Wheat Pete's Word, August 9: Insect invasions, disease dilemmas, and hail on soybeans


On this week’s episode of Wheat Pete’s Word, RealAg Agronomist Peter Johnson talks about the never ending insect invasion that has gone on all of this growing season.

He also talks about all the diseases he’s seeing, and possible management techniques.

And wondering whether to take soybeans as hay or wait for potential yields after the ‘big white combine’ comes through? Peter has some thoughts.

Here’s this week’s Word, and find the summary below:

Your questions/feedback/yield results are needed! Leave Peter a message at 1-888-746-3311, send him a tweet (@wheatpete), or email him at [email protected].

  • We just want to emphasize the importance of sending your feedback in on your yield results and plot data – that’s how we can get the proper information out to the rest of you! For everyone that has sent information – thank you!
  • In Ontario, to grow wheat, we need to add sulphur!
  • The insect invasion! Bean leaf beetle in soybeans, there’s some massive feeding there. Interestingly enough – we expected this to occur. Way back when the neonics as a seed treatment first started we were getting into a lot of bean leaf beetle feeding and we saw that pressure, and we started using neonics seed treatment and that pressure dropped right off. There’s only one generation of bean leaf beetle per year – they overwinter as adults – and lay their eggs. So it’s those eggs that are hatching, and that’s the damage we are seeing right now. When we use neonic seed treatments, the neonics control enough of the overwintering population when they initially fed on that early soybean growth. Enough of them would die that that bean leaf problem essentially went away. We are using far less neonics in Ontario now, that’s the impact of the legislation that’s here. And BOOM, right back into bean leaf beetle issues, and wow the pictures I’ve seen have shown some very significant bean leaf beetle damage. Now I will say, it’s the pod feeding that’s the issue, and it’s really only an issue in either edible beans or IP soybeans. The amount of yield issue that we would get from bean leaf beetle really is pretty rare, but if you have edible beans or IP soybeans where you are really into a quality market – and blemishes on the seed could kick you out of that market – then bean leaf beetle is a big issue, and you better get out there and scout. Control them if they are warranted. If you are just growing crushed soybeans, it’s not as big of a deal.
  • The western bean cutworm – we’ve talked about it lots in corn, but in edible beans it’s almost impossible to scout. And we really equate the number of moths to the amount of issue that we might have in that edible bean crop. There’s a tonne of moths out there. You can’t scout in the edible beans, and we’ve probably almost run out of product spraying for the western bean cutworm on corn. If you’ve had it before, or if you are in one of those hot spot areas, make sure you spray the edibles for western bean cutworm.
  • In diseases… first, white mold. We have white mold just everywhere! We have it in some edible bean fields and we’re starting to see it develop in soybean crops. Meanwhile, growers are seeing white mold now or hearing about it, thinking they should go out and spray for it, but at this point… stop. It really takes two sprays to control white mold if you want to manage it! You need to put the first spray on early. And you need to get it down and into the canopy – it’s too late for that now! Our current white mold products really aren’t that good, so you need to get on it early. They are protectants, not eradicants. They don’t move down in the plant really well. They only tend to move up, and so coverage becomes a problem. The value of fungicides for white mold control greatly diminishes once white mold is visible or the plant is beyond the best stage.
  • Rust in the corn crop – lots of growers are worried about it. And there is some genetic susceptibility, so check with your seed corn supplier. There are a couple varieties that absolutely have poor genetic resistance. And there’s a ton of rust out there. If you have those varieties, you absolutely need to spray. But if you don’t have those varieties, you don’t get much of an economic response.
  • Hailed soybeans in Saskatchewan…do we take them as a hay crop, or could they actually yield? Flag some plants. If you are going to take them for a hay crop, it’s not a big rush to get that job done. Flag some plants and look for some new growth. If you are seeing no new growth, and no development of pods, new trifoliates to take some photosynthate to fill those pods then I think you might as well just harvest them as a hay crop. If you are seeing that new growth, then yes they will come back. You are going to be tight in terms of maturity. But nonetheless I think it’s worth waiting and seeing how they develop and if they won’t actually put up something that will be worth harvesting.

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