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U of Missouri Pest Management Field Day

  • U of Missouri Pest Management Field Day

    One of my favorite days of the year is spent at the University of Missouri’s Bradford Center near Columbia for the center’s pest management field day. This year’s tour, which also features a walking tour of herbicide-resistant waterhemp research, is slated for the center on July 16. . Here’s a roundup of some of the things you may see that were discussed at last year’s field day.

  • Missouri State Weed

    If Missouri had a state weed, it would likely be waterhemp. “Glyphosate -resistant waterhemp is the biggest weed problem we have,” says Kevin Bradley, University of Missouri Extension weeds specialist.

  • Multiple Tools

    There are tools farmers can use to manage it. Preemergence residual herbicides can knock it out early. Use multiple herbicide modes of action.Cultural practices like preventing seed production also are needed. “We have to reduce our waterhemp seed densities,” says Bradley.

  • Cover Crops

    Cover crops are another focus at the Bradford Center. Cereal rye is a particular popular cover crop for Missouri. Tillage radishes can help break compaction, but often don’t survive the winter. Annual ryegrass is another option, but MU researchers caution that the deep-rooted grass can become a weed in the primary crop if not killed 100% prior to planting.

  • Corn Rootworm

    Corn rootworm is a major corn pest. Traits have been a popular way to control them. The result has been great-looking corn like this. However, rootworm that resist traits has surfaced in recent years, mainly in continuous corn in which the same trait has been repeatedly used.

  • Multiple Control Measures Needed

    “This insect is adaptable,” says Bruce Hibbard, a USDA-ARS entomologist stationed at Columbia. It’s adapted to control measures like crop rotation and adult beetle control, too. Your best bet for managing it? Mix up different control options, including crop rotation, soil-applied insecticides, and trait rotation.

  • Sudden Death Syndrome

    Laura Sweets, University of Missouri Extension plant pathologist, discussed plant diseases including Sudden Death Syndrome in soybeans. It’s a yield-robbing disease, but whether it surfaces or not hinges on weather. “It needs high soil moisture early on, and high soil moisture and below-normal temperatures during and after bloom for symptoms to develop,” she says.

Features waterhemp, cover crops, and corn and soybean pests.

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