Nathan Kleczewski

Considerations for insecticides in a post chlorpyrifos world

Chlorpyrifos is an insecticide in the organophosphate (OP) (IRAC-1B) group that has been in use since 1965. To put that in perspective, in 1965 Mike Ditka, Dick Butkus, Doug Atkins, and Gale Sayers were all starters for the Chicago Bears. This insecticide interferes with nerve signaling by preventing the breakdown of acetylcholine, an important neurotransmitter molecule, in insects. Products with this chemistry (e.g., Cobalt, Lorsban, Stallion, numerous others) were used widely in food and grain crops due to the broad-spectrum insecticidal activity and highly translaminar activity of the chemical in plants. Unfortunately, some of the properties that made this [...]

By |December 27, 2021|

Identifying SDS and What Management Practices Pay

Sudden death syndrome (SDS) is a soilborne fungal disease that historically has ranked within the top five most damaging diseases affecting soybeans in the northern United States and Ontario, Canada. In the United States and Canada, Fusarium virguliforme is the organism behind this disease. This fungus overwinters in fields within crop residue as resistant spores, allowing the pathogen to survive for multiple years in the absence of soybeans. Infection of soybean roots by F. virguliforme is favored by cool conditions and wet, saturated soils. Plants that are not killed by initial infections will have their root systems colonized by [...]

By |May 20, 2020|

Phytophthora in Illinois Soybean Production

This article was originally published on the farmdoc daily website. The oomycete Phytophthora sojae, is a soil borne organism which is the predominant cause of Phytophthora root rot in soybeans. Believe it or not, P. sojae is fairly prevalent in Illinois, and under the correct conditions, this disease can result in reduced stands, blighted plants, or reduced productivity due to reduced nodulation resulting from infections. Oomycetes like P. sojae are also known as water molds, and consequently, are favored by wet, saturated soils. Infection typically occurs in poorly drained soils, compacted or low lying areas, no-till production systems, warm [...]

By |February 17, 2020|

What Effect Will Cold Temperatures Have on Pests and Pathogens?

Co-authored by Nathan Kleczeski and Nick Seiter, University of Illinois. Many in the Illinois agricultural community are wondering what effects the recent extreme cold might have on pests and pathogens. While it would be nice if the cold temperatures we are experiencing could help to reduce our potential for pest damage, past experience tells us that the most serious pests we deal with are unlikely to be impacted much by these conditions. Many of the pathogens and insect pests that commonly affect field crops in Illinois are well adapted to survive our winter conditions.  In many cases, pathogens produce [...]

By |February 14, 2019|

Growing Wheat? Keep Fusarium Head Blight on Your Radar!

Fusarium head blight (FHB), or head scab is widely considered to be the most problematic disease impacting wheat production in the United States. In Illinois, the disease is predominantly caused by the fungus, Fusarium graminearum. Symptoms of FHB include infected wheat heads, often partially bleached, and infected kernels which may have an orange/pink color at the base of the spikelet (Figure 1). Figure 1. Wheat heads with bleaching due to FHB (Photo N. Kleczewski left and P. Sylvester right). Kernels may become shriveled and chalky white or pink (Figure 2). These shriveled grains are commonly referred to as tombstones. [...]

By |May 8, 2018|

SCN: The Soybean Nemesis

Greetings! It is great to be serving the agronomic community of Illinois as the Extension Field Crops Plant Pathologist. My role at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) is to help the producers of Illinois address field crop disease issues that impact productivity and profitability through applied research and extension outreach. Prior to my arrival at Illinois, I had served since 2013 as the Delaware and Maryland Extension Field Crop Plant Pathologist. I grew up in Wisconsin, and it is very exciting for me and my family to be back in the Midwest. I started at UIUC in [...]

By |April 6, 2018|
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