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Wheat Insects – What to Watch for This Spring

  • April 19, 2019

Consider adding some insect scouting to your wheat management routine this spring if you are not doing so already. While damaging insect pest infestations are pretty sporadic in Illinois, missing one can be costly. The first step in managing these infestations is knowing what to look for.
 
Aphids
 
There are several species of aphids that infest wheat in Illinois, and they can be difficult to tell apart without careful examination (the figure captions below provide some tips on how to identify the different species;…

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Grape Colaspis in Corn and Soybean: a Pre-Season Primer

  • April 16, 2019

Grape colaspis is a common insect, but it only occasionally affects corn and soybean production in Illinois. However, 2018 was that rare year where “outbreak” levels of infestation occurred in parts of the state, resulting in stand reductions and, in some cases, replanting of damaged areas. Information can be tough to come by for an occasional pest like this one, but I will summarize what we know and what we should expect going forward.
 
Biology.…

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Feedback sought on Pest Degree Day Calculator Upgrade

  • February 20, 2019


The Illinois Degree Day calculator has been available to Illinois producers since 2004. Hosted by the Illinois Climate Network (ICN), this pest management tool was developed to help aid producers in monitoring insect development throughout the growing season and aid in pest management decisions.
The calculator uses weather data from 19 network stations across Illinois to provide degree day accumulations and forecasts for 30 agricultural and invasive pests based on long-term averages. While this has been a great resource for many years,…

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What effect will cold temperatures have on pests and pathogens?

  • February 10, 2019

Nathan Kleczewski Research assistant Professor and Extension Field Crop Pathologist
Nick Seiter- Research Assistant Professor and Extension Field Crop Entomologist
 
Many in the Illinois agricultural community are wondering what effects the recent extreme cold might have on pests and pathogens. While it would be nice if the cold temperatures we are experiencing could help to reduce our potential for pest damage, past experience tells us that the most serious pests we deal with are unlikely to be impacted much by these conditions.…

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Field Performance of Seed Treatments and Soil Insecticides for Corn Rootworm Control

  • January 29, 2019

Authors: Nick Seiter and Joe Spencer
Producers across east-central Illinois have enjoyed low western corn rootworm pressure for several years, due to a combination of saturating rains during rootworm egg hatch and widespread use of Bt corn hybrids. Following a low point in the rootworm population in 2015, statewide monitoring of corn and soybean fields has documented a slow western corn rootworm population rebound in some areas.  Recent low corn pest abundance (combined with lower commodity prices) provides an opportunity to become reacquainted with rootworm monitoring and non-Bt options for their management.…

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Despite local Bt resistance, growers still have options

  • January 18, 2019

The development of resistance to Bt Cry toxins by the western corn rootworm is a growing concern, highlighted by the recent confirmation of field-evolved resistance to Cry34/35Ab1 in Iowa (https://www.agriculture.com/crops/corn/why-managing-corn-rootworm-just-became-more-complicated). Across the Corn Belt there are western corn rootworm populations with resistance to multiple Bt Cry toxins expressed in Bt corn. In Illinois, Bt resistance can be found in western corn rootworms from both continuous and first-year cornfields; rotation-resistant populations are vulnerable to Bt resistance.…

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Dectes Stem Borer and Lodged Soybeans

  • November 28, 2018

Many soybean growers have had problems with lodging at harvest this year. The primary culprit for this (as for many of our woes this fall) was the extended period of unfavorable weather that we have suffered. However, in parts of southern Illinois damage by the dectes stem borer contributed to this problem.
The adult dectes stem borer (Figure 1) is a “long-horned” beetle that can often be found in soybean and on other plants. The adult female chews a hole into the surface of the plant (usually at the petiole),…

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And the Survey Says…

  • September 17, 2018

 
For those that attended Agronomy Day this past August, the title and above graphic may look familiar. As field and research season winds down, we’re able to finish collecting and summarizing data. One of our biggest summer projects is the annual corn and soybean survey. While some of that information was shared at Agronomy Day, the complete results are summarized below.
As a recap, this survey has been carried out across the state for several years (2011,…

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Soybean Gall Midge: New Pest of Soybean in Nearby States

  • September 4, 2018

Producers in Nebraska, Iowa, and South Dakota have been dealing with gall midges in soybean. This is a fly in the family Cecidomyiidae, which is the same family as the Hessian fly, sorghum midge, and several other agricultural pests. We have not confirmed any infestations of this insect in Illinois at this time; the closest confirmed, damaging infestations that I know of are in western Iowa. However, because so little is known about the biology of this insect,…

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