Derek's Notes

European Corn Borer

European Corn Borer

After scouting fields over the last few days I have found larvae and shot holes in leaves.  Most activity has been found high in the plant and on the tassel.  Tassels are beginning to push up so this is a opportune time for scouting and if needed, insecticide application.  So far I haven’t seen anything close to application threshold.

Check out this info sheet on ECB. Take note in MB there is generally only one generation.


When scouting for ECB scout earliest planted fields first. In each field check in 5-10 locations (10 plants in each location) for egg masses and young larvae. The masses are generally found on underside of leaf, leaf midrib, or leaf axil (leaf attaches to stalk). Pull open the whorl to check for larvae feeding. If no masses or larvae are found continue to check every 5-7 days for the next 2 weeks.

Here is a video on scouting for ECB.

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Other things to what for are shot holes in the leaves.

Early-stage larvae feed on developing leaves inside the corn whorl.  When the leaves emerge a series of small, repeating holes or long, narrow strips are indications that European corn borers may have caused the injury.


More pictures of ECB signs

Shot Holes  ecbeggs injury-shotholes-whorl-2-23   Corn Borer 2 imagesCALUWG8DCorn BorerecbtasselecbimagesCA7PIMN6ecbinstalk ecbincob

Last year we saw some ECB damage and combined with hot dry fall stalk breakage was a concern. Picture of a ECB damaged field at harvest.


As you can see there maybe harvest complications and yield losses especially if the stalk breaks below the cob and/or we have a big wind event. ECB may reduce yield by restricting nutrient flow with in the plant as well.

Here is an economic threshold calculator to help determine if you should spray or not.



Once the ECB has bored into the stalk control is difficult one product that has great potential is Coragen which is systemic and will not kill beneficial insects such as bees.

If you have any questions please call or text me.

Also be sure to leave comments about the blog and possible topics you want me to discuss, Thanks Derek


Chicago and Snuffy the Seal

Hello Everyone!

I hope you and your crops are doing well! I’m just heading out to see the growth of crops in the area since I last checked a week ago but wanted to send you a quick update.

Erin, the Kids and I just got back from a quick trip to Chicago. We drove through North Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Illinois.

The crops in North Dakota were average at best, and further behind ours. In Minnesota the corn and soybeans looked good, but no further ahead than ours. In Wisconsin and Illinois the crops looked really good and we did see some corn fields that had started to tassel. I did not see anyone harvesting their winter wheat. Keep in mind this was all just from the interstate.

I hear we missed some warm weather here. It was pretty hot and humid on our trip. Last night in Minneapolis the temp never got below 90 degrees F. As much as I wanted to go on a bit of a crop tour in different areas, I’m sure you can imagine mine and Erin’s desire to not prolong the time spent in a car with two young kids. That being said the girls did very well on the trip (God bless the inventor of portable DVD players). It is amazing how much we got done in just 6 days.

While we were gone we heard a very touching story about a seal. I have attached a very short video, have a quick look. I haven’t had a chance to watch it so hope it turns out ok!

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Spraying Soybeans and Flying Turkeys

I have gotten some calls the past few days about spraying glyphosate on flowering soybeans. The label states that soybeans can be sprayed through flowering. This can be a bit confusing as a soybean plant will flower while pods are being developed. The R1 stage is emergence of first flower, R2 stage is full bloom and R3 stage is beginning pod but the plant will continue to add flowers as pods begin to form. Glyphosate should be applied only up to R2 stage and not after. Also look at the days to harvest restrictions on the label as well. I would also recommend using the rate suggested for weed control of target weeds. In other words do not spray high rates just because glyphosate is cheap, also in later applications of glyphosate the different surfactants may have an adverse effect on the flowers so I would use higher end product like Touchdown or Transorb. Soybeans have to use energy to metabolize the chemical and if they are under stress spraying could put them under more stress. I have included a sheet about soybean growth stages so you can compare to your crops.


If you are thinking about using a fungicide on your soybeans this year such as Headline or Acapela we are certainly getting close to the proper timing for these products. Check with the reps with these respective companies for their staging recommendations. Generally for Headline is early pod and Acapela is R1-R3 stage.

We were having a discussion in the shop the other day about old T.V. shows and WKRP in Cincinnati came up and I recalled my favorite episode of the show and found a clip of it on youtube here it is.

It’s a classic!





Quick Notes

Hey, I have been out looking at some fields the last few days and had a few observations. Canola seems to be handling the heat ok, time will tell I guess how well. However it is blooming a little longer than I expected so there is hope.


Field of 46H75 on Highway 2 looks awesome, I have been waiting for Pioneer Hi-Bred to knock one out of the park with our Clearfield varieties and this one looks like a Babe Ruth Moon shot. Keep this one in the mind for next year.

Soybeans are really taking off with this heat and starting to green up, on some early planted fields the plants are starting to flower already. One thing that is always a problem is field trash and boy is it ever showing up this year. The cool spring and heavy trash sure kept soil temp in those fields lower longer. Plant stands counts are lower, plants are at least a trifoliate behind and nodulation is poorer in fields that have lots of trash. Here is a picture of one of my fields that had a small area of heavy trash compared to the rest of the field.

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Difference is dramatic, this area did not have any water stress either. You can see the difference in growth stage and population. I am seeing some plant stand issues on fields that were rolled not sure what the problem is but I am guessing the fields were rolled when soil was a bit on the wet side or after the fields were rolled we got a big rain which compacted the soils making it tougher for the beans to push through.  Managing straw in the fall has always been challenging and we are always afraid of or do not have enough time in spring for tillage. However, going forward if in the fall we can not get our heavy trash fields blacker and the spring allows us to do some pre-plant light tillage, I think we should at least consider it especially now that there are more disc drills and planters being used to sow soybeans. These planting tools while do an excellent job in seed placement do not to any soil disturbing to warm that soil up.

What a difference a couple of weeks makes for corn. Corn jumped from being knee-high or just above by the first of July to now waist or even chest high in some fields. I was in some corn today that was over my head (insert your own joke about my vertically challenged stature) and the tassel was ready to emerge, Amazing! I pointed this out last year but it is even more obvious this year how critical it is to have all your fertilizer down before V6 stage, the plant can grow a tremendous amount in a short period of time and is already determining cob size by V8 and any lack of nutrients can reduce yield drastically. Also to stay on top of spraying during this time it could be literally a day or two and its past the recommended spraying stage (V8) and the rows have closed in.

Cartier-20130708-00557 (2)

Picture of the Chuckster in one of Fossay’s P7443R fields taken July 8th!

So those are just some of the observations I have seen the past few days, sorry was not exactly quick notes but hope they were a bit interesting.

Also, I have to wish my incredible wife, Erin, who 13 years ago today said “I do” to me (and in front of God I keep reminding her) Happy Anniversary! I’m sure there have been many days when she has said “What the hell did I do” and I kinda doubt loading out soybean seed at 6 AM or calculating how many acres an 80,000 kernel bag of corn will do at 30,000 plants/ac, was on her what should I do with my life list while growing up, but she does it as if it was.  You are amazing!


Canola to spray or not to spray

I have been getting a few calls about spraying fungicide on canola. Some are thinking with hot dry weather this week maybe spraying is not needed. I think that because of the rains we have had in the previous couple weeks and the high humidity we have had recently that there will be some sclerotinia disease pressure and should warrant a fungicide application. If you have later seeded canola and is not ready to be sprayed for a week or so and the weather continues hot and dry then maybe a fungicide application should be re-evauleaded. I also talked to an expert in this area and he made some really good points as well, if your canola crop has the potential for a very good yield and price of canola is north of $10/bus it probably warrants getting the added protection because you are not necessarily spraying for current conditions but what will be happening for the next couple of weeks, which we all can agree is really hard to predict.
Below is a risk assessment card from the Canola Council fill it out and it should help make your decision.


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