Weekly Crop Scouting Report

June 24 - Wheat and fescue diseases can be toxic to livestock

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Jill Scheidt, agronomy specialist with University of Missouri Extension, scouted fields near Arcola in Dade County and south of Hwy. 126 and west of I-49 in Barton County on June 24.

Wheat Report
Scheidt observed fully mature, ready to harvest wheat. Sprouted kernels, Fusarium head scab and sooty head mold were among the problems found in area wheat fields.

“Adjust combine settings to throw out small seeds to reduce dockages,” said Scheidt. “Fusarium head scab produces a mycotoxin that is toxic to livestock and humans when ingested and inhaled, so feeding is not recommended.”

Scheidt does not recommend saving disease infected seed for next year due to reduced germination and increased risk of the disease overwintering in the grain bin.  “Treating disease infected seed will not improve viability, it only protects against soil-borne diseases and seedling blights,” said Scheidt.

Corn Report
Scheidt also observed corn is in the eight leaf to the silking stage.  “Nitrogen deficiency is still being seen. Once corn is shoulder-high, leaf burn caused by nitrogen, can have an impact on yield as the upper leaves are responsible for filling kernels,” said Scheidt. Caution should be taken to avoid leaf burn to upper leaves when applying nitrogen. Peter Scharf, MU Extension state fertility specialist, recommends using a color sensor, such as a green seeker as the most efficient way to determine nitrogen needs in corn.

Soybean Report
Scheidt observed emerging soybeans to soybeans in the first trifoliate stage. “A little slug and wildlife feeding was seen, but is unlikely to affect plant health,” said Scheidt.

Fescue Report
Scheidt observed ergot in several fescue pastures. “Ergot is identified by a black growth on seeds, sometimes, this growth is pink in color before turning black. Ergot is toxic to livestock, so seedheads should be clipped so that seed heads fall to the ground and are unavailable for livestock consumption,” said Scheidt. 

According to Craig Roberts, MU Extension state forage specialist, hay that contains ergot infected seed head can be ammoniated to reduce toxicity. “If 30 percent of seedheads are infected, ergot poisoning is extremely likely,” said Roberts. MU’s toxicology lab is available to test ergot and Fusarium levels in crops.

Ergot on fescue

Ergot on fescue

The weekly field scouting report is sponsored by University of Missouri and Barton County Extension. For more information on the scouting report, or to learn how to receive the information earlier by telephone, contact the Barton County Extension Center at (417) 682-3579.

Additional resources:

2015 Pest Management Guide

Make the most from late planted soybeans

Assessing soybean plant stands

Previous weekly crop reports


2015 Crop Scouting Program enrollment

The Crop Scouting Telephone Update informs producers of pest threats.  A weekly, 2 minute recorded message and an email is sent out containing research based information on: environmental issues, nutrient deficiencies, pest threshold level, pest description, damage description and pest control.  Several fields in Barton County and surrounding counties are physically scouted each week; the report is based on those observations. 

Weekly scouting begins in mid March and ends in November; monthly telephone and email updates run November to February.

The cost of the program is $35 per phone number, $95 for three numbers and $30 per phone number for four or more numbers. 

The weekly field scouting report is sponsored by University of Missouri Extension and Barton County Extension.  To receive the 2015 weekly scouting reports, print the 2015 Crop Scouting Enrollment Form, complete and return with payment to Barton County Extension, 801 E 12th, Lamar, MO 64759 or contact the MU Extension Center in Barton County, 417-682-3579.

2015 Crop Scouting Enrollment Form


Links to other resources:

Current soil temperatures in Lamar are updated every five minutes and can be found at http://agebb.missouri.edu/weather/realtime/lamar.asp

Popular extension publications

MU Extension publication G427, 2011 Cash Rental Rates in Missouri
MU Extension publication G302, 2009 Custom Rates for Farm Services in Missouri
MU Extension publication G6201, Vegetable Planting Calendar