Warm Winter Increases Insect, Pest Threat This Spring

Crop growers should take extra precaution to scout their fields this spring for black cutworm, slugs, bean leaf beetles, rootworms and other invasive insects, as the near-record warm winter Ohio has experienced this year is expected to cause a significant increase in the potential for crop-damaging pests, an Ohio State University Extension entomologist said.

Insects such as the corn flea beetle, which targets corn through the spread of the bacterium that causes Stewart’s bacterial wilt and leaf blight on both field and sweet corn, likely will be seen earlier than normal this year, said Ron Hammond, who also has an appointment with the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center.

Black cutworms also could be a bigger problem this year, as could slugs, bean leaf beetles and cereal leaf beetles, he said.

Winter 2012 is the warmest winter experienced nationwide since 2000 and the fourth-warmest winter on record, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The unseasonably high temperatures were the result of the jet stream, which divides the cold air to the north from the warm air to the south, settling at a much higher latitude, the federal agency said.

Some of the invasive and damaging pests growers can expect to see more of this year include:

  • Black cutworm: Weed growth has been heavier this year because of the earlier warm weather, especially chickweed. With this extra growth comes the potential for greater black cutworm problems, as adult cutworms already are being collected throughout the Midwest. So, when corn is planted and starts to emerge, cutworms already might be at damaging stages. Thus, there is a greater need to pay extra attention in those fields conducive to cutworm problems, such as no-till and/or weedy fields.
  • Slugs: Warmer weather and soil temperatures will cause slugs to hatch and begin heavier feeding earlier. If planting times are normal, slugs will be a bigger and larger threat than normal. If planting early, slug feeding could be more similar to normal conditions. If planting late, slugs will be relatively larger and capable of even heavier feeding.
  • Bean leaf beetles: Growers may find more bean leaf beetles this spring. But, if most fields are planted and crops emerged about the same time, the beetles should disperse themselves over all those fields and not be a major problem. However, if only a few fields have emerged crops, beetles could concentrate on those fields and require growers to monitor them more closely.
  • Rootworms: While rootworm larvae are expected to hatch earlier this year, they won’t necessarily cause more problems. Because most fields already are planted to transgenic varieties with rootworm control, treated with a soil insecticide if continuous corn or are part of a rotation, good control is expected. Growers likely will not need to make any additional or two-tactic applications, such as soil insecticide applications on transgenic corn.
  • Corn flea beetle: Seed treatments on most corn should offer control, at least for the beetle, but it is not clear how it would affect Stewart’s wilt. Growers should scout any non-seed treated fields, along with popcorn and sweet corn fields that usually are more susceptible to Stewart’s wilt, along with any field corn hybrids that are more susceptible.
  • Cereal leaf beetle: Growers can expect the earlier presence of cereal leaf beetle larvae, and should scout wheat and oats earlier. The potential for beetle survival is greater this spring.

Leave a Reply

Insecticides Stories

FungicidesFMC Launching New In-Furrow Combo Insecticide/Fungicide
November 9, 2015
FMC is launching Ethos XB insecticide/fungicide, the first of its kind, integrated in-furrow product for insect and disease control. Formulated Read More
Corn Field
InsecticidesEPA Proposes To Revoke Food Residue Tolerances For Chlorpyrifos
November 3, 2015
EPA is proposing to revoke all food residue tolerances for the insecticide chlorpyrifos. At this time, EPA said it is Read More
InsecticidesGRANDEVO Bioinsecticide Receives Completeness Determination From The Netherlands
September 15, 2015
Marrone Bio Innovations, Inc. (MBI), a leading provider of bio-based pest management and plant health products for the agriculture, turf Read More
Crop InputsU.S. Court Finds EPA Erred In Approving Dow Insecticide
September 11, 2015
Yahoo News and Reuters are reporting that a U.S. appeals court ruled on Thursday that federal EPA regulators erred in Read More
Top 100 Articles
CropLife 100United Cooperative Acquires Four ADM Wisconsin Facilities
November 12, 2015
United Cooperative, based out of Beaver Dam, WI, recently acquired four grain and agronomy locations from Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) Read More
CropLife 100BRANDT Car Makes NASCAR Xfinity Series
October 29, 2015
BRANDT will join JR Motorsports with driver, Justin Allgaier, for the 2016 NASCAR Xfinity (NXS) Series season. Allgaier will pilot Read More
CHS Building exterior
CropLife 100CHS Leaders Help Shape Succession Report
October 22, 2015
Succession planning was listed as a main concern of cooperative leaders at this summer’s 15 regional CHS owner town hall Read More
Fall Harvest
CropLife 100Pinnacle Purchases Eight Regional Seed Companies
October 12, 2015
Pinnacle Agriculture Holdings has announced the purchase of eight regional seed companies to advance its seed business. Pinnacle has acquired: Read More
MRM Agricultural Service
CropLife 100Pinnacle Acquires CropLife 100 Ag Retailer
October 8, 2015
Pinnacle Agriculture Holdings, LLC has successfully acquired the Missouri-based agronomy business of MRM Agricultural Service, LLC and its affiliates (MRM). Operating Read More
Eric Jenks, Wilbur-Ellis
CropLife 100Wilbur-Ellis Opens Dry Fertilizer Storage And Blending Facility In Washington
October 8, 2015
Wilbur-Ellis Co., ranked No. 4 on the CropLife 100, has constructed and opened a 22,000-ton dry fertilizer storage and blending Read More
Latest News
HerbicidesBREAKING: EPA Pulls Registration On Dow’s Enlist …
November 25, 2015
EPA on Wednesday withdrew approval of a controversial new weed killer to be used on genetically modified corn and soybeans, Read More
FertilizerYara Tampa Ammonia Terminal Garners ResponsibleAg Honor…
November 25, 2015
Yara has received its first ResponsibleAg Certification for its Tampa, FL, Ammonia terminal location. This achievement demonstrates Yara’s commitment to Read More
ManagementReviewing The Top Ag Stories For 2015
November 24, 2015
Editors Eric Sfiligoj and Paul Schrimpf discuss the most noteworthy events from this past year in agriculture. Read More
EmployeesAgriculture Jobs May Be Plentiful, But New Grads Are Sc…
November 24, 2015
Close to 60,000 jobs are set to open up in agriculture each year for the next five years, but there's not enough grads to fill them. Read More
Radish cover crop
StewardshipCover Crops Guide Helps Growers Improve Water Quality
November 23, 2015
A publication that teaches growers the advantages of using cover crops to improve soil health and crop yields has won Read More
Crop InputsThe Andersons’ Products Receive California Organi…
November 23, 2015
The Plant Nutrient Group of The Andersons, Inc. announced today that its Humic DG and Black Gypsum DG products are Read More
Eric SfiligojNew European Study Seems To Support Glyphosate Safety
November 23, 2015
Looking at any international news over the past few years, it might seem as if the European Union (EU) is Read More
Toggle Biostimulant corn roots
Crop InputsTwo New Biostimulants Added To United Suppliers’ …
November 20, 2015
Winfield US announces the launch of two new products in the United Suppliers portfolio for the 2016 crop season, Optify Read More
StewardshipNRDC Report: Cover Crops Contain Vast Benefits
November 19, 2015
As harvest season ends and farmers in the United States ready themselves for winter, one small change could make a Read More
Fall Harvest
Seed/BiotechArysta Launches New Seed Protectant
November 19, 2015
As spring wheat growers begin planning for a strong start to their season, Arysta LifeScience North America announces RANCONA V Read More
Crop InputsInocucor Receives U.S. Patent For Microbials
November 19, 2015
Inocucor Technologies Inc., the Montreal-based agriculture biotech company, was issued patent No. 9,175,258 by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to protect Read More
ManagementSyngenta Rumors and ARA 2015 Preview
November 19, 2015
CropLife Editor Eric Sfiligoj looks at the latest rumors involving Syngenta selling its crop protection business and talks about events Read More
EquipmentAGCO Announces Finalists For Operator Of The Year Honor
November 19, 2015
AGCO Corp. has announced the four top operators chosen as finalists for AGCO’s 10th Annual Operator of the Year program, Read More
High Plains Aquifer
StewardshipStudy: High Plains Aquifer Overall Usage In Decline
November 18, 2015
A new Kansas State University study finds that the over-tapping of the High Plains Aquifer’s groundwater beyond the aquifer’s recharge Read More
Golden Harvest Corn healthy leaves
FungicidesArysta Launches New Corn And Soybean Fungicide
November 17, 2015
Arysta LifeScience North America has recently launched ZOLERA FX Fungicide. The highly systemic, powerful fungicide delivers broad-spectrum disease control with Read More
Young corn plants in soil
Crop InputsBioAg Alliance: Microbials Targeted For 250-500 million…
November 17, 2015
Monsanto and Novozymes have announced a new 2025 acreage target that will guide the companies’ microbials business for the next Read More
Syngenta Sign
Crop InputsSyngenta Still Being Eyed For China Takeover
November 16, 2015
China National Chemical Corp. approached sovereign wealth funds including China Investment Corp. to help pay for a potential acquisition of Read More
Cedar Country Cooperative
Eric SfiligojCooperative Consolidation Continues
November 16, 2015
As I put this enewsletter column together, we’ve just put the finishing touches on our magazine’s annual CropLife 100 report. Read More