Following the 2012 growing season, researchers from across the Upper Midwest gathered to present data and opinions on a wide variety of topics pertinent to agriculture in our marketing area. Today I’m summarizing some of their findings for you to consider as you prepare to plant the 2013 crop.
SEEDLING DISEASES: University researchers are “dialing down” on the four main families of pathogens typically associated with soybean seedling diseases: Pythium, Fusarium, Rhizoctonia and Phytophthora. They have found more than 50 different species of Pythium that affect soybeans in our area. For many years, we believed this pathogen preferred cool, wet soils. Now we know that several of these species actually prefer warm soils! It was also discovered that some “new” species are not affected at all by fungicides currently available.
OTHER DISEASES & PESTS: Extremely dry weather throughout the Upper Midwest was responsible for the presence of Charcoal Rot, from as far north as southern Minnesota and as far east as the Mississippi River Basin. Damage from Soybean Cyst Nematode and Two-Spotted Spider Mite infestations were also widely reported. Be aware that many common insecticides don’t have much of an effect on Spider Mites, so carefully read the labels of any products you intend to use.
WEATHER: Dr. Elwynn Taylor said we’ve just finished a 19-year cycle of reasonably mild weather patterns and are now headed into a 25-year period where weather patterns are apt to be volatile. The 2012 drought caused most soils here to be depleted of moisture in the upper 7 to 8 feet. It will take a minimum of 16 –18 inches of rainfall (or equivalent in snow) to recharge those soils to their normal level. It will probably take at least two growing seasons to recharge.
TILLAGE: This was one of the “hottest” topics of the ICM conference. Most of the researchers were extremely surprised to see the amount of fall tillage completed because minimizing tillage helps conserve soil moisture. Soil is our greatest natural resource, so we must protect and conserve it or our children and grandchildren will surely suffer the consequences.
While driving across the Iowa countryside this summer, one can’t help but notice all the stalks of volunteer corn ascending from the soybean fields like a sentry on duty. A sentry usually prevents the passage of unauthorized persons. In a cornfield, however, the volunteer corn actually serves as a “safe harbor” for corn rootworm.
Corn rootworms essentially need corn to survive. That’s why a corn-soybean rotation has been an effective control measure. When corn appears in a bean field, however, the rootworm beetles have a food source and then a place to lay their eggs. Most eggs are laid in the upper 6” of soil during late summer. Eggs remain dormant until the following spring, so they’re “ready to feast” on the next crop of corn.
Applying a tank mix treatment to clean up volunteer corn will help you avoid the soybean variant in the rootworm beetle on your acres in 2012. Click the video link below for more information. Additional information on the soybean variant of western corn rootworm is available from this publicationby Iowa State University.
Soybean Cyst Nematode (SCN) continues to threaten the profitability of soybean production, regardless of growing conditions. That’s why Iowa State University (ISU) Nematologist Greg Tylka encourages farmers to collect fall samples.
There are two main reasons to collect soil samples for SCN this fall:
SCN spreads into new fields every year. SCN is very easy to keep in check when population densities (numbers) are low, and numbers will be low when SCN first becomes established in a field.
Growers who have managed SCN with resistant soybean varieties for several years should take soil samples following the soybean crops to determine what the current SCN population densities are and to gauge if SCN egg numbers are increasing on resistant soybean varieties. If fall sampling is done to determine if a field is infested with SCN, it makes sense to sample in harvested cornfields where soybeans will be grown in 2012.
Steps on how to take fall soil samples for SCN are available in the August 18 issue of The Gold Standard by the Iowa Soybean Association. More information about the biology, scouting, and management of SCN can be found at www.soybeancystnematode.info.
Subscribe via: E-mail RSS
When I sit down to write articles for our blog, I feel like I'm sitting down with my family at the dinner table, ready to talk about news from the field while we enjoy one of our favorite recipes. Whether you're looking for information to help you in the field, are interested in trying a farm family's favorite recipe or simply want to see what others are doing to help feed and fuel the world, we cover it here at The Field Position! Thanks for visiting us today and we hope to hear from you again soon!