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Veteran Contributor

Cover crop pests


I've written a lot about cover crops and the benefits of them. But on the downside, have you ever heard of insects pests like armyworms in cereal rye that could later impact the cash crop? I was at sone session where this was mentioned, but that was the last I had heard of it.


Gil Gullickson

Crops Technology

Successful Farming 

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Veteran Advisor

Re: Cover crop pests

I hear some talk of it from ISU extension people but not from farmers.

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Re: Cover crop pests

We were once inundated with armyworms, they multiply so fast! I still have no idea how they got into our fields but they quickly made it their home and they were very destructive to the soil and fed on most of our plants. We always maintained we'd have organic crops, and we lasted this way (with a lot of hard work) for about four years. When the armyworms came in, it highlighted a whole lot of other issues we had, including soil borne diseases. That explained the browning leaves!

After this debacle, we had to fumigate. As it turns out, it wasn't all that bad. I think we'd got so wrapped up in myths around fumigation that we were very misguided. If you're still having issues with armyworms, I recommend calling in a fumigation service. And if you're worried about it, like I was, this article should settle your fears

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