Cool, wet conditions favorable for seedling pests

An extension entomologist is concerned about seedling pests thriving in cool wet conditions.

Erin Hodgson with Iowa State University says cold temperatures and excess moisture are plaguing much of the Midwest.

“That makes me think about delayed planting, or even if people are trying to plant that the seeds are just kind of sitting in the ground or growing very slowly. And that makes me think about some seed and seedling pests that happen in cool, wet springs.”

She tells Brownfield those include wireworms, grubs, and seedcorn maggot.

“They can attack at germination before the plant really has time to grow and take off. Also areas with maybe high residue, manure applications can also be favorable egg-laying sites for seedcorn maggot.”

Hodgson says there aren’t a lot of rescue treatments for seed and seedling pests, so she encourages farmers to wait until soil temperatures warm up to begin planting.

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