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.
All Wheat Content
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.