Blogging by the Bushel
With numerous challenges over the past several years for producers, we at Mercer Landmark understand the need for a comprehensive risk management solution. We seek to provide our customers with unparalleled service to ensure maximum results.

By: Ryan Stucke

Scouting your alfalfa early and often is key to the overall health and longevity of your alfalfa stand.  Scouting for alfalfa weevil early on and then potato leaf hopper later in the season will help you get the most out of your alfalfa.  We found a few diseases early on this spring and a lot of alfalfa weevil feeding.  Below is a picture of what we have been finding in some alfalfa fields.  Below that is a picture of what an alfalfa weevil looks like.

After speaking with one of our dairy specialists, he came to the conclusion that this was black stem rot and common leaf spot.  These two diseases occur most often in thick stands that are in a warm wet atmosphere where air cannot get below the canopy.  We also have seen a lot of leaves on the ground when walking fields as shown in the picture below. Leaves on the ground are wasted tons left  in the field.

A way to avoid diseases like these and insect feeding on your plants is to scout early and often and spray early.  A good rule of thumb is to spray 8-10 days after each cutting with an insecticide. While you are going across the field you can add  micronutrients that alfalfa loves, such as boron.  This disease could have been somewhat prevented if sprayed early on with a fungicide.  For scouting tips on alfalfa contact your local Mercer Landmark sales professional.

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