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Field Crop News

The latest news from the Penn State Extension Field and Forage Crops Team.
July 12, 2017

Planting green is a practice where growers delay cover crop termination until cash crop planting. Instead of killing the cover crop 1-2 weeks ahead of cash crop planting, the cover is allowed to grow longer into the spring, which can extend soil conservation and health benefits provided by the cover crop.

June 28, 2017

Enjoy the cooler weather... Showers, heat and humidity return for the weekend.

June 28, 2017

With better growing conditions, most soybean fields seem to be growing well and have left slug damage behind (with few or no exceptions, I hope). From the reports we have this week pest populations remain low, bean leaf beetles, silver spotted skipper caterpillars, and leafhoppers are active, but we have not encountered meaningful populations. Remember that vegetative stages soybeans can tolerate up to 25% defoliation without dropping yield so do not overreact if you find some feeding damage in your fields. For diseases, one report of bacterial wilt and perhaps some anthracnose came in this week, so when scouting your fields, look out for these and others that might becoming active.

June 28, 2017

While slugs are fresh in our minds it may be beneficial to discuss some longer-term slug-management options that might help decrease future slug challenges.

June 28, 2017

Just a day or two away is one of the more unusual USDA crop reporting dates. At noon eastern time on June 30th we will get the regular “stocks” report along with the highly anticipated annual “acres” report. This acres report will be the first official indication on how many spring crop acres the U.S. planted in 2017. As this report approaches, we can expect to be subjected to the usual amount of noise as market pundits guess what the report says and where prices will go next.

June 28, 2017

Tractors are the primary source of work-related injuries on farms; nationally, nearly one-third of all farm work fatalities are tractor related. In recent years, June and July have been the months when most tractor accidents have happened.

June 28, 2017

At the end of June, we will be losing an integral member of the Penn State Extension Crops team. Dr. Doug Beegle will be retiring after thirty-eight years of service to the College of Agricultural Sciences.

June 21, 2017

Much of western PA has observed between two and four inches of rain since last week, while much of eastern PA has seen between one-half to one inch of rain during the same period. Because of the wet late Spring/early summer, all of the state has been lifted from abnormally dry or moderate drought status, according to the US Drought Monitor. The best chance for widespread, organized precipitation over the next week will come late this week and into the weekend.

June 21, 2017

As we proceed through the growing season, there are a few issues surrounding weed control and herbicide use. Below are some items to consider.

June 21, 2017

We have heard that many folks are considering replanting corn and/or soybean following heavy slug damage this spring. Particularly for corn, we thought it would be prudent to remind folks to pay attention to the various genetic, insect-resistant traits and seed-applied treatments that are available because all that is offered is not always necessary.

June 21, 2017

Soybean fields in our program continue to put on new growth and appear to be leaving slug damage behind. From the reports we have this week pest populations remain low, bean leaf beetles are active, but nothing concerning yet. Keep in mind that in their vegetative stages soybeans can tolerate up to 25% defoliation without dropping yield, so do not overreact if you find some feeding damage in your fields. For diseases, none have been reported this week. From last week, the field that may have had the beginnings of Septoria brown spot was a false alarm.

June 21, 2017

This spring has brought a lot of rain, some of which came down in heavy downpours. The rain is a blessing but can be a curse too.

June 14, 2017

After some unusually warm, muggy days at the beginning of the week, more seasonal temperatures but with unsettle weather will persist through early next week.

Figure 1. Potato leafhopper adult and nymph. Photo Credit: Dr. Art Hower, Penn State University.
June 14, 2017

Potato leafhoppers have arrived in the state and populations in some areas are building rapidly. Growers would be wise to keep an eye out for increasing populations of this pest because once their feeding is evident economic damage has been done.

June 14, 2017

Pigweed species have begun emerging for the season in Pennsylvania, including reports of Palmer amaranth and waterhemp in southeastern Pennsylvania. It is important to scout for these invasive weeds now, and control them before they reach 4 inches tall.

Figure 1. Infected wheat heads.
June 14, 2017

It’s time to see how your disease management approach worked in your wheat and barley. If you had disease, here’s what to do about it.

June 14, 2017

With the warm weather, soybean fields have made some good progress in the last week and have actually put on some growth. We have only a few reports from around the state so far, but they appear to indicate that slug populations are receding as they hide from the heat. Bean leaf beetles and silver-spotted skipper caterpillars have been found, but populations are low. Keep in mind that in their vegetative stages soybeans can tolerate up to 25% defoliation without dropping yield, so do not overreact if you find some feeding damage in your fields. For diseases, one field had what appeared to be the start of a Septoria brown spot population.