Wildcat Connection August 2017 - Page 14

crop scouting:

southern rust and waterhemp

he southern rust that I mentioned in last month’s report has arrived in full force in July. In fact, it is fairly easy to find in nearly all corn fields. However, the good news is that most of our corn is at a late enough growth stage to not require a fungicide application. This is probably one of my most impactful duties, saving producers from applying unnecessary chemicals. I utilized constant contact as well as our live radio shows to send this information out and hopefully, this made an impact.

- In the same Constant Contact message, I alerted producers to a very troubling development on the weed management front. Common waterhemp is our dominant weed in SEK. For most of the rest of the state, waterhemps more aggressive cousin Palmer amaranth is the dominant weed species and we have said for years, we are not sure why Palmer is not in SEK, but we are happy it is not. That may not be the case anymore as Palmer has been found in multiple fields which is not good news for farmers. Palmer is very difficult to control and extremely fast growing. Dallas Peterson, K-State Research and Extension Weed Specialist, has an eye opening couple of slides he presents regularly in which Palmer goes from almost too small to see in the picture to taking over the plot in a week.

- On July 13-14 I attended the KARA In-Depth Crop Diagnostic School in Manhattan. I go to this training every year, but I am also convinced it is the best hands-on training that extension agents have available on a regular basis. Every year, the focus rotates to our 3 major spring crops (corn, grain sorghum, and soybeans). Soybeans were the focus this year and I truly enjoyed the meeting. The K-State Research and Extension Agronomy folks display a magnificent array of talent and knowledge at this meeting and I wish more of my peers from across the state would attend.

- The high tunnel is producing more and more produce. One crop that I must admit has surprised me is the cucumbers. They have absolutely thrived in the high tunnel and produces a multitude of the fruit (yes fruit!). I harvested them on the Monday prior to July 4th and took the bounty to The Lord’s Diner, a new restaurant for the underprivileged in Pittsburg which is a non-profit soup kitchen run by the Catholic Charities. They were extremely grateful to receive the crop and I must admit it was quite rewarding presenting them with the bounty.


Southern Rust