Aug 31, 2020
With weed and disease control generally being completed on most fields, growers have an excellent opportunity to do some “Crop CSI”. Field observations made at this time of year can help uncover any problems and direct future improvements to crop production strategies. Some of the key areas to pay attention to include:
- Stand Establishment: Are your crops even and uniform? If not, perhaps adjustment to seeding equipment may be required. Possibly seed quality or not using a seed treatment is the issue.
- Fertility: Are there yellowy streaks or areas of poor crop development? Fertilizer application or rates may be in question. Be sure to check for good nodulation in soybeans.
- Weed Control: Have all herbicides performed well or are there escapes? Do the escapes occur in patterns i.e. suggesting problems in application. Get the escaping weeds identified, so that a better herbicide option can be used. Check suspicious patches for development of weed resistance and make arrangements for seed collection to do a resistance test. Make note of potential weeds that should be looked after in a pre-harvest application. Keep fall timing in mind for post-harvest herbicides such as PrePass, Avadex, and Edge.
- Disease Control: Compare sprayed areas with any checks to verify level of control. You may be able to detect fusarium head blight or sclerotinia symptoms especially in a bad disease year. Be sure to check plant roots in suspicious areas for presence of root rots or clubroot.
- Insect Scouting: Summer months can bring unwanted guests to your fields such as Bertha armyworm, diamond-back moths, and lygus bugs in canola. Soybeans may be threatened with aphids or spider mites. Do regular checks to monitor for outbreaks.
- Varietal Performance: Keep notes on plant stature i.e. height, tendency to lodge, podding height. Are there differences in susceptibility to disease? These observations can help guide you with future varietal selection.
Remember to keep good records and notes of your field observations so that you can act upon the issues you have identified. Good luck with your Crop CSI and please contact your local Shur-Gro agronomist for assistance with your investigations!