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Jess Daniels
Jess Daniels is Manager of AGChoice of Hepler. For more information please call 620-368-4347.
2012-03-27 10:23:11
Mild winter to increase crop pests, weed pressure
A: While most people have enjoyed the mild winter, we know that the mild winter is likely to increase the insect and weed pressure facing crops. Crop pests are certain to be more abundant in the fields, having prospered from the warmer than normal temperatures. Bean leaf beetles are of particular concern as they damage the plant early, which is a bad time for soybean plants to suffer any damage. According to Purdue Extension specialists, the weather has been very favorable to insects that overwinter as well as those that migrate to the area. Since seed treatments vary in the amount of protection they provide against different pests, producers need to keep an eye on their crops as the growing season progresses and apply any necessary foliar insecticide treatments if feeding is severe. Weeds are another problem with the warmer than average temperatures. Although weeds go dormant in below-freezing temperatures, warmer weather promotes their growth. You are likely to see plenty of Henbit, Purple Deadnettle, Carolina Foxtail, Chickweed, and Marestail among many others. Growers should get burndown treatments and residual herbicides on the fields earlier than normal if the fields are dry enough. I highly recommend an insecticide, and at a higher than normal load to control these problems as the planting season begins.
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