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    Iowa Field Reports: Planting Wraps Up, Focus Shifts to Herbicides, Sidedressing

    Sidedressing Corn. Photo: Case-IH

    With planting wrapping up across the state, the attention is focusing to taking the first cutting of alfalfa, herbicide applications, and starting sidedressing nitrogen in corn. Read on to hear what ISU Extension Field Agronomist’s are hearing and seeing across the state.

    Northwest Iowa

    Joel DeJong (Region 1): “Rainfall this past weekend along the western edge of my region totaled less than an inch, with some areas receiving less than half an inch for the week. As you move east, most received an inch or more – with some neighborhoods over 2 inches.

    “A lot of corn in in the V3 stage, and the corn hit by frost a little over a week ago appears to be recovering well. Some fields really need a window of opportunity for herbicide application. Most soybeans are emerged at this time. The first alfalfa harvest has just barely begun, with Plymouth County RFV averages (25 inch alfalfa, bud stage) at 176 as it stands. See “Estimate First Crop Pre-Harvest Alfalfa Quality in the Field Using PEAQ.”

    “Although alfalfa weevils were not noticeable last week, they have really risen in numbers and amount of damage in a couple of the fields I walked today. Scouting hints can be found here. Also, watch for regrowth after cutting. In NW Iowa, the most common issue we observe from these larvae is prevention of rapid regrowth of that second crop.”

    Gentry Sorenson (Region 2): “Corn in my region is at the V1 to V2 stage with soybeans at the VE to VC stage.  Rainfall totals on the Iowa Mesonet for the week showed rainfall at around 2 inches for Storm Lake and Spencer and less rainfall when moving east in the region. This spring black cutworm moths were trapped in the Iowa moth trapping network to help estimate when cutting for black cutworm will begin.

    “Estimated first dates of cutting for black cutworm started a few days ago on the May 26 and the 29 for this region. I would encourage growers to scout for black cutworms in addition to checking fields for emergence and for weed pressure. Waterhemp has been observed emerging in some fields.

    “Scouting during the next few days will be beneficial to developing a plan for the coming week after fields dry. Phone calls this week were about insect identification and weed identification.”

    North Central Iowa

    Angie Rieck-Hinz (Region 3): “Although there are still soybeans to be planted, the area received some much-needed rain the week of May 24, with rainfall reports from 0.99 inches at Northwood to over 3 inches at Hampton. The rain helped to soften the soil crust to aid in emergence and close the furrows in some corn fields that were planted when conditions were still too wet. Hopefully this helps to alleviate some of the issues caused by those open furrows.

    “Corn is VE to V3 and soybeans are VE to V2 across the area. On Memorial Day, May 30, there were high winds and really intense rain in a stretch from Stratford to Blairsburg that caused some crop damage.

    “There was no hail reported, but the sustained winds, blowing soil and intense rain tattered corn leaves and sheared off soybeans plus caused significant structural damage.”

    Northeast Iowa

    Josh Michel (Region 5): “Slightly cooler than normal temperatures and a few consistent days of dry weather allowed farmers to finish up planting and begin alfalfa first crop harvest in many areas. Over the past week, most of region received 1.0 to 1.5 inches of precipitation, while some areas in Allamakee and Winneshiek counties received up to 2.0 inches of precipitation.

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    “An estimated 90% of the corn has been planted. Of that, approximately 65% has emerged, with the earliest planted corn already staged at V3. Seventy percent of the soybeans have been planted and approximately 40% have emerged. The earliest planted soybeans are around V2. An estimated 90% of the oats have emerged, with reports of early plantings already starting to head out in some isolated areas.

    “Alfalfa first harvest cuttings are continuing throughout most of the region. Reports overall have been of good to excellent quality, with normal to slightly less than normal tonnage. Alfalfa weevil larvae continue to be seen in almost all fields that are being scouted. Pastures are looking great as the temperatures and rainfall have supported terrific cool season grass growth.

    “Recent field calls and questions have consisted mainly of weed identification and management, small grains and forage management, and a few questions about corn and soybean stand assessments.”

    Central Iowa

    Meaghan Anderson (Region 7): “Most of central Iowa received between 0.5-2” rainfall in the last week, with parts of Jasper, Marshall, and Tama counties coming up a bit shorter than the rest of my area. With the exception of Jasper and Tama counties, the rest of my area is running at or above normal rainfall for the last 90 days, though only in the 100-150% of normal range.

    “With planting nearly wrapped up in central Iowa, farmers are turning their thoughts to scouting crops for stand assessment and other issues like weeds, insect and disease pests, and abiotic issues like herbicide injury or planter problems. While crusting has been a definite issue this spring, many fields look to have very consistent stands of corn and soybeans.

    “I received my first report of true armyworm in a soybean field in Marshall County today (6/1). Phone calls in the last week have been about POST herbicide plans, planting depth concerns, alfalfa stand issues, and general weed ID/management.”

    East Central, Southeast, and South Central Iowa:

    Rebecca Vittetoe (Region 8): “Over the last week, EC Iowa saw anywhere from about 0.3 to over 2 inches of rainfall. For the most part, planting has wrapped up. Corn is mainly in the V2 to V4 stages and soybeans in the VE to V1 stages. Overall stands look pretty good. Some of the more common stand issues have involved the earlier planted crops and issues with uneven planting depth, crusting and herbicide injury.

    “Just today (6/1), I did get my first report of black cutworms from Johnson County. Be sure to keep your eyes out for both cutworms and armyworms. Other insect pests have included bean leaf beetles in soybeans and in alfalfa aphids and alfalfa weevil larave. Field activities over the past week have included taking the first cutting of hay, herbicide applications, and sidedressing corn.

    “Common questions this past week included herbicide application considerations, stand assessments, insects (aphids or alfalfa weevil larvae) in alfalfa, and weed ID.”

    Virgil Schmitt (Region 9): “Rainfall last eight days in the counties I cover was 0.5 inch to 2.5 inches, with the preponderance of locations receiving in excess of 1.5 inches. In general, temperatures during the last eight days in the counties I cover were normal to two degrees below normal. I estimate that over 90% of both corn and soybeans are planted as of Tuesday morning.

    “Most corn is V2-V3 and looks excellent. I have seen minor cutting from black cutworms. Most soybeans are at VE-VC and also look excellent. However, there are a few fields where emergence is less than ideal due to variable soil moisture in the seed planting zone or crusting. Alfalfa harvest has begun.

    “Most alfalfa is in early bloom, with my southern counties being more advanced and my northern counties being less advanced. Cereal rye is heading out in my southern counties. I saw my first June bug on Saturday. Calls last week mostly involved weed management and prospects for late planted forages.”




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