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2017

May

Contributors for May 2, 2017
May 4, 2017
Fields that are Naked, Beat Up and Starving are Exposed to Soil Erosion
May 4, 2017
Spring is a very vulnerable time for soil if it is uncovered, tilled up, and devoid of organic matter. This week’s heavy rainstorms caused significant erosion on exposed soils.
Mark Your Calendars: Upcoming Penn State Extension Field Days
May 4, 2017
Information about these sessions and registration for each are forthcoming. Watch for details in upcoming Field Crop Newsletters.
Watch for Soil Compaction Threat
May 4, 2017
Soil compaction threat increased in much of the state after significant rainfall over the past days. Avoiding compaction has been shown to be much more cost effective than repairing it.
Preparing for First Cutting
May 4, 2017
As the days become warmer and spring continues to saturate Pennsylvania, it is important to keep an eye on hayfields as they mature at varying speeds during the up’s-and-down’s of early spring weather.
Livestock Producers Should Recognize and Manage Poison Hemlock
May 4, 2017
“This is the time of year when you start to notice poison hemlock in your pastures or along fence rows and roadsides. Best management practices should take place before it flowers, produces more seed, and continues to spread”.
Insect Pests to Keep in Mind: Armyworm, Black Cutworm, Alfalfa Weevil, and Pea Aphids
May 4, 2017
Insect populations seem more active than usual this year, blame it on the mild winter if you like, or blame me, I can take it!
Weather Outlook for May 2, 2017
May 4, 2017
After a very active beginning of the week with widespread severe weather across the state, an extended period of cool and unsettled weather is on the way.
Contributors for May 10, 2017
May 10, 2017
Farming for Success 2017
May 10, 2017
Farming for Success 2017 will be on Thursday, June 29th from 9:00 am – 3:00 pm in Manheim, PA
Five Acre Corn Club-Grain Crop Management
May 10, 2017
Corn planting is underway again and with many fields getting planted this week. Yield prospects should be great again.
Speed Up Hay Drying Time with Properly Adjusted Conditioning Rolls
May 10, 2017
Before you get to the field to cut hay, learn how to properly adjust your conditioning rolls for optimum performance.
Are You Going to Spray Your Wheat?
May 10, 2017
It’s time to make wheat fungicide decisions. Consider your growth stage and risk levels to help you make the call on products and application timing.
Frost and Freeze, Should We Worry About Winter Cereals?
May 10, 2017
Temperatures crept at or below freezing the past couple of mornings, and you may be wondering if it has caused injury in wheat and barley crops.
Time to Mow Cereal Rye for Straw
May 10, 2017
Above average temperatures this spring has advanced the maturity of the rye as well as other forages. Depending on the planting date and your geographic location it is time to cut rye for straw.
Our Recent Weather is Perfect for Spring Horseweed/Marestail Germination and Establishment
May 10, 2017
Get out and scout those fields now before soybean planting begins.
The Usual Suspects for this Time of Year: Black Cutworm and Slugs
May 10, 2017
As spring progresses slowly, the normal line-up of pests are active and should be kept in mind, but two pests in particular seem to be on peoples’ minds.
Weather Outlook for May 9, 2017
May 10, 2017
With many places dropping below freezing early in the week, the chilly air that has been the norm for much of the early part of May will persist at least through the upcoming weekend.
Contributors for May 17, 2017
May 17, 2017
Small Grain Field Day
May 17, 2017
There’s so much going on in wheat and barley right now. Join us in Lancaster County for the PSU Small Grain Field Day on June 8!
Take Time to Calibrate Your Grain Drill
May 17, 2017
Do you Really know your seeding rate? Before you hit the field to plant soybeans, make sure your drill is calibrated.
Reducing Forage Harvest Losses
May 17, 2017
Ready, Set, Mow! First cutting alfalfa is underway in many parts of the state. Every pass across the field reduces the amount of dry matter you end up with in a bale. How much are you leaving behind?
Fields in Danger of Soil Crusting
May 17, 2017
With recent heavy rains, fields that have already been planted may be prone to soil crusting, which can reduce emergence, lower final stands and significantly impact crop yields.
Grazing Residue Height Matters
May 17, 2017
Now that spring is upon us and pastures across the state have grown to an adequate height to begin grazing, it is important to remember to keep an eye on residue heights to eliminate over-grazing and the problems that occur as a result.
Weather Outlook for the Week of May 16, 2017
May 17, 2017
Near-record heat and Thursday showers will transition to more seasonable weather for the weekend.
Contributors for May 24, 2017
May 24, 2017
Lyme Disease Identification and Prevention
May 24, 2017
Lyme Disease in humans has seen a significant increase in the past few seasons. This year many folks are reporting the presence of ticks, the primary vector of this disease. Left untreated, Lyme disease can have serious debilitating effects. It is important to be able to identify the type of tick which is the primary carrier of the disease and to recognize the early signs of infection.
Insect Pests to Keep in Mind: Black Cutworm, Cereal Leaf Beetle, and True Armyworm
May 24, 2017
I have received a good number of phone calls from growers experiencing the usual suspects for this time of year: black cutworm, cereal leaf beetle, and slugs. And we would be foolish to ignore the threat from armyworm. Below, I review each of these pests and encourage folks to keep these pests in mind and plan their scouting around them.
Grain Marketing Update
May 24, 2017
History tells us that Now is traditionally one of the best times to lock in commodity prices for that new crop emerging in the field.
Is Small Grain Herbicide Carryover a Concern?
May 24, 2017
Most small grain herbicides used in our region do not limit double cropping soybean. However, other crops such as alfalfa may be restricted.
Why are the Leaves in My Grass Hay Dying?
May 24, 2017
A number of farmers have called about pale green color and some browning leaves in timothy and orchardgrass, and even some afflicted heads (small and white) in flowering orchardgrass. The cool wet weather this spring with some inter-dispersed warmer and colder periods has likely been part of the problem related to a fungal infection. The effected flowering heads may be related to the infection and/or may be a result of some hard frosts.
Frost Damage Hits Some Early Barley Lines
May 24, 2017
Several early heading barley varieties in our trial at Rock Springs suffered damage from the frost event last week. The symptoms are white heads or sections of heads.
I Used Manure this Year; How Much Nitrogen Do I Need for My Corn?
May 24, 2017
If you use manure, the amount of fertilizer nitrogen you apply at planting effects your pre-sidedress testing options later this spring.
Field Day: Soil Health Improvements with a Focus on Planting Green
May 24, 2017
Join Joel and Don Myers and a team of research and extension personnel from Penn State for an update on several promising technologies that can improve soil quality and crop productivity. More details will be forthcoming in next week’s Field Crop News.
Wheat Scab Risk Update
May 24, 2017
Yes, it’s wet, but head scab risk is still low. Why is that?
“Current Position Openings - Pass Along the Word!”
May 24, 2017
We are currently seeking individuals to fill the following positions. Please pass along to those you feel may be a good fit for the job:
Wet Weather Through the Weekend as Temperatures Gradually Trend Upward
May 24, 2017
Seasonally cool and wet conditions to prevail across the commonwealth in the coming week. Penn State’s Art Person gives us the details and looks at the forecast into the first week of June.

April

Contributors for April 5, 2017
April 5, 2017
Managing for Nutrient and Soil Retention in Pastured Lands
April 5, 2017
Managing pastures for nutrient and soil retention is in the best interest of producers and the environment. Spring is a great time to evaluate your management techniques; you can learn a lot at this time of year when things look their worst.
Spring Weed Control in Grass Hay and Pasture
April 5, 2017
Scout your grass forage fields now and treat winter annuals and biennials with a foliar-applied herbicide when they are susceptible. Prowl H2O can now be used for summer annual grass and broadleaf weed control in grass hay and pasture.
Sprayer Calibration Saves Money
April 5, 2017
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.
Wheat Diseases of All Stripes
April 5, 2017
Mild winter weather and a more severe than usual stripe rust season in the south in 2016 may put us at risk for early rust issues in our PA wheat and barley crops in 2017.
Black Cutworm Monitoring Network
April 5, 2017
Penn State Extension will again monitor black cutworm populations across the state. Keep monitoring for this prospective pest.
Soil Compaction Threat from Grazing Animals on Steep Slopes
April 5, 2017
Grazing can be a great way of farming on steep slopes not suited for crop production. However, care has to be taken to manage the grazing animals so that undue soil degradation does not occur.
Weather Outlook for April 5, 2017
April 5, 2017
A brief reprieve from the wet weather will lead into the next period of unsettled weather on Thursday and Friday followed by a roller-coaster ride in temperatures through next week.
Contributors for April 12, 2017
April 12, 2017
No Field Crop News Next Week
April 12, 2017
Due to an all Extension Staff conference next week our newsletter will not be published on April 19th, the newsletter will resume its weekly schedule again on April 26th.
Penn State Extension Changes Aimed at Enhancing Program Reach and Customer Service
April 12, 2017
Changes in operational structure and programming now underway will enhance the value of Penn State Extension to the Pennsylvania communities and clients it serves, according to leaders of the organization.
Planting Corn for Stockpiling
April 12, 2017
When we think of grazing corn we often think of cattle in a green field of corn in the summer or cattle grazing corn stover in the winter after grain was harvested. Another management tactic is to plant corn with the purpose to graze the standing corn in the winter. Plan now to provide corn for grazing for the winter of 2017/18.
Combating Rill Erosion in No-Till and Tilled Fields
April 12, 2017
Recent heavy rainfall has caused soil erosion in fields. Do you know the difference between rill and gully erosion? There are a few practices that you can do to reduce rill erosion.
Grassed Waterway Maintenance
April 12, 2017
Grassed Waterways are not maintenance free. Don’t let a bund prevent your waterway from performing its job.
Connect with the Field and Forage Crops Team on Facebook and Twitter
April 12, 2017
Do you already use Facebook or Twitter? Do you want a seamless way to stay in the loop? The Field and Forage Crops Team has a Facebook page and Twitter account. Connect with us to receive regular updates about current issues and educational programs.
Controlled Plant and Noxious Weed Act Introduced to Both the PA House and Senate
April 12, 2017
A Bill introducing the Controlled Plant and Noxious Weed Act has been introduced to both the House and Senate. The new Act will modernize PA’s noxious weed law by prioritizing invasive plant management based on the ability to effectively contain or even eradicate certain species.
Legal Considerations in Seed Use
April 12, 2017
Understanding Legal Protections and Potential Liabilities Associated with Seed Use in Pennsylvania.
Which Dicamba Products can be Sprayed Burndown in Xtend Soybeans?
April 12, 2017
Not all dicamba-containing products can be applied in a burndown application prior to planting Xtend soybeans.
Planting Date, Temperature, Spacing, and Emergence: What Really Matters?
April 12, 2017
Planting remains one of the most critical steps in setting the stage for good yields. Proper placement of seed creates an environment where timely and consistent germination helps to set the maximum yield potential for a stand.
My Pesticide Applicator’s License Expired. Now What?
April 12, 2017
Are you a private pesticide applicator who’s license expired on March 31st without the needed credits? Don’t give up, there’s still hope!
Weather Outlook for April 12, 2017
April 12, 2017
A period of dry weather with seasonal temperatures will precede more unsettled weather toward the weekend.
Planter Performance
April 26, 2017
As we move into the last days of April and early May, corn and soybean planting will be in full swing. Take a few minutes to review this checklist to ensure optimum planter performance.
Aphids in Timothy Fields
April 26, 2017
Have you seen browning in timothy fields? It may be due to a heavy aphid population.
Manage Horseweed/Marestail Before You Plant Soybeans
April 26, 2017
Be sure you are scouting for marestail before you plant your no-till soybeans and using effective herbicides with both burndown and residual control.
Contributors for April 26, 2017
April 26, 2017
The Lowly Dung Beetle
April 26, 2017
Learn about the important role these often forgotten insects play on your livestock farm.
Small Grain Maturity Advancing Rapidly
April 26, 2017
Small grain crops are maturing earlier than normal. Now is the time to monitor maturity and make the necessary management adjustments to your timetable.
Don’t Let Your Small Grains and Forages Catch You by Surprise—Scout Now!
April 26, 2017
While you’re waiting to get in the field with a corn planter, now is an important time to scout for wheat, barley and alfalfa disease.
Weather Outlook for April 26, 2017
April 26, 2017
Milder, but unsettled weather is on tap through early next week.

March

Contributors for March 1, 2017
March 2, 2017
What’s New for Agronomic Weed Control
March 2, 2017
A short summary of many new weed control products you might expect to hear more about in 2017.
Wheat Management Considerations
March 2, 2017
Many parts of Pennsylvania are a few weeks ahead of normal regarding winter wheat greening up, consider crop development and future probable weather when making spring nitrogen applications.
Weed Control in Wheat and Carrier Selection
March 2, 2017
Timing is crucial when controlling winter annual, perennial and spring germinating weeds in wheat.
Winter Annual Weed Control in Alfalfa
March 2, 2017
Warmer weather has prompted many weed control questions, particularly options in dormant alfalfa.
Weather Outlook for March 2017
March 2, 2017
Record warm weather, will turn more seasonable into March.
Contributors for March 28, 2017
March 29, 2017
We’re Hiring!
March 29, 2017
Current Penn State Extension Educator Position Openings - Pass the word along!
What Will Happen to My Data? Understanding Your Rights in Precision Agriculture
March 29, 2017
The use of Precision Agriculture-based decision making to determine fertilizer rates and hybrid types and planting rates is becoming more common. However, with the increased use of Precision Ag and the collection of farm information comes questions regarding the ownership and rights of data.
New Online Resource for Weed Management Assistance
March 29, 2017
The Integrated Weed Management Resource Center is a new online tool, maintained in part by Penn State Extension weed specialists, to find weed management information, ask questions, and read timely articles on weed management news.
Evaluation of Residual Herbicides for Interseeding in Corn
March 29, 2017
Trials conducted over three years show that several shorter-lived residual corn herbicides can be used successfully with interseeded cover crops; at the same time the use of longer-lived residual herbicides will likely preclude successful interseeding practices in corn.
Early Preplant (EPP) Herbicide Applications...How Early Can They be Sprayed
March 29, 2017
How early can herbicides be sprayed before corn or soybeans are planted? The below article provides some information about early preplant applications.
Warmer than Average Winter and Pest Populations
March 29, 2017
The mild winter and recent warm weather have many folks wondering if pest problems are bound to be worse this growing season.
Cover Crop Winter Survival
March 29, 2017
What did this winter do to our cover crops? That was my question after experiencing unseasonably high temperatures followed by significant cold snaps.
Weather Outlook for March 28, 2017
March 29, 2017
Overall Pennsylvania had a cooler than normal March with near normal precipitation. Will the month of April continue with that pattern or not?

February

Contributors for January 31
February 1, 2017
How to Look Up Your Pesticide Applicator Recertification Credits
February 1, 2017
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.
New Field and Forage Crops Educator Hired for Berks County
February 1, 2017
Dave Wilson joined the Field and Forage Crops Team in the beginning of January as an Extension educator in Berks County.
Herbicides for RoundupReady 2 Xtend Soybeans Approved
February 1, 2017
Last week, the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture approved Xtendimax and Engenia for Xtend soybeans in Pennsylvania. We see opportunity for marestail control in burndown programs, but concerns about off-target movement, sprayer cleanout, etc. suggest that we in Pennsylvania first learn from the experiences of other states and regions in 2017 that need this technology more.
Ideas On Herbicide Resistance Shared Among Growers, Retailers, Consultants, And Industry At Regional Meeting
February 1, 2017
Participants to a listening session on herbicide resistance in Lancaster, PA inspired a productive and insightful discussion on the challenges, successes, and needs going forward for managing herbicide resistant weeds.
Perennial Grass Tests in the 2016 Penn State Forage Variety Trials
February 1, 2017
The performance of several species of perennial grass is on on-going program conducted at Penn State. There has been tremendous growth in the industry in terms of what is available on the market as more growers realize the value of grasses to their bottom line.
Weather Outlook
February 1, 2017
What ended up being a very mild and relatively wet month of January ended on a very wintry note earlier this week, with several inches of snow falling across much of central and northern Pennsylvania. The wintry weather will persist through at least the start of next week.

January

Contributors for January 4, 2017
January 4, 2017
FSA Cover Crop Guidelines
January 4, 2017
Recently the Farm Service Agency (FSA), Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and Risk Management Agency (RMA) worked together to develop consistent, simple, and flexible policy for cover crop practices.
Penn State Extension Sulfur Survey for 2014-2016
January 4, 2017
There is increasing concern with sulfur (S) deficiency due to reduced atmospheric S deposition which is reflected in a trend toward lower soil test S levels in all samples run by the Penn State Ag Analytical Laboratory (AASL) over the last 10 years. Research was recently conducted to determine the extent and severity of S deficiency in Pennsylvania.
Increasing Interest in Manure Injection in Pennsylvania?
January 4, 2017
Are more farmers interested in injecting manure now than previously? Should there be an increase in the interest in manure injection? Both questions will be valuable in helping to determine the future of this practice in Pennsylvania.
Marketing Outlook for January 2017
January 4, 2017
When I’m ready to learn about agricultural marketing one of my primary sources is the University of Illinois. This institution has what I believe to be a stellar Ag Economics department with an excellent set of researchers and teachers. Let’s review some of my notes from when I was in the audience the middle of December at one of their Extension events.
Winter Limestone Application
January 4, 2017
Regular liming is critical to good crop production in our soils. However, of all of the soil test results, pH is the only one that is consistently below optimum in our annual soil test summaries for PA.
Should You Resolve to Ditch Paper Records in 2017? A Review of Free Smartphone Record Keeping Apps
January 4, 2017
If you didn’t write it down it never happened; it’s a lesson often learned the hard way. For field crop production, not having accessible records can range from not knowing when a disease or insect occurred to being in trouble with a regulatory agency. Fortunately, there are a lot of good smartphone and tablet apps that are specifically tailored to farm record keeping.
Weather Outlook for January 4, 2017
January 4, 2017
The month of December ended with near seasonal temperatures and above normal precipitation across much of the state (except for the far southeast). As the first full week of 2017 continues, the mild weather that has been observed early in the week will transition to much colder weather for the end of the week and the weekend.