(NAFB)--This coming growing season - DuPont Pioneer researchers and agronomists say regular scouting and field evaluation will be a wise practice. The mild winter temperatures may have aided the survival of overwintering pests and diseases - which could impact yields if not discovered and controlled. DuPont Pioneer Research Scientist Scott Heuchlin says each year is a balancing act between good growth and vitality and early-season insects and pathogens. For those growers who started the season with a warm seedbed, good soil tilth and sunshine during emergence - the balance is shifted in favor of the plant. He says the biggest challenge will be for the seeds planted into less-than-ideal seedbeds - creating stress for plants and making them vulnerable to pests and diseases.
Paula Davis - DuPont Pioneer Senior Manager for Insect and Disease Traits - says growers should scout for the typical early- and mid-season pests this year. Corn growers should look for black cutworm and corn rootworm. In soybeans - growers should watch for bean leaf beetle, soybean aphids and brown marmorated stinkbugs.
If planting was rushed and seeds were planted into cold, wet soils - DuPont Pioneer notes there is a risk for seed rot and damping off. They say scouting fields early will help identify planting issues - such as seedlings that haven’t emerged or lower-than-expected population counts. It should be possible to determine if there are seedling emergence issues by the two-leaf stage.