There are several important early season insect pests that can severely injure corn while it is in its early vegetative stages. One of the more destructive of these pests is the black cutworm. Black cutworms are migratory moths that migrate into South Dakota during the early spring from the Southern U.S. Although black cutworm caterpillars may injure corn by feeding on leaf tissue, the serious damage occurs when the caterpillars feed around the base of young corn plants.
The season is upon us and producers are heading out to the field to get their crops planted and established. Producers are interested in knowing what works best, yields the most, and especially what is most profitable during these tight economic times. Some may want to compare products or practices on their own farm or look at information from other farms or industry studies.
The long-range outlook for the summer climate was released on Thursday, May 18. With the recent rains and transition to cooler temperatures, will this trend last for a while? The last couple of weeks of May are more likely to stay on the cooler side of average, according to NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center. Rainfall is also projected to taper off this weekend, and South Dakota will turn drier again for the rest of the month.
Are you hoping to replant some poor stand areas? Here are some points to consider. As the soils dry out, remember to check the herbicide labels. Is that particular field suitable for replanting? What weed chemicals were applied earlier this year?
Most soil-applied herbicides are stable under longer than desired periods of weather with no adequate moisture and not broken down by UV sunlight. Those herbicides in the site of action group (SOA) 8 (butylate, cycloate, triallate) and SOA 3 (trifluralin, ethalfuralin, pendimethalin) are volatile and susceptible to degradation by UV light. In no-till, these herbicides are not widely used because of the need for mechanical pre-plant incorporation.
Corn is finally beginning to break out of ‘cold storage’ in eastern South Dakota after periods of cold temperatures. With planting just wrapping up, many producers have expressed concerns about evaluation of chilling injury in their corn crop.
It has been unseasonably cold and snowy…now what? There are a few things to keep in mind as Mother Nature temporarily brought back the wrath of winter. Many farmers in Southeastern South Dakota began corn planting within the last two weeks. According to the USDA NASS, 7% of corn and 2% of soybean was planted across the state of South Dakota as of May 1.
It is always good to start with a pre-emergence chemical to help prevent weeds from becoming resistant. Usually this is a different chemistry than what you are using post-emergence. It also will buy you time on doing a post if the pre-emergence is activated. With the wet cool spring, some weeds may now have germinated before the pre-emergence product is applied after planting.
Air temperatures are chilling down this week, just as growers are anxious to get in the field to continue spring planting and other fieldwork. Low temperatures this week were in the 20’s and 30’s, just as soils were near ready for planting.
Effective plant disease management starts with proper disease diagnosis. Several plant diseases, nutrient deficiency or toxicity, and other disorders can elicit similar symptoms. It is therefore important to be absolutely sure what is causing the problem before making a decision on the management strategy.