Farmers are already starting to see weed and pest pressure

It feels like planting season just began, but already farmers are seeing weeds and pests flocking to the fields.

A row crop manager with UPL tells us what they are finding.

“We saw waterhemp start emerging about two weeks ago. Generally, we see waterhemp come up about the second week to maybe the end of May for a majority of the Midwest. And we’ve got it coming up the second week of April this year, which can wreak havoc on some people that we’re planning on targeting those weeds with just pre-emergent application. So, it’s always a good practice to have those growers have a secondary plan to be sure that we can control those weeds that are out of the ground. The other one that was kind of unique is some winter annuals. When we went through that couple of weeks of cold, and we saw some of that frost be kind of a natural control for some of those winter annuals,” said Kip Jacobs.

Broad leaf is not the only issue farmers are seeing this year. Black cutworm moths are making moves in the Midwest.

“There are some reports coming that we’re starting to see some black cutworm moths moving up into the Midwest region. I know when we start talking about cutworms, the first practice that most people like to do is start putting some preventative insecticides out. It’s kind of the normal train of thought, but with black cutworm, the best thing is to do a curative application. So once the crop’s up, be sure you’re scouting regularly, checking for any potential damage. Be sure you’re checking for larvae and moths. Get with your trusted advisor and be sure we’re keeping a close eye on those fields as some of these pests become more present as the season goes on.”

Jacobs says it is important to monitor the fields closely along with local weather reports.