Compared to a normal year, insect activity is about 3 to 4 weeks ahead of schedule and Ron Hammond, Extension field crops entomologist at the Ohio State University says alfalfa weevil is a good example, with most all of Ohio already seeing activity.
Hammond tells Brownfield that while the recent drop in temperatures won’t help in terms of mortality, it is slowing them down.
“The rate of which the insects were growing has slowed down, but unlike other years when they might not have even been here yet, they are out there,” said Hammond. “Basically what it’s doing is slowing things down just a little bit.”
Another insect he’s concerned about, especially with weeds getting a head start, is black cutworm.
“When we do get the corn planted over the next perhaps 2 to 3 weeks, throughout the rest of April and it starts growing, those cutworm larvae are going to be a fairly good size and can cause damage very quickly,” Hammond said.
Which is why, the Extension entomologist is suggesting farmers step up their scouting activity as soon as corn and soybeans emerge.
“We just have to be a lot more aware of what could be happening and make sure we’re observing that, catching it before it gets bad, rather than two weeks after the fact,” Hammond said.