Winter weather may not knock out insects and disease
Dolezal recommends rotating with non-host crops to break disease cycles. He also asserts that the best defense is to get corn and soybeans up and out of the ground quickly.
“Planting too early gives the advantage to soil organisms,” he says. “Good weather at planting sets up good emergence, so growers should plant when the soil is warming and the weather outlook is good. This hastens faster early growth, moving plants away from the soil surface and debris that harbors many foliar pathogens.”
Dolezal also advises growers to scout early so there is still time for foliar fungicide applications to address some disease problems, and to plan for disease-resistance packages in their seed selection for next year. During scouting, growers should look for seedling blight, gray leaf spot, leaf blight, and Goss’s bacterial wilt.
Even after a long, hard winter, growers can’t let their guard down when it comes to the battle against insects and disease.
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