This year is certainly keeping us busy! It doesn’t seem to matter which way we turn or what crop we are scouting pests are being observed. Bean leaf beetles have been found in both soybean and alfalfa fields.
We have received numerous reports of cutworms being problematic in safflower and sunflower so far in 2017. However, while scouting soybeans last week I noticed numerous areas within the field where soybean plants were lying dead near the row, but with no indication of defoliation.
The overwintering generation of bean leaf beetles are currently very active in soybean in Southern South Dakota. Many of the observed populations are now exceeding the thresholds for beetles per plant and also defoliation.
Root rots are starting to develop in soybeans. The most common root rot observed currently is Phytophthora root rot (PRR). Rhizoctonia root rot is showing up as well but to a lesser degree.
Soybean aphid populations were fairly sparse in 2016; however, some fields still reached the 250 threshold and were sprayed. Historically, soybean aphids tend to be more of an issue during odd numbered years. Soybean aphids may be more of an issue in 2017 as a result.
Do you depend on the latest information focused on soybean products? Are you constantly seeking out cost-effective information and looking for what actually works on South Dakota farms? Have you wanted to try a new product but didn’t want to commit to it on your entire field? Have you wondered if a fungicide application is beneficial? Thought about late season nitrogen applications? Do you have soybean cyst nematode and wonder whether or not the seed treatments work? This short list is just a sampling of the many different issues that are occurring in SD soybean fields today.
In South Dakota, the use of insecticide and fungicide seed treatments often occurs in what is considered a prophylactic manner. Although this is technically correct, part of the prophylactic nature of their use is directly related to the lack of management recommendations. There are definite hurdles associated with producing management recommendations for products that are applied prior to planting including determining if pests are even present in a given field.
Soybean cyst nematode (SCN) silently robs significant soybean yield without displaying obvious above ground symptoms. Unfortunately, when SCN is introduced in the field, it can never be completely eliminated; however, SCN can be managed to keep SCN population below injury level. By the time one soybean cyst is observed on the soybean roots or in the soil sample, likely more cysts are occurring in that field.
The overwintering generation of bean leaf beetle adults emerge in the spring and can cause serious defoliation injury to seedling soybean plants. However, the abundance of overwintering bean leaf beetles is negatively affected when the air temperatures get too cold. Therefore, an estimate of the emerging populations can be made based on how cold the winter was.
Many emotions set in on farmers that hear the word “non-GMO”, but it could help them in times like today when prices are low for many farm products in South Dakota. As some may already know, non-GMO soybeans are being contracted in South Dakota at Miller by the South Dakota soybean processors. What could this mean for producers? It may mean a niche market for soybean producers to make a little more per acre when higher crop prices are needed