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IA Agronomist: 2022 Recap and Looking Ahead to 2023

October 14, 2022
waterhemp growing in crop rows

Waterhemp growing between crop rows

Zach Trower, Syngenta agronomy service representative, was interviewed by Mark Dorenkamp at Brownfield Ag News about the agronomic challenges in IA this season and what you should be doing now to prepare for 2023. Trower highlighted the following areas:

2022 Challenges

  • Environmental challenges impacted the southern and western regions of IA throughout the season. Delayed planting in many of these areas was followed by high temperatures and little rainfall, putting extra stress on the crop and creating ideal growing conditions for persistent weeds and diseases.
  • Weeds like waterhemp have invaded many fields and continue to grow through harvest. The hot and dry conditions earlier in the season inhibited herbicide activation and provided an ideal breeding ground for waterhemp.
  • Many areas of IA saw some of the heaviest levels of Northern corn leaf blight and tar spot in recent years, which is likely to have economically damaging impacts to yields.
  • While insect pressures were manageable this season, corn rootworm (CRW) presence continues to expand. Heavy pressures of CRW can be very damaging to standability and root mass, making it more difficult for your crop to take in key nutrients.

2023 Season Prep

  • Keep the 2023 season in mind throughout harvest. Make notes about which pests are present in each field and pay extra attention to these areas next season.
  • Clean your equipment between every field during harvest. Although it can be tempting to move quickly, weed seed is easily spread between fields, leading to higher levels of weeds next season and higher rates of herbicide-resistance.
  • Some growers cut back on herbicide or fungicide applications this season due to high input costs, but many of the fields left untreated were more susceptible to pest pressures. Although upfront savings can be tempting, managing difficult pests is likely to increase return on investment at the end of next season.
  • Begin preparing a comprehensive weed control plan now. After such a heavy season of weeds, implementing a program next season using a strong preemergence herbicide with multiple modes of action followed by a post-emergence product will be crucial. Controlling weeds now will prevent you from needing a more aggressive and more costly weed management program in the future.

Listen to the full interview with Trower, originally posted by Brownfield Ag News on 10/4/2022. We thank Brownfield Ag News and Mark Dorenkamp for allowing us to repost on our agronomy blog.

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