Issue No. 9, Article 2/May 26, 2006
An Inventory of Field Crop Insect Issues in the Midwest
Again on May 23, a few extension entomologists discussed insect situations and issues via teleconference. The same entomologists who participated in this regional conversation on May 16 (refer to the article with the same title in issue no. 8, May 19, 2006) participated again on May 23, so the discussion represented Illinois, Nebraska, and Ohio. Overall, most has been quiet on the insect front in the Midwest this spring, with no reports of widespread outbreaks of any insect pests. Cutworms have been a focus in several states, with noticeable leaf feeding and cutting injury in certain areas. In Illinois, pockets of relatively heavy cutworm activity have been detected, and the caterpillars found causing the injury were relatively small, suggesting future potential for more injury. It's also worth noting that injury caused by slugs has been observed in some field crops in Ohio. The wet weather has been conducive for slugs and subsequent injury to corn and soybean seedlings. Farmers who use no-till methods should be particularly alert for slugs. Ron Hammond and Bruce Eisley, extension entomologists at Ohio State University, wrote a good article about slugs in their recent issue of Crop Observation and Recommendation Network, May 23-May 31, 2006. You can read the article at corn.osu.edu.
For the most part, we entomologists remain in something of a holding pattern as we await more rapid growth of corn and soybean seedlings. The cool, wet weather--which is supposed to end soon--has slowed plant growth and soybean planting progress. As we round the corner on Memorial Day into June, we will keep watching for something to shake loose.--Kevin Steffey