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).

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