IPM specialist suggests 2019 silver lining thicker than some thought

An integrated pest management specialist sees some positives in what many farmers would describe as a very challenging 2019.

Bruce Potter with University of Minnesota Extension says late-planted corn did surprisingly well.

“Now there’s also a lot of cases where there was a lot of prevent plant and there wasn’t corn planted at all. But I think just the fact that we were able to sneak a crop out and get the yields we did (was a pleasant surprise).”

He tells Brownfield soybean yields were down in Minnesota because of late planting.

“But I think even that, just considering when everything went in, we did pretty good yield-wise.”

And Potter says some of the usual pests weren’t as big a problem this year either.

“We had a low aphid year. We’re not seeing a horrible amount of corn borer, corn rootworm, those sorts of things. The other thing we’re not seeing much of is big impacts from disease in spite of white mold in some areas. But overall, disease hasn’t been too severe.”

He is concerned about more cases of corn tar spot in Minnesota, as well as soybean gall midge that Potter says will be difficult to manage in 2020.

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