Iowa State University Extension and Outreach

East-Central and Southeast Iowa Crop Information


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May 22, 2009


Time to Scout for Black Cutworms

Black cutworms should begin cutting soon if eggs were laid during the late April black cutworm moth flight.  Based on temperatures since then and using National Weather Service forecasts through May 26 and normal temperatures thereafter, cutting in eastern Iowa should begin along Highway 34 on Sunday, May 24, along Interstate 80 on Monday, May 25, along Highway 30 on Thursday, May 28, and along Highway 20 on Saturday, May 30.  It is always good to start scouting a few days before the predicted onset of cutting.  And, of course, any changes in predicted temperatures may alter the onset of any cutting.  You can monitor black cutworm growing degree days for east-central and southeast Iowa at   A more comprehensive overview of the 2009 black cutworm situation will be posted soon at the Integrated Crop Management News web site


Heavy Rains Cause Soil Crusting Problems


Heavy rains in the area in the past couple of weeks are causing some emergence problems in both corn and soybeans. I was in a soybean field that had a crust over an inch thick. A gentle half inch rain or a sledge hammer would be the best for the thick crusts, but for thinner crusts the rotary hoe is usually the best tool for breaking up the crust if rains arent predicted and the crop is having difficulty emerging. Its best to try the hoe in part of the field and then check to make sure it isnt doing more harm than good. Beans in the crook stage are the most vulnerable to hoe damage. Usually high speeds (8-10 mph) are best unless this is causing too much stand loss. Mahdi Al-Kaisi had a very comprehensive article on points to consider with the rotary hoe in the ICM News at









Certified Crop Advisors can obtain 5 hours of credit (including 3.5 hours in soil and water management) by attending a residue management training workshop in the morning followed by the afternoon tour at the ISU SE Iowa Research & Demonstration Farm near Crawfordsville on June 24. There is a $50 fee ($70 after June 22) for CCAs attending for credit. Non CCAs can attend the morning residue management training workshop for $10 (which includes lunch). There is no charge for the afternoon field day except a $5 fee for those wanting lunch at noon. Fees (check or cash) can be paid at the door, but if you plan to attend the morning session or want to reserve a lunch at noon, please send me ( a note by June 22.


Residue Management Training Workshop (8:30 a.m.-noon)


Residue/Soil Carbon/Nutrient Cycling          

Mahdi Al-Kaisi, ISU Extension Agronomist Soils


Cover Crops, Erosion, and N-leaching

Tom Kaspar, Plant Physiologist, National Soil Tilth Lab


What is the Value of Soil & Crop Residue?

Andy Herringshaw, Graduate Research Assistant, Sustainable Ag - Economics


Spring Field Day Tour (1:00-3:00)


Crop Season Review & Current Crop Concerns Kevin Van Dee, Farm Superintendent, & Jim Fawcett, ISU Extension Field Agronomist


Monitoring Yield Data for the ACRE Program

Jim Jensen, ISU Extension Farm Management Specialist


Cover Crops for Soil Conservation & Better Soils

Tom Kaspar, Plant Physiologist, National Soil Tilth Lab


Corn & Soybean Fungicide Research Results

Alison Robertson, ISU Extension Plant Pathologist


Organic Crop Opportunities

Kathleen Delate, ISU Extension Organic Specialist



Advances in Precision Ag Field Day

ISU SE Iowa Research & Demonstration Farm Crawfordsville

September 17


Come see the latest in precision ag technology, including RTK guidance systems, auto-steer, automatic shut-off planters and sprayers. More details will be available soon.


If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the Iowa State University Extension Office.

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Last Update: May 22, 2009
Contact: Jim Fawcett

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