Early-season pests and insects will be out in full force across much of the corn belt with renewed moisture. But fields aren’t defenseless if farmers plan ahead.
Farm Journal Agronomist Ken Ferrie offers five recommendations farmers can implement to stop yield robbers in their tracks:
1. Place cutworm and armyworm lure now so the moths are attracted to traps instead of your own foliage or cover crops. Farmers who use cover crops are especially susceptible to cutworm damage and would benefit from a program that uses pheromone traps at best and scouting at minimum.
2. Prepare wireworm and grub bait stations. These pests have been on the rise in the Corn Belt over the last five years and have forced farmers into replanting acres.
3. Address flea beetles to avoid Stewart’s wilt. Ferrie is concerned there’s a significant risk due to above-average temperatures this season.
4. Prevent gophers by using tunnels. Now is the time gophers will be mating, so getting numbers under control is critical.
5. Stay mindful of vole numbers. Ferrie says bait stations and bait plows can help manage voles.
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