Temperatures have been up and down over the past few weeks. We went from the 90s to 60s with lows in the 40s. Temps are expected to get back up to the 90s by next week. Dry corn harvest has already begun in the southern and western portions of Nebraska. Latham’s late season lineup is showing good standability and above-average test weights. Alphatoxins continue to be an issue.; vVarieties with good plant health and grain quality seem to have lower counts. Corn supplies across the entire industry are going to be short for the upcoming year, so book early to get good your first choices.
We observed some significant infestations of two-spotted spider mites in southeast Nebraska last week. Spider Mites attack in hot, dry weather accompanied by low humidity. The infestation was the earliest I’ve ever seen. Significant rainfall, especially with higher humidity, will often crash a population of spider mites. If you’re in a dry area, scout your fields for yellow spots. These often begin near grass borders, waterways, or terraces. Use a magnifying glass or “thump” the leaf over a white sheet of paper to make sure the mites are still active. If they’re still present and no rain is in the immediate forecast, an application of insecticide is likely warranted. An organophosphate insecticide labeled for spider mites is the best. NOTE: Many pyrethroids are not labeled for mites and can actually cause spider mite flare ups.
Minnesota farmers continue to dodge the worst of the drought that’s affecting most of the country. Greater Minnesota experienced scattered showers and cooler temperatures this past week. Statewide, average temperatures were 5.7 degrees below normal. Some areas remained dry, while over 1.5 inches of rain fell in a few places.