By Bill Mullen, Director of Agronomic Services, Seed Consultants, Inc.
With corn planting winding down in most areas, some time should be spent walking recent corn planted fields for any sign of damage from Black Cutworm. With the delayed corn planting and heavy weed mass worked into the soil prior to planting, black cutworm damage has been seen throughout Ohio and Indiana. Those hybrids with Herculex have an in-plant ability to suppress/control this pest. However in high cutworm pressure, one may need to spray an insecticide for control.
Loss of stand before emergence, due to above ground cutting of the young corn plant at the surface, usually indicates cutworm damage. In order for the Herculex to work, the cutworm has to ingest part of the young plant in order to die. Once this happens, other cutworms seem to get the message and find other non-Herculex fields to feast on. With the recent high temperatures from last week, corn will emerge faster than early May planted fields and the need to keep an eye on recently planted corn fields is very important.
Soybean plantings will pick up with corn planting winding down. For this week, I highly recommend your soybean seeding rate increase 8% to 10% over what was planned. By increasing the rate, quicker closure of the rows and overall stand development will occur. For best yield performance, with June plantings, 7.5- to 15-inch rows will canopy faster than 30-inch rows. With the delayed soybean planting, we need to do everything possible for the best yield later on.