Farmers Weigh in On Top Pressures from June, Pests and Diseases to Weeds and Drought

FBN Network

Jun 25, 2018

Following what turned out to be a wild sprint at planting, many farmers are now in a steady rhythm of fieldwork—scouting and spraying are fully underway. So we asked farmers what pressures they are facing so far this crop year, and how those pressures compare to last year. 

Top Concerns for June 2018

Here’s a breakdown of top concerns and pressures by state for June, and looking even more closely at the aggregated responses, here’s where, and what, FBN network farmers are telling us they are most concerned about this month.

Responses were contributed by FBN network farmers on June 7, 2018.

Weeds, like pigweed, waterhemp and kochia, as well weed resistance, are top of mind this month, as are drought concerns, followed by ascochyta, cutworm, spider mites, southern rust and giant ragweed.

So, how do these concerns and pressures compare to June of last year?

Comparatively, here’s how farmers weighed in during our FBN pest poll from June 2017.

Top Concerns from June 2017

Nationally, farmer concerns from June 2017 were also primarily about weed pressures for most farmers, though farmers are experiencing and anticipating slightly different pressures between this year and last.

FBN network farmers weigh in on June 2, 2017 that their top concerns were waterhemp, pigweed, kochia and marestail, followed by ragweed, cutworm and zebra chip.

Here’s how those break down for top concern by state this time last year.  

Here’s that breakdown from 2017 by percentage of responses.

Last year, as with most years, field pressures evolved from June to August, and here’s how farmers in the FBN network reported that evolution, and their concerns about them.

Top Concerns from August 2017

Aphids were the top concern for farmers in northern Iowa, Minnesota and North Dakota, while Southern Rust from as far west as central Nebraska to eastern Indiana and central Ohio.  

What can farmers do to get ahead of this year’s pressures?

According to Farmers Business Network agronomists, last year’s pressures are not necessarily indicative of how conditions will evolve this year.

Here are a few things farmers should keep an eye on in the coming weeks:

  1. Think through what you should be controlling for this year based on your conditions, not what happened last year. So if you worked hard against marestail last year because it was hot and dry, you may need to focus more on pigweed this year, based on your field condition today.

  2. Watch for drought and rainfall numbers to change rapidly; that could indicate if diseases may kick up suddenly.

  3. Keep an eye on Western Bean Cutworm on corn. These moths lay eggs around tassel time in corn, and they like the buddy system, so there could be as many as 30 per corn ear (unlike earworms, which are carnivorous and only have one per plant).

  4. On soybeans, remember that you’re rapidly approaching the R1 growth stage, and cannot apply any herbicides beyond that point or you will be using the product off label. If you’re still seeing weeds in fields, consider an application before you reach R1.

No doubt, farmers will be keeping a close eye on pest, disease, weed and drought pressures on their farms as fieldwork continues during the next two months. And we’ll share more aggregated data that shows trends related to how and where farmers are reporting that their pressures are changing. If you feel that a chemical application is in order, we've developed a handy guide to help you get the most out of your chemical applications

FBN Network

Jun 25, 2018