Friday, August 2, 2013

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.

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