Hot Topics in Integrated Pest Management

Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is a process consisting of the balanced use of cultural, biological, and chemical procedures that are environmentally compatible, economically feasible, and socially acceptable to reduce pest populations to tolerable levels.

Stink bug on corn

Stink Bugs on Corn and Soybeans

One of the first tasks assigned to the irrigation research team by Delaware farmers was to answer the decades old question of how to best irrigate corn on sandy soils for maximum yield. Our initial research began using an evapotranspiration (ET) based schedule to determine when the crop should be irrigated, and looked at applying the water in varying amount per application. The application rates during peak water use were 0.33″ per day vs. 0.66″ every other day vs. 1′ every three days. The results of the initial work was rather inconclusive as soil type appeared to make more of a difference than application method. At this point, it became obvious to begin looking at varying amounts of irrigation across a range of soil types.

Slug on soybean

Slugs in field crops

Unfortunately, slugs in soybeans can be challenging to manage. The reason for this is that slugs will feed on soybeans before they emerge and kill the plants outright. In many cases, you don’t realize you have a slug problem until you return to a field, 7-14 days after planting, expecting to see a beautiful stand of soybeans, only to find that you have poor emergence or that you don’t have a stand at all.

Cereal Rust Mites

Cereal Rust Mite

Cereal rust mite adults are small measuring less than one millimeter (mm), and for the first time observer a 10‐20X hand lens is needed to see them. The mites are cigar‐shaped and roughly twice as long as they are wide. Adult mites are often light yellow but can be white or orange in color.

Factsheet

Adult winter grain mite

Winter Grain Mite in Small Grains

The winter grain mite is a cool season pest of small grains and orchard grass. The adult mite is approximately 1 mm long with a dark brown to black body, reddish‐orange legs, and it has a reddish‐orange spot on the top side of the body.
 

Factsheet