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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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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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Alfalfa weevil
Larval populations of alfalfa weevil have been gradually increasing in first crop alfalfa. The WDATCP Wisconsin Pest Bulletin reported recently their surveys in south-central and central Wisconsin counties yielded an average of 3 larvae per 25 sweeps in 46 fields scouted.

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In the mad rush to finish up what has been a challenging corn planting season, speed often takes priority over attention to detail, said Robert Bellm, University of Illinois Extension crop systems educator.

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