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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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Haymaking conditions in the spring are often poor and hay can be rained on or left lying in the field for prolonged time periods due to cool and humid conditions which reduces drying rates. The long drying periods with high humidity allow field growth of mold on the hay.

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Major losses to alfalfa stands can sometimes be attributed to plant disease. There are more than 12 diseases of alfalfa. They can be grouped into two categories: stem/crown/root diseases and foliage diseases.

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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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