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Published on Wednesday, October 19, 2016
For many farmers in my region, the 2016 harvest is a welcome change compared to 2015. Challenges always exist in any given year, but thankfully they were minimal and less severe this year than in 2015.
One late season challenge has been the breakdown/failure of the Cry1F protein in controlling western bean cutworm (WBC). This has occurred in northern Indiana as well as in lower Michigan. Evaluation of this occurrence is being studied by entomologists and university experts. Farmers who experienced WBC damage this year with corn after corn will need to implement additional monitoring, scouting and control efforts for the 2017 corn crop. Ear molds, rots and diseases have also been a recent concern. Warm, humid weather during mid-to-late grain fi ll, coupled with periods of free moisture, has enhanced this problem. Where applicable, make sure ear problems will not be damaging when fed to livestock.
Lastly, I encourage rigorous soil testing this fall to maximize fertilizer input dollars. In periods of tight profit margins, we need to be efficient as possible. Soil testing is certainly one piece of the production puzzle that can help maintain profitable opportunities!
Author: Denny Cobb
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