UNL has been tracking an unusual insect pest the past couple of years in northeast Nebraska that may be a potential concern to farmers growing corn after rye or other grass cover crops. A number of producers and crop scouts have reported stunted corn plants at V1 to V2 with brown flagging in their fields due to the wheat stem maggot (WSM), a species of Chloropid fly. These are small flies that are typically about 1/8 inch long with black and yellow markings. The wheat stem maggot overwinters in the stem of its host plants as a larva and emerges in May to begin feeding.
Wet soils in alfalfa fields right after cutting can lead to quick growth of weedy grasses like foxtail and crabgrass, particularly in a thin alfalfa stand. Ensuring a thick stand with good fertility and select herbicides can help you keep grasses under control.
A UNL Wheat and Field Peas Plot Tour will be Wednesday, June 15, from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. MT at the Henry J. Stumpf International Wheat Center, 76029 Rd 329, Gran. The morning program will include featured presentations on wheat and field peas and a wheat plot tour; the field peas plot tour is scheduled in the afternoon. Register by June 13.
Improving soil health through continuous no-till cropping systems will be the focus of two field days this June -- June 21 at Winside and June 23 at Alliance. The events include field tours and presentations in the morning, lunch, and afternoon programs inside.