As corn begins to emerge, be alert to the potential for damage from early season insects such as cutworms, wireworms, or white grubs. Wireworms and white grubs are most often associated with fields that have been in pasture or CRP where the grasses were allowed to grow for more than one year. It is rare to see these problems in continuous corn, but exceptions happen. Since wireworms and white grubs feed underground and cutworms feed on or below the soil surface, scout for plant damage and then dig in soil around the plant to identify the insect causing the damage.
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.
Farmers are increasing their soybean plantings for 2017, which likely means some are shifting to soybeans-after-soybeans. This article looks at what you should be considering at planting time as you consider changing your cropping sequence.
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.
The Handy Bt Trait Table for US corn production has been updated for 2017. It includes information on all registered Bt corn hybrids commercially available and summarizes which insects are controlled by which hybrids, which Bt and herbicide tolerance traits are expressed in different hybrids, and the Insect Resistance Management Refuge requirements associated with these hybrids.