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Pests & Diseases

Diseases and pests diminish crop yields; find out what the current threats are and learn how to battle these yield robbers.

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Have you struggled with winter annual weeds getting in the way of spring planting? Many farmers are fighting off these weeds with fall herbicide applications. Applying a herbicide now may help you save time next spring, said Aaron Hager, University of Illinois Extension weed specialist.

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Goss's leaf blight and wilt of corn is a damaging disease that has caused problems in fields in the past. The weather conditions this summer may favor development of this disease again in some Midwestern areas. 

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The concept of tissue testing (plant analysis) seems to have experiences a revival in 2011. Several articles and/or advertisements in the agricultural press leave the impression that this practice is a management tool that all crop producers should be using.

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Now is the time when corn diseases begin to appear and it’s important to become familiar with the symptoms in your fields. With the recent dry spells in many areas, the incidence of foliar diseases may be slowed, however, when wet weather does return, it is likely that many foliar diseases will begin appear quickly.

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As alfalfa growers hit the fields, now is an important time to be on the lookout for potato leafhoppers (PLH). This is the pest most affecting alfalfa production in the central United States, causing devastating effects to alfalfa leaves and stunting plant growth.

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Potato leafhoppers are active and alfalfa should be scouted for these insects capable of inflicting economic losses to stands, reports Mike Gray, University of Illinois Extension entomologist.

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