Use long-term trends as 2013 planning guide
Potential Herbicide Carryover
“After a drought year, herbicide carryover may be a big concern, but that’s often difficult to predict,” says Wilson. “Microbes in cooler fall temperatures are not as effective in breaking down herbicide compounds, but the chemicals are broken down best in warm spring soils. Water can also help degrade the compounds.
“Know your chemicals to help you determine if there might be carryover. Look at your records and labels to know exactly what herbicides were on each field. You might know the retail name of a product, but not be familiar with all the active ingredients in the mix. It’s best to contact an expert – such as your local crop protection dealer or university Extension specialist – for information on possible carryover concerns.”
Wilson says weeds may be more prevalent next year due to less-than-ideal weed control during the dry weather. He recommends checking fields for an inventory of which weeds are growing.
“You’ll probably not find new weeds in your field, just a shift in populations,” he says. “You may find that some large seeded weeds that can germinate from deeper in the soil may be more common. You may want to consider a broad spectrum herbicide to cover both broadleaf weeds and grasses. Be on the lookout for glyphosate-resistant weeds that you may have noticed earlier in the season and plan your weed control program accordingly for 2013.”
A new insect for some corn growers – the Japanese beetle – is moving westward. The beetle is usually not a significant problem in normal years, but can be devastating in tough years with weakened plants. Wilson suggests putting the Japanese beetle on the list of insects to scout for in 2013.
“Corn rootworm is a bigger problem if we have a dry, warm winter, followed by dry conditions,” he says. “In wet years, microbes that attack rootworms are more prevalent, hence the growing problem in dry conditions.
“Of course, one way to manage rootworm is through crop rotation – from corn to soybeans. Growers may also want to consider a new mode of action in corn rootworm resistant traits, especially if they’ve used the same one for several years. Corn rootworm insecticide treatments are also something to consider.
Wilson says that soil insects may be more prevalent in 2013 and may escalate if dry, warm conditions continue. Growers should ask their seed professional about seed treatment programs that can help protect their seed investments against these soil pests.
“While 2012 was an extreme year for most, it may all change next season,” says Wilson. “Plan for next year by looking beyond the past season as a guide and be conscious of what can impact the crop in a post-drought year. We can’t predict the weather, but we can prepare as best we can for the coming season.”