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Wheat

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An empty grain bin full-air floor is plugged by insect webbing.

Stored Grain Pests: Spring Insect and Disease Issues

Grain storage is a key component in getting your crop to market. Aside from watching bins for spoilage, moisture, and temperature changes, make sure you are looking for signs of pest infestation.

A map of South Dakota with yellow and green circles indicating iverson risks at various locations throughout the state.

Use the SD Spray Tool for Inversion Detection and Weather for Pesticide Application

The SD Mesonet Spray Tool provides real-time weather data for pesticide applicators. This dedicated website for pesticide applicators uses the SD Mesonet weather data, which is updated every five minutes.

Map of United States with green areas favored to be wetter than average and tan areas favored to be drier than average.

May 2019 Climate Outlook: April Showers Bring May Showers?

The precipitation outlook for May does not show much promise of relief from moisture, as wetter than average conditions are slightly more favored than drier conditions. In addition, cooler than average temperatures are more likely for the first half of May and could continue for much of the month.

Brown wheat plants that have obvious feeding injury to them due to cutworm caterpillars.

Time to Start Scouting for Cutworms in Winter Wheat

Eventually, South Dakota will warm up. The warmer temperatures will increase insect activity, including pests. For wheat, a couple of early season pests that may already be active are the army cutworm and the pale western cutworm.

a flooded wheat field with some emerging wheat plants.

Wet Feet in Wheat

Given the widespread wet conditions present this spring, there are many areas in winter wheat fields with both ponding and saturated (or waterlogged) soils. Producers may want to consider soil conditions and evaluate extended weather forecasts when deciding whether or not to retain a winter wheat this spring.

A small black bug with tan margins on the wings. This insect is resting on a blade of grass that is green with white spots.

Be on the Lookout for Black Grass Bugs

It’s time to begin scouting pasture and wheat for the presence of black grass bugs. Last year, we saw the highest populations in areas of Central and Southwestern South Dakota. If left untreated, black grass bug populations tend to increase year after year.

: Gray caterpillar with dark markings, white splotches and a white stripe running down the middle of its back.

Monitor Alfalfa for Cutworm Activity

During the spring, there are a lot of insects to scout for in alfalfa. One pest group that should be focused on right now are cutworms. There are a couple of cutworm species that are active earlier in the season than others.

wheat field

Instinct HL and Nitrogen Management Effect on Winter Wheat Yield

Nitrogen (N) additives to control N losses through volatilization, denitrification, and leaching are widely used in the Midwest. Slowing the conversion of nitrogen fertilizers to nitrate may lessen leaching and denitrification losses if precipitation or soil becomes saturated.

a winter wheat field greening up in early spring

Winter Survival and Spring Stand Counts in Winter Wheat

Every winter, growers are curious if their wheat field will survive the winter. Not enough snow cover during the coldest days, spring flooding, and ice injury are the main reasons for plants to die. The only way to get a true assessment of winter survival is to scout the field in the spring.

South Dakota corn late plant date map. View pdf map: https://legacy.rma.usda.gov/fields/mt_rso/2018/final/sdcorn_grain_nonirrigated.pdf  View text in Excel: https://legacy.rma.usda.gov/fields/mt_rso/2018/final/sdcorn_grain_nonirrigatedtext.xlsx

Late Plant Crop Insurance Dates

Crop insurance late plant dates are fast approaching for planting small grains in South Dakota. Late plant dates for corn, soybean, and sunflower are nearing as well. Producers will want to work with their crop insurance agent to explore planting options and reporting of prevent plant areas.