Share

Field Crop News, Vol. 11:08, May 3, 2011

In This Issue:

Weather Outlook — Paul Knight, Pennsylvania State Climatologist

Another surge of cooler air will push into Pennsylvania on Wednesday as showers slowly depart the eastern counties. Clouds will break in central and southern sections during the afternoon. It will be chilly enough for patchy frost at daybreak Thursday in the northern and some western counties. Settled weather with leftover clouds will be the rule on Thursday. A series of disturbances are expected to ripple through the region from Friday to Sunday, each one producing a 4–8 hour period of cloudy skies and embedded showers or thundershowers. However, most areas will not receive much rainfall and it should rain less than a third of time on any of the three days (Fri-Sat-Sun). Temperatures will average below seasonal levels during the weekend, though frost is not a risk due to patchy clouds and breezes at night.

A blocking pattern from the north Atlantic is likely to dominate the weather next week, though the exact position of the stalled weather system is still uncertain. Odds favor a spell (3–5days) of dry, increasingly warm days, though a small shift in the forecast could turn this into a rather dull, cool period instead.

There are still indications that the latter part of May or early June will bring very warm weather to the region.

Is Corn Hybrid Switching Necessary? — Greg Roth, Grain Crop Management

Corn hybrids have the ability to shorten up their growing degree day requirements a bit and can adapt to shorter growing season lengths caused by cool weather or late planting. In general adapted hybrids can be planted until about May 20–25 without a need to switch to earlier maturities. Sometimes switching now will get you earlier hybrids that are not that well adapted and may not yield that well.

My main concern on hybrid maturity is in the central parts of the state where some pretty full season hybrids get planted that may not mature unless planted early in a normal season. Planting these hybrids in mid May can increase the risk of frost before maturity and some of the long slow dry down problems that we have experienced in this region in the past. There I would consider planting these hybrids first or perhaps switching to an earlier hybrid if silage or high moisture corn is not an option and planting gets delayed until mid May. It’s difficult to give an exact recommendation based on our geography and hybrids, but most experienced corn growers have an idea of the maturities that fall in this category on their farm.

How are Corn and Soybean Yields Impacted by Delayed Planting? — Greg Roth, Grain Crop Management

Delayed planting impacts vary each year, but can be estimated from some of our replanting charts. I have used these adapted from our own data and other regions in the Corn Belt. We still have potential for good yields. A recent Cornell study has looked at planting date for the past two years on some highly productive land in western New York and concluded “If soil conditions are wet in late April or early May, there is no need to mud it in because there is very limited yield loss, if any, for corn planted from 15–20 May compared with corn planted from 20–25 April.” This study suggests planting date impacts might be similar or even less than expected with the charts. Some of the historical problems associated with late planting like corn borer and rootworm injury are minimized with modern hybrids.

Table 1. Expected impact of delayed planting on corn yields.
Planting Date Corn Soybeans
April 30 100
May 4 99
May 9 97 100
May 14 95
May 19 91 98
May 24 86
May 29 81 95
June 4 75
June 9 68 88
June 20
76

Corn Management and Later Planting — Greg Roth, Grain Crop Management

Here are some management changes in corn production that I would consider given the wet season and if planting gets delayed for another week:

  1. Make planting of corn planned for grain production a priority in early to mid May
  2. Switch silage production to later planted fields
  3. Plant around the wet spots in fields with variable drainage
  4. Consider switching to use of high moisture grain or snaplage if corn maturity seems questionable. High moisture corn could be a good way to cut feed costs this fall. Snaplage is an idea that has resurfaced to maximize DM production but requires some management to optimize feed quality.
  5. Consider more double cropping after first cutting hay or barley to meet corn silage needs, especially if hay stands are thin or impacted by the wet weather.
  6. Consider harvesting some cover crops for forage before planting if they have not advanced too far in maturity.

Switching to Soybeans — Keith Dickinson, Farm Management Educator, Chester County, Andrew Frankenfield, Extension Educator, Montgomery County, Greg Roth, Grain Crop Management

One option is to switch some land from corn to soybeans. The University of Illinois has developed a spreadsheet to evaluate the economics of making this switch. You can download the spreadsheet to make an economic assessment of your own situation. The spreadsheet depends on the input costs, prices you anticipate for corn and soybeans at harvest, and planting date responses for corn and soybeans. We developed a Pennsylvania version that with some of our local information.

We used current estimates from grain buyers in the state along with some estimates of input costs and crop insurance costs and our planting date response information. Our conclusion was similar to that reached by our colleagues in Illinois, that in general the returns from corn are still higher than soybeans until early June. One caveat we noticed is that the decision is fairly sensitive to anticipated crop prices and some producers who have locked in revenue protection coverage may be in a scenario where soybeans were more profitable throughout the planning scenario. We also looked at other yield scenarios, such as 250 bu corn and 75 bu soybeans and found this can delay the switch until June 10. The bottom line is it is best to customize the spreadsheet for your own situation and assumptions, but it provides a tool for making a quantitative judgment, not an emotional one.

Forage Harvesting Spring 2011 — Paul Craig, Dauphin Extension

To say it bluntly, this weather is for the birds! At a time when forage supplies are becoming low and producers look toward spring harvests of winter small grains and cool season grasses, these unending rain events are seriously affecting dairy and livestock producers. In travels across south-central PA last week there were significant acres of ryelage, mowed at the perfect maturity, laying in windrows getting rained on from unexpected showers and in many locations, significant rainfalls. Tedders and rakes were out trying to quickly get the forages dry enough for harvest ahead of the next rain event. Even without the additional rain the weather sure has not been favorable for ideal forage harvest.

Highest levels of forage quality and quantity are found immediately at mowing or grazing. Graziers manage their animals to direct harvest, reducing losses that start immediately upon mowing. When forages are mowed the plant continues a natural process called respiration until the whole plant moisture drops to 15% or ensiling lowers the pH to less than 5.0. During this time the plant is using stored carbohydrates (sugars) in the plant cells for the respiration process. When consuming these sugars the plant loses dry matter and quality. Speedy dry down is important to minimize these losses. If the forage is rewetted during the dry down process additional sugars will continue to be lost causing significant losses for forage quality and value.

Rain also causes leaching of plant cell nutrients by washing out soluble plant cell components such as carbohydrates, proteins and minerals. Not only are these soluble nutrients important for forage quality for livestock, they are vital for optimum fermentation by haylage bacteria during the ensiling process. Plant sugars are the food source for these beneficial bacteria. Forages that remain in the field for an extended time or have been exposed to significant rain before chopping or baling will not complete an optimum fermentation. These forages will not store well for longer periods and will present feeding challenges. Having good estimates of forage quality by using frequent forage testing will be important throughout feedout.

In many locations rye is still standing and quickly maturing. Feed value of these forages is reduced as the plant rapidly increases the amount of poorly digested, higher lignin in plant stems. The challenge is always to time harvest for highest quality (boot stage) and then get the forage mass dried down to chopping moistures as rapidly as possible without environmental conditions that result in excessive nutrient losses. Easier said than done, in 2011.

Rain Increases Soil Splash onto Forages — Marvin Hall, Penn State Forage Specialist

The heavy rain this spring has caused more soil splashing onto forage plants than normal. This soil will show up in the forage quality analysis as Ash. Forages high in ash content can skew forage energy and dry matter intake estimates. The normal ash content of legume-grass forages is near 9.0% (DM basis) however in years with lots of rain forages can contain up to 18.0% ash. If a dairy producer feeds 25 lbs (DM basis) of forage containing 18.0% ash they would be feeding each cow nearly 2.5 lbs more soil each day than normal.

There isn’t much that can be done about the soil or ash already on the plant. However, you can take steps to minimize the soil that gets added during the hay making process.

  1. Keep windrow off the ground - starting with a wide swath and placing the cut forage onto dense stubble will eliminate harvesting a layer of soil on the bottom of windrows. Putting hay into a wide swath also increases drying rate. The windrow should be high enough so that it can be raked or merged without the rake touching the ground.
  2. Keep rake tines from touching the ground - this can be done if the forage is on top of stubble and the ground is level. Wheel rakes tend to incorporate more ash because they are ground-driven.
  3. Minimize moving hay horizontally to reduce stones and other ash. It is better to move two swaths on top of a third in the middle rather than to rake all to one side.
  4. Using a windrow merger rather than raking will result in less ash content since the windrow is picked up and moved horizontally by a conveyer rather than being rolled across the ground. Merging can result in 1 to 2 percent less ash in the hay or silage.

Foregoing Tillage Plans During a Late Spring — Sjoerd Duiker, Soil Management Specialist

The wet spring we are having is starting to cause some anxiety and farmers wonder what to do to enable planting when conditions are fit. A common reaction is to grasp for the tillage tool to dry out the soil. Here are a few suggestions why this might be a bad idea:

  • Long-term no-till soil is firmer and holds up equipment so you can access the field faster than if it is tilled.
  • Long-term no-till soils have improved surface tilth which makes soil fit sooner for planting after rain. This is the result of higher organic matter content in the top 2 inches of no-till soil as well as greater fine root accumulation in the surface.
  • Long-term no-till soil has improved drainage due to high biological activity. Night crawler burrows make deep holes which help move free water from the soil surface to groundwater or tile drains.
  • Crop residue keeps depth control and closing wheels clean.
  • Instead of investing in tillage it would be better to invest in planter attachments that help getting better results planting no-till in sub-optimal conditions.
  • Soil temperatures are already fit for corn planting, no matter which tillage system you are using.
  • The major important thing is to get your crop planted - why waste time tilling?
  • Tilling wet soil will get you in a pickle - it may cause very cloddy soil conditions which leads to poor seed-to-soil contact.
  • A wet spring in a ‘La Nina’ system is often followed by a dry summer. Burying mulch now will lead to reduced moisture savings in the summer.

Burndown Woes in Wet Weather — Dwight Lingenfelter, Penn State Weed Science

Here we are in May already and some fields are still not sprayed. Below are a few things to consider with late burndown scenarios.

  1. The first priority is to get the crop planted. If applying a typical mixture of glyphosate and 2,4–D, the necessary waiting period will continue to push the planting date later.
  2. Normally, it is not a good idea to spray glyphosate alone but this may be one of those times to consider it. Use higher rates (1.5+ qt/A) to obtain adequate control of larger weeds. Gramoxone is another option to consider but with the cloudy, wet weather and larger weeds, control may suffer.
  3. In corn, you may consider planting first then applying the glyphosate + 2,4-D + a residual herbicide after planting. Depending on the product it may need to be applied before corn emergence otherwise there is a potential for crop injury. To be sure, you may want to select herbicides that allow delayed pre/early post applications (see Penn State Agronomy Guide Table 2.2-12 for more details).
  4. In soybeans, if planting first, omit the 2,4-D and apply glyphosate + Canopy or metribuzin for burndown after planting. Sharpen or Valor products could be used too. However, if soybeans are emerging, many of these residual products can cause crop injury, so use caution when selecting herbicides.
  5. Make sure to include the necessary spray additives (adjuvants) in the spray solution to improve burndown control.
  6. Use higher spray volumes and appropriate nozzles. With larger weeds, spray coverage is critical for adequate control. Make sure to use at least 15 gallons/A spray volume and select nozzles that produce enough medium size droplets for good coverage.
  7. Since sunlight is lacking due to all the clouds and rain, herbicide activity will be slower. Also remember the rainfast periods. Rain soon after application can wash herbicide off the leaves and reduce activity. Most herbicides require a rain free period of at least 1 to 2 hours or more. See Bill Curran’s article in this edition for additional herbicide burndown options and considerations.

With the Wet Weather, Consider Flexibility in Choosing Herbicides for Corn and Soybean — W.S. Curran, Penn State Weed Specialist

With all this wet weather and delay in planting and herbicide application, you might consider flexibility if you are playing the waiting game. A limited number of corn and soybean herbicide allow you to switch crops if necessary. Here is a list of herbicides that can be used PREPLANT or PRE in both corn and soybean.

Burndown

  • 2,4-D LVE — When applied at 1 pt/acre, there is a 7-day waiting period for soybean. This is also the safest use in corn.
  • Glyphosate — This can be used in the burndown and POST in Roundup Ready crops. Increase the rate to 1.5 lb ae/acre for larger weeds.
  • Gramoxone Inteon — Can increase the rate up to 4 pt/acre for larger weeds.
  • Harmony — Can be added to the glyphosate burndown at 0.45 to 0.90 oz/acre for both corn and soybeans.
  • Ignite — labeled up to 36 fl oz/acre in the burndown application. Ignite is most effective on small actively growing weeds under warm temperatures. Use sufficient carrier volume (minimum 15 GPA) and spray tips to get thorough coverage of the weeds.

Grass residual

  • Dual products — can be used in both corn and soybean for residual grass and small seeded broadleaf control.
  • Micro-Tech — This product is more common in NY State, but can also be used in both corn and soybean in Pennsylvania.
  • Outlook — can be used in both corn and soybean for residual grass and small seeded broadleaf control.

Broadleaf residual

  • Metribuzin (formerly Sencor 75DF) — This product was labeled preemergence at up to 5.3 oz per acre on medium textured soils with greater than 2% organic matter as part of the burndown program.
  • Python — Python is effective on a number of annual broadleaf weeds and can be used in both corn and soybean. The use rate range is 0.8 to 1.14 oz/acre (up to 1.33 oz in soybean).
  • Sharpen — Labeled for both corn and soybean. Use only the 1 oz/acre in soybean for burndown and add MSO as the adjuvant. Cannot be used in combination with Valor or Authority/Spartan.
  • Valor — can be used in both corn and soybean. Corn may be planted 7 days after application at the 2 oz/acre rate (requires minimum of 25% surface residue and 0.25 inch of rainfall between application and planting). Do not tank-mix with common grass herbicides (Dual, Outlook, etc.) in soybean due to injury concerns.

Grass and broadleaf residual products

  • Verdict — This is a new product and is a mixture of the active ingredients found in Sharpen and Outlook. The most common application rate is 13 fl oz/acre for corn and 5 fl oz/acre for soybean.
  • Combinations that include a grass products (Dual, Micro-Tech, and Outlook) plus Python would also provide residual grass and broadleaf control for both corn and soybean.

Black Cutworm Moths Still Very Active — John Tooker, Penn State Entomology Specialist

Penn State’s Black Cutworm Monitoring Network has detected a third significant flight of black cutworm moths. This latest flight was found in northwestern Lehigh County over the past weekend, and we have begun to accumulate degree days for this location to warn folks when 300 degree days have passed so they know when to expect larval cutting damage. The first significant flight we detected was found in Berks County near Kutztown on 18 April, and 160 degree days have accumulated since the significant flight. The second flight was detected in Fulton County and 100 degree days have accumulated for the site near McConnellsburg. Remember that well-timed scouting once 300 degree days have accumulated and spot rescue treatments are usually the most economical tactic for managing black cutworm. For more details on black cutworm, its biology and management options see our fact sheet.

Aphids Infesting Timothy Fields — John Tooker, Penn State Entomology Specialist

Penn State Extension in Bucks County (far eastern Pennsylvania) has encountered at least three timothy fields infested with aphids. The aphids appear to be greenbug (Schizaphis graminum), which can infest a range of grass crops; including small grains and forage species. Infestations of aphids are more common in the shoulder seasons (spring and fall) because aphids can be active in cooler temperatures when natural enemies are not as active. Greenbug can be particularly damaging because this aphid species injects toxins into plants as it feeds, causing yellowing. In some cases the injury looks brown, reddish, or even purple. Greenbug and many other aphid species excrete honeydew as they feed and this honeydew is often colonized by sooty mold, which can turn leaves black. To complicate matters, greenbug is a vector of barley yellow dwarf virus, so growers will need to keep an eye out for this disease in their timothy and nearby grain fields.

When scouting for greenbug and other aphid species, start by looking low on the plant because they feed toward the base of plants, but move upward as populations increase. Economic thresholds are not very well defined and can range from 5–25 aphids per stem depending on the size of the plant and growing conditions. Large healthy plants can of course tolerate higher populations. Insecticides should be considered if feeding damage is evident prior to tillering. Treatment is probably not necessary if reasonable populations of natural enemies are present; natural enemies can often quickly knock back aphid populations if given the chance. Growers with infestations in Bucks County are choosing to spray Warrior, which is labeled against greenbug in grass forage and hay. Warrior should also have some suppressive activity on timothy mites should they also being infesting the field, but Sevin XLR is preferred for mite control.

We do not know how serious or widespread a problem this is and would appreciate being notified of other timothy fields in other parts of Pennsylvania with these symptoms. It would be helpful to have as many details on the history of the management of these fields as possible.

Soil Fertility and Wet Weather Response Notes — Doug Beegle, Soil Fertility Management

Starter Fertilizer

Starter fertilizer is always important on low testing soils and can be beneficial for early planting in cold wet soils regardless of soil test level. At higher soil tests and as we get later into the season when the soils are warmer, the probability of getting an economical response to a starter becomes much lower. If it gets warm and looks like it is going to stay warm, if soils have optimum or higher nutrient levels, and if the overall nutrient needs of the crop are being met with other fertilizer, starter could probably be eliminated to speed up planting with little risk. This does not mean cutting overall fertilizer requirements; this is simply shifting the method of application to speed up planting. If starter is eliminated make sure that there is adequate early season nitrogen for the crop. If there is no manure application, then at least 1/3 to 1/2 of the crop N requirement should be applied near to planting time. This could be just some ammonium sulfate (up to 300 lb/A) applied near the row in place of a starter, it could be all or a significant amount of the crop N requirement applied either dribble or injected 4–6 inches from the row at planting, or as a broadcast application which is the least efficient option.

Nitrogen Management

If N were applied early in anticipation of early planting, there is the potential that a significant amount of that could be lost by now. Since it has also been fairly cold which may have limited microbial activity in the soil and thus reduced nitrification and the potential for leaching and denitrification losses. For early applied N, this year would probably have been a good year for using a nitrification inhibitor. As we get later, unless it remains extremely wet, the potential benefit of a nitrification inhibitor goes down.

If small grain fields or grass hayfields did not get their normal N at green-up they will still benefit from N applications. This should be high priority as soon as soil conditions are acceptable. If N fertilizer has not yet been applied for corn, no major change in management should be needed unless planting is delayed to the point where yield potential is significantly reduced. Then a rate reduction may be warranted. The general recommendation is that if no manure is applied, then at least 1/3 to ½ of the crop N requirement should be applied near to planting time. The balance can be sidedressed. Fall, winter, or early applications of manure to fields with cover crops should retain much more N than fields with nothing growing during this wet period. If manure has been applied, then some N in the starter plus the soluble manure N should be adequate to get the crop to sidedress time.

The real question is how much N we should apply given the spring we have experienced. This is the kind of year with so much uncertainty about N, when in-season N tests like the PSNT and the chlorophyll meter tests will be extremely useful. See: Agronomy Facts #17 Pre-sidedress Soil Nitrate Test for Corn and Early Season Chlorophyll Meter Test for Corn. There is no simple answer to this question. Make some guesses about whether or not we have lost some of our N, what our yield potential is, how we plan to apply any additional N, and then make some adjustments in our N rates based on that. That hopefully will get us in the ballpark. Then if we want to do better than just be in the ballpark, we can use the PSNT or chlorophyll meter to either confirm that our guesses were correct or guide any additional N we may need as a corrective treatment. Alternatively we can just make sure we have adequate N for the early season and then plan to sidedress the balance based on the results of these tests.

Manure Management

Many farmers have barely begun to apply manure yet unless they have had to “rut” some on because the pit is full. From a very narrow fertility point of view late application is good because there is less chance of losing the manure nutrients before crop uptake. But the real problem is just getting it spread, a quickly as possible, while doing the minimum amount of damage to the soil or crop so that we can get on to planting.

I have gotten some questions about post planting applications. The main problem with this is the physical effects of trying to spread manure in a planted field such as running down rows with big manure spreaders, cutting in and out of fields at the end of loads, and compaction. If the corn is emerged, there can be problems with physically smothering the plants with a heavy application, especially something like dairy manure. This is less of a concern with poultry and swine manure but then there are chemical concerns with all of these manures from salt injury in the soil and burning emerged plants. Both of these will be minimized if there is a good soaking rain right after application. Along this same line, if manure is applied and the crop is planted very soon after, there can be salt injury which can reduce germination, especially with poultry manure. Usually, a half inch of rain between manure application and planting is safe.

Since most manure storages are open to the rain this is adding significantly to the volume of manure, and also diluting the nutrients. Thus, basing your manure nutrient planning and accounting on previous manure analyses will probably over-estimate the nutrients being applied. If you are applying the same rate as always, you may need to adjust any supplemental fertilizer nutrients up a little to compensate or you may want to increase the rate of application as another way to compensate. If you take a manure sample at spreading time this information can be helpful for later adjusting at-planting or sidedress N applications based on the lower manure nutrient content.

What is the Current Grain Market Outlook? — John Berry, Lehigh County

  • Prospects for the next grain harvest remain favorable
  • Dry conditions and a delayed start to spring seeding in parts of the northern hemisphere may affect the final outcome.
  • World production of grains is projected to climb by 4.5%

Wheat

  • Less than ideal conditions for some crops lower the projection of world wheat production in 2011/12, but this is still more than the year before.
  • Winter wheat in the US has been affected by dry conditions
  • Rains are also needed in the EU and China.
  • Spring wheat sowing is being hindered by wet soils in the US, Canada and Russia.
  • This year’s bigger global harvest is expected to be matched by higher consumption
  • World stocks are projected to remain steady.
  • World trade will be lifted by larger milling imports in North Africa and Near East Asia as well as by anticipated strong global demand for competitively priced wheat for feed.

Corn

  • High prices are forecast to boost world plantings by 3% in 2011/12.
  • Assuming yield growth returns to trend, global production is projected to increase by almost 5%, to a record.
  • Potentially tight supplies and firm market prices are expected to limit consumption growth to 1.3%.
  • Although meat demand will remain firm in developing countries, overall growth in corn use will likely slow, as livestock producers switch to wheat.
  • Due to a projected standstill in demand from US ethanol producers, global industrial use is forecast to slow.

Soybeans

  • USDA estimated Brazil’s 2011 soybean crop near 72.0 mmt vs. 69.0 mmt last year with harvest near 80% complete.
  • The wet summer has increased some concerns over the quality of the crop.
  • A slowdown in exports to China has disrupted export logistics.
  • Brazil continues to work closely with China on new trade issues.

World consumption

  • World consumption of grains in 2011/12 is projected to increase by 1.5%
  • Unless the US corn crop exceeds all expectations, supplies will remain very low
  • With consumption of grains forecast to remain higher than production, a further downturn in world carryover stocks is likely.
  • The carry-out projection for the major exporters is unchanged from this year's, largely because of a partial recovery foreseen in Russia.
  • World trade in all grains in the year ending June 2012 is projected to rise to the highest since 2008/09.

Summary
Corn and soybean markets through the coming spring and summer months are supported by record tight U.S. ending stocks-to-use for both crops for their respective 2010/11 marketing years, and the strong possibility that their ending stocks will remain extremely tight in the next marketing year as well.

Prospects for U.S. wheat prices are also good, based on likely shortfalls in the 2011 U.S. hard red winter wheat crop, the possibility of seeding problems due to wet field conditions for hard red spring wheat in the Dakotas, Minnesota and Canada, and cross-price support from corn and soybean markets.

Given this set of grain market conditions, any weather threat to U.S. or world crop production during the 2011 planting and growing season may very likely lead to record or near record high grain prices for farmers to take advantage of.

However…

There are also risks that exist that could lead to markedly lower grain prices later this year.

  1. With adequate moisture and improved weather conditions crops in the U.S. Corn Belt, in South America, and in other major producing regions, it is possible that large World corn, soybean and possibly even wheat crops could be produced this year.
  2. Current extremely high grain prices could ration grain usage to the place that grain using industries are “financially damaged” — leading to a major retraction in grain usage and to lower grain prices.
  3. Some risk that U.S. grain markets would be affected should an economic slowdown occur in the U.S. sometime in 2011. An economic slowdown brought on by high energy prices or other inflationary pressures would likely put at least some downward pressure on grain market prices.

Overall, grain market prospects for 2011 are very positive at this time, but there is some risk of price declines occurring as well. As grain producers make their grain marketing decisions for 2011 crops, it would be judicious to consider how to protect themselves from the risk of unexpected and financially harmful grain price declines.

Corn Club Registration Online

Registration for the Five Acre Corn Club is now open. This has been an interesting program for many of us for many years, recognizing producers for high yields, collaborating with the PA Corn Growers Association and learning about management on high yield corn sites. This year we are using a new, simple online system for registration that allows producers or their advisors to register them with a credit card. Fields need to be identified at registration. For rules and registration information, see the corn club website.

Small Grain Field Day

Mark your calendar now to join Penn State faculty and extension educators for our annual Small Grains Field Day at our Rock Springs Agronomy Farm on June 1 at 1000 am. This year’s program will review winter wheat and barley variety evaluation trials, disease management issues and weed management research. The program will also include updates on small grain insect pests and the potential for new small grain markets in the region, including biofuels, feed, and artisan wheat markets. This should be an interesting tour.

Contributors: State Specialists: Doug Beegle, Sjoerd Duiker, Greg Roth, Bill Curran, and Dwight Lingenfelter, John Tooker; Extension Educators: Greg Hostetter (Juniata), Del Voight (Lebanon), Mena Hautau (Berks), Joel Hunter (Crawford), Mike Fournier (Bucks), Mark Madden (Sullivan) Susan Alexander (Jefferson), Bill Waltman (Potter).

Editor:Paul H. Craig, Dauphin County