Just Keep Scouting


"Although it's been a long year already for most of us, we need to . . . continue to scout for insects," said John Swanson, Federated agronomist at the Ogilvie location. The aphids and spider mite levels have been relatively low across Federated's territory, but there are hot spots of aphids and some spider mites as well.

"As we push into August we need to continue to monitor these insects . . . they can show up heavy . . . the numbers can blow up quickly," he said.

The hot and dry weather of late increases the  likelihood of spider mites, and "as we get some dry grass the mites are going to start to move into the fields," said Swanson, adding that spider mites are difficult to scout for. "Please don't hesitate to contact your local Federated Agronomist if you think you may have them," he said. Stippling on the leaves is a sign of spider mites, so keep scouting!

Though the aphid thresholds have been low, their predators are few. "With the right weather, [aphids] will explode quickly," said Swanson.

Continue to scout. Treat as needed, weighing both the costs and benefits. Talk to your Federated Agronomist with any questions or concerns.

Check out this aphid scouting guide and this info on managing spider mites, both from the University of Minnesota Extension Service.