Editor's note: Watch for the Scout's Report feature each Wednesday as the summer progresses.
Welcome to the first installment of the Scout's Report. I'm Christy Kettler, and this summer I have the opportunity to learn as an intern with Beck's Hybrids, Atlanta. I am a junior at Purdue University, majoring in Agronomy and Agricultural Economics. My duties this summer include working with Ben Grimme and Kris Johnson, area team leaders in sales, as well as Denny Cobb, a Beck's agronomist.
My main responsibility is completing intensive crop scouting on 8,500 acres in central Indiana. My job is to monitor insect activity, growth patterns, diseases, and deficiencies in soybeans and corn from emergence to physiological maturity. I will summarize what I see, and working with Cobb, will pass those observations along to you throughout the summer.
I have placed 14 pheromone traps, traps near fields that will capture insect moths to monitor their flight and location. They use natural scents to attract insects so we can get an idea of how many insects are in the area.
Purdue Entomology does this kind of insect trapping on a larger scale and issues reports as to how many moths of each insect are being caught in traps. The concept is to give you an idea of when you can expect these moths to lay eggs and insect larvae to hatch. This can help predict possible insect damage to the crop.
For the week ending May 30, my results are from five traps at three locations. I found seven black cutworm moths, one European corn borer moth and one Japanese beetle. I have only seen damage from stink bugs in my area; this damage was not widespread enough to require action yet.
I will continue monitoring moth captures during the summer. I will also scout for diseases, growth conditions, and insect damage. Later, I will take tissue samples and monitor crop development throughout the summer.
Watch for detailed reports as the summer progresses for what I find in both corn and soybeans.
Denny Cobb contributed to this report.