I can’t believe that July 4 is here already! Yes, it has been a trying crop season so far, but we have made it to summer. With all the cool wet weather it seems that we didn’t have a spring. But with the heat forecasted for next week it looks like summer is here.
The wheat is starting to come off around the county and there is head scab and possible vomitoxin present in some of the fields. We just finished our wheat head scab surveys last week and it seems like there is head scab across the state. Statewide, some extension educators reported fields with as much as 45 percent effected wheat. We seem to be much better here in Delaware County. The fields I checked ranged between 4 percent and 21 percent, with most of the fields below 10 percent effected wheat heads. However, if you think you might have some wheat scab and vomitioxin, to help prevent dockage, try to harvest grain from scabby fields separately from more healthy fields, and turn up the combine fan to blow out scabby, lightweight grain. Also, have grain for fields with scab tested for vomitoxin before feeding it to livestock since several animals, particularly swine, may have serious health problems if fed grain with high levels of vomitoxin.
The OSU Extension Entomology Field Crop Team, along with Ron Hammond and Andy Michel have been monitoring the Western Bean Cutworm throughout Ohio over the past few weeks. There have been 128 western bean cutworm traps placed all across the state to monitor for flight this year. We are monitoring three traps around Delaware county.
Last week, a few counties reported some catches, with Hardin County being the closest one to us. This follows with observations from other eastern Great Lakes regions who have also caught moths. Most of the corn is very late planted, from V2 –V5, and is at risk for infestation (once corn tassels, it is a less preferred host), according to Hammond.
Even in whorl stage, larvae can burrow through leaves and feed on the developing tassel. As we are likely at least a couple of weeks away, it is not too late to put out traps to monitor the flight near your corn fields to know when to start scouting corn. Scouting for eggs and larvae should begin when adult catches occur on consecutive nights. Inspect 20 plants in five random locations throughout a field. Female moths prefer to lay eggs on the uppermost leaves which are still vertical in orientation, so those leaves should be inspected thoroughly. If western bean cutworm eggs are found, please give me a call.
Rob Leeds is an OSU Extension Educator for Agriculture/NR.