Time seems to be in short supply, especially right now as farmers are busy with planting, last-minute fertilizations, and field prep. In the midst of all the chaos, it can be easy to lose track of the fields that have been planted and what they need as they develop, emerge and grow.
The threat of black cutworms is a possibility every year. These pests arrive yearly in April and May with spring storms after migrating from the South. Their damage can range from very little to severe cases of stand loss in cornfields. Midwest cornfields serve as a main hotspot for these insects.
Alfalfa crops face many insects throughout their growing season. Some of these insects are beneficial and control a variety of pest species throughout the season, while others have the ability to decrease forage tonnage and quality.
Two of the pests that you could be seeing this year are Wireworms and False Wireworms. I will cover the differences between them and tell you a quick way of telling them apart without having to send them to a lab or count body parts. Both pests can attack your corn seedlings and reduce stands or stunt plants thus reducing your yields.
So, what is Floppy Corn and how can it be controlled? Floppy Corn, as I call it, is when the corn lays over or gets floppy at about V6 to V8 corn plant development. This can be confused with herbicide damage or shallow planted corn, which is called the same thing, so it needs to be looked at to find what is really causing the corn to lay over. Poor root development, not the hybrid’s genetics, is the cause.
Well, it happened again: we had a week of warm weather and planting started, then cool spring rains and colder temperatures hit again, dropping our soil temperatures back to 41 degrees. So, what do we need to look at with seed in the ground below the temperature needed to emerge?