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Field Crop News

The latest news from the Penn State Extension Field and Forage Crops Team.
Figure 1. Early Flowering (note yellow pollen filled anthers)
May 24, 2017

Yes, it’s wet, but head scab risk is still low. Why is that?

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.

Damage to the heads varied from full mortality to none across a small area. Photos: Greg Roth, Penn State
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.

Stagonospora on timothy leaf from the tip to this position near the base of the leaf.
May 24, 2017

Browning leaves and a pale green color in timothy and orchardgrass, and small and white afflicted heads in flowering orchardgrass may be an indication of fungal infection.

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.

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.

Figure 1. Cereal leaf beetle larvae feeding on wheat, showing their damage and slimy appearance (Photo by Mike Fournier, Penn State Extension).
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.

Blacklegged Tick (Commonly called Deer Tick)
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.

May 17, 2017

Near-record heat and Thursday showers will transition to more seasonable weather for the weekend.

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.

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.

Andrew Frankenfield, Penn State
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?

May 17, 2017

Do you Really know your seeding rate? Before you hit the field to plant soybeans, make sure your drill is calibrated.

Aerial image of Penn State’s research hopyard at Rock Springs. Photo by T. Delvalle, Penn State
May 16, 2017

You probably have heard of (or observed) the use of small unmanned aircraft systems (sUAS) throughout the country; whether it be for fun, a hobby, for capturing great aerial pictures, or commercial use.

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.

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.

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.