Insect scouting is underway for Ontario producers. Due to the delayed planting season, many crops are at earlier-than-usual growth stages and there is an increased risk of crop damage with some insects, according to the latest crop report from Ontario’s Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA).
As of July 18, significant soybean aphid populations have not been found in Ontario. However, reports of aphid infestations in the Midwest U.S. may result in aphids arriving in the province through the forecasted storm fronts passing through in the next couple weeks.
The field crop team at OMAFRA encourages diligent scouting from growers, especially in crops that are smaller and suffering from moisture stress.
Other highlights from the latest crop report include:
- Spray applicators have been challenged with difficult timing and limited opportunities for herbicide applications. The field crop team emphasize practices that mitigate spray drift, such as operating the boom at the lowest operable height and increasing carrier volumes where coverage is a concern.
- The Aphid Advisor app is a tool for growers to help determine if a spray is required or if natural enemies are enough to control soybean aphids in your field.
- Spider mite damage has been limited so far this year, but as conditions turn hot and dry their numbers may increase in soybeans and dry beans. Do not use Matador as a product for control, because it doesn’t work on spider mites and in addition, will kill beneficial insects such as ladybird beetle, thrips and predaceous mites.
- Potato leafhoppers are in high numbers in many Ontario counties and both dry beans and forages are at risk.
- The first Western Bean Cutworm was caught in Ontario around July 15, about a month later than usual. Moth flights are still likely to align with susceptible growth stages in corn and dry beans.
- Thrips are starting to show up in some corn and soybean fields. Injury rarely justifies spraying unless the plants are stressed from hot, dry conditions and are not growing out of the injury.