• Aug 03, 2016

Hot, humid weather proves challenging

Corn leaves
Although cool, wet weather plagued the Midwest during the beginning of the season, farmers are now dealing with a different weather threat: unusual heat and humidity. This weather, consistent throughout the region, has caused some problems in corn and soybean fields.
Our agronomists have seen increased fungal disease pressure over the past couple weeks in many corn and soybean fields. Northern corn leaf blight and gray leaf spot are beginning to appear in corn fields in Indiana, Iowa and Ohio. Additionally, psyoderma brown spot and anthracnose have increased pressure in Iowa fields. Soybean farmers in Ohio and South Dakota have noted fungal diseases such as frogeye leaf spot, septoria brown spot and cercospora leaf blight. In fact, the only fields that seem to benefit from recent hot weather are those in Minnesota. Agronomists explain that the heat has quelled moisture stress in soybeans, and could help mitigate white mold. Across the region, agronomists encourage farmers to make fungicide applications where possible.
Recent heat has also prompted a few severe storms, causing hail and wind damage in Iowa and Minnesota.
In general, agronomists encourage farmers to scout heavily for insects, especially silk-clipping insects in corn fields. Aphids and spider mites have been found in soybean fields in Iowa, Michigan and Ohio.
By scouting carefully, farmers can control disease and insect pressure and prevent some of the yield loss spurred by recent weather changes.