Iowa State University Extension and Outreach

East-Central and Southeast Iowa Crop Information


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June 3, 2013




Late Spring Soil Nitrate Test


With the heavy rains in some areas we have likely lost some nitrogen again this year. A good way to check the N status of the soil is to take one-foot depth soil samples when the corn is 6-12” tall. At least 16 soil cores (24 is better) should go into each sample and about a cup of this (soil bag full) sent to a lab for analysis. Cores should be pulled in a systematic way going across corn rows (i.e. first core pulled in the row, next one-1/8 the distance between rows, next 1/4 the distance between rows, etc.). For more information on the process see An information sheet for sending samples to ISU is at The cost for analysis is $5/sample.



Prevented Planting?

Crop Insurance and Prevented Planting

Article by Kristen Schulte, Farm & Ag Business Management Specialist,


Heavy rainfall, floods and cool temperatures across the Midwest have slowed planting this spring. The final planting date for corn in Iowa is May 31. The final planting date for soybeans in Iowa is June 15. Final planting dates and other crop insurance information can be found at


Prevented planting is a failure to plant an insured crop with the proper equipment by the final planting date designated in the insurance policy’s actuarial documents or during the late planting period, if applicable, due to an insured cause of loss that is general to the surrounding area and that prevents other producers from planting acreage with similar characteristics.  More information can be found on the Prevented Planting fact sheet at


Here are some basic guidelines if you are unable to plant because of an insurable cause of loss by the final planting date. You may:


The most important thing you can do if you are unable to plant the crop by the final planting date is contact your crop insurance agent to review your policy and options before you make a decision. You are required to provide notice that you were prevented from planting an insured crop within 72 hours after the final planting date.


For more information, see the ICM News article by Steve Johnson and William Edwards at



Stalk Borers on the Move


According to Growing Degree Day accumulations, base 41, stalk borers are starting to move from grassy areas into nearby corn fields south of Highway 34, and areas along and north of Highway 34 will be experiencing this in the not-to-distant future.  I was south of Highway 34 over the week end and noted dead grass heads, as shown in the picture below.


Information on scouting and management can be found at the ICM News article at


Local Growing Degree Day accumulations are shown at


You can get an early “heads up” of the size of potential movement of stalk borers into corn by examining the grass for dead heads; the vast majority of dead heads will have been killed by stalk borers who are outgrowing the grass plant and moving into nearby corn.  The more dead heads you find, the more stalk borers may be poised to move into corn.




Smooth bromegrass head killed by a stalk borer.




Stalk borer hole in the stem of smooth bromegrass. (Courtesy of Tom Hillyer)



Stalk borer still in the smooth bromegrass stem but about ready to head for corn. (Courtesy of Tom Hillyer)








Cover Crops Field Day – Coe College - Cedar Rapids

June 6, 2013, 9:00 a.m to 3:30 p.m.


Free program, lunch and transportation to field demonstrations are on your own.  Topics include designing cover crop mixes, cover crop management systems, soil function demonstrations, and field demonstrations.  Learn how diverse cover crop mixes can boost your soil health from Ohio Farmer Dave Brandt and NRCS Agronomist Ray Archuleta.  For more information, contact Rick Bednarek, 515-284-4135.



Muscatine Island (horticulture) Research and Demonstration Farm, Fruitland

Spring Field Day

June 18, 2013, 5:30 p.m.

Tour and Field Day



There will be a $10.00 per person charge for the meal. The $10.00 will also include a full membership in the Association, including the Melon Club.

Details are posted at



ISU NE Research & Demonstration Farm, Nashua

Spring Field Day

June 26, 2013, 1:00 p.m.


Topics include:


Details are posted at



SE Iowa Research Farm – Crawfordsville

Spring Field Day

June 27, 2013, 1:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m.


Note:  Lunch (Including home-made ice cream) will be available at noon at a cost of $5.00.  To reserve a meal, please send a note to Jim Fawcett ( or call the Johnson County extension office (319-337-2145) by June 25.


Topics include:


Special Session for CCAs – 9:00 a.m. -noon


Certified Crop Advisors can receive 5 hours of credit, including 3 hours of soil and water management, by attending a Special Session for CCAs from 9:00 a.m. to noon followed by the spring field day tour.


Topics in the morning include:


Pre-Registration is required for the CCA session ($50 fee, including lunch). To pre-register by June 25, please send Jim Fawcett an e-mail note ( or call the Johnson County extension office (319-337-2145). The $50 fee can be paid at the door (cash or check).


Other details are posted at








If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the Iowa State University Extension Office.
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Last Update: June 3, 2013
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