Volunteer soybeans put 2013 corn crop at risk of pests, diseases

Excessive soybeans found in Nebraska, South Dakota corn fields

One of the biggest threats to the emerging 2013 corn crop in Nebraska and South Dakota is the presence of volunteer soybeans, according to Chip Flory, ProFarmer editor and crop analyst. Flory shared that observation on August 27 during the Grain & Meat Outlook Webinar, hosted by WATT Global Media and Farm Journal. The webinar, the second in a series, remains available for online viewing.

Volunteer crops are not necessarily unusual, especially in farms where crops are rotated. But the presence of soybeans in corn fields is concerning to Flory.

“In a lot of those fields, there are some pretty good beans in there once you get the corn out of the way,” Flory said.

However, the presence of soybeans in a corn field is a serious matter, Flory added, because it is a harbor for soybean diseases and pests that can harm the corn. It has also brought aphids to the corn crop.

Despite the problems brought on by the presence of volunteer soybeans in some corn fields, Flory said the 2013 corn crop looks “very clean” and is at minimal risk for mycotoxins.