Scout fields now for better yields later on

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Finally, corn and soybean fields are planted and are up and growing. Some growers were able to plant early, but up and down weather patterns affected corn and soybean planting in many parts of the state. Compared to 2014 planting, 2015 conditions were drier and corn emergence was delayed until moisture arrived. Many fields didn’t get planted until the middle of May and the crop struggled to get out of the ground due to cooler temperatures and water issues. What happens in the next 80 to 90 days will have a major affect on maximizing yield potential.A good tool for part of your scouting plan is to carry the Corn and Soybean pocket Field Guide from Purdue or Ohio State University. We scout now so as to eliminate issues that can have an affect on harvest yields later on.As we have seen in past years, growers need to walk their fields often or hire a professional to identify crop issues now that can impact yields. With many corn fields planted with the Roundup Ready trait, we have become lax in keeping track of weed issues that can really have the potential to lower yields during the growing season. This year with pre-emerge herbicides applied early and no rain following the application, weeds came back and need to be taken care of, especially if dry weather returns and competes with the growing crop.Take note especially in corn fields for the plants’ response to a lack of nitrogen. With all the rain following planting and no nitrogen stabilizer included in the application, nitrogen deficiency has occurred in some fields. To maintain the higher corn yields, we need to have the required N amounts into the plant prior to tasseling. If in doubt, use the Pre Sidedress Nitrate Test (PSNT) offered by laboratories to determine how much nitrogen is in the ground for that yield level one is trying to achieve. There is still time to correct N deficiency in corn plants if needed.Another area to keep track of is the presence of insects in fields in the next several weeks. Armyworm, stalk borer, and black cutworm have made their presence known in 2015 plantings. In fields of continuous corn as well of areas where corn rootworm hatches have occurred, we need to watch out for corn rootworm feeding. At times of higher than normal pressure by this insect, we can see more early root feeding that possibly could result in stalk quality and standability issues later on in the growing season which can reduce yield if not harvested early. Depending upon the area, this insect has been found in first-year corn fields following soybeans.Corn flea beetle injury has been found in early planted corn fields. This insect will take away nutrients out of the leaf surface with a heavy infestation. We can have two generations of this pest. Note the injury for future field visits.While walking soybean fields look for any injury by Mexican bean beetle as well as bean leaf beetle. Usually at this stage of growth, damage from these pests occurs on the leaves. Under dry growing conditions these pests can cause significant leaf damage and will warrant an insecticide for control.As we walk our fields, pay attention to any leaf diseases tat may be present. Normally gray leaf spot and northern corn leaf blight will occur later on, if the conditions are right, prior to tassel and shortly after tassel. Recent studies have shown a fungicide application at V5 has been beneficial to the plants in those areas. At the same time, check the planted hybrid for its disease tolerance of any disease in question. You need to determine, with the current market prices, if a fungicide application will pay off. Can the hybrid, with its disease tolerance, maintain the protection needed for its yield?Crusting, wet weather in certain areas, and compaction issues from 2014, have had a big affect on early soybean growth. It is important to note of any seedling blights or root rots that had an affect on early soybean stand establishment. When walking soybean fields take a hoop or measuring tape to see what your population is when determining yield potential. In areas wheresudden death syndrome or brown stem rot are present, a fungicide application will not help. Make a note, when planting soybeans in this field in later years to select the variety with the best tolerance to these diseases.Taking the time to walk and scout crop fields will help growers stay on top of issues affecting crop growth and yield potential. To really know what is happening out in our fields, we need to walk and make notes of what is going on. Time you spent scouting your fields or hiring that person to scout will pay off for a successful harvest in 2015.last_img

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