Winter, Weeds, Bugs: Ag experts weigh in on farm futures

KNOX COUNTY, Ind. (WTHI) – The thaw out is on in Knox County, at least for a few days.

Right now, farm fields in Knox County are patiently waiting for their 2014 seeds. For Farmers planting corn this year, there’s a bit of a good news to look forward too.
{VALERIE CLINGERMAN / PURDUE EXTENSION – KNOX COUNTY}
“Flea beetles are not only nasty because they’re bugs but they can spread disease that is also really bad for corn and sweet corn so, they don’t like the cold weather, so we’ll likely to see low numbers of those flea beetles this year,” said Valerie Clingerman, Purdue Extension-Knox County Extension Educator-Ag and Natural Resources/County Extension Director.

As for what lies ahead, Clingerman and other agriculture experts agree, it’s too early to tell what factors will contribute to the 2014 harvest season. However, a multitude of factors which occur yearly could play a role in the mix: winter and spring weather conditions, insect overwinter populations and weeds.

“It’s just too early to tell, but for the most part, our insects in Indiana are really adapted to our climate, so cold weather really does not affect the vast majority of them,” said Clingerman. “So like mosquitoes, the Asian lady beetles, Japanese beetles, we probably won’t see a decrease in numbers necessarily from the winter cold.”

And the bugs won’t be specific to farm fields.

“I know in our homes, the flies and Asian lady beetles are flying around again,” Clingerman said.

To read more from the Purdue Extension Office: Click Here.

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