All new concepts come with a learning curve and that includes cover crops.
If you have soybeans which were planted into cover crops this spring, you should scout those fields since a few growers have been forced to replant due to pests.
“Between army worms and – believe it or not – slugs, we lost substantial stand on a couple of fields,” explained Dan Froelich, technical agronomist for Brandt Consolidated.
Froelich suggests doing burndown applications sooner in the season to prevent excess growth of cover crops. Slugs especially like a damp, covered environment.
“We are learning as we go. This is not to say not to do cover crops at all. It’s a management tool we’re going to need to be using when we’re talking about water quality and retaining nitrogen.”
According to Froelich, army worms are easy to kill with a chemical treatment but slugs often require spreading dry bait. The latter option can get expensive.
Corn, soybean update:
When it comes to corn in Brandt’s Central Illinois territory, growers are at least 85 percent done with side dressing and spraying. Froelich says the corn is finally starting the grow faster with the warmer weather upon us. There won’t be a bumper crop everywhere, but some fields look really good.
Most farmers are just getting a good start spraying soybeans. Water hemp is the main thing people are battling currently.
“Make sure to target the weed size. Don’t pay attention to how big the beans are,” added Froelich.