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2016

December

Contributors for December 6, 2016
December 8, 2016
New Video Series on Herbicide Resistant Pigweed Management and Identification
December 8, 2016
Weed management specialists at Penn State have released a 5-Part series of videos on managing and identifying herbicide resistant pigweeds in the mid-Atlantic.
Corn/Soybean Tests Online
December 8, 2016
Results from the 2016 Penn State Corn and Soybean Trials have been posted online. Now is a good time to identify some new high yielding genetics that may be available for your operations.
Xtendimax Label and Xtend Soybeans
December 8, 2016
Xtendimax now has a federal label for use in Roundup Ready 2 Xtend soybeans. How this will impact soybean production in Pennsylvania is still yet to be determined.
What Does the Pennsylvania Controlled Plant and Noxious Weed Act Mean to You?
December 8, 2016
A new noxious weed act will be introduced to Pennsylvania in 2017 that will help protect you and your farm from invasive noxious weeds.
What Should I Do With What Remains of My Cash Crops?
December 8, 2016
As expected, the world has a burdensome supply of wheat and corn from the 2016 season and adequate supplies of soybeans. This gives us two primary questions; “What should I do with what remains of my cash crops?” and “What can we do for 2017 crops?”
Like Our Field Crop News? We Need Your Help
December 8, 2016
You may be receiving an email or a letter from Penn State in the coming weeks. You need to take action in order to continue receiving updates and alerts from Extension.
Weather Outlook for December 2016
December 8, 2016
After a relatively mild and dry month of November across Pennsylvania, the weather will become wintrier as December progresses.

November

Contributors for November 8, 2016
November 9, 2016
Pennsylvania Corn Silage Hybrid Evaluation Program Update
November 9, 2016
The Pennsylvania Corn Silage Hybrid Evaluation Program team has released 2016 results available to download.
Winter Survival of Small Grains and Cover Crops at Risk
November 9, 2016
The warm fall coupled with timely planting has resulted in excellent growth of many small grain and cover crop fields across the state. 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.
Ear Rots in Your Corn Crop?
November 9, 2016
Tips to identify ear rot and action to take if you suspect it on your corn crop.
How Late Can I Control Weeds in the Fall?
November 9, 2016
Many have inquired about how late an herbicide application can be made in the fall and still be effective. Below are some comments about controlling perennials and winter annual weeds at this time of year.
Weather Outlook for November 2016
November 9, 2016
With much of the eastern US experiencing dry and mild weather since the first of November, the next week will bring shots of some colder air to the state but with very little in the way of widespread precipitation.

October

Contributors for October 11, 2016
October 12, 2016
Reducing the Risk of Prussic Acid Poisoning
October 12, 2016
As fall weather settles in and cool temperatures saturate Pennsylvania, the risk of prussic acid poisoning in livestock as a result of grazing frosted warm-season annuals skyrockets.
Overseeding Small Grains Instead of Perennials into Pasture or Hayfields
October 12, 2016
Having vigorous plant cover is one of the best ways to protect soil from erosion and improve soil health. A thin stand of perennial grass or legume may need to be thickened up to improve soil health and increase spring forage production. While it is too late to plant perennials it is still possible to overseed a winter cereal into your pasture or hayfield.
Open Letter Regarding Efficacy of Cry1F Trait on Western Bean Cutworm
October 12, 2016
While we have little evidence that Pennsylvania growers have suffered much from western bean cutworm, farmers in nearby states, including Ohio, New Yorker, Michigan, Ontario, and Indiana, have struggled to control this pest species, which feeds mostly in corn ears and has been feeding extensively on Bt corn varieties meant to control it. This open letter addressed to seed companies urges them to alter their claims about the value of the Cry1F trait meant to control western bean cutworm.
Minimize Soybean Harvest Loss
October 12, 2016
When soybeans are ready to harvest, don’t delay…be ready when they’re ready.
Fall Weed Control in Wheat and Barley
October 12, 2016
Consider a fall herbicide application on your small grains if winter annual weeds are a problem.
Weather Outlook
October 12, 2016
Some pleasant days ahead, with a few opportunities for showers. Odds favor above average temperatures for the remainder of October.
Contributors for October 25, 2016
October 26, 2016
Wintering your Field Crop Sprayer
October 26, 2016
Diligent equipment care and good maintenance practices are key management habits for optimizing the usefulness of agricultural implements and for controlling equipment costs over time. Equipment upkeep and field-readiness are characteristic hallmarks of a good manager.
Are You Finding Ways to Quickly Seed Your Cover Crops and Small Grains?
October 26, 2016
The innovative qualities of the Pennsylvania farmer is noteworthy and we’re canvassing the state to uncover those operators that have developed ways to make short work of planting cover crops and small grains.
Corn Stover as Emergency Forage
October 26, 2016
Corn stover is often used as ground cover for the winter seasons or baled for bedding during the cold months but it can also be utilized as an emergency forage in some situations where feed supplies are limited.
Spring Malting Barley Performance Released
October 26, 2016
We conducted a cooperative trial with a number of other states to evaluate potential spring barley lines for use in malting. The results of this trial are located in our small grains variety testing site. Please find the link to this site below.
Weather Outlook for October 25, 2016
October 26, 2016
After some very heavy rains brought flooding to parts of central Pennsylvania late last week, sub-freezing temperatures across much of Pennsylvania in the middle of this week will bring frost/freeze issues and an end to the growing season across much of the state.

September

Contributors for September 14, 2016 Newsletter
September 14, 2016
This Isn’t Your Father’s Cereal Rye
September 14, 2016
Use management objectives to determine rye cover crop seeding rates.
Integrating Cover Crops to Improve Management of Herbicide Resistant Weeds in No-till Soybean
September 14, 2016
Recent research being conducted at Penn State is showing cover crops beneficial for suppression of problematic winter annual weeds.
Corn and Soybean Herbicides and Rotation to Cover Crops
September 14, 2016
With silage harvest well underway and corn grain and soybean not far behind, a number of farmers are considering cover crop establishment this fall. Remember that some herbicides can persist and potentially influence successful cover crop establishment.
Investing Now For Clean Grain in June
September 14, 2016
As you make decisions for your winter small grains, take actions now that will enhance your crop’s health this fall and into the next year.
How Late is Too Late to Harvest Alfalfa in the Fall?
September 14, 2016
With the dry summer that was bestowed upon most of Pennsylvania these past few months, many farmers are finding themselves short on necessary feed to get through the winter and may be pushing the limits to get one last cutting in. When it comes to harvesting alfalfa for the final cutting, how late is too late?
Soybean Sentinel Plot Program
September 14, 2016
Penn State Extension Educators are regularly scouting 25 or so ‘typical’ soybean fields in nineteen counties across the state, reporting the populations of plant pathogens and insect pests that they find.
Be Aware of the Dangers of Silo Gas
September 14, 2016
Although silage harvest is starting to wrap-up in some areas of the state, it is just beginning in others. Be sure to educate yourself about the dangers of silo gas.
Corn Silage Dry Down
September 14, 2016
Corn silage harvest is beginning to wind down in the southern portion of the state, with corn drying down rapidly. Harvest continues throughout the central and northern portions of the state.
Weather Outlook for September 14, 2016
September 14, 2016
Warm, dry conditions continue to dominate the weather across Pennsylvania.
Contributors for September 28, 2016
September 28, 2016
Infiltration And How To Improve It
September 28, 2016
At a field day last week we used an infiltration ring and observed an infiltration rate of 6.67” in less than an hour. A nearby farmer measured infiltration of 8”/hr on his farm. These dairy farms used continuous no-till and cover crops. The numbers suggest that these farms would never generate runoff because it is extremely rare to have this type of rainfall intensity in Pennsylvania. Nonetheless runoff is observed occasionally from these fields.
Hemp Dogbane (Apocynum cannabinum) Toxicity
September 28, 2016
A recent apparent hemp dogbane poisoning of some horses serves as a reminder for recognizing and managing this common perennial weed.
Fall manure applications: N-creasing Manure Nitrogen Availability for Crops
September 28, 2016
As corn is coming off fields, it is time to think about how fall manure is managed.
Fall Pasture and Grazing Management
September 28, 2016
Fall pasture growth often provides additional opportunity for grazing livestock; however, careful management of pastures is essential for the over-wintering of forages and improvement into the next growing season.
Soybean Sentinel Plot Program
September 28, 2016
Final report: All the sentinel fields that we have been scouting since spring have exceeded growth stage R7, most are starting to senesce and practically speaking insects and diseases are no longer a concern. Some of our fields look excellent and a least one that received regular rain has an expected yield in the range of 80 bushel per acre. Undoubtedly others will be lower, but we hope that everyone’s field penciled out in the black.
Marketing
September 28, 2016
Having unpriced bushels as we near harvest had some grain producers hoping the harvest pundits calling for severe yield reductions would be correct in their guesses. At this point it looks like a burdensome harvest will materialize.
Residue Distribution Critical for No-till
September 28, 2016
Corn and soybean grain harvest is just around the corner, and it is time to emphasize the importance of residue distribution for no-till success.
Weather Outlook for September 28, 2016
September 28, 2016
Fall is here and precipitation is predicted to help alleviate some of the drought conditions across the state.

August

Contributors for July 2
August 3, 2016
Penn State Extension to Make Farm Visits to Verify BMP Survey Information
August 3, 2016
Penn State Extension educators will be visiting farms over the next month to follow up on a survey Pennsylvania farmers received earlier this year asking about conservation practices they have adopted to promote water quality and soil health.
Soybean Sentinel Plot Program
August 3, 2016
As we receive some much-needed rain, reports continue to indicate very mild insect pressure and little disease. Grasshoppers and Japanese beetles are still the primary defoliators, but populations remain below the economic threshold (15-20% defoliation).
2016 REAP Program
August 3, 2016
Earn tax credits for BMPs that will enhance farm production and protect natural resources. The Resource Enhancement and Protection (REAP) program operates on a first come, first serve basis. Applications for proposed projects will be accepted beginning August 15.
Benefits Of Diversity In Perennial Pastures For Soil Health And Forage Production
August 3, 2016
A long-term grazing study shows the advantage of a diversified mix of pasture plant species.
What’s the Best Use for Drought-Stricken Corn?
August 3, 2016
If you are in a drought stricken part of the state, here are some considerations on whether to chop your drought stressed corn for silage or leave it for grain.
Fall Cover Crops And Supplemental Forages
August 3, 2016
With dry weather affecting many parts of the state some farmers will be making an early corn silage harvest. Additionally, wheat, barley and oat fields are mostly open now after grain and straw harvest. In both cases, there are opportunities for planting cover crops that may also be used for forage.
Wheat and Barley Variety Testing Data Online
August 3, 2016
We have posted our 2016 winter wheat and barley performance data online. This data includes evaluations conducted at both our Rock Springs and Landisville research farms. Barley tests include feed (hulled and hulless) and malt barley varieties.
Weather Outlook for August 2nd
August 3, 2016
With July ending on a wet note after exceptionally dry conditions for much of the month, a return to very dry weather is in store for the upcoming week.
Field Crop News Contributors for August 10, 2016
August 10, 2016
Soybean Sentinel Plot Program Update for August 10th, 2016
August 10, 2016
Reports continue to indicate mild insect pressure and little disease. Grasshoppers and bean leaf beetle appear to be the populations that are causing most significant defoliation with some fields approaching by not yet exceeding the economic threshold (15-20% defoliation).
Salvaging Drought Stressed Corn Following a Rain Event
August 10, 2016
We could see some rain this week on drought stressed forages and this could set up for nitrate accumulation silo gas and wetter forage next week. This article shares a few ideas for managing that situation.
Fall Pasture Management and Renovation
August 10, 2016
Hot dry summers can be the worst enemy of high quality productive pastures. Dry weather often results in over grazing, and before you know it, grass and broadleaf weeds have replaced desired species.
Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture Launches New Palmer Amaranth and Waterhemp Survey Tool
August 10, 2016
The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture has launched a new Palmer amaranth and waterhemp website that has management information and includes a short survey for these two problem pigweeds in Pennsylvania.
PPO Resistant Pigweeds on the Rise
August 10, 2016
PPO resistant pigweeds are increasingly more common in the cornbelt as we rely more on these herbicides for weed management in soybean. Using integrated weed management tactics that include effective cultural and mechanical control measures are more important than ever.
Should You Apply Fungicides in Your Soybeans?
August 10, 2016
As we hover around the R3 stage in many of our soybean fields, you may be considering a fungicide application.
Weather Outlook for August 10th, 2016
August 10, 2016
Showers this week will bring some relief to a very dry Pennsylvania.
Field Crop News Contributors for August 24, 2016
August 24, 2016
Rebuilding a Regional Small Grain Supply Chain in the Mid-Atlantic
August 24, 2016
Interested in producing and marketing small grains? Participate in a brief survey to help us better meet your needs.
Soil Compaction Threat Is High
August 24, 2016
The welcome rains have refreshed our crops but made the soil moist just prior to corn silage harvest. The soil compaction threat therefore has increased significantly.
Cover Crop Season Is in Fully Swing
August 24, 2016
A critical component of soil management is to plant cover crops as soon as possible after harvest of the previous crop.
Soybean Sentinel Plot Program
August 24, 2016
As we receive more much-needed rain, reports continue to indicate very mild insect pressure and little disease. Grasshoppers and Japanese beetles are still the primary defoliators, but populations remain below the economic threshold (15-20% defoliation). We expect these results to represent the majority of soybean fields in PA, but scout your fields to find out for yourself.
Corn Silage Dry Down – Dry Weather Hastens Moisture Loss
August 24, 2016
With the dry weather encompassing most of Pennsylvania this summer, a close eye should be kept on corn silage moisture and maturity so the proper harvest time can be achieved to produce quality silage.
Tour de Pigweed
August 24, 2016
We toured Southeastern PA on Monday this week looking at the progression of Palmer amaranth and waterhemp in Pennsylvania. We identified some positive and not so positive progress.
New Field and Forage Crops Educator for Blair, Huntingdon, and Fulton Counties
August 24, 2016
Zach Larson joined Penn State Extension in early August as the Field and Forage Crops Educator for Blair, Huntingdon, and Fulton counties. Zach is housed in Martinsburg, Blair County.
Weather Outlook for the Week of August 24, 2016
August 24, 2016
Warm and wet weather expected through September.
Contributors for August 30, 2016
August 31, 2016
Soybean Sentinel Plot Program
August 31, 2016
As summer progresses and the soybean crop nears maturity insect issues become less consequential while other late-season yield robbers take center stage.
Hybrid Rye Evaluation Update
August 31, 2016
The interest in rye for distilleries continues to grow and so our research work will continue to develop to help producers and processors with improved information.
Cleaning the Combine is Necessary for Herbicide Resistant Weed Control
August 31, 2016
Combines are one mechanism for the spread of herbicide-resistant seeds from one field to another; thorough cleaning and knowledge of the combine’s prior use can prevent the introduction of new herbicide-resistant weeds to your fields.
Timely New Factsheets about Corn Ear Rots
August 31, 2016
Plant pathologists from all the major corn-growing regions of North America have joined forces to bring you some new resources!
Triticale and Fall Cover Crop Management
August 31, 2016
A three-year NESARE-funded on-farm project demonstrates improved forage inventories and soil quality on two Pennsylvania farms.
Corn Silage Dry Down – Harvesting at the Incorrect Moisture
August 31, 2016
Corn silage dry down is hastening across the state, causing the need for farmers to monitor moisture levels so the optimum dry matter is achieved for ensiling and helping to ensure optimum forage quality.
Worms in Your Ears?
August 31, 2016
Producers and crop scouts are reporting note-worthy worm infestations in field and sweet corn crops across the state that are most likely corn earworm, but another worm pest is possibly expanding its range in the northeast US which requires that we take a second look at these situations to confirm what we are seeing.
Weed Control in Small Grain Stubble and Burndown Considerations
August 31, 2016
Now is the time to think about controlling summer annual weeds, prior to seed set, in certain cropping systems.
Weather Outlook for August 30, 2016
August 31, 2016
While western parts of the state have seen upwards of 2-3 inches of rain over the past week, much of eastern PA has remained relatively dry since last Wednesday. The upcoming week will be relatively dry and seasonal as meteorological fall begins on Thursday.

July

Contributors for July 5, 2016
July 6, 2016
Soybean Sentinel Plot Update
July 6, 2016
Grasshoppers, Japanese Beetles and Aphids are showing up now but pressure from diseases appears low thus far.
Controlling Volunteer Corn in Soybeans
July 6, 2016
Choices for post-grass herbicides and the correct rates to control volunteer corn depend on the height of the corn.
Weed Management Considerations in Double-Crop Soybeans
July 6, 2016
Weed-free start and appropriate glyphostate/(ALS) -resistant marestail/horseweed are critical concerns for double crop soybeans in some areas of the state.
Weather Outlook for July 5, 2016
July 6, 2016
It will feel sticky around here the next few days, but reprieve is on the way.
Field Crop News Contributors for July 12, 2016
July 13, 2016
Soybean Herbicide Demonstration in Perry County
July 13, 2016
Get a chance on July 21st to see how eleven different soybean herbicide programs perform on-farm.
Soybean Sentinel Plot Program Update for July 12th, 2016
July 13, 2016
Insect and disease pressure remain low across most soybean fields in Pennsylvania. Grasshopper and Japanese beetle feeding damage being the two most prevalent insect pests found, with a low level of Soybean Aphids detected in a few fields. Little to no diseases of consequence were observed.
Strategies to Improve Water Use Efficiency
July 13, 2016
Summer Heat and Drought are revealing differences in drought stress within and between fields. Many growers are now seeing the benefits of good soil management practices and strategies. What practices and factors affect a field’s water supplying capacity?
Perilla (Purple) Mint Livestock Poisonings on the Rise in South Central and Southeast PA
July 13, 2016
Perilla mint contains ketones that cause acute respiratory distress syndrome in cattle (ARDS), also called panting disease, which is often fatal.
Potassium Deficiency in Corn, Identification, Causes and Remedies
July 13, 2016
Potassium (K) deficiency symptoms are appearing in corn fields around the state. Their cause may not be simple lack of Potash.
Weather Outlook for July 13th, 2016
July 13, 2016
Rainfall during the next two days will help with current drought conditions, but long-term relief is still uncertain.
Field Crop News Contributors for July 19, 2016
July 20, 2016
Tillage Observations
July 20, 2016
This summer, some interesting differences show up between tillage and no-tillage treatments in our long-term tillage studies in Centre and Lancaster Counties. Tillage practices have been in place for 38 years in Centre County and for 12 years in Lancaster County.
On-Farm Soybean Research Network Highlight
July 20, 2016
The PA Soybean Board through the Penn State Field and Forage Crops Team sponsors an extensive network of on-farm, field scale research projects. Periodically, participating farms are highlighted in Field Crop News and the PA Soybean Board website.
Soybean Sentinel Plot Program
July 20, 2016
Our reports continue to indicate very mild disease and insect pressure.
Update on Insect Pests
July 20, 2016
Including: Two-spotted spider mites, soybean aphid, potato leafhopper, western bean cutworm. A handful of insect pests are active and here is a run-down of some of the issues.
Palmer Amaranth and Waterhemp Rising Above Soybeans
July 20, 2016
Management options for weed escapes in soybeans are limited at this point in the growing season. The goal is to prevent the spread of Palmer amaranth and waterhemp before and during harvest.
Emergency Forages and Herbicide Issues
July 20, 2016
With the spotty rains over the past few weeks, some growers might be thinking about abandoning the current crop and planting an emergency forage crop.
Weather Outlook for the Week of July 19, 2016
July 20, 2016
The "dog days of summer" will arrive soon!
Contributors for July 26, 2016
July 27, 2016
Late-season Control of Horseweed: Preventing Seed Dispersal
July 27, 2016
Horseweed in Pennsylvania is beginning to flower and will start dropping seed in the coming weeks – learn why it’s important to remove any remaining mature plants now.
Pennsylvania On-Farm Network
July 27, 2016
This week we feature a research plot on one of the farms that is new to the on-farm soybean research network this year. In addition, we have a brief update on the seed treatment tests that are on our cooperating farms out across the state.
Soybean Sentinel Plot Program
July 27, 2016
Our reports continue to indicate very mild insect pressure, and still very little disease has been reported.
Haybine and Rake Adjustments Made Easy
July 27, 2016
Consider these proper equipment adjustments and techniques for making quality dry hay that few may know or do! A few pieces of aluminum foil can be used to properly set conditioner roll clearances.
Grazing Management During Drought
July 27, 2016
Although it is tempting to open the paddock gates and let livestock graze where and what they can find, maintaining a managed grazing system and keeping animals off scorched forages can be the key to healthy pastures in the fall and next spring.
Grass and Cover Crops Seeded in September Can Provide Valuable Forage Next Spring
July 27, 2016
Producers needing extra forage should take a look at the yields and quality Penn State has been getting with grasses and cover crops planted in September.
Crops Feeling the Impact of Limited Moisture and High Temperature?
July 27, 2016
Lack of rain and high-ish temperatures are impacting crops in several counties. A question more and more farmers are asking lately is something like – “What must I do if I suspect a crop loss on crop insurance covered acres?”
New Field and Forage Crops Educator Hired in Armstrong, Westmoreland, and Indiana Counties
July 27, 2016
Rachel Milliron joined the Field and Forage Crops Team in July as an educator in Armstrong, Westmoreland, and Indiana Counties.
Weather Outlook for July 26, 2016
July 27, 2016
The recent heat and humidity will give way to slightly cooler but persistently humid conditions for the end of the week and into the weekend.

June

Contributors for May 31, 2016
June 1, 2016
Watch for Bean Leaf Beetles in Your Earliest Emerging Soybean Fields
June 1, 2016
Bean leaf beetles tend to be most problematic in the earliest emerging soybean fields. But remember that the damage may look worse than what it actually is.
Scouting Time for Black Cutworm Damage
June 1, 2016
It is scouting time for black cutworm damage in corn!
Problem Pasture Weeds
June 1, 2016
Tips for controlling thistles, multiflora rose, and other troublesome pasture weeds.
Pigweed Seedling Identification
June 1, 2016
This is the time of year to try to correctly identify and manage problematic pigweeds in your fields. Here are some key distinguishing features of waterhemp and Palmer amaranth.
Small Grain Disease Update
June 1, 2016
Wheat that flowered two weeks ago will be being to show symptoms of scab in the next week or so. It’s also a good time to start scouting for flag leaf and head disease symptoms to determine level of control and yield quality.
Marketing
June 1, 2016
A grain marketer told me two weeks ago they were glad “... prices are finally getting exciting!” No argument that strong $4 corn and stronger $10 soybeans are better than what we had the five months following harvest. However, for old crops remember to subtract storage costs and interest expense from the final sales price, and new crop prices only count if you actually commit bushels.
Weather Outlook for May 31, 2016
June 1, 2016
While rain showers and thunderstorms have been consistently present across the state this past week, both short-tem (less than 14 days) and long-term (60-90 days) precipitation deficits exist across much of central and eastern Pennsylvania as meteorological summer begins.
Contributors for June 7, 2016
June 8, 2016
Sustainable Agriculture Courses – Free and Online
June 8, 2016
USDA is offering three separate online courses that are free to users interested in various concepts associated with sustainable farm management.
New Extension Associate in Integrated Weed Management
June 8, 2016
Please welcome our new Integrated Weed Management Specialist Annie Klodd.
Respect for the Queen
June 8, 2016
Alfalfa is called the queen of forages because of its high yield and high forage value.
Soybean Sentinel Plot Update
June 8, 2016
Similar to the past four growing seasons, and again this year, the Pennsylvania Soybean Promotion Board is funding a Soybean Sentinel Plot Program, which is being managed by Penn State Extension and The Department of Entomology at Penn State.
Timely Nitrogen Management
June 8, 2016
Nitrogen recommendations are very good on average, but if you want to be above average you need to go beyond just the basic recommendations.
Weather Outlook for June 7, 2016
June 8, 2016
The last couple of weeks have featured lots of sunshine and very warm temperatures, but much cooler weather will prevail for the coming week as a large circulation of Canadian air dominates our weather pattern.
Contributors for June 15, 2016
June 15, 2016
Soybean Sentinel Plot Program
June 15, 2016
Current report: Most fields are emerging with some as far along as V2.
Farm Marketing for Value-Added Production – Online Course Offers Support
June 15, 2016
Abundant opportunities exist for farming enterprises and businesses to achieve value-added production. Free, online courses from SARE provide support for making business plans and setting achievable goals.
Some Alfalfa Establishing Poorly
June 15, 2016
Reports from Pennsylvania and New York indicate that some spring seeded alfalfa is struggling to establish.
On-Farm Soybean Research Network Highlights
June 15, 2016
The PA Soybean Board through the Penn State Field and Forage Crops Team sponsors an extensive network of on-farm, field scale research projects. Periodically, participating farms are highlighted on the PA soybean board website and their facebook page. This week we check in with Bob and Doreen Shearer.
Weather Outlook for June 15, 2016
June 15, 2016
Cool and tranquil weather has dominated the first half of the week. More unsettled weather will arrive for Thursday and Friday followed by another period of dry weather through early next week.
Contributors for June 21, 2016
June 22, 2016
New Invasive Pigweed Materials Available
June 22, 2016
If you’re involved in any way with field crop production in the state of Pennsylvania you have a role to play in the identification and management of invasive pigweeds. Tools to help with that effort are available now at upcoming events.
2016 PA Five Acre Corn Club
June 22, 2016
A long-standing program gets an exciting new twist with the implementation of production regions to compare producer entries across similar growing environments.
Perennial Weed Management
June 22, 2016
Perennial broadleaf weeds that have escaped earlier control attempts are making the phones ring for advisors across the state. The vulnerability of a weed to a control measure is function of the timing and choice of material used.
Soybean Foliar Disease Update
June 22, 2016
Those soybeans that made it through the tough seedling stages this year can consider themselves lucky. The next thing we need to concern ourselves with is foliar disease.
Some Tips for Diagnosing Nutrient Deficiencies
June 22, 2016
Here are some things to keep in mind when looking at potential nutrient deficiencies. Generally if you contact someone for help or look up the symptoms these are things you are going to need to know.
Weather Outlook for June 21, 2016
June 22, 2016
After an unsettled beginning to the week across parts of the region, a brief period of dry weather Wednesday afternoon will precede another disturbance that will bring more wet weather on Thursday.
Contributors for June 28, 2016
June 29, 2016
Soybean Sentinel Plot Update
June 29, 2016
Current report: Our reports indicate very mild insect pressure, though grasshopper populations seem to be growing with the warmer temperatures. Slug activity has slowed down a lot as dry conditions have spread. Very little disease has been reported. Our scouting efforts indicate that insects, slugs, and pathogens are not posing a great threat to our sentinel soybean fields, and I would expect this to be the case the great majority of fields in PA; thus, insecticides and fungicides are likely not necessary, but scout your fields to find out for yourself.
Marketing
June 29, 2016
At noon eastern time on June 30th we will get the more frequent "stocks" report along with the highly anticipated annual "acres" report.
Two More Pests To Consider
June 29, 2016
Two migratory pests that are relevant for field and forage production have arrived again in Pennsylvania.
Weather Outlook for June 28, 2016
June 29, 2016
Organized, widespread precipitation is not anticipated for the next 7-day period.

May

Contributors for May 3, 2016
May 4, 2016
Wheat Disease Update
May 4, 2016
You probably won’t be surprised to hear that this week’s weather is going to put you in a bind, in more ways than one. From a wheat disease perspective, many of us are looking at wheat that is approaching heading or flag leaf.
Are You Looking at Smut on the Job?
May 4, 2016
With certain varieties of barley heading out in the southern regions, I have been receiving reports of loose smut this week.
Earthworm Season is Here!
May 4, 2016
This week is a great week to explore your earthworm populations - the soils are moist and are warming up after the winter, and earthworm activity is high.
Poison Hemlock is Aggressively Spreading in many Regions of Pennsylvania
May 4, 2016
Review this invasive weed’s key identification features to avoid human exposure and livestock poisoning.
Spring Weed Control in Grass Hay and Pasture
May 4, 2016
If you were unable to control winter annuals and biennials last fall, there is still time now.
This is Slug Weather
May 4, 2016
The wet conditions we have been experiencing for the past few days have been ideal for slugs.
Black Cutworms will be Active in the Coming Weeks
May 4, 2016
Reports from Kentucky and Indiana indicate that black cutworms are a bit more active than usual this year; thus, growers generally need to be aware of this situation and watch fields as the spring progresses.
Get Ready for Palmer Amaranth and Waterhemp
May 4, 2016
Well it’s time to start taking about Palmer amaranth and waterhemp again. Penn State Extension Educators Mena Hautau and John Bray reported emerged Palmer seedlings last Friday at a cooperator farm in Berks County.
Grain Marketing
May 4, 2016
A grain producer called here early the other morning and asked me how high I thought corn would go. I almost choked on my bagel. If you know me at all you recognize I couldn’t care less about forecasting future prices. What I care about is what you are doing when it comes to price risk management. For many price levels offer at least a small amount of profit, today.
Weather Outlook for May 3, 2016
May 4, 2016
The past seven days has brought beneficial rains to many of the areas that were becoming very dry in late March and early April. Much of central Pennsylvania saw between one and two inches of rain since the middle of last week. The unsettled weather will continue through the remainder of the week and into the upcoming weekend.
Contributors for May 10, 2016
May 11, 2016
New Northeast SARE Coordinator/Sustainable Ag Extension Educator with the Penn State Field and Forage Crops Team
May 11, 2016
Born on a farm in upstate New York, Dr. Kristy Borrelli began her duties April 15, 2016 in the Department of Plant Science and was previously working in the Pacific Northwest as an Extension Specialist.
Keep an Eye Out for Cereal Leaf Beetle
May 11, 2016
Scout now for infestations of cereal leaf beetle in small grain fields. The larval stage feeds on the leaves and fields appear white if heavily infested. Treatments are outlined for when reaching the economic threshold.
Black Cutworm Moths Continue to Arrive, But the Caterpillars Do Not Appear to be Developing Quickly
May 11, 2016
Another site in Clinton County had a significant flight of black cutworm moths this past week. Look ahead to the 300 degree day mark (base 50) to begin scouting for cutworm activity. Cool weather may delay development for another week or two.
Cool Wet Weather Impacting Herbicide Applications in Corn
May 11, 2016
Corn is emerging slowly and sometimes in need of sunlight around the state. Recommendations for soil residual herbicides follow in this article.
Fusarium Head Blight Update
May 11, 2016
With wet weather, fungal spores are likely to be produced and spread in barley and wheat fields. Alyssa Collins reviews the tools, the timing and recommended fungicides for use in protecting the crop from infection.
Weather Outlook for May 10, 2016
May 11, 2016
Chilly and unsettled weather will dominate much of the upcoming week. However, some long term precipitation deficits (beyond 30 days) still exist over central and eastern parts of the state.
Contributors for May 17, 2016
May 18, 2016
Growing Corn and Corn Silage on a Budget
May 18, 2016
Whether you grow corn for grain or silage, learn about some management factors you can control.
Control Horseweed/Marestail Prior to Soybean Emergence
May 18, 2016
If you haven’t achieved good control of horseweed prior to soybean emergence, your options may be very limited.
Black Cutworm Caterpillars are Active; Cutting Damage has Not Yet Begun
May 18, 2016
Damage from small caterpillars have been detected, so prepare to scout fields in the near future.
Weed to Watch: Pokeweed
May 18, 2016
As pokeweed begins to emerge across Pennsylvania, it is time to develop a strategy for dealing with this problem perennial.
2016 Farm Custom Rates Available
May 18, 2016
As field activities heat up, questions often arise on what to charge for custom services and equipment rental. There are a number of sources available for this information.
Weather Outlook for May 17, 2016
May 18, 2016
A slow warm up in the short term forecast, followed by an opportunity for more soaking precipitation through the weekend.
Contributors for May 24, 2016
May 25, 2016
On-Farm Soybean Research Weekly Reports
May 25, 2016
Weekly Reports from Soybean On-Farm Research Network.
Palmer Amaranth and Waterhemp Resource Website
May 25, 2016
Why go anywhere else?
Keep an Eye on Cutting Height to Maintain Forage Stands
May 25, 2016
Cutting height can have an effect on both the quality of your forage and the longevity of the stand.
Baleage – An Opportunity for High Quality First-Cutting Hay
May 25, 2016
Wrapping wet bales for baleage could help to ensure your hay fields are harvested at the correct stage of maturity.
Pesticide License Exam Update: Pre-Registration Required Starting June 1 in Region 6
May 25, 2016
The PA Department of Ag (PDA) has announced that pre-registration will be required beginning June 1 for pesticide exams in Region 6 (Adams, Cumberland, Dauphin, Franklin, Lancaster, Lebanon, Perry, and York counties).
Other Pests To Keep In Mind: Slugs, Alfalfa Weevil, Cereal Leaf Beetle
May 25, 2016
The continuing wet spring has made great conditions for slugs, and we are aware of corn and soybean fields suffering heavily from slug damage.
Scouting For Black Cutworm Damage Should Begin Soon In Southern Parts Of Pennsylvania
May 25, 2016
Trap data and growing degree-day models indicate this should be started in some areas of the state.
Label update: Prowl H2O Use in Grass Forages
May 25, 2016
Should provide better grass control than before.
Control of Roundup Ready Corn: Replanting or Volunteers
May 25, 2016
In cases of poor corn emergence, here are some considerations when corn has to be removed from a field with the intention of replanting corn.
Replanting Corn Fields
May 25, 2016
Some fields with poor corn stands are being evaluated for replanting. There are several things one must consider.
Weather Outlook for May 24, 2016
May 25, 2016
The upcoming week will feel summer-like with some opportunities for precipitation, but not as widespread as what was seen across much of the state this past weekend.

April

Contributors for April 6, 2016
April 6, 2016
2015 Manure Expo to receive Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence
April 6, 2016
The 2015 North American Manure Expo, which was co-hosted by Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences, is being recognized with the Governor's Award for Environmental Excellence, Pennsylvania's "highest honor bestowed upon businesses or organizations for environmental performance and innovation."
REAP Tax Credit Program Application Deadline Approaching
April 6, 2016
REAP (Resource Enhancement and Protection) program tax credits for farmers who want to implement new best management practices on their farms.
To Subsoil or not to Subsoil
April 6, 2016
Before you pull out the subsoiler, take a shovel and check soil aggregation and porosity.
Planting Green Decision Making Time
April 6, 2016
Much of Pennsylvania has soil conditions that are drier than average for this time of year. If you have cover crops that you intend to plant into prior to burning down(planting green) you should consider the amount of soil moisture they are using, especially if the spring continues to be dry.
Black Cutworm Monitoring Network
April 6, 2016
Again this spring, Penn State Extension will be monitoring arriving populations of black cutworm moths. We will let folks know via this newsletter the status of arriving populations and when they should scout their fields for damage.
Cold Injury to Alfalfa
April 6, 2016
Alfalfa fields have been growing well across most of Pennsylvania. We have experienced a few nights in the twenties or lower in the past week. Low temperatures, whether visible frost is present or not, may affect the growth of both established forage plants, as well as newly emerged seedlings.
Risk of Freeze Damage to Winter Grains
April 6, 2016
Many winter grains in southern PA are currently in a susceptible growth stage and we have now had two nights of hard freezes that could impact their yield potential. What does that mean?
Burndown Herbicide Considerations
April 6, 2016
Remember that all vegetation should be actively growing and capable of intercepting the herbicide spray (e.g. not covered with crop residue). Air temperature before, during, and after application can influence control with burndown.
Weather Outlook for April 6, 2016
April 6, 2016
A very mild March has preceded a rather cold start to April. While there will be some swings in temperatures for the upcoming week, it will remain unseasonably cold for much of the next seven days. Most of the state has experienced relatively dry conditions over the past two to four weeks, but some much-needed rain will arrive to parts of the region over the next couple of days.
Contributors for April 13, 2016
April 13, 2016
Wheat Watching: Disease Update
April 13, 2016
Keep an eye out for some leaf diseases in your wheat crop.
Cover Crop Control Considerations
April 13, 2016
Looking for a herbicide recommendation to control your cover crop?
Soil Health Evaluation
April 13, 2016
Sorting through some of the differences between soil health tests can be challenging. Penn State offers a Soil Quality Assessment Worksheet that may be beneficial.
Alfalfa Weevil Starting to Hatch
April 13, 2016
Be on the lookout, as alfalfa weevil are hatching in the southern counties.
Forage Seeding: Do it Right, or Go Home!
April 13, 2016
During the next 10 days, forage growers around Pennsylvania have just two things they need to focus on accomplishing.
Grain Marketing Update
April 13, 2016
When profit margins get thin (or disappear) we tend to focus more on markets and marketing as a way to generate profits. Unfortunately, we can only take the price offered and in some cases this price does not meet our expectations. The challenge then becomes – “What do we do?”
Weather Outlook for April 13, 2016
April 13, 2016
A return to more “seasonal” temperatures by the weekend, with an extended period of dry weather in the horizon.
Contributors for April 26, 2016
April 27, 2016
Sprayer Calibration Saves Money
April 27, 2016
Spending some time going over your sprayer this spring can pay dividends. Worn or partially clogged nozzles will cause uneven spray distribution, which can lead to problems later this spring.
Insect Pests to Keep in Mind: Black Cutworm, Alfalfa Weevil, and Cereal Leaf Beetle
April 27, 2016
Significant numbers of Black Cutworm moths have been trapped in some locations in PA. Alfalfa weevil and cereal leaf beetles populations need to be monitored in the upcoming weeks.
Horseweed/Marestail Management in No-till Soybeans
April 27, 2016
Historically glyphosate resistant horseweed was limited to the southeastern Pennsylvania down into the Delmarva and West in Ohio, but now it is much more common in central PA and has appeared in western PA as well.
Weather Outlook for April 26, 2016
April 27, 2016
Parts of central Pennsylvania (encompassing approximately 40% of the total state) has entered the “abnormally dry” category, according to the US drought monitor. While recent rain showers and thunderstorms have brought some reprieve, many places are still much drier than normal. Over the next seven days, there will be some opportunities for widespread beneficial rains across the state.

March

Contributors for March 1
March 2, 2016
Upcoming Events
March 2, 2016
Grain Marketing Learning Opportunities
March 2, 2016
Grain Marketing Learning Opportunities-Grain marketing discussion groups are a great way to casually explore and review our personal marketing needs compared to the pricing tools available to us.
Signs of Rill Erosion in No-Till and Tilled Fields
March 2, 2016
Rill Erosion in No-Till and Tilled Fields-The snowmelt and rainstorm last week reminds us of how vulnerable our soils are.
Weed Control in Wheat and Herbicide Carrier Selection
March 2, 2016
Weed Control in Wheat and Carrier Selection-If winter annual weeds emerged with the small grain and are left unchecked, the potential impact on yield could be great.
Frost Seeding for Pasture Renovation
March 2, 2016
Frost Seeding for Pasture Renovation-If stands are thin, consider frost seeding as an option to thicken your pasture.
Supplemental Coverage Option: An Expanded Crop Insurance Program For Farmers
March 2, 2016
As we enhance our understanding of new risk management tools available to us out of the 2014 Farm Bill, the Supplemental Coverage Option (SCO) is a crop insurance product we should consider.
Winter Annual Weed Control in Alfalfa
March 2, 2016
As warmer weather approaches, start thinking about controlling winter annual weeds.
Weather Outlook for March 1, 2016
March 2, 2016
Weather Outlook- Winter will stick around through the weekend but Spring will roar in next week!
Contributors for March 15, 2016
March 15, 2016
Forage Species Selection for Hay and Pasture Establishment
March 15, 2016
Selecting forage species that will thrive in the environment and management where they will be grown is the 1st step to optimizing forage production.
Alfalfa Frost Heaving: Assessing the Damage
March 15, 2016
March is the time to scout for alfalfa frost heaving so that preparations can be made if the stand will need to be rotated out in spring. Here are some answers to frequently asked questions about frost heaving of alfalfa.
Weather Outlook for March 15, 2016
March 15, 2016
The first two weeks of March have been relatively mild across the state, with temperature departures approximately 5-10 degrees above normal. Precipitation has been very scarce for much of the eastern two-thirds of the state, with many places seeing just a quarter to half of normal totals for the first half of March. Unsettled weather through the remainder of the workweek will bring some relief for some of the dry areas of the state, though deficits will not be fully erased.
Contributors for March 30, 2016
March 30, 2016
Spring Management for Pastures: Renovate or Restore?
March 30, 2016
Springtime brings on many questions in regards to restoring pastures that are weather beaten after winter.
Grazing Management
March 30, 2016
Managing when and where livestock graze can have lasting positive effects on pasture productivity.
Keeping Tabs on Heat Units Assists on Maximizing Scouting Times, Particularly for Alfalfa Weevil
March 30, 2016
How to use the PA Pest Information Platform for Extension and Education (PA PIPE) to keep track of soil temperature, heat units, and potential pests in your area. Identification, scouting, and control of alfalfa weevil is also discussed.
Early Season Wheat and Barley Health
March 30, 2016
As you drove over your small grains to fertilize and apply herbicide this spring, you may have taken notice of some winter kill, possible snow mold patches and powdery mildew. While our long warm fall set us up for these issues, our dry warm spring is helping to fight against them.
Cereal Rust Mite, Abacarus hystrix (Nalepa): A Pest on Timothy
March 30, 2016
The presence of this mite as a significant factor of timothy losses has been reported in Lancaster, Lebanon, Dauphin, and York counties over the past 2 years; however, this pest has most likely been present for a longer period of time but gone unnoticed. Some yield loss estimates range from 30-70%.
Marketing
March 30, 2016
Marketing seems to be more of a focus at this time of year, just as some positive price movement occurs and the industry awaits official USDA planting projection reporting the end of March. Let’s not be caught off guard as we seek to secure the economic viability of our farm.
Weather Outlook for March 30, 2016
March 30, 2016
After what has been on pace to be a top 10 warmest March statewide, a more wintry pattern will be in place for the beginning of April.

February

Contributors for February 2, 2016
February 3, 2016
Questions About Your Pesticide Points? Try Using the PA Plants Website
February 3, 2016
Is your pesticide license due to expire? Are you wondering how many points you need before March 31st? Are you scrambling to look for upcoming meetings? Here’s a simple way to check!
Producers Need to Make Insurance Decisions Soon as Crop Insurance Deadlines Near
February 3, 2016
If you have not done yet lately, it’s time to meet with a crop insurance agent and think about what product helps you with your risk management plan. The purchase deadline is coming with the approaching spring.
Where are Corn and Soybean Prices Headed?
February 3, 2016
How are you at staying abreast of the many conversations on the supply and demand conditions of the grains we grow and market? Let’s take a look at a relatively simple way to get a firm grip of these mysterious numbers.
New Publication: Mid-Atlantic Field Crop Weed Management Guide
February 3, 2016
The guide addresses weed management in the major agronomic crops, especially hard to control weeds across the region.
Time for Frostseeding Clovers is Here
February 3, 2016
Frostseeding is a technique that can be used to establish red and yellow clovers. The management and benefits of using clovers in the rotation are described.
2016 What’s New for Agronomic Weed Control
February 3, 2016
The annual summary of what is “new” in the complex world of herbicide selection is available now from Penn State Extension Weed Science specialists. The article covers product updates and herbicide resistant crops.
Weather Outlook for February 2, 2016
February 3, 2016
Following the "blizzard of 2016", the weather has turned more tranquil for the beginning of February.

January

Contributors for January 6, 2016
January 6, 2016
Chesapeake Bay BMP Survey: Help Tell The Story
January 6, 2016
Pennsylvania agriculture has done much to improve water quality in our local rivers and streams and the Chesapeake Bay. Yet, that positive story is often not told. Now is the time for farmers to tell that story!
Can You Apply Limestone in the Winter?
January 6, 2016
Liming should be a priority in your crop management plans. Winter liming may provide flexibility.
Penn State Extension Congratulates Jessica Williamson, New Forage Specialist
January 6, 2016
Jessica Williamson recently began work as the new Forage Specialist for the Penn State Extension Field and Forage Crops Team.
Marketing to Generate Revenues
January 6, 2016
Business topics to consider in marketing to generate revenues and cost control to ensure profits.
Weather Outlook for January 5, 2016
January 6, 2016
The cold weather will not stick around (for now, at least).