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 100CHS: Driving Momentum To Help Farmer-Owners Grow
December 11, 2014
CHS Inc., the nation’s leading farmer-owned cooperative and a global energy, grains and foods company, must capture new opportunities to Read More
CropLife 100BRANDT, Verdesian Ink Distribution Agreement
December 9, 2014
The agreement grants BRANDT the exclusive right to sell and market Verdesian’s patented Steric chemistry in the Turf and Ornamental and eastern U.S. ag markets under the BRANDT Reaction product line name. Read More
CropLife 100CropLife 100: The Colors Of Custom Application
December 5, 2014
Although many color spray rigs are in the yards of the nation’s top ag retailers, the majority of them still come in only a few shades. Read More
CropLife 100Pinnacle Invests In Meridian Agriculture Distribution
December 4, 2014
Meridian will provide retailers with supplier-branded products and numerous opportunities to differentiate themselves from their competitors. Read More
CropLife 100CropLife 100: Entering A New Seed Era
December 4, 2014
The seed category has been re-vitalized during the past few years, and more good news (and varieties) are headed the industry’s way in 2015. Read More
CropLife 100CropLife 100: The Depressed State Of Fertilizer
December 3, 2014
Following downright giddy growth earlier this decade, fertilizer sales have fallen back down to earth the past two years. Read More

Latest News

Crop InputsNufarm Fills Regulatory VP Position
December 18, 2014
Nufarm announced today that Rob Schwehr has been promoted to the position of Vice President of Innovation & Regulatory Affairs for Nufarm Americas. Read More
Seed/BiotechReport: China Approves Viptera Corn, U.S. Officials Awa…
December 17, 2014
Chinese authorities have informed some agriculture industry officials the government has approved U.S. imports of a type of genetically modified corn developed by Syngenta. Read More
FertilizerMonty’s Plant Food Brings In New Sales Rep
December 16, 2014
Monty's Plant Food Company has hired Warren Kearns as its newest Sales Representative for the South Carolina area. Read More
EquipmentHagie Wins 2014 CropLife IRON Product Of The Year Award
December 15, 2014
The self-propelled sprayer maker has a hit on its hands with the new STS Series model. Read More
Syngenta
Seed/BiotechSyngenta Sees China Approving Contentious GMO Corn Soon
December 15, 2014
Syngenta will make an announcement when it receives official documentation from China that Agrisure Viptera corn, known as MIR 162, has been cleared for import. Read More
Crop InputsVerdesian Life Sciences Names Vice President Of Communi…
December 15, 2014
Amy Bugg will oversee the execution of all promotional strategies for the corporate brand and the complete product portfolio. Read More
StewardshipFarmers, Retailers Attend 4R Certification 4U Workshop
December 15, 2014
More than 160 farmers and ag retailer attended the “4R Certification 4U” workshop December 12 to learn more about the 4Rs of nutrient stewardship, water quality research in the area and cost-sharing opportunities. Read More
Matt Hopkins10 Best New Agriculture Apps For 2015
December 15, 2014
These new agriculture apps are certain to help ag professionals do their jobs more efficiently in 2015 and beyond. Read More
ManagementARA Learnings, Retail Buying Intentions: Welcome To Cro…
December 12, 2014
This informal video program puts news and events effecting retailers into context, and features Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj. Read More
Seed/BiotechMonsanto Herbicide-Tolerant Technology Closer To Commer…
December 12, 2014
The final EIS moves Monsanto one step closer to the introduction of Bollgard II XtendFlex cotton and Roundup Ready 2 Xtend soybeans, paving the way to provide access to dicamba-tolerant soybeans and cotton. Read More
Seed/BiotechUSDA Issues Final Environmental Impact Statement On Her…
December 12, 2014
The USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is issuing a final environmental impact statement on varieties of cotton and soybeans that have been genetically engineered for resistance to several herbicides, including the one known as dicamba. Read More
CropLife 100CHS: Driving Momentum To Help Farmer-Owners Grow
December 11, 2014
CHS Inc., the nation’s leading farmer-owned cooperative and a global energy, grains and foods company, must capture new opportunities to Read More
LegislationARA Applauds CFATS Passage Prior To Holiday Adjournment
December 11, 2014
The streamlined bill provides a four-year authorization of the CFATS program and guidance to DHS on key issues of chemical facility security Read More
Seed/BiotechBayer CropScience’s ILeVO Approved By EPA
December 11, 2014
EPA has approved ILeVO, the only seed treatment that protects the root system against infections caused by the Sudden Death Syndrome fungus and has activity against dangerous nematodes. Read More
Biologicals in Emerging Markets Map.
Crop InputsBiocontrols Could Quadruple By 2025; Will Regulators Pl…
December 11, 2014
The European experience with GMOs offers caution — and a promise — for biologicals. Read More
Crop InputsBASF Donates $75,000 To Feeding America
December 10, 2014
The donation will support Feeding America’s National Produce Program, an initiative that helps with planning, transportation and logistics to ensure fresh produce deliveries to the 200 member food banks around the country. Read More
InsecticidesHow To Avoid Aphid Infestation In Winter Wheat
December 10, 2014
The best strategy for managing aphid infestations in winter wheat — and the potential yellow dwarf diseases that they transmit — is prevention, according to a South Dakota State University Plant Pathology field specialist. Read More
LegislationDufault Installed As New ARA Chair
December 10, 2014
Dave Dufault, Vice President and General Manager of J.R. Simplot Company's Retail Business, was installed as the 2015 Chairman of the Board for ARA on December 4. Read More