Aphids and Fungicides!

Aphids and Fungicides!

Aphids: We are starting to see the aphid population explode. Most are Bird Cherry Oat aphids (black) but all colonies have some Greenbugs mixed in. At the same time the beneficials such as the parasitic wasps and the lady bug larvae and lady bug are also increasing in population. It literally is a race in some fields to see who will win, but even though we have had plentiful moisture, in some instances the aphid population has built up to a point they are taking the wheat down and we are losing too much yield. If the plants are covered with bugs and is sticky (honey dew) then TAKE THEM OUT.

Fungicides: We are about to see and hear much ado about fungicides and the planes are going to be going like wasps. With the potential wheat crop we have at this moment protecting the crop with a fungicide makes a lot of sense. Kstate and Ostate both tend to agree that fungicides PROTECT our potential yield an average of around 10%. Fungicides do not gain yield, they protect our yield potential. Do the math! 10% of a 50 bushel yield is 5 bushel. At today’s cash price that protected yield makes you money even down to about a 25 bushel yield potential.

Fungicides come in two types, (Strobilurins and Triazoles) or a combination of the two. Sometimes they are discussed (not totally accurate) as preventive and curative. There is debate as to just which one you need, but a combo is probably your best and sometimes longest protection.

As of this evening, 3/27/12 from what I have seen in most of the wheat in our area, the flag leaf is about ¼ to 1/3 of the way out. It is wrapped tightly and sticking straight up. This is all changing rapidly. I tell this because ideally we would want the flag leaf ¾ to fully out and more horizontal so that we can hit it with the fungicide. However may fungicides are systemic and move the fungicide around in the plant so that this might not play as important role. With the wheat changing daily, often by the time you get your fungicide on it may be okay. It is complicated chemistry and timing. The bottom line is: Get it done.

I have observed in our area quite a bit of what is probably tan spot and septoria on the leaves as well as powdery mildew. Again on 3/27/12 I have not seen any rust……..BUT that can/will come suddenly and we are having prime rust weather.

Aphids and Fungicides: In most cases you can combine the two pesticides to control both with one pass. If going over acres for one or the other, I would suggest that they both be addressed.

It would be fun and rewarding to bring in this harvest at it’s yield potential. Let’s give it a try and see if the Good Lord is “willin”.

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