Time to check wheat fields for head scab


Well, last week didn’t turn out too badly: We finished side-dressing the corn, the “Fuzzy Kids” were regularly (every three days) moved into new sections of the pasture, and Stanley was on vacation, which means he got a whole lot done! He’s been working on landscaping projects: laying more pavers from the patio to and across the bridge, weeding, spraying, etc.

I had a chance to “get around the county” a bit last week. We’ve got some great corn, most of the wheat appears to be ripening, and the beans are growin’. Yes, I also saw some water puddles in fields and some cut hay that had gotten rained on. Bummer! But, overall, things are lookin’ good!

Now, just in case your particular wheat field is at or near the flowering growth stage, you need to know that we are at a moderate to high risk for Fusarium head blight (head scab) development. This is based on the The Fusarium Risk Assessment Tool (wheatscab.psu.edu) that I checked on Thursday. Head scab is of concern during flowering, which is when wheat heads are most susceptible to the scab fungus, and infection is favored by warm and wet or humid conditions.

And, if you haven’t had a chance to get your soybeans planted, yet, there’s still time. However, there are some things to consider when planting beans in June: 1.) row width, 2.) seeding rate, and 3.) relative maturity.

When planting soybeans in June, row width should be 7.5-inches, if possible. This helps to maximize the light intercepted by the plant. A seeding rate of 200,000 to 225,000 seeds per acre is recommended in the Ohio Agronomy Guide when planting soybeans in the first half of June. According to on-farm trials conducted by the Ag Crops Team, a population of 155,000 plants per acre at harvest is needed to maximize yield when planting soybeans in June.

When planting late, the rule of thumb is to plant the latest-maturing variety that will reach maturity before the first killing frost. Here in Central Ohio, that means a Relative Maturity of 3.1 to 3.5 if planted before June 15; 3.3 to 3.7 from June 15th to June 30th.

Once alfalfa has had its first cutting, it’s time to begin sampling for potato leafhopper as the crop regrows to a sufficient height for sweep-net sampling. When the average number of adults and nymphs in a sample (10 sweeps of the net = 1 sample) is equal to or greater than the average height of the alfalfa stand, insecticide treatment is warranted. For example, if the alfalfa is 6 inches tall and the average number of leafhoppers is 6 or higher, you should consider an insecticide application. If the average is lower, then re-sample the field in a few days.

There are alfalfa varieties that are resistant to the leafhopper. (These have glandular hairs which help limit feeding.) If you are growing resistant alfalfa, the above threshold should be increased 3-times; i.e., 18 leafhoppers for 6 inch tall alfalfa. More information on potato leafhopper, including how alfalfa growing conditions might affect the threshold, is available at http://ohioline.osu.edu/ent-fact/pdf/ENT_33_14.pdf.

The 2015 OSU Weed Science Field Day will be held on Wednesday, July 8, at the Western Research Station. Registration is at 8:30 a.m.; field tours and presentations by OSU faculty, staff, and students start at 9 a.m.

The cost is $30 which includes lunch. RSVP to Bruce Ackley, Ackley.19@osu.edu. Payment can be cash or check that day. Address – 7721 S. Charleston Pike, South Charleston, OH (about 5 miles south of Interstate 70 on Ohio 41).