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No soybean rust this year, but other pests on horizon
By VICKI JOHNSON
Ohio Correspondent

CUSTAR, Ohio — No soybean rust is predicted for this year, but there are plenty of other pests and diseases to watch for in field crops.

About 90 Northwest Ohio farmers learned about the latest research on controlling insects and diseases, as well as using Glyphosate July 18 during Field Crops Day at the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center’s Northwest Agricultural Research Station.

Ann Dorrance, a plant pathologist with Ohio State University Extension and OARDC, reported one of 37 sentinel plots designed to spot the first signs of rust.

“The whole sentinel plot thing wouldn’t have happened without your checkoff dollars,” she said. “USDA didn’t want to do it.

“We’re going to be scouting until there’s a freeze and everything’s dead. We’re trying to get as much information as we can - so when this thing does blow - we know as much information as possible.”

Research results from the plots will be posted on a website for use by all soybean producers.

On the subject of insects, OARDC entomologist Ron Hammond said armyworms are a concern this year. The pest doesn’t overwinter in Ohio, but migrates from the south.

Armyworms may cause problems for farmers using rye as a cover crop.

In corn, Hammond said black cutworms will pose a threat.

“They’re going to be the worst in quite a few years,” he said. Many of the seed treatments designed to reduce the pest haven’t been effective, he said.

These worms also migrate from the south.

“The corn rootworm is an issue right now,” Hammond said. “This is the time to be out there digging to see if you have any root injury.”

Even if there’s no sign of a problem, he said it’s important to check for the effectiveness of the seed treatment used.

Hammond said adult corn rootworms are coming out now and farmers can have adults even if they didn’t have them at the larval stage.

“Even in a transgenic field you still might have a lot of them out there feeding on the silk,” he said.

Corn rootworm also can be found in soybean fields. He recommended placing traps to determine the extent of the problem and to decide whether or not a pesticide is needed.

Hammond said there’s a new pest from the western states called Western bean cutworm making its way east. It’s in Illinois now and has been found in three Ohio counties – Fulton, Van Wert and Shelby. It might become a widespread problem within the next few years.

“They’re something we’re going to hear more of,” he said.

In alfalfa, Hammond said potato leafhoppers are causing a large problem.

“If (an alfalfa field) has a yellow tinge to it you’re already past the time you should have treated,” he said.

In soybeans, Hammond predicts bean leaf beetle will be causing problems this year. “We need to do a better job of paying attention to the bean leaf beetle,” he said.

He said aphids won’t be a problem this year and there won’t be huge numbers of Asian lady beetles this fall either.

During his presentation, Mark Loux, weed specialist with OARDC and OSU Extension, said he’s been researching optimal Glyphosate application rates on multiple crops. Glyphosate is the primary ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup.

“We’re starting to see more performance issues with Glyphosate,” he said.

A few weeds – among them lambsquarters and giant ragweed - have shown resistance to the herbicide.

One key is to spray weeds when they’re small because it takes less herbicide and it’s more effective.

“I think we’re going to start seeing some more resistance in giant ragweed,” Loux said. Although it might look like it’s dead, he said the weed tends to regenerate.

Loux sees 80 percent of farmers going to a continuous Roundup Ready crop rotation within a few years.

He recommended a burn-down with 2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D), followed by a pre-emergence herbicide and Glyphosate. “Corn is especially susceptible to early-season wee competition,” he said.

One of OARDC’s 11 outlying agricultural research stations, the 247-acre Northwest facility is in Wood County northeast of Hoytville.

7/26/2006