Musings from the Platte 5/12

Monday morning musing from the shores of the Platte river.

Winds, wet and town sirens blowing for the past few days signal the return in dynamic form of moisture to the region of Kansas, Nebraska and iowa. Reports show that every one got rain, up to 4 inches, usually in small showers that went into the dry soil.  Some washing in rolling hills just planted with corn that had not emerged as of my road trip Mother's Day of over 400 miles in central and eastern Nebraska delivering seed corn.  We saw a few places where we could row corn but 90 is below the soil ,with a few days till visible rows typically. We have seen many moths in the evening drives , these are all none of the dreaded black cutworms momma, an assortment of others lesser damaging types. Coupled with the later and cooler than normal planting and emergence we project a low early cutworm activity in regional fields.
All the plumb thickets that survived the dry fall, winter months are in bloom in eastern Nebraska. Plumb thickets are sporting the tent  caterpillar nesting webs of early development near and far. They eat every leaf, no fruit develops and plants usually re leaf later. The stress of drought on the plumbs suggest no re leafing and a loss of farm field edge habitats for many positive birds and insects that address crop pest by Gobbling them up later as the season progresses. What a loss of natural habits of good insects and birds.  Those ego driven producers who eliminated miles of tree wind breaks deserve what they will get of pests in their crops.
See the attached pictures.

 What are you seeing in your fields that has caught your eye?  These question about what is happening are a learning time.  Take a picture, send it over to the office and let's see what is happening in your area. I will be glad to post and attempt to answer your "what is this or that " around our farm home. 
This next few weeks we should begin to see stalk borers in edges of fields .  Typically we see a few rows chewed but not worth any application of material. 
As we get a bit of warmth, crops will emerge rapidly now.  An important action of checking the populations and reviewing that status slope by slope is what we do as agronomists. Replanting based of facts is then calculated. A seed salesman will always replant it seems.  How many plants per foot, gaps and wash out all go into any replant decision. 
 Corn flee beetles are here in some spots. They will chew the first few emerged leaves, just a few are not worth the effort to be concerned . Just ugly lower leaves and the corn grows on to normal yields. 
Water will make weeds be active where they had been waiting in the dry and cold soil this spring of 2014 . Be ready to address that issue as dry returns to your fields . 
Mike Williams OPINS co- op agronomist 

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