Lebanon Crop Management Video


23 July 2014

Fall Forage Options for Lebanon Crop Producers

 After discussing some options for the management of forages for this coming fall I put the following chart together to better understand the different options available to growers to perhaps extend the grazing season and or to provide some additional forage for the silo. There are some major differences in the feed quality as indicated by the RFV section of the table.  In talking to some old timers that weathered numerous seasons it appears that Oats comes to the top of the list for many.  A local dairy man related using feed oats planted in August and almost coming to the point he could combine them in late fall.  Realistic expectations might be that they get an additional couple of tons of dry matter.  The table is written in terms of dry matter so as is basis can more than double the yield estimates.There are alot of options and they all cost money to plant and care for.  Be mindful of seeding rates per acre and the relative cost of the seed. Also some of the selections come with extra management to be safe I am thinking of the sorghum sudan and corn with nitrates and concern for Prussic acid. There are some ways to really achieve some high quality forage one just needs to make informed decisions and be timely in seeding and harvest. Most of the information is from Penn State Research on experiment farms but I did get some information from Dr Dan Undersander Wisconsin Extension and also from local farmers experiences. If you need more seeding information Dr. Marvin Hall and Dr Greg Roth have detailed tables in the Penn State Agronomy Guide.

Fall Crop Planting Date  Harvest Date   Yield T DM/a        Crude Protein                 RFV
Rape          Mid June                  Oct                     2-3                         20-25                   150-250
(S)Turnip Mid June-Aug 1          Oct                      2-3                        20-25                    150-250
Oats              August                  Nov                     1-2                         10-11                  140-150
(S)Barley    August                    Nov                      1-2                          10-11                 110-130
(S)TriticaleAugust                     Nov                      .5-1                         13-14                130-140
(W)Wheat August                   Nov                       .5-1                        12-13                   150-160
Mix     Rye and Oats     August        Nov and May  3-5                       10-13                100-120
Corn                               August    November       1-2                              9-10            95-105
Sorghum/Sudan              Aug            November     1-2                            12-14            90-100

Foliar Applications of Fungicides on Corn.

The continuing wet humid weather has many growers asking questions about foliar applications of a fungicide on tasseling corn.  Most labels dictate that applications be made between VT and R1 stages.  The labels I reviewed also require that adjuvants NOT be used after corn has reached the V8 stage. However some offer this option on fully tasseled corn.   Recent Agronomy Journal Publications have shown the formation of beer can ears as a result of adjuvants applied near VT.  The wet weather has aloud for ideal uniform emergence of silk and tassel applications between VT and R2(blister) are the key times to apply the fungicides. Below are some considerations to better make a decision to treat or not.  Many growers may be tempted to add additional products to the tank while going over the field.  Most labels allow for the inclusion of insecticides but caution that growers only apply approved tank mixes and observe the most restrictive labeling.
Finally on some products there is a 30 day harvest restriction for forage and grain so bare this in mind early forage harvest might need to be delayed should an application be made. This is not a straight forward recommendation on corn and growers should look at each field and best determine its needs. We have a bumper crop in the making right now and this application on many fields would really make the most difference in preserving potential yield!!

Del Voight Penn State Extension
Ask some simple questions to determine the benefit that might come through a foliar application of a fungicide to VT-R1 Corn. We cannot make a decision for you but if you ask some simple questions of yourself to address your fields and also to address your seed representative and seed guides to determine the benefit of an application.

A. Disease history: Low lying fields with a history of disease are more likely to respond to a fungicide.                                                                            
1. No
2. Yes

B. High yield history:  High yield fields are more likely to show an economic response. 
1. Poor
2. Average
3. High yielding

C. Hybrid resistance: The lower the genetic resistance to gray leaf spot, northern corn leaf blight and anthracnose, the more potential for an economic response.
1. Highly resistant
2. Average
3. Poor resistance

D. Crop rotation: Corn following corn tends to harbor more disease inoculum.
1. Following other crops
2. Following corn

E. IPM: Corn diseases are just starting to appear, especially in no-till corn on corn fields.
1. Less than 5% visible disease
2. 5-10% visible disease
3. 10% or greater disease

F. Fertility: Low K levels and compacted soils could exacerbate disease effects on lodging and yield.                                                                 
1. High fertility
2. Average
3. Poor fertility


Corn Ear Molds and Leaf Diseases.

Del Voight – Penn State Extension
Two Items to be reviewing as the corn season progresses. Ears are rapidly forming and growers are applying fungicides presently to fields that the hybrid may be susceptible to leaf diseases.. Knowing the characteristics of the molds are helpful in management. Also many fields of corn were planted late and are showing some leaf diseases. This is important also in determine early harvest prior to complete infection of the plants.
Here are some pictures of ear molds and a description of their mycotoxin potential as well as some management ideas.  As in other cases just because there is the mold does not mean that a mycotoxin will result.  There is still a lot that needs to be learned regarding these molds and there relationship to the toxin formation.  Both fusariums can be an issue and have been researched the most intensively mainly in the silage portion for dairy.  As you get out on farms in the coming weeks it might be wise to have this or some other reference in your truck to use as a discussion.  Also keep an eye on the nitrate situation(silage after rains return) and stalk lodging due to stalk rot. Many times with a drought the plant robs leaves, stalk and roots to feed the ear and during this time stalk rots invade since the plant is weakened.  A squeeze test of the lower stalk can reveal the management of the field for early harvest. 
I have viewed mostly corn smut. at differing stages of development.  This is not a fungus that can cause any harm to livestock contrary many folks will consume it as a delicacy.

Gibberella Ear Rot

The most common and important ear mold in Ontario is Gibberella zeae which is the sexual reproductive stage of Fusarium graminearium. This fungus not only infects corn but also small grains such as wheat and can survive on soybean roots. Although, the fungus can produce a white colour mold which makes it difficult to tell apart from Fusarium Ear Rot, the two can be distinguished easily when Gibberella produces its characteristic red or pink colour mold.
Scout fields which have a susceptible hybrid planted. If you are not sure how your hybrid rates for Gibberella contact your seed supplier.
Gibberella Ear Rot is economically important not only because of the potential yield and quality losses but because Gibberella zeae and Fusarium graminearum produce two very important mycotoxins that occur in Ontario, deoxynivalenol (vomitoxin or DON) and zearalenone. These mycotoxins are especially important to swine and other livestock producers since they can have a detrimental affect on their animals. Feed containing low levels of vomitoxin (1ppm) can result in poor weight gain and feed refusal in swine. Zealalenone is an estrogen and cause reproductive problems such as infertility and abortion in livestock, especially swine. If you have Gibberella ear rot (5 % or more) and are planning to feed the grain, you should have the grain tested for these toxins.
Figure 2 - Gibberella Ear Rot

Fusarium Ear Rot
Unlike Gibberella, Fusarium infected kernels are often scattered around the cob amongst healthy looking kernels or on kernels that have been damaged for example by corn borer or bird feeding. Fusarium infection produces a white to pink or salmon-coloured mold. A "white streaking" or "star-bursting" can be seen on the infected kernel surface. Although many Fusarium species may be responsible for these symptoms, the primary species we are concerned about in Ontario is Fusarium verticillioides (formerly Fusarium moniliforme). The significance of this fungus is that it produces a toxin called fumonisin.
Figure 3. Fusarium Ear Rot

Diplodia Ear Rot
The characteristic ear symptom of Diplodia maydis infection is a white mold that begins at the base of the ear and will eventually cover and rot the entire ear. Mold growth can also occur on the outer husk which has small black bumps (pycnidia) embedded in the mold. These reproductive structures are where new spores are produced. Unlike Gibberella and Fusarium, Diplodia does not produce any known toxins.
Figure 4. Diplodia Ear Rot

Penicillium Ear Rot
Penicillium rot (Penicillium oxalicum) produces a light blue-green powdery mold which grows between the kernels and cob/husk surface. Infected kernels could become bleached or streaked. Can be a serious problem if corn is stored at high moisture levels (greater 18%). Although other Penicillium species have been shown to produce Ochratoxins, Penicillium oxalicum dos not and this toxin does not occur in Ontario.
Figure 5. Penicillium Ear Rot

Table 1 – Common Ear Rots and Molds That Occur in Pa and The Primary Mycotoxins They Produce
Corn Ear Rot
(Gibberella zeae also called Fusarium graminearum (asexual stage)
  • Red/pink mold
  • Begins on ear tip
  • Bird, insect injury increases damage
  • Deoxynivalenol (Vomitoxin or DON)
  • Zearalenone
  • T-2 toxin
(Fusarium verticillioides)
  • White, pink or salmon coloured
  • Can occur anywhere on ear
  • Often begins at the sites of insect damage
  • Fumonisins
(Stenocarpella maydis)
  • White mold
  • Begins at base of ear but often entire ear covered
  • Black pycnidia (bumps) on husks and kernels
  • · None
(Penicillium oxalicum)
  • Blue-green mold
  • Mold between kernels and on cobs/husk
  • Ochratoxins (other Penicillium species)
  • P. oxalicum does not produce ochratoxin; not detected in Ontario
Management – Iowa State University.
The best option for moldy grain is to feed it or sell it instead of storing it. However, it should be tested for toxins before feeding. Testing for mycotoxins can be done before putting the grain in storage. The best sampling method is to take a composite sample of at least 10 pounds from a moving grain stream, or to take multiple probes in a grain cart or truck for a composite 10-pound sample. If toxins are present, it is possible that the grain can be fed to a less sensitive livestock species, such as beef cattle, depending on the specific toxin and its concentration. A veterinarian or extension specialist can help with these decisions. If the grain is sold, there may be a reduced price due to mold damage.
Cleaning the grain removes fine particles that are usually the moldiest and most susceptible to further mold development. Good storage conditions (for example, proper temperature and moisture content, aeration, insect control, and clean bins) and regular inspection are essential in preventing mold and toxin development in any stored corn. For additional information on sampling and other aspects of ear rots and mycotoxins, see Iowa State University Extension publications PM 1800, LEAF DISEASESAflatoxins in Corn (free), and PM 1698, Corn Ear Rots, Storage Molds, Mycotoxins, and Animal Health ($1.50 plus shipping).

2014 Barley Performance Data Posted

Posted: July 22, 2014
Many barley varieties recover from winter injury and perform very well in trials
Our 2014 Winter Barley Performance Trial was conducted at the Russell Larson Research Farm at Rock Springs, PA and the results have been posted  . The trial consisted of 15 experimental and commercial hulled lines, 3 hulless lines and 3 malting barley lines. The test experienced some winter injury, which impacted the performance of some lines, but some recovered remarkably well. Yields ranged from 117.9 to 51.9 bu/acre on a 48 lb basis. Test weights were very good with the hulled lines averaging over 51 lb/bu and the hulless lines averaging over 60 lb/bu.
Yield performance was surprising following the winter conditions, which included 8 days with low temperatures below 0 F at this location. The test was planted early in mid September and had some fall fertilizer applied, and both contributed to good fall growth and winter survival. Winter injury was most severe in the malting barley lines and one of the hulless lines, Eve.
In the hulled entries, most of the lines had awns except for Valor, Nomini and Growmark FS 501. Of these lines without awns Valor had the highest yield at 94.2 bu/acre and was the tallest at 40 inches. Among the awned entries, a Virginia Tech experimental line topped the test at 117.9 bu/acre followed by Growmark FS 950 at 106.9 bu/acre.
In the hulless test, the variety Dan had the highest yield at 85.7 bu/acre and exhibited excellent winter hardiness. The new hulless line, VA07H-31WS had a yield of 75.7 bu/a and slightly lower rating for winter hardiness.
We also included three prospective malting barley lines due to the interest in growing malting barley. Endeavor and Charles are two row winter types and Maja is a six row winter types. Each of these had noticeably more winter injury than most of the feed barleys in the test. Endeavor and Charles appeared to recover surprisingly well.
For more information on winter barley performance review results at Virginia Tech and theUniversity of Delaware .

Contact Information

Greg Roth
  • Professor of Agronomy
Phone: 814-863-7043

15 July 2014

More resources for Palmer Amaranth- Great time to identify with seed heads fully emerged.

Weed Alert:

Palmer Amaranth has been identified in the North Annville (pictured above) area and growers should be alert to how to manage this weed before it has a chance to become established on their farms.    Palmer amaranth is quite distinctive at this stage with long (10 to 20 inches) cylindrical seed heads generally rising above the soybean crop.  If Palmer amaranth seed are harvested along with the grain, the seeds can quickly spread into neighboring fields or farms.  We are still investigating this most recent occurrence, but strongly suspect that seeds were spread via contaminated manure and/or hay.  Attached are documents from Ohio State University and the University of Illinois providing more details on identification and management of Palmer amaranth.  In addition this 11 minute youtube video is an OSU production helping to explain the concern about Palmer amaranth along with some management options.  We will provide more information about this problem as it becomes available.  In this particular case it is growing in a pasture setting and there are numerous products to eliminate it in that environment. However if you see the seed heads as above it is best to pull and burn those seeds presently to eliminate the seeds populating the weed seed bank.

03 July 2014

Hail and Wind Damage Assessment Resources at Penn State

Del Voight - Penn State Extension
When it comes to the middle part of the season there is always a risk of wind and hail damage to crops. Many times there only a handful of growers that experience significant crop losses, however, to this growers there is nothing more disheartening then to find a crop dessimated by mother nature.  We had a straight line wind event and golf ball sized hail a day ago at about 3 in the afternoon. By 430 I was receiving calls to determine the best course of action.  In most cases I would prefer to wait a week and then go and check due to the fact that over the years I have learned that in most cases there is an exaggerated assessment immediately and a week of growth can really make the difference in determining options.  But with local government agencies needing some initial assessment I decided to go out the day after and check.  I assessed several fields in the most affected area and most if not all the corn that was hailed on though dramatic will grow through it with minimal impact.  I use  the hail damage fact sheet more to illustrate to producers the impact and try to sort through how the crop will react.  Penn State Hail Damage Assessment and options.  Young corn prior to V9 will take allot of leaf removal before a yield impact.  In my experience with 20% damage growers assume it is a complete loss when in fact at that level little to perhaps a 4% damage might result. Again refer to the Hail Damage Assessment worksheet to balance research with applied use in the field.
There are other factors with light now shining to the soil more weeds might germinate. The damage to the tissue might allow infection of leaf diseases and the crop might be delayed in maturity.  So there is the need to inspect fields and make decisions to assist growers in determine additional management to alleviate these concerns whether it be an application of a fungicide and or another run over the field to apply additional weed control products.
Disease risks associated with hail damage(Source Illionois Extension via Corn and Soybean Digest)
It is important to remember that a fungicide application cannot recover yield potential lost due to hail damage. Fungicides protect yield potential by reducing disease. There are some diseases of corn that are favored by wounding, e.g., Goss’s wilt, common smut and stalk rot. Similarly bacterial blight and bacterial pustule on soybeans are favored by wounding. Fungicides are not effective against the pathogens that cause these diseases. The foliar diseases that are managed by fungicides (e.g., gray leaf spot, northern corn leaf blight, eye spot and common rust on corn, and brown spot and frog eye on soybeans) are caused by pathogens that do not require wounds for infection. These foliar diseases will influence the yield response to fungicides more so than hail damage.
On Left should be fine fine larger corn on right had 10% snapped corn and 30% defoliation will be left to go to harvest
In a few cases where the plant is broken below the grower point from a one two shot of hail and wind resulting in green snap then we get into a replant condition which then requires questions on what herbicides were applied which affect the options for replant and also if corn itself can be replanted. It also brings to the forefront what to do with the existing crop I have seen corn killed with a fatty acid inhibitor such as Poast and replanted within a day turn out to be a satisfactory option when small. Large corn with 14 leaves however creates a whole other matter of dealing with a forage that will need to be mowed, wilted and combined with a starch to help with fermentation. Two years ago a grower bush hogged tasseled corn and had to wait for the fodder to dry before no tilling could commence to adequately cut the fodder. There are many facets to this issue that not alot of research exists.
Wind blown corn with green snap on majority 40%  of plants and some 50%  that are leaning.  Considering replant
The wind areas that I observed and walked into present another challenge.
This field is leaning over roots are intact and there is little green snap. Should rise back up will check in  a week.
 Some fields are simply leaning over and the roots are firmly attached while in other cases the roots are pulled up.  Green snapped stalks indicate the show is over same with the corn with the roots torn out. The leaning corn in most cases will right itself if done prior to tasseling and be acceptable for harvest.  At this point growers need to asses what percent of the stalks are snapped? % with roots torn from soil? What is the planted population?  All of these factors need to wieghed to make a decision. Today I observed a field with 9 foot corn about V13 with 30% snapped off with a population of 42,000ppa of corn that would leave about 28,000ppa leaning so in the end we would best leave the crop for a week and most likely it will be acceptable to go to harvest. A field less than a mile away about the same stage of growth had 30,000 ppa and had 50% green snap with 50% leaning with about half the field affected so in that case it might be prudent to consider harvesting  and replanting.
The take home here is that typically the damage is not as dramatic as it may seem.  By checking some key factors such as percent damage, root and stem fitness and most important stage of growth a better management decision can be arrived at that is acceptable given these types of events.

02 July 2014

Now is the time to gather Soybean Leaves for plant tissue testing.

Del Voight- Penn State Extension

Several growers are considering more high yield management for the soybean crop. There are alot of foliar fertilizer products with ideal nutrient levels for numerous micronutrients. Our research indicates tremendous variation in the response to these products.  Yield enhancement is tied to whether the plant is deficient in micronutrients or not.  Since we cannot test the soil with accurate assessments of micronutrients, the best way to determine hidden hunger is with a simple $24.00 plant tissue test. A few growers last season enjoyed 90 bu/acre plus while managing for high yield soybean crops.  The first step is to gain an accurate soil test an maintain optimum levels of P 150ppm and K 300ppm . The second step is to collect a sample at the R1 to R2 stage(full flower) for plant analysis. The Ag Analytical Lab provides the testing for the results.  Here are the specifics to gather the samples.
Once the plant begins to flower R1 which is expected to occur on early May planted fields in the next two weeks gather the samples and send them off via overnight mail to gain quick results. This will allow for adequate time to determine a nutrient strategy before peak growth at R3 when pods are being filled.  .

Soybean Specifics  
Soybeans or other beans
Seedling stage (less than 12")
All the above ground portion.20-30 plants
Prior to or during initial floweringTwo or three fully developed leaves at the top of the plant.20-30 upper leaves

Interpretive Nutrient Levels for Plant Analysis

Soybeans plant tissue levels

Nitrogen (% DW)
Phosphorus (% DW)
Potassium (% DW)1.261.712.512.76
Calcium (% DW)0.210.362.013.01
Magnesium (% DW)
Sulfur (% DW)
Manganese (ppm DW)1521101251
Iron (ppm DW)3151351501
Copper (ppm DW)5103151
Boron (ppm DW)10215681
Zinc (ppm DW)10215176