Air March 12 - 16, 2007
This is Ag Outlook 2007 on 1420 KJCK, I'm Chuck Otte, Geary County, K-State Research and Extension Ag & Natural Resources Agent. I've really been pleased with the winter this year. Mainly because we had one. I was out in some alfalfa fields late last week and they were just really starting to green up, and that means that alfalfa weevil won't be too far behind. In recent years it hasn't been a case of if we need to spray for alfalfa weevil, but when we have to spray and will we only need to spray once. Part of the problem in recent years has been early season hatch brought on by early warm spells - something that we haven't had this year. But we have seen days above 50 degrees and when that happens, that female adult weevil has been continuing to lay eggs in any old stems that are still around from last year. It looks like we won't have enough warm weather to start getting those first eggs hatched until the end of this week or the weekend. There is growing indication that we need to lower our threshold for treatment of alfalfa weevil. If you are serious about alfalfa production, and given the price of alfalfa I think you need to be, then treatment probably needs to come before you even get to one larvae per stem. BUT, you don't want to just go out and spray early. Wait until you reach that threshold. And then, watch the forecast and don't spray until we are going to have several days with temperatures above 50 degrees. There is no systemic action with these insecticides. The weevil larvae are only active above 50 degrees. If you spray, and the we have a week of cool cloudy weather, the alfalfa puts on new foliage, the larvae don't feed and then you've wasted a spray! This has been Ag Outlook 2007 on the Talk of JC, 1420 KJCK, I'm Chuck Otte.
Chinch Bugs and Army Cutworms
This is Ag Outlook 2007 on 1420 KJCK, I'm Chuck Otte, Geary County, K-State Research and Extension Ag & Natural Resources Agent. I don't think anyone is going to complain about the fact that chinch bug numbers have been quite low in recent years. But there were some indications late in 2006 that chinch bug numbers were building up and it could be an issue this year. Of course, a wet April and May would help, but if you are thinking of planting milo next to wheat, you need to be out walking your wheat fields just as they start to turn yellow. If you can find one chinch bug in every clump of wheat, just one mind you, you're probably going to see problems if milo is planted right next to it. If you are finding those rates, the newer insecticide seed treatments that have become so popular probably won't be giving you enough protection - we may have to consider additional planting time insecticides. Of course, if we see the continuing trend of more and more soybeans, it won't matter as chinch bugs don't really like soybeans. Let's hope we have that wet April and May so we only have to worry about wheat diseases, not chinch bug build ups. Another insect that looked like it might become a problem this spring is army cutworm. If we are going to see problems with this rascal, we can expect to see it in the next couple of weeks. Be on the lookout in alfalfa fields, especially those just planted last fall. Also look in wheat fields. Obviously, these are about the only two crops we've really got going right now. Look for alfalfa field areas that just aren't greening up like the rest of the field, and look for spots in wheat fields that started to green up and then went backwards. If you are seeing anything that looks suspect, call me up right away so we can take a look! This has been Ag Outlook 2007 on the Talk of JC, 1420 KJCK, I'm Chuck Otte.
Crop Disease Forecast
This is Ag Outlook 2007 on 1420 KJCK, I'm Chuck Otte, Geary County, K-State Research and Extension Ag & Natural Resources Agent. With the official start of spring just around the corner, the wheat is starting to green up and the 2007 growing season is getting under way. Let's take a peak into the coming months and look at what we may want to be prepared for in the crop disease arena. As I mentioned several weeks ago, the wheat crop is looking very promising and given the yield potential and price forecast, this could be the year when it pays to do a little fungicide spraying in wheat. IF you have wheat planted notill back into wheat stubble, you could be seeing a lot of tan spot this spring and an early season half rate of Tilt could give your early season wheat growth a boost. But the window you really want to be prepared for is that time between full emergence of the flag leaf and full head emergence. If this yield forecast and weather stay on track, we could be seeing a lot of foliar diseases building up. Stripe rust is already being seen in Texas and western Louisiana, and we all know that stripe rust has been a disease of odd number years. Fortunately though, so far, the levels are below this same time frame in '05 and '03. And just be forewarned, there is a new race of stem rust in Africa that we may well see in the US within the next 4 years. Quickly on soybean rust - it's quite common on kudzu right now in Florida and has also been found around Weslaco Texas already. Late in the season soybean rust came close to Kansas, it was found at Fayetteville, AR. Most of us feel that we've got a 50/50 chance of it showing up in Kansas sometime in 2007. Hopefully, it'll be late enough in the season that it won't matter, but we'll just have to wait and see. This has been Ag Outlook 2007 on the Talk of JC, 1420 KJCK, I'm Chuck Otte.
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