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Agronomy Talk


Scouting Fields for Stressors

Published on Wednesday, June 22, 2016

As crops reach their reproductive stages, it is important to know what stressors may be lurking in your field. Diligent scouting is critical to maintaining high yield at harvest. It can be difficult and sometimes time consuming, but the commitment can have a great impact on your bottom line.

Remember these key steps to ensure your collecting good information. Making 5 to 10 stops across an entire field can tell a great story about what is happening out there. When making the decision on where to look, go to areas that are representative of the whole field. Avoid 'hot spots’ such as areas with limited air movement and high humidity. Examine 20 to 30 plants per stop. Look for common diseases or insects on each plant and record a count of plants with disease or total number of insects per plant. This is also a good time to scout for late season weeds.

These observations can then be used to make decisions on whether or not management is required, or if an issue has been found and should continue to be watched. Overall, proper and timely scouting can help ensure that pests or deficiencies do not get out of hand, and can be controlled with little to no impact on yield.

Author: Wade Kent