Planting into a weedy field may mean more early season insects

Cutworm shown next to a cut cotton plant.Thrips

With all this rain, things have been slow in the field until now.  This may mean that you may be planting in a field that is weedier than you’d like. We all know that weeds cause problems for the crop because they compete for the plant nutrients and light that the crop needs for optimal yields. One thing that is often overlooked is that early season weeds are the food source for early season insects.

Spider Mites

So, if you are planting in to a field that has a lot of green vegetation because the herbicide hasn’t completely killed the weeds, the insects are still there feeding. By the time the crop emerges, the weeds may be dead and the insects move from the dead weeds to a young, vulnerable crop.

Mites, thrips and cutworms are notorious for this – so be on the lookout for them if you are planting into a field with dying weeds. Thrips tend to be more problematic on cotton and beans; mites and cutworms can be a problem for cotton, corn and beans.

If you have problems, don’t forget to use the MU Pest Management Guide for control options and thresholds – it now includes recommendations for cotton and rice.

Categories: Corn, Cotton, Insects, Scouting issues, soybeans

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