Field Crop News
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.
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.
Some pleasant days ahead, with a few opportunities for showers. Odds favor above average temperatures for the remainder of October.
Consider a fall herbicide application on your small grains if winter annual weeds are a problem.
When soybeans are ready to harvest, don’t delay…be ready when they’re ready.
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.
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.
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.
During the last four weeks we have observed a very sharp increase in the number of brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) adults collected in various monitoring traps placed around orchards located in southern Pennsylvania. After relatively lower levels of infestation on fruit observed during the last two seasons, this 2016 harvest seems to bring back a serious BMSB challenge.
Fall is here and precipitation is predicted to help alleviate some of the drought conditions across the state.
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.
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.
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.
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.
As corn is coming off fields, it is time to think about how fall manure is managed.
A recent apparent hemp dogbane poisoning of some horses serves as a reminder for recognizing and managing this common perennial weed.
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.