Tip •  2023-05-10

Early summer crop scouting checklist

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drone in sky

June and July are ideal months for field scouting. This time of year offers a chance to check pre and post planting herbicide performance, identify problem weeds and watch for disease or pest pressures.

Here’s a checklist to help you cover all the early summer scouting essentials:

  1. Walk your fields
    • Thorough crop scouting can’t be done by a drive-by. At this time of year, the cotyledon stage of broadleaf and grassy weeds are too small to see without walking the rows. Short on time? Start with a first assessment using a drone to help identify any areas of concern.
  2. Prioritize fields
    • Corn is most sensitive to early season weed competition. Start your scouting tour by targeting fields with the heaviest weed pressures.
  3. Take notes
    • Carefully record observations and any corrective measures required to address concerns. Take photos of anything unusual for future agronomy consultations. Notes and photos will also help you plan for future herbicide programs.
  4. Watch for suspicious weeds
    • Keep an eye out for any suspicious weeds that may have survived earlier herbicide applications. If weed escapes are patchy or you see only one species of weed in a field, you could be facing herbicide resistance. Suspicious weeds could also be an indication that your herbicide program is weak against a particular weed. Be sure to consult your trusted agronomist, retailer, or local Corteva Agriscience™ Territory Manager for advice.
  5. Monitor for insects and disease symptoms
    • Scouting is critical to identify insect and disease outbreaks. At this time of year, you should be watching for bean leaf beetle, soybean aphids and spider mites in soybean fields. Here’s a link to a resourceful article published in Farmtario  (english only) on scouting for these soybean pests. When it comes to corn pests, watch for corn rootworm and western bean cutworm (especially from mid-July to early August). If you identify egg masses and reach thresholds, Delegate provides effective control of western bean cutworm.