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Crop advisers reflect on season's highs and lows thus far

Agriculture.com Staff 08/14/2008 @ 9:09am

For crop advisers in the Midwest, it's the time of year when one can hardly pause to knock the mud off the boots before heading to the next field. Meanwhile, the wheels are rolling and the fall harvest rush is in full swing in the South.

It's a busy time of year.

Certified crop advisers (CCAs) and correspondents for the Agriculture Online Crop Tech Tour are tackling myriad tasks in the field right now. It's turning out to be a fairly heavy year for some insect pests in parts of the country, but despite the measures farmers are having to take to control bugs like bean leaf beetles, grasshoppers and soybean aphids -- which have exceeded economic thresholds in many areas -- CCAs are reporting good crop conditions in many areas.

"Diseases and bugs seem to be the buzz words around the area," says Gibbon, Nebraska, CCA and Crop Tech Tour correspondent Robert Pesek. "One grower said his field is 'loaded' with corn rootworm beetles and another grower said he doesn’t see what others are talking about. I have looked at many fields and I have seen much variation in individual fields.

"It is very important to be scouting entire fields and to pay attention to differences in maturity especially in those fields that were damaged by flooding, hail, or other weather headaches. There are many fields with very heavy insect pressure and conditions have been favorable, if not perfect in some areas, for disease development. Scouting correctly is very important," Pesek adds. "Most crops are coming along very nicely and look really good."

For crop advisers in the Midwest, it's the time of year when one can hardly pause to knock the mud off the boots before heading to the next field. Meanwhile, the wheels are rolling and the fall harvest rush is in full swing in the South.

Though insect pressures like these are typical in some areas, it's been weather challenges that will be the major story when the '08 crops are in the bins. Though crop conditions have seemingly bounced back in some areas, in southwest Ohio, Mother Nature continues to throw up brick walls wherever she can.

After such a challenging start to the growing season this spring, the fact that the crops have bounced back the way they have, in many areas, is "almost unbelievable" to Kosciusko, Mississippi, CCA and Crop Tech Tour correspondent Ernie Flint. There's no doubt in Flint's mind what's largely responsible for such an improvement.

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