Eric Ifft

Are Spider Mites Our Next 2019 Challenge?

Because of the dry weather pattern we are in, there has been some conversation across the countryside about two-spotted spider mites becoming our next challenge in this crazy 2019 growing season. Before we dive too far into this discussion, let’s spend a minute understanding this pest. Two-spotted spider mites don’t just “appear” in hot, dry weather. There are always some spider mites in the environment, however, under our normal weather conditions the population of spider mites is kept in check by natural enemies that are either pathogens, insects or other mites. To the right is an image of spider [...]

By |August 13, 2019|

Managing Japanese Beetles

It appears that 2019 could be a very heavy Japanese Beetle year. To prepare for dealing with this pest, below is some information on managing Japanese Beetles in both corn and soybeans: Soybeans: Now that most of our soybeans are flowering, we should scout them for percent (%) defoliation. To determine if an insecticide application is needed, estimate the percent defoliation on randomly selected leaves in at least five different areas of the field. Here is an illustration that can help in determining % defoliation: An insecticide application should be considered if: 1. Fifteen percent defoliation during flowering (or [...]

By |July 19, 2019|

Delayed Planting and Soybean Weed Control

Every year growers battle weeds in soybeans. We spend most of the winter making crop plans, including weed control, then Mother Nature decides to give us a wet spring. Here are some thoughts around controlling weeds in soybeans in a delayed spring: Winter Annuals – Any field that did not receive a tillage pass in the fall will have some pressure from winter annual weeds like henbit, chickweed and marestail. These weeds germinate in the fall and then finish their life cycle in early spring. The best means of control for winter annuals is a planned herbicide program in [...]

By |May 24, 2019|

My “Never See a Weed” Philosophy for Soybeans

In the past, it was common to use herbicides that do NOT provide residual control for controlling weeds in soybeans. With the most popular herbicides we had at that time, we could let weeds grow and then control them with multiple herbicide passes. Today, with herbicide resistant waterhemp, I would suggest that we cannot allow waterhemp to even emerge from the ground because we cannot rely on those herbicide sites of action anymore. Therefore, I am promoting a “never see a weed in your field” philosophy of weed control in soybeans. Here is my definition of this philosophy: “Using [...]

By |April 23, 2019|

Winter Annual Pressure Starts in Fall

If you are a no-till or strip-till grower you probably have experience dealing with winter annual weeds like chickweed and henbit. Winter annual weeds germinate in the fall and then finish their life cycle by flowering and making seed in early spring. The springs of 2016 and 2017 were bad years for winter annuals in Central Illinois. Remember all the “purple henbit fields” in late February and early March? We typically don’t see winter annual pressure in fields that are tilled in the fall, UNLESS that tillage takes place very early in the fall. If you made a tillage [...]

By |November 6, 2018|

Liberty Application Procedures

The number of acres planted to LibertyLink® soybeans has grown significantly in 2018 and I want to thank all of you who plant LibertyLink beans as an alternative to traditional glyphosate beans. Here is a list Bayer uses to help growers be successful with Liberty herbicide application technology. Start clean, prior to Liberty application, with a burndown herbicide or tillage (vertical tillage tools not recommended). Apply full labeled rates of a soil residual herbicide with 2 effective modes of action targeting problem weeds approximately 1 week before planting, or as close to planting time as possible. Liberty may be [...]

By |June 19, 2018|

Early Soybean Scouting

ILeVO Halo Effect The Halo effect is associated with ILeVO-treated soybean seed. Regardless of the halo severity on early leaves, stand is not affected, the plants will recover, and the crop will be protected against early SCN and SDS. Show in Image 1, the ILeVO Halo Effect is a discoloration of the outside edges of the cotyledons. We have seen this every year since ILeVO was launched, so most growers are familiar with it. However, this year the first planted ILeVO treated soybeans to emerge had little to no halo effect. Then as the planting season progressed, the halo [...]

By |May 21, 2018|

Spring Pre-emergence Herbicide Applications

Is it time to apply my pre-emergence herbicide? The short answer is, “Yes.” It’s after April 16, so as the weather straightens out, we are at calendar time to begin applying pre-emergence herbicides. Your crop protection retailer is the best source of information about your pre-emergence chemistry, but here are a few things you may want to consider. What rate should I run?  Most pre-emergence herbicides have a rate range on the label, so how do you choose what rate you run? Remember, the reason we run a pre-emergence herbicide pass is to keep your field clean of weeds [...]

By |April 28, 2018|

Facts about Nematodes

Nematodes are a fact of life whether you grow corn or soybeans or other crops. Today, in my opinion, nematodes are one agronomic issue growers don't know enough about. Did you know that 4 out of 5 creatures on planet earth are nematodes? Here are some other interesting facts about nematodes. What are nematodes? Nematodes are tiny, colorless, threadlike, unsegmented roundworms but aren’t related to earthworms. Some types of nematodes like hookworms, roundworms, and pinworms attack man as well as animals. There are several dozen species that attack plant roots, as well as a few that injure stems and [...]

By |March 9, 2018|

Reconsidering Surfactants

Are you adding additional surfactant to your herbicide package? Glyphosate is a herbicide that comes fully loaded with an adjuvant package. Because we have had so many acres treated with glyphosate alone over the last 15 years, I believe we may have forgotten the importance of adjuvants in the tank for maximizing herbicide performance. I would challenge you to talk with your crop protection retailer and make sure you know EXACTLY which adjuvant is the best one for the herbicides you are using in 2018. And ask what the difference is between NIS, MSO, COC or an HSOC. Not [...]

By |March 2, 2018|
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