This Sclerotinia found in the soil of some fields can develop into white mold. Photo by Ohio State University Extension.

2014 Pest updates and concerns for 2015

As we look forward to the 2015 crop year, we have to take a little look back to 2014 to see what pests hit us in order to plan for next year.

Soybean insects

  • Aphids hit central Ohio and caused some to spray. Next year will be an “odd” year so expect populations to be up. But the patterns aren’t strictly held to but it looks like soybean aphids are likely to hit someplace. So scout before you spray in your neighborhood.
  • Stink bugs are increasing in number and spreading. If you saw shriveled beans at harvest in 2014 do a better job of scouting next year. They tend to hit green soybean pods and suck the juices out reducing yield.
  • Bean leaf beetle has generally been a non-economical pest for a while now. Early planted fields attract over-wintering adults causing limited damage, but late-planted soybean fields attract late season pod feeders.

Corn insects

  • Western bean cutworm has been restricted to northern Ohio. Only a couple counties had problems in northwest and northeast Ohio. Watch for purple egg masses on leaves and treat before the larvae get into the ears.
  • Bt corn has reduced western corn rootworm to near extinction. But if you have continuous corn, rotate your genetics to reduce the chance of resistance development.
  • Asiatic garden beetle grubs are showing up in northwest Ohio in sandy soils. Feed at seedling emergence on developing roots. Soil insecticides can provide good suppression.

Weed management

  • In no-till soybeans it is all about marestail control. Make a fall application if you can. Hit early in the spring if not, and/or hit twice hard if late. Definitely include a pre-emergent herbicide in your program. Use LibertyLink as an alternative to RoundupReady. Yes, new herbicide tolerant genetics are coming, but not yet and there are limitations to them.
  • The new 2015 Ohio, Indiana & Illinois Weed Control Guide is now available for free download at http://u.osu.edu/osuweeds/ or it can be purchased at your county Extension office for $14.75.

Soybean diseases

  • With seed treatments, look for the combination products. Even though there isn’t quite enough metalaxyl in Anne Dorrance’s mind, the combination product seed treatments are delivering a good stand.
  • With Sclerotinia (white mold), variety selection can help. Fungicides can miss due to the critical timing. Maybe burner herbicides? Yes, but the burn can reduce the yield too. Hope for a dry spring.

Corn diseases

  • For gray leaf spot, fungicides can improve yield on susceptible hybrids. Apply at R1 (tassel) if needed. That is the best timing. Two applications do not help. Early doesn’t help either. Fungicides to control Gibberella can help reduce ear rots, but may not be enough to notice. Choose resistant hybrids.

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