Japanese beetles: Hopefully this is the last week I talk about these! Hoping they’re coming to an end for this year as I’m not hitting as many while driving! Seems like each week brings new questions that I hope will be helpful to share. For tree and garden products, please check the handout which can be downloaded from the front page of york.unl.edu.
In replant corn and soybean fields, the beetles are attracted to the older plants (check strips/original bean plants); they shouldn’t be going after the replant ones. I’ve heard areas (not hail damaged) have sprayed beans at least twice. People wondered if this is to be expected with products that should have 14 days residual. In talking with Bob Wright, he says there’s little research on Japanese beetles on chemical efficacy. The soybeans continue to produce new leaves and the herbicides, although there’s residual in the pyrethroid products, doesn’t translocate to new leaves. Sunlight also breaks down the herbicide in leaves. Increasing water helps with coverage (helpful if increase to at least three gallons in aerial applications-same for fungicide applications). Chemigation is an option too.
I’ve also been asked about adding other nutrient and biological products, etc. to tanks to increase the plant health. While I’m not opposed to the concept of healthy plants fending off insects/pathogens, I don’t know of research to comment on that for Japanese beetles. Sidenote (not necessarily Japanese beetle related), when I’ve been called out to problem situations in fields this year, numerous times there’s been a large number of products placed in the tank. I just wonder how all these things are truly interacting together and if we’re potentially creating problems (increasing selection pressure and resistance) on weeds, insects, pathogens by potentially reducing efficacy of the original pesticide product that was meant to be sprayed before everything else (plant growth regulators, micros, etc.) was added. Again, no research, just a consistent observation in field calls with problems this year.
White Grub Prevention/Control in Lawns: Been getting questions about grub prevention as well since the Japanese beetles lay eggs in lawns. Control depends on proper timing of the application and moving the insecticide into the root zone where grubs feed. Preventive control applications are made from mid to late June. They can work in early July (it’s potentially too late now). Curative or rescue treatments are made in August or September and I will talk about those products next month.
Preventive – Most of the preventively-applied insecticides are systemic in nature and will be taken up by the plant and translocated to roots. The following products are effective against young grubs and are labeled for homeowner use: Chlorantraniliprole –Scotts GrubEx; Imidacloprid –Bonide Grub Beater, BioAdvanced Season Long Grub Control + fertilizer.
Check Grain Bins: With all the work of starting crops over the month of June, checking grain bins wasn’t as high on the list for many in this area. Two farmers suggested I mention checking grain bins this week as they had found some hot spots and were thankfully able to get things under control.
Take Care of Yourself! I know how worn down I’m feeling each week, and I’m not in the shoes of you as the farmers and landowners who have went through so much loss. These storms keep giving as people find additional damages to buildings, equipment, trees, crops, etc. I realize with the heat it’s not realistic for many to get away for long. There will always be a list and few of us ever ‘catch up’. But there’s only one of each of us. My challenge for us this week is to take some intentional time to reset…whether a half hour or a few hours. Spend the time doing a hobby, resting, strengthening your faith, catching up with someone. We need these breaks and I’m doing that as well. Be sure to stay hydrated with the heat too!
Cover Crop and Soil Health Field Day: This snuck up on me and I failed to talk about it sooner; it will be held this Tuesday July 19th from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. (Registration at 9:30 a.m.) at the 4-H Building at York Co. Fairgrounds. Topics include: understanding soil health, the Nebraska soil carbon product cover crop study; On-Farm research cover crop study update; and Cover crops for upland game birds. Following lunch there will be a cover crop field site visit with a demonstration of how to conduct a soil health inventory. There is no charge but please RSVP for meal count to Nate Pflueger at 402-646-5426.