Ferrie: June Corn Is Taking A Big Hit From Aphids

Boots in the Field Report with Ken Ferrie ( Crop-Tech Consulting )

Farm Journal Field Agronomist Ken Ferrie got a bird’s-eye view from a plane this week as he flew over central Illinois fields to evaluate corn and soybean crops and their progress.

In the Blue Mound area, Macon County, he says many fields continue to exhibit considerable nitrogen deficiency.

He also identified one field with brown, scalded areas—classic signs of Goss’s bacterial wilt and leaf blight.

Ferrie advises farmers who do have Goss’s wilt in fields this year to start considering what they’re going to plant in that field next year. There is no product on the market to prevent or control Goss’s wilt. Instead, management should center around crop rotation, tillage practices and weed management. Corteva recommends rotating out of corn for two or more years as that allows infected residue to degrade and bacterial populations to diminish before corn is planted again.

 In the Clinton, Ill., area, just east of St. Louis, Ferrie says while corn crops look good in general aphids are a problem, particularly in June-planted corn, and no predators were seen.

Area farmers report they’re seeing small numbers of aphids turn into ‘blow outs’ within three to five days after they’re found. Ferrie notes that the issue isn’t that small numbers of aphids produce larger numbers of the pest. Instead, the issue is that winged aphids continue to fly into those fields of corn that taste good to them, and that quickly builds up population levels.

“Aphids like corn that has a high sugar load,” explains Ferrie, owner of CropTech Consulting near Heyworth, Ill. “You need to spray affected fields and then scout the rest to make sure other fields aren’t also affected.”

In the following video, Agronomist Isaac Ferrie shows farmers where to look for aphids, when to spray and when it is too late to take action. You can watch the two-minute video here: https://vimeo.com/356213829

Along with U.S. crops, Ken Ferrie provides some insights into what he saw this past week while flying through Michigan and parts of Canada. His report includes interviews with a Canadian agronomist who discusses late-planted crops and what farmers there describe as brown layer—corn that isn’t able to fully mature.

You can get Ferrie’s full report by posting the following link into your browser:

Boots In The Field Report August 26, 2019