The warm fall coupled with adequate moisture has stimulated many small grain and cover crop fields to provide excellent growth. While this is a bonus if you were looking to take a late fall harvest, it is not necessarily a good thing for winter survival.
You cannot avoid the topic of herbicide resistant weed management these days. Whether you grow cotton in the Delta of Mississippi, soybean in Indiana, or corn in Pennsylvania, chances are good that there are herbicide resistant weeds near or on your farm.
After an exceptionally mild and relatively dry November, the first few days of December will bring a brief period of wintry weather to parts of the state followed by an extended period of tranquil conditions.
Hemp is a crop which has been grown around the world for centuries and was grown extensively in Colonial America; yet, is currently illegal to grown for any potential use. A brief history of hemp, its potential uses and the legality of growing hemp in PA are discussed.
Penn State Extension and the Professional Dairy Managers of Pennsylvania release 2105 Pennsylvania Corn Hybrid Silage Trial Results. You can evaluate hybrids based on many factors including: yield, digestibility, crude protein, fiber content, and derived values such as milk per acre and Mill per ton.
Regular soil sampling is essential to not only to balance soil nutrient levels but sets the stage for maximum economic yields. Soil testing can also serve as a barometer of soil health and productivity.
The interseeder cover crop trial in Lancaster County is one of three on-farm trials, in addition to more detailed research at Rock Springs, to look at reducing tillage in organic grain crop production.
Over the last several years of working with soybean producers in Lebanon County, I have learned the importance of timely harvest of soybeans. Last week, I noticed late group 2 beans were ready to harvest. It has been my experience that once 95% of the pods turn brown, about a week later it’s time to combine.
This is the home stretch for beans, but there are still a few diseases in your crop that might only become apparent to you now. Most of these are root or stem infections that cause the leaves to turn early or become necrotic—which is why you initially notice them. But you’ll probably have to look beyond the leaves to get your answer.
As silage harvest progresses, growers are starting to think about planting cover crops. Using wheat or other small grains as a cover crop is a common choice, but brings a concern that is easily overlooked: Hessian fly.
This week we have eight reports covering seven counties. Insect pressure remains low in most areas, though small populations of grasshoppers and Japanese beetles persist. Aphid populations seem to be declining, likely due to lady beetles swarming to a tasty meal. Disease pressure remains low, but can still be found. Happy scouting!
With the early maturation of some corn and soybean crops, there could be some opportunities for planting barley this fall. Barley is often discounted in the marketplace, though, and this has limited its potential as a crop. Figuring out how to maximize the value of the crop is a key consideration to improve profitability.
The month of August was very dry across the state of Pennsylvania. Most of the western and central Pennsylvania saw just half (or less) of their usual monthly rain totals. The upcoming seven days will continue to be dry with little in the way of widespread, organized precipitation.
Two weeks ago the marketing article brought up the concept of "market carry". Grain marketers should be doing the math using current harvest price bids as warm-up for doing these same calculation for-real at harvest.
How a Combination of Subsoiling Combined with Cover Crops is Your Best Management. It has been unseasonably warm and dry lately. Some 600 more growing degrees have been accumulated for corn than average. So harvest of corn and soybeans is earlier than normal. How a Combination of Subsoiling Combined with Cover Crops is Your Best Management
This season we are ahead in growing degree days and also fairly dry in most areas in the state. As a result, corn and beans are drying down quickly, giving us an opportunity to chop, harvest and then plant wheat and other small grains early.
At this time of year it is unlikely that managing these aphid populations will be economical, and there would be a further challenge of getting effective control given the size of the plants and getting material through the canopy down to the aphids. The point of this article, then, is to learn from this issue, so the problem can be avoided in future years.
The dry weather is continuing across most of the state, causing corn silage to dry down at rapid rates and allowing growers the possibility of getting into the fields for harvest earlier than expected.
The combination of scorching heat and drought conditions heighten the potential for silo gas during harvest. Late season rainfall on drought-stressed corn in manured fields could produce higher-than-average nitrates resulting in high gas levels in silos.
The past seven days were abnormally warm and dry across the state. About half of the state received less than a quarter of an inch of precipitation since last Wednesday, and around 20 percent did not observe anything at all. A change to cooler and wetter weather will occur from midweek through the upcoming weekend.
This time of year (July) a suite of insect pest species are feeding upon soybean foliage. The pest complex is dominated by Japanese beetle, grasshoppers, and green cloverworm, but other species are also active, including Mexican bean beetle and newly emerging bean leaf beetles.
It’s this time of year that we begin to see more disease issues in corn and beans. This is partly because late July and August is a reliably humid time in the Mid-Atlantic, and those fungi and bacteria just love moisture.
As soybean fields are emerging across the state, there are some reports coming in of variable stands. Now can be a perfect time to examine those fields, and make management decisions on whether to fill in a stand, replant, or leave them alone.
After last week’s frost event I received feedback and made some observations myself about the variable nature of the damage. In some cases it was fairly striking. These have caused some questions about why this variation occurs.
I’ve had a couple discussions with producers about the impact of High Path Avian Influenza in the upper Midwest, and the price of corn. The thinking goes something like; with over 50 million birds destroyed due to the outbreak, the corn that would have been consumed is now on the market looking for another home. How might this impact farm prices?
Remember all those conversations, articles and meetings this past winter concerning the new farm bill safety net? Well, hopefully you did get your yields updated, base acres reallocated and made a program decision by the deadline – because – now it is time to go to the County FSA office and enroll in which ever program you picked.
With very heavy rains in some areas of the state over the last week there have been concerns with nitrogen (N) loss. That is a real concern. A common recommendation in this situation is to run a PSNT test to evaluate the N status after the heavy rain.
Grazing animals will very rarely eat poisonous weeds if there are other options. However, the wet weather has been great for poisonous plant growth and the concern is heightened. Knowing which plants are poisonous and how poisonous they are could help avoid a problem.
Previous research at Penn State on interseeding cover crops into standing corn has found results that were less consistent in longer-season and/or very high-yielding corn than those seen where yields were not as great. Perhaps the intensity and the duration of the “shade period” later on in the growing season may be taking a toll on the survival of the cover crop.
As the growing season progresses steadily, I wanted to bring a few potential pests to your attention. Reminding folks of these pest species will help you stay alert should you encounter them in your fields.
This week, we have 19 reports from 16 counties. Slug damage is fairly widespread with the continued wet weather; double cropped soybeans are a greater risk from slugs. Some diseases are starting to show, but the wet weather certainly will foster other diseases.
There’s lots of interest in locally grown food and feed and now considerable interest is developing in growing malting barley for local malting to ultimately be used by craft brewers in the state. Join us on June 11th for an afternoon field day on this new crop market.
The sudden change to summer like conditions will likely speed corn emergence compared to normal. This rapid emergence will be good in some ways for assessing stands but shortens the window for pre-emergent herbicide applications.
Corn planting got off to a great start this week and yield prospects are good at this point. We are continuing our tradition of the Five Acre Corn Club this year to document the yields that top growers are achieving around the state.
Dry weather can affect both soil applied and postemergence herbicide performance. All soil applied herbicides require rainfall to mobilize them for effective weed control. In general, rainfall should occur within 7 to 10 days after application or before weed emergence.
This is a good time of year, as the alfalfa is rapidly growing and gaining height, to decide if it will be a healthy productive stand for another year, or if you should consider rotating to corn after first cutting.
Applying any urea containing fertilizer to the soil surface during warm, dry, windy conditions will maximize the potential for N volatilization losses. This loss occurs quickly, starting within hours following application with most of the loss occurring within 2 days following application.
Penn State Extension’s Black Cutworm Monitoring Network has now detected six significant flights of this migratory pest species across the state. Black cutworms are a bit more active than usual this year; thus, growers generally need to be aware of this situation and watch your fields as the spring progresses.
Growing degree accumulations indicate the potential for black cutworm feeding at several locations around the state and scouting is key for managing this occasional but potentially impactful pest. Vigilance in our small grains and grass hay crops is also warranted as several Midwestern states are reporting significant flights of true armyworm.
Although stiltgrass is most commonly found in shady, moist, and disturbed environments, we are seeing it becoming increasingly common on the edges of farm fields and it is invading pasture, hay fields, home landscapes and low-maintenance turf areas.
This week, calls have been coming in to our Penn State Extension offices across the state asking for assistance in diagnosing and assessing some of these early season pest problems. Bird damage continues to be one of the issues near the top of this list.
Keep in mind that black cutworm moth activity has been substantial this spring. We now have had 10 locations in our Black Cutworm Monitoring Network that have detected significant flights of this pest species. Also Cereal Leaf Beetles are active in some small grain fields, scouting is recommended.
Some parts of the state experienced frost on Saturday morning this weekend, causing some concern. After 85 degree temperatures earlier in the month, I thought this threat might be past for the year but apparently that was not the case.
East-central Pennsylvania is now experiencing ‘moderate drought’ conditions with the remainder of the eastern third of the state (and a sliver of the northwest) seeing abnormally dry conditions. The next 7 days will be relatively unsettled, which will bring the potential for some reprieve from the lack of rainfall recently.
Cover crops offer many benefits: they help protect soil from water and wind erosion, improve water infiltration, improve soil structure, help build soil organic matter content, they capture and recycle plant nutrients and can provide forage for your animals. Hear why leading no-till farmers use cover crops in this video.
If you are an organic-crop producer in the Northeast, or a farmer interested in transitioning to organic, there is a new resource available to provide the research-based information you need to be successful.
If historical patterns have any value for understanding today; the seasonal corn prices of the past 24 years suggest the March through June time frame typically offers the best price levels for a marketing year.
This time of year, manure piles are growing and pits are filling up snfarmers are anxious to get the manure spread before the busy planting season starts. But because most of the soil pores are continuously filled with water, infiltration capacity is low, and the threat of runoff high.
Populations of winter annual weeds will become more prevalent in early April and can compete with wheat and barley and slow the rate of crop development potentially reducing yield. If winter annual weeds like common chickweed, henbit, purple deadnettle, horseweed, and others emerge with the small grain and are left unchecked, the potential impact on yield could be great.
Now that Old Man Winter has lost his firm grip on much of our area, one of the activities that will happen rather quickly this spring is the transfer and application of liquid fertilizer on the farm. Many farms take advantage of using polyethylene (poly) tanks for transportation, storage and application of fertilizers and chemicals.
Growers are invited to the join in as specialists from Cornell, Delaware Valley College, Penn State, and University of Pennsylvania’s New Bolton Center present cutting-edge information in the agronomy world on February 19th.