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Posted 4 May 2017. PMN Crop News.


Scouting for Pests in Iowa Cover Crops


Source: Iowa State University Extension Article. crops.extension.iastate.edu


By Erin Hodgson, Integrated Crop Management News, and Iowa State University Extension and Outreach


 

Ames, Iowa (April 24, 2017)--Landscape diversification, including the use of cover crops, can provide habitat and forage for beneficial insects. This is especially true in the spring when there is a lack of food. Alternatively, cover crops can also support field crop pests, including moths, beetles, flies and slugs. The early spring vegetation, sometimes called a “green bridge,” provides resources until the row crops emerge. In the past, several green bridge pests have become common in Iowa.

True armyworm

Biology: widespread U.S. pest that migrates to Iowa annually; 2-3 generations each summer; females attracted to grass and lay egg masses in aggregated areas.

Injury: caterpillars are mobile and nocturnal; young caterpillars skeletonize leaves but leave the midrib behind; older caterpillars can consume leaves; VE-V5 corn and V(n) soybean is most susceptible; significant stand loss is possible.


   

Black cutworm

Biology: widespread U.S. pest that migrates to Iowa annually; 2-3 generations each summer; females attracted to green vegetation lay eggs randomly.

Injury: caterpillars are mobile and nocturnal; caterpillars defoliate leaves and tunnel in plant, and are capable of cutting seedlings at soil; VE-V7 corn and V(n) soybean is most susceptible; significant stand loss is possible.


   

Common stalk borer

Biology: widespread U.S. pest that overwinters in Iowa; 1 generation each summer; females randomly lay eggs along ditches in fall.

Injury: caterpillars are mobile; young caterpillars infest grass and older caterpillars infest corn, soybean and ragweed; V5-V10 corn and V(n) soybean is most susceptible; significant stand loss is possible but aggregated at field edges.


   

How to scout for pests in cover crops

• Walk through fields and note defoliated, clipped or shredded leaves; and dying, dead or missing plants

• Look for frass pellets and webbing in and around plants

• Dig around plants, move debris, pull plants, spilt stalks and look in soil crevices


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Find the most current information related to crops, soils, nutrient management, water quality, grain quality issues available at Integrated Crop Management. Subscribe to ICM News articles and ICM Blog to receive notification when new articles are published at http://crops.extension.iastate.edu/cropnews.


Contact:
Erin Hodgson
515-294-2847
ewh@iastate.edu