Thursday, August 29, 2013

Crop Alert: August 29, 2013

This Crop Alert was originally written for and distributed to farmers and other members of the agricultural industry in western New York.

Winter Malting Barley Seed is Now Available
The winter malting barley variety “Wintmalt” from KWS is now available through Seedway. It is certified seed, has performed reasonably well in the variety trials this past year, has very good disease resistance, high test weight, and desirable malt quality based on testing in other regions (the current year’s malt quality results are still being analyzed for our NY trials). Contact your local Seedway representative for more information on prices. Be sure to contact a local malt house or distillery before planting malting barley, see the Google Map (

Soybean Diseases, Insects, & K Deficiency
Many soybean fields from across the region currently have disease in them. However, fungicide applications at this point in the growing season will have little, if any effect on yields given most soybeans are at the R3-R6 growth stages. Additionally, fungicide applications will greatly reduce the presence of fungi that attack soybean aphids. Aphid populations are highly variable across the region with some pockets approaching or exceeding 250 aphids per plants. A ground spray operation will have a guaranteed loss of 3-4 bu/A so that needs to weighed against the potential loss from disease and aphids. Aerial applications will not likely penetrate the canopy to control diseases that are present in the lower leaves (white mold for example). Additionally products have harvest restrictions ranging from 14-30 days or a certain growth stage. See our webpage for more information on harvest restrictions for soybean fungicides (|3). We have also seen a number of fields with soybean leaves yellowing along the leaf margins, Figure 1. This is most likely potassium (K) deficiency and has been observed on compacted headlands and in the lower, wetter spots in the fields. Application of K fertilizer is not recommended this late in the growing season.

Figure 1: K Deficient Soybean
Note: There is also downy mildew present on the leaf (gray spots).

Corn Silage Harvest
Some early corn silage harvest has begun in western NY due to short forage inventories. However most farms are currently working on finishing/starting 4th cut haylage the next couple of weeks before moving into corn silage harvest. It has been about 45-50 days since tasseling in western New York. Work from Bill Cox has shown calendar days to be a poor predictor of corn silage harvest (|2). Typically it takes around 750-850 growing degree days (GDD) from tasseling to corn silage harvest. However with the heavy rains experienced in recent weeks corn silage dry down in the field will be delayed this season. Also be sure to check out Larry Chase’s article on immature corn silage if you have not already done so (|2). For those you with Shredlage units (|2) give us a call or email as we want to track packing densities to see if the 3-5 lbs/ft3 increase experienced in the Midwest will hold true here in New York. Finally we have continued to see corn leaf diseases across the region. However fungicides have harvest restrictions of 7-30 days on corn silage with most needing at least 14 days (|2). There also is little evidence that foliar fungicide applications are beneficial past the tasseling to silking stage of corn.

Residual Herbicide and Cover Crops
For those of you who are planting/have planted cover crops it is good idea to double check to see if your herbicide programs can set back your cover crops. Check out this presentation from Bill Curran of Penn State, especially the charts on pages 9 and 12 (|7).

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Crop Alert: August 22, 2013

This Crop Alert was originally written for and distributed to farmers and other members of the agricultural industry in western New York.

Soybean Aphids & Diseases
Reports have come in from across the region this past week of soybean aphids over the 250 aphid per plant threshold. While there are many fields that have reached levels where spraying is necessary, this does not mean that every soybean field should be sprayed. A number of soybean fields are currently at 100‐150 aphids per plant and should continue to be monitored until the soybeans reach the R6 growth stage, Figure 1. A spray operation this late in the growing season will run over 3‐4 bu/A of soybeans so it is very important to spray only if the yield loss from the aphids outweighs the yield loss of running over the field. Additionally we are past the point in the growing season where fungicide applications are economically on most soybeans. Fungicide applications up to the R3 stage in soybeans are likely to see a response if diseases are present. Some late-planted soybean fields may still be at the R3 growth stage.

Figure 1: Soybeans at the R6 Growth Stage

Small Grain Variety Trial Results
The results from the Soft Red Winter Wheat and the Winter Malting Variety Trials are in. For details check out our team webpage for the Soft Red Winter Wheat (|3) and Winter Malting Barley (|3) trial results.

Pricing Corn Silage
Questions are coming in regarding how to price corn silage. Check out our team webpage
(|3) with links to factsheets and Excel spreadsheets that will help you arrive at a fair price for corn silage based on your local situation.

Planting Winter Triticale For Silage
Winter triticale planting will begin soon across western New York. Last year over 15,000 acres were planted state‐wide with about 10,000 of those acres in western New York. This past year fields planted in September 2012 yielded 2‐3 tons DM/A, while fields planted in October 2012 yielded 1‐2 tons DM/A. Drilling about 100 lbs. of seed/A (about 2 bu) at 1.5 inches deep is the most reliable and least risky planting method. Increased heaving of triticale and spring weed growth were observed in broadcasted fields this past year. Early research results and on‐farm experiences are showing that about 50 units of nitrogen (3,000‐5,000 ga/A of manure) at planting will likely increase yields. Further work on‐farm and at research facilities are examining this question in detail this fall and next spring. For more information on triticale silage check out the Cornell Factsheet (

Monday, August 19, 2013

Crop Alert: August 16, 2013

This Crop Alert was originally written for and distributed to farmers and other members of the agricultural industry in western New York.

Soybean Aphids
We have been getting reports that soybean aphid populations are on the rise in our region, have reached, and even exceeded the 250 aphid per plant threshold in areas of Wyoming County. Most soybeans are in the R2- R5 stages across the region. These are crucial stages of pod development and filling. All soybean fields throughout western New York should be scouted and sprayed with an insecticide if over this threshold. Special attention should be given to late planted fields. With the recent rains and high temperatures coming in the next couple of weeks, soybeans should have very good pod-fill if protected from aphids.

Corn Diseases
We have been on the lookout for corn foliar diseases such as Northern Corn Leaf Blight and Gray Leaf Spot. Both have been found in pockets in western New York at low populations. Grey Leaf Spot (GLS) is a foliar disease that has been a problem in the lower southern tier and east into the Hudson Valley. However, we recently received reports that GLS has been discovered near Trumansburg and on the Livingston/Wyoming border. Finding GLS infestation in these areas of our region is unusual and needs to be monitored, Fgure 1. Please contact Bill or Mike if you have similar leaf symptoms in your corn fields.

Figure 1: Gray Leaf Spot in Corn

Winter Wheat and Winter Malting Barley Variety Trial Results
We have had a lot of calls this week in regards to the variety trial results for winter wheat and winter malting barley. We will distribute these results as soon as we get them from campus, which will probably be next week.

Forage Yield Monitor Field Day
August 22, 2013, 10am-12pm O’Hara Machinery 1289 Chamberlain Rd., Auburn, NY
Interested in purchasing a new forage harvester with yield monitoring capabilities, but don’t know what the benefits are? Already own the equipment, but want to understand how to use the data? Attend the field day and get your questions answered. Program will include: importance of yield monitoring, overview of harvester components involved in yield monitoring, information on calibration, and farmer experiences. See the flyer for more information

Corn Silage For Sale
Table Rock Farm is looking to sell up to 2,000 tons of corn silage. The corn silage is processed, 36-37% DM, and has been treated with an L. buchneri inoculant. Price is $65/ton at the bunk. If you are interested contact Meghan Hauser at Table Rock Farm in Castile, NY at 585 880-4089 or 585 493-2517.

Timothy Hay Wanted
Advanced Feed Technology (AFT) of Geneva is looking at least 55+ tons, preferably in small bales, of Timothy hay over the next couple months. After that they will need approximately 20 tons per month through next spring. They are willing to pay up to $300 per ton delivered range for hay that meets their quality specifications and meets or exceeds guaranteed analysis levels. In addition they need to verify particular field lot locations for traceability reasons.

They will pay to have core samples analyzed for the following:
Crude Protein – 6% min. preferably between 6.5%-9.5%
Crude Fat – 2% min. preferably between 2.5%-4.5%
Crude Fiber – 24% min. & 32% max., preferably 25%-31%
Moisture – 12% max. preferably between 7%-11%
Calcium - .1% min. & .6% max., preferably between .2%-.5%
Yeast & Mold: <1000 CFU/g
Salmonella: Negative/375g
Aflatoxin: <20ppb
Appearance: A mixture of mostly stems, with some leaves and seed heads
Color: Light to Dark Green & Brown
Odor: Fresh, green & slightly herbal, no off or rancid odor.
If interested contact: Peter Hessney, Phone: 585-738-3500, Email:

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Crop Alert: August 9, 2013

This Crop Alert was originally written for and distributed to farmers and other members of the agricultural industry in western New York.

By Bill Verbeten & Mike Stanyard, Cornell Cooperative Extension

Corn and Soybean Yield Contests
Time is running out to enter the 2013 Corn and Soybean Yield contests. Fields need to be entered and fees paid by August 19, 2013. For more information see the brochure on our website.

Cover Crop and Fall Forage Plantings
The next couple weeks are the time to get cover crops and fall forage seedings planted. The mild temperatures and rainfall are making growing conditions ideal for planting. Radishes, clovers, and oats need to be planted in August (along with 25-50 lbs./A nitrogen for oats and radishes) to accumulate enough biomass prior to winter. Winter triticale for silage should be planted in early September because too much top-growth (>6-8 inches) going into the winter can result severe losses from snow mold. In new haylage seedings after small grains, be sure to control the grain that sprouted behind the combine by tilling or spraying. Clear alfalfa seedings can be sprayed with Poast Plus or Select Max early on to control small grains that emerge after seeding. Round-Up Ready alfalfa fields have the added option of glyphosate for small grain control. Mixed seedings with grasses have few options for herbicide applications that will kill the small grain and not the grass. It may be better to delay the grass seeding until the spring or till the field if small grain regrowth is a perennial problem in your fall haylage seedings.

Soybean Disease Survey
We have had reports of various soybean diseases in the last couple of weeds. If you have disease pressure in you soybeans please contact us so we can document them and if necessary have samples sent out for further diagnosis. Phytophthora Root Rot, Figure 1 is one disease in particular that we need to send in to the lab for race identification

Figure 1 Phytophthora Root Rot in Soybeans

Immature Corn Silage From Larry Chase
In some parts of New York, the 2013 corn crop may not reach normal maturity. There may be small ears, poor grain fill or even no ears on the corn plant at the time of harvest. We have seen this same situation in previous years. The following points may be helpful as you work with immature corn that will be harvested for corn silage. For the full article check it out on our website.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Crop Alert: June 15, 2013

This Crop Alert was originally written for and distributed to farmers and other members of the agricultural industry in western New York.

By Bill Verbeten & Mike Stanyard, Cornell Cooperative Extension

Water Water Everywhere
From 4 to 7 inches of water has fallen in most of WNY since June 6. This has resulted in ponded and flooded fields that might result in some crop loss, Figure 1. How long can corn and soybeans survive under water? Answers vary, but the consensus is 2 to 4 days. If the temperature is in the mid 60’s, crops can survive up to 4 days if it is partially submerged. Survival time will be less if the average temperature is in the mid 70’s. Under warmer temperatures, plants will use their available oxygen up faster. So we want cloudy cool days instead of warmth and sun. Even when the water subsides, recovery will be slow as long as the soil remains saturated.

Figure 1: Flooded Corn Field

Replanting/Delayed Planting
What about replanting options? We are just about to the end of our planting window for NY. Many of these wet fields will take some time to dry out before they would be suitable to plant. Corn for grain is very risky at this point and even the shortest season hybrids would need a little luck to mature. We still have a very small window to get some corn for silage in the ground and still have it make it through. Soybeans can go in a little longer but the risk factor increases after June 20. I have seen soybeans planted as late as July 1 mature but it usually depends on good moisture in August and a warm fall.

Delayed Forage Harvest
Hay and haylage harvest has been delayed across western NY by the recent rains. Many farms have had to chop some of their silage back into the fields. For stands that haven’t had first cut taken off yet, the lower leaves have begun to fall off the alfalfa and it’s beginning to come into full flower while all grasses are headed out at this point. When the ground finally dries out these fields will have high tonnage of low quality feed. At this point we may lose our last cutting from this rain on some acreage. Just be thankful we didn’t have wide-spread winterkill—my home area of Wisconsin lost over 50% of their alfalfa to ice sheeting and eastern Ontario has lost over 75% of their hay and haylage ground.

Planting Emergency Forages
For those of you who need to plant something to feed to your cows on these flooded fields there are some options once they dry out (however if you claimed insurance you probably won’t be able to plant those acres until fall). Corn silage, sorghum, sorghum sudangrass, and hybrid pearl millet will be the highest yielding emergency forages—work from the University of Minnesota showed that 4-6 ton DM/acre (12-15 ton @ 35% DM/acre) was harvestable when planted the end of June/first week of July and 75-200 lbs./acre of nitrogen applied. We have a longer growing season in western New York than near the Twin Cities & Fargo, ND where this research was conducted so we should expect similar to potentially higher yields of these emergency forages. Forage soybeans will yield between 2-3 ton DM/acre. July planted oats with nitrogen fertilizer will only yield 1-2 ton DM/acre of silage. August plantings of oats are generally more successful and have higher yields (2-3 ton DM/acre) due to lower heat stress compared to July seedings.

Crop Alert: June 21, 2013

This Crop Alert was originally written for and distributed to farmers and other members of the agricultural industry in western New York.

By Bill Verbeten & Mike Stanyard, Cornell Cooperative Extension

Purple & Yellow Corn
Reports have come in from across the region of purple corn, Figure 1, and concerns have been raised about phosphorous deficiency and taking corrective action. There is nothing that can be done except to wait until the soil warms up and dries out. The purpling is caused by an accumulation of anthocyanins and is very common at the 3-4 leaf stage because the corn plant is changing how it grows. Up until about three weeks after planting the corn plant relies solely on the energy in the kernel to grow before transitioning fully to photosynthesis. Any stress that reduces root growth at that time (i.e. the flooded conditions across western New York) can cause a build-up of sugars in the leaves and increase the purpling in the corn. Some corn varieties naturally “purple” more than others. Bright, sunny days followed by cool nights can also increase leaf purpling. True phosphorous deficiency should be evaluated at the 6-8 leaf stage when soils are warm and root growth not restricted by cool, wet conditions. For more info on corn purpling see the following from Midwest Labs, Iowa State, and Purdue.

Heavy rainfall and flooded conditions have resulted in large nitrogen losses across the region in corn fields, especially where the fertilizer was applied at planting. Yellow corn has been the result. Side dressing nitrogen will be a requirement on most, if not all corn fields this year. The million dollar question right now is how much nitrogen needs to be applied. At minimum we are recommending to sidedress 50 lbs N/acre, though some situations may need more and will vary by soil type, manure history, and previous crop. If you want to test your soil for nitrate content (PSNT) your corn needs to be 6-12 inch high, the soil should be sampled at 8-12 inches deep, and samples need to be dried immediately to stop mineralization. See Agro-One’s website for the full description of the sampling procedure.

Figure 1: Yellow & Purple Corn

Rolling Soybeans & Aphids
Mike Stanyard and I have gotten numerous questions about rolling soybeans this past week. This has been done before or immediately after planting in the Midwest to improve field conditions for harvest (pushing down rocks & residue, creating a smooth surface). The University of Minnesota has put together a bulletin discussing their research along with findings from Iowa State and North Dakota State. The have found that rolling soybeans does not increase yield, and can greatly damage soybeans especially after the V3 stage and under wet field conditions. Soybeans should not be rolled under current wet field conditions in western New York. For reduce tillage farmers seeking to smooth out their fields, rolling immediately before or after planting is a good practice when done under proper field conditions in order to increase the ease of harvest. Delayed soybean planting continues across the region, with timely rains in August these later plantings will probably still yield well. The flooded conditions have also resulted in stand failures on the heavier clay soils in western New York due to soybeans rotting underground.

Mike has found soybean aphids over threshold (250+ aphids per plant) on soybean fields that did not have an insecticide seed treatment, Figure 2. If you did not use an insecticide seed treatment, you need to scout your fields for aphids. Most insecticides containing pyrethroids will control aphids.

Figure 2: Soybean Aphids

Wheat Head Scab
The weather conditions have favored the development of fusarium head blight across the region, Figure 3. It will be important to get out into your wheat and other winter small grain fields this next week to start evaluating how severe this disease is in your fields. Fungicide applications have reduced, but not eliminated the oc-currence of fusarium head blight. This is expected, and while disease will still be present if you sprayed, the severity will be greatly reduced (usually at least 50% reduction com-pared to not spraying). Spring small grains are starting to reach Feekes 10.5 (pollination) and will continue to do so next week(see picture). This growth stage generally occurs within 2-3 days after the heads completely emerge. Apply Caramba (10-17 oz/A), Prosaro (6.5-8.2 oz/A), or Proline (5-5.7 oz/A) within 5 days of seeing pollen on small grain heads to reduce the incidence of fusarium head blight.

Figure 3: Fusarium Head Blight in Wheat

Colorful Alfalfa
The wet conditions have also affected alfalfa and other hay crops. If your hay/silage field is molding (white, brown, or black color) after laying in the field during multiple rainstorms it will probably be better to just chop it back into the field instead trying to deal with the anti-quality compounds in the feed. Despite short feed inventories and high current hay prices it is better to buy clean feed than to compromise cow health by feeding garbage.

We have also seen potentially K deficient alfalfa in wet field conditions, but are waiting on a tissue sample analysis to confirm, Figure 4. Reports of ‘wrinkled’ alfalfa with general yellowing has also been found and are most likely due to feeding by plant bugs. There are not economic thresholds for plant bugs as leafhoppers and weevils are more damaging pests in alfalfa.

Figure 4: Potentially K Deficient Alfalfa in Flooded Field

Crop Alert: June 26, 2013

This Crop Alert was originally written for and distributed to farmers and other members of the agricultural industry in western New York.

By Bill Verbeten & Mike Stanyard, Cornell Cooperative Extension

Potato Leafhoppers
This yearly alfalfa pest has arrived across western New York on the storms we’ve had in recent weeks. Reports of leafhoppers over threshold are coming in from across the region, however many fields won’t be sprayed because second harvest will occur soon after this latest round of rain on many farms. If first harvest was delayed and 2nd harvest is more than a week away it will be very important to get out in the fields and scout for leafhoppers once it dries out. The re-growth after 2nd cut will also need to be watched closely while it’s small to keep the leafhoppers in check. For more discussion on this topic see Mike’s June 2006 Ag Focus article.

Yellow Soybeans
The soybean fields that have managed to survive the floods have been looking pretty yellow in parts of western New York. In addition to being a bit waterlogged, the soybeans are currently transitioning from their using the energy in their cotyledons for growth to relying on photosynthesis. Furthermore the soybeans are probably just being to form nodules and fix nitrogen, see this video from the University of Wisconsin on the topic of yellow soybeans.

Septoria Brown Spot
We are starting to see some brown lesions on the lower leaves of soybean plants. Septoria brown spot is probably the most common early leaf disease that occurs with wet warm weather, Figure 1. This fungus will start on the unifoliate leaves but can spread upward to the trifoliates. Soybean plants usually can outgrow it and the lower affected leaves will yellow and fall off. Usually not yield limiting unless it spreads to upper trifoliates on small plants.

Figure 1: Septoria Brown Spot on Soybeans

Side-dressing Corn
The rains have washed away much of the nitrogen put down at planting with the corn. Pre-sidedress nitrogen test (PSNT) samples from across the region have come back very low in a number of cases (below 10 PPM). If you take PSNT samples and they come back ≥ 25 PPM (not very likely this year) no side-dress nitrogen is needed. PSNTs between 21-24 PPM should have 50 lbs. N/acre this year with all of the rain (in dryer years 25 lbs. N/acre would be more appropriate). Below 21 PPM (very common this year) higher rates of 75-150 lbs. N/acre are justified. For a recommendation more tailored to your farm see the Cornell Corn N Calculator. For more information on PSNT sampling and recommendations see the Cornell PSNT Factsheet.

When side-dressing nitrogen, it should be injected/knifed in if possible. Dribbling liquid nitrogen on will have lower losses than broadcasting, but more than injecting. Adding a nitrogen stabilizer to side-dress fertilizer will not be worthwhile.

Fusarium head blight update, June 28, 2013
from Gary Bergstrom, Extension Plant Pathologist, Cornell University

Winter wheat in New York flowered primarily at the end of May and first few days of June during a period when the Risk Assessment Tool indicated low risk of FHB. Field observations this week in scattered locations across New York are telling a somewhat different tale. Some level of FHB is now visible in most winter wheat fields in the state, some non-sprayed fields in the range of 5-10% incidence. Even if you checked your fields a week ago, I urge you to check them again as symptom development has increased following the shift from cool to warmer temperatures. If you see significant incidence of FHB you might consider having a pre-harvest test done for DON toxin contamination before shipping your wheat to a flour mill. Much of the small, scattered acreage of spring wheat and barley flowered over the past week or so when the forecast risk of FHB was moderate to severe. Growers can still make an application of Caramba or Prosaro if the spring crop is within 5 days of the start of flowering (first yellow anthers appeared). Most are past that time. FHB symptoms should start to appear in the next week or so; with the high risk of the past two weeks, monitoring of spring grains will be very important this year. Powdery mildew, Stagonospora nodorum blotch, and leaf rust development has been observed on flag leaves of winter wheat; flowering sprays with Caramba or Prosaro appear to have reduced the severity of flag leaf disease to a significant extent. Stripe rust of wheat has been observed at low levels in Tompkins and Monroe Counties and was also recently reported in Grand Isle County, Vermont.

Crop Alert: July 12, 2013

This Crop Alert was originally written for and distributed to farmers and other members of the agricultural industry in western New York.

By Bill Verbeten & Mike Stanyard, Cornell Cooperative Extension

Small Grain Harvest
Across western New York the winter small grains (barley, wheat, rye, & triticale) are starting to be harvested and will continue for the next couple of weeks. The weather conditions have favored the development of fusarium head blight on many fields. Before taking your load of grain to the elevator take a sample from each field in for DON (a.ka. vomitoxin) analysis. For those of you with insurance, be sure to review the Vomitoxin Fact Sheet. Even if your fields were sprayed with a fungicide it’s very important to test for DON before delivering your grain.

If you are harvesting a small grain for the malting, distilling, or fodder specialty markets you need to make some adjustments to your harvesting and drying procedures. Harvest the fields as early as possible in order to have smooth kernels that will have better germination and growth. Slow down your combine field speed and reel speed in order to not damage the kernels. Finally dry at very low heats (only up to 5-10F above the air temperature) in order to not reduce germination and change protein quality.

Soybean Aphids
Reports from Growmark representatives in Seneca County and our own observations in Ontario County are revealing that some soybean fields are over the threshold of 250 aphids per plant. The R1 stage (first visible flowers) is occurring even though the soybeans only have 3-5 trifoliates in many wet fields. On June 10 in Niagara County, we observed many winged aphids that were just starting new colonies on plants that had an insecticide seed treatment at planting. These seed treatments only have systemic activity for 45-60 days after planting. Soybeans planted in May are reaching this end point and should now be scouted weekly in order to monitor future aphid populations.

Japanese Beetles
These beetles began to emerge on July 1 and we are starting to see them congregate and feed in soybean fields. Their leaf feeding usually begins on larger the top leaves. They feed on the green tissue between the leaf veins resulting in a skeletonized appearance, Figure 1. Economic threshold for treatment is greater than 20% defoliation from first flower to pod development (R1-R5).

Figure 1: Japanese Beetle Feeding

Northern Corn Leaf Blight
We have received confirmation from Gary Bergstrom that Northern Corn Leaf Blight has been found in a corn field in northern Livingston County. Finding this foliar disease prior to tasseling is concerning and all fields should be scouted. Look for large tan lesions on leaves that taper on each end, Figure 2. The recent temperatures, rainfall, and humidity have provided perfect conditions for infection. Fungicides are available if the infection becomes severe. For more information on corn diseases and their management check out Cornell professor Gary Bergstrom article.

Figure 2: Northern Corn Leaf Blight

Forage Yield Monitor Field Day: 
Monday, July 15th come check out the Forage Yield Monitor Field Day at Gary Swede farms in Pavilion from 10 AM-noon. See the attached announcement for more information.

Aurora Farm Field Day: 
Thursday, July 18th from 9 AM to 3 PM at the Musgrave Research Farm (CUAES) 1256 Poplar Ridge Road Aurora, NY. See the attached announcement for more information.

Crop Alert: July 19, 2013

This Crop Alert was originally written for and distributed to farmers and other members of the agricultural industry in western New York.

By Bill Verbeten, Cornell Cooperative Extension

Corn Fungicides
Corn reached the tasseling stage (VT) across western New York, Figure 1, and a number of farms have applied fungicides to their corn acres this past week. The yield response to fungicides is quite variable in corn and is dependent on variety susceptibility, weather conditions, tillage system, and rotation. With this year’s cool-wet weather and the pre-tasseling observation of Northern Corn Leaf Blight in Livingston County, con-tinuous corn fields with reduced tillage have a higher likelihood of responding to fungicides this year. For more discussion on this topic see Professor Gary Bergstrom’s presentation. Fungicides can be applied up to the blister stage of corn (R2), but it’s important to remember that a response is not likely in every situation.

Figure 1: Corn Near Tasseling Stage

Spraying Soybean Weeds
Soybean fields are progressing across the region with many of the fields reaching R1 (the first flowers) the past couple of weeks. In most situations the canopy of the soybean fields have not closed yet. Be sure to get out and scout your fields to determine if you need a second pass of herbicide application. Also continue to watch for soybean aphids (250+ per plant is the threshold) as the seed applied insecticides do not control insects beyond 45-60 days after planting.

Small Grain Harvest
High wheat yields (90+ bu/A) with high test weights (55+ lbs/bu) from across the region are coming in. Continue to test for DON before delivering the grain as this year has been very favorable for Fusarium head blight development. Triticale (grain) fields are beginning to be harvested and rye harvest will begin soon as well. Some of the oat fields have also been harvested, but most are at least a week or two away from coming off the fields. Spring barley plants are also starting to dry down but still have soft kernels and green awns, Figure 2, putting them a couple of weeks from harvest.

Figure 2: Malting Barley

Potato Leafhoppers
Most farms in western NY took second cut haylage or hay this past week (although some have taken 3rd cut and others barely have finished 1st cut). Potato leafhoppers are now well-established across our region so monitor the regrowth closely the next couple of weeks and spray if over threshold, Table 1.

Table 1. Potato Leafhopper Threshold for Alfalfa Fields

Financial Assistance Program
From the USDA
We are asking for your help in publicizing as quickly as possible to all producers within your areas about the recently announced 2013 Financial Assistance Program (FAP) for producers in the Targeted States. The FAP funding will be provided to producers in the identified Targeted States who purchase buy-up insurance policies for the 2013 crop year with acreage reporting or inventory value reporting dates prior to September 30, 2013. The identified targeted states in the Raleigh Regional Office’s region are Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and West Virginia.Bulletin MGR-13-008, provides the program details. The Risk Management Agency (RMA) will provide a fixed premium reduction of $225.00 per crop policy for eligible producers. CAT policies are not eligible for this financial assistance.

Thank you for your assistance in getting the word out about the 2013 FAP to producers in the Targeted States. As always, please don’t hesitate to give the Raleigh Regional Office a call at (919) 875-4880, should you have any questions

Crop Alert: July 26, 2013

This Crop Alert was originally written for and distributed to farmers and other members of the agricultural industry in western New York.

By Bill Verbeten, Cornell Cooperative Extension

Late Season Nitrogen on Corn
With the extremely wet weather in 2013 there has been an interest in applying nitrogen in corn around the tasseling growth stage (VT). Work from Iowa and Indiana both at research stations and commercial farms has shown a 5-10 bu/A response to applying 30-60 lbs/A of nitrogen. If you apply nitrogen make sure it’s with drop nozzles that will get down through the canopy.

Fungicide Effectiveness on Corn & Soybeans
If you have an interest in applying fungicides to corn or soybeans check the efficacy tables on the NWNY Dairy, Livestock, & Field Crops Team’s website at Soybean Fungicide Table and Corn Fungicide Table.

Small Grain Harvest Update
The wheat continues to come in across western NY. Intensive management wheat farmers harvested between 80-100 bu/A with test weights of 55+lbs/bu. Less intensive management systems, flooded fields, and lodged fields have come in around 40-60 bu/A. DON levels have been surprisingly low given the weather conditions, continue to send a sample in before you deliver a load of grain. Some oats have been harvested, but most will probably come off during the next couple of weeks. Most of the approximately 300 acres of spring malting barley in western will be harvested in the next few days.

Late Summer Forage & Cover Crop Plantings
Many forages will be planted in August and early September. New seedings of alfalfa, clover, and grasses should establish well these next couple of months. It’s too late to plant sorghum-sudangrass or other warm season grasses for fall silage or grazing. Oats (2 bu/A) with some nitrogen (about 50 lbs/A) will give good tonnage for a late September-early October harvest. Winter triticale should be planted in September---fields planted in October last year did not yield as well as the those in Sept.

Cover crops planted in August (mostly after wheat) and September (after soybeans and corn silage) will be more productive than later planting dates. Small grains and clovers have performed well in western NY. Some varieties of radish are good cover crops (grow quickly, winterkill, and do not produce seed), but others are not and all require some nitrogen at planting.

For more information on these topics see the August 2013 Ag Focus for the articles by Mike Stanyard and Bill Verbeten. If you do not receive Ag Focus, please contact Cathy Wallace: 585.343.3040 x138 or

Triticale Silage Survey
If you grew winter triticale silage in 2013 please take a couple of minutes and fill out this 10 question survey. Thank you to all of you who have sent in forage analyses from your triticale silages. The preliminary results from the statewide nitrogen rate trials (44 farms, 15 in western NY) generally have shown a yield response to applying nitrogen fertilizer in the spring. More specific recommendations that take into account manure history, soil types, and forage quality will be available over the winter.