Justin McMechan - Crop Protection and Cropping Systems Specialist

Figure 1. Seasonal ecology of wheat stem maggot (Allen 1933) overlaid on 2017 field issues. Arrows indicate likely source of infestation started with adult movement in the spring.
Figure 1. Seasonal ecology of wheat stem maggot (Allen 1933) overlaid on 2017 field issues. Arrows indicate likely source of infestation started with adult movement in the spring.

Wheat Stem Maggot Adult Monitoring: A Pest of Cover Crop-to-Corn Transitions

April 25, 2018
This article looks at wheat stem maggots in cover crops-to-corn transitions, including their biology, risk for damage to early season corn, and what to look for this spring.

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Cover crop field with mixed-species plantings
Later season field of cover crops in southeastern Nebraska. (Photo by Paul Jasa)

Timing of Cover Crop Termination and Related Factors

April 20, 2018
Should the cold spring delay cover crop termination? Growers walk a fine line between growing cover crops long enough to get the biomass they want without reducing yield in the following grain crop. This discussion from an agronomist, entomologist and weed scientist looks at various factors to consider.

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Figure 1. Rye cover crop planted in small sections of field for erosion control. Center photo shows a section of ground where cover crop did not establish with normally developing plants. Damaged corn plants were primarily restricted to areas where cover crop was present.
Figure 1. Rye cover crop planted in small sections of field for erosion control. Center photo shows a section of ground where cover crop did not establish with normally developing plants. Damaged corn plants were primarily restricted to areas where cover crop was present.

Wheat Stem Maggot in Corn: Plan on Scouting Your Cover Crop Fields This Spring

March 8, 2018
Wheat stem maggots were an issue for some eastern and southern Nebraska farmers planting corn directly into a growing cover crop, leading to questions about how to best manage this scenario in 2018. Learn why entomologists don't recommend adding an insecticide to the herbicide when terminating the cover crop.

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Dectes stem borer
Figure 1. Dectes stem borer in soybean (Photos by Kyle Broderick)

Check for Dectes Stem Borer Damage in Soybeans

October 27, 2017
The dectes stem borer has been expanding its range in Nebraska and university entomologists are now receiving damage reports from eastern Nebraska.

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Fall armyworm
Fall armyworm

Which Bt Traits Do You Need to Purchase?

October 12, 2017
When it comes to buying corn seed, avoid investing in GMO insect protection you don't need. This guide looks at available traits and which proteins are effective on which pest species to help growers select the product best suited to their fields.

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Painted lady butterfly by Jim Kalisch

Large Populations of Painted Lady Butterflies

August 8, 2017
Reports of painted lady butterflys have been numerous in rural areas, including in soybeans, causing growers to ask if there's likely to be an increase in their soybean leaf-eating caterpillars. Entomologists discuss this question and the insect's life cycle, and offer a "how-to" on estimating leaf defoliation.

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Stem borer in soybean

Check Soybean Fields for Evidence of Soybean Stem Borer

August 7, 2017
Dropped leaves in soybean fields indicate soybean stem borers are feeding and causing leaf damage. These insects are expanding their range as a pest of soybeans in Nebraska and now can be found in several counties north of I-80.

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Severe wheat streak mosaic
Figure 1. Severe wheat streak mosaic in a grower’s field in Jefferson County on June 1. (Photo by Stephen Wegulo)

Protect Future Wheat Yields: Control the Volunteer Green Bridge

August 2, 2017
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.

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