Watch for these Corn and Soybeans Pests

“Your record of observations and pictures is what enables you to accomplish things with your plan next season,” Ken Ferrie says. ( Darrell Smith )

It might seem like you just got seed planted and you’re already looking for the next threat. While seed treatment, soil applied products and other advancements in crop protection help protect corn and soybean seedlings, it’s still important to diligently scout for stand loss.

“Scouts need to do a good stand evaluation on these fields, so we don’t have any surprises,” says Ken Ferrie, Farm Journal field agronomist. “On May 22, we saw the first cut off a corn plant from cutworm here and this will ramp up over the next three weeks based on flights—so stay on top of this.”

Cutworms damage looks like someone literally took a pair of scissors and cut the corn plant off at the base. In some cases, it can cause small holes if the plant is bigger. They’re found at the base of plants, above or below the soil and are small, black larvae.

In addition, Ferrie says he’s seeing greater wireworm damage than normal.

“These worms seem to be all the same size in that medium-small range and remember, wireworm take six years to develop into a beetle, which means these guys are going to be around for a while,” he says. “So, when you find heavy pressure of these wireworms, make sure you tag it on your maps.”

Wireworm typically eat a hole through the center of the seed, which might kill the seed altogether. You can use in-furrow insecticide or go to the high end of seed treatment for any replant fields. If plants are up, wireworm go through the heart or the crown of the corn and kill the plant.

In soybeans, bean leaf beetle activity increased this past week and Ferrie expects it to get heavier.

“Keep an eye on emerging beans out there, make sure they’re not feeding on the hypocotyls or the beans won’t emerge. And watch for feeding on the cotyledons,” he says. “We can have quite a bit of feeding on the unifoliates and the first trifoliate but keep an eye on those early beans. Put extra watch on those frozen beans as they’re recovering and don’t need more pressure from bean leaf beetle.”

Read more crops news here:

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