June 15, 2024

Plan ways to manage pest, disease pressure

A farmer sprays to manage disease and insect pressure.

WEST BROOKLYN, Ill. — Winter is a good time to lay the groundwork for a successful growing season.

Making a plan to manage pests and disease pressure can help farmers be more prepared when problems arise.

Pests such as seed corn maggot, wireworms and white grub can affect stands early in the season. Diseases such as Pythium and Phytophthora can also be troublesome.

“Growing seasons are always unpredictable,” said Crystal Williams, Pioneer field agronomist. “And while I can’t control how much moisture we’ll get in May or June, I can plan for pests and diseases.”

3 Ways To Prepare

1. Understand a field’s pest and disease history. If a particular field has had issues with white mold in soybeans or tar spot in corn in the past, growers should be prepared to select products that are resistant to those diseases.

2. Select a strong portfolio of products. Growers should identify priorities for each field when choosing traits or disease tolerance levels in corn and soybeans and should have a plan to protect their seed investment.

3. Use fungicides, herbicides and insecticides wisely to help ward off pests and diseases during the season.

“I wouldn’t lean on only one method of control for a pest or disease,” Williams said. “Layering an insecticide or pesticide with a traited product can go a long way toward combating field issues.”

Erica Quinlan

Erica Quinlan

Field Editor