Wheat streak mosaic virus (WSMV) problems have been extensive throughout the western Great Plains this year, significantly reducing the yield potential of many fields. A critical key in managing this threat in the next crop is elimination of volunteer wheat. Tillage or chemical weed control should occur at least one month before planting to allow host plants time to dry up and cease being a host.
Timely control of volunteer wheat and other weeds is key to managing yield loss risk in your 2018 crop. Yield-limiting risk factors affected by weed control include wheat streak mosaic and other diseases, insects (wheat stem sawfly and disease vectors), moisture loss, and increased weed seed production.
Scouting is urged for Western bean cutworm in corn as moth flights are active and particularly heavy in south central Nebraska this week. This article includes trapping reports and recommendations for scouting and treatment.
Alfalfa weevils have been reported damaging alfalfa in north central Kansas and western Nebraska. As temperatures warm up, expect to see alfalfa weevil larvae in southern Nebraska and slightly later, in northern Nebraska. Even with the pressure of planting row crops, it is essential that producers growing high quality alfalfa hay make time to monitor fields for weevils now and over the next few weeks. See the article for a table of treatment thresholds for various alfalfa prices.
When it comes to buying corn seed, one way to save money can be to ensure that you don't invest in GMO insect protection traits that you do not need for your particular farm or field. Which corn rootworm, western bean cutworm, or European corn borer traits do you need? This article can help you determine which of the nine types of Bt proteins might best serve your needs.
While the mild fall promoted wheat establishment, it also favored survival of wheat curl mites, the leading vector of several viruses common to Nebraska wheat. While much of the state's wheat crop entered winter in very good condition, growers are urged to scout for viruses this spring and assess yield potential of individual fields when making management decisions.