Field Crop News
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.
Warm, dry conditions continue to dominate the weather across Pennsylvania.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
Recent research being conducted at Penn State is showing cover crops beneficial for suppression of problematic winter annual weeds.