CropLife 100GROWMARK Announces Appointments In Plant Food Division
October 22, 2014
GROWMARK, Inc. has announced the three key staff changes in its Plant Food Division. Read More
CropLife 100GROWMARK Appoints New VP Of Finance And Risk Management
October 22, 2014
Wade Mittelstadt has been named GROWMARK Vice President, Financial and Risk Mangement, effective December 1, 2014. Read More
FungicidesEPA Approves BASF In-Furrow Corn Fungicide
October 22, 2014
Field trials show Xanthion In-furrow fungicide provides more rapid emergence, extended residual control and improved seedling health than untreated crops. Read More