Lebanon Crop Management Video

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02 September 2014

Some ideas for Fall Planning and No Tilling next spring.

Del Voight - Penn State Extension Agent
If you have been no tilling for some time here are some considerations that may improve your no till system. Starting right in the fall as harvest comes into view might mean better jump on next seasons crop.


1. During fall harvest operations of corn and soybeans be sure to spread the residue evenly across the field. If a custom operator is selected be sure his rear spreader is engaged and working properly. Planters are able to compensate for variable depths across the field but by simply spreading the residue evenly over the field the planter will maintain a more uniform depth and result in even stand emergence. Too late? Then consider manageing the fodder this winter with a rake or other device to spread it evenly.


2. Several fields I visited this season after planting exhibited pH induced deficiencies. Although the overall plow depth pH was optimum the surface two inches surrounding the seed was in some cases 4.0 or below. BE sure to gather 2 inch as well as 6 inch depth soil samples. You might find as Dr. Beegle recommends that lime applications yearly in these scenarios to offset nitrogen induced pH problems will correct the problem.


3. Check for slugs this fall. Dr. Ron Hammond The Ohio State University discusses the how to of assessing slug populations this fall.
Slug sampling can be done this fall by placing about 10 square foot boards or roofing shingles throughout the field on the ground. Cups of beer can be placed in the soil underneath the boards to attract slugs. If beer is used, the shingles should be sampled the following morning. If only the boards are used, we would recommend sampling underneath the boards after a few days. Sampling would be most beneficial during warmer nights without frost, and is best done a few times during the fall.


4. Remove weeds and eliminate planting issues as well as eliminate cutworm egg laying sites. Many herbicide programs are offered for fall application that will keep fields that do not have a cover crop(great idea to put oats or other crops in to take the place of weeds) clean of weeds. In addition, when the cutworm moths migrate to the north in April to find egg laying sites, such as chickweed, you would have eliminated the chance for them to get a foot hold in that field.


5. Perennial weeds and crops should be sprayed this fall to eliminate be ready for spring planting. Research suggests September applications improve the control of tough weeds like thistles, hemp dogbane, and dandelion with a fall systemic herbicide. Grass and alfalfa fields that will be planted in the spring to a full season crop like corn should be killed this fall to provide an ideal seed bed next year. If the leaves of the plants are green and growing it is not too late to apply the herbicides. Once the leaves turn brown it is too late.


6. Consider pasture and hay field clean up with a systemic herbicide (dicamba, 2,4-D, Crossbow) now to ensure unwanted perennials in the stand are removed from the sod. Plan to over-seed this winter to fill the voids. Again if the leaves are in good shape then the products will work properly. Wait until the drought conditions are broken and plants are actively growing.


7. Rootworm adults will be emerging and now you can assess whether a field should be treated with an insecticide next year. Although the time to scout for adults to predict next years field treatment is just about over one might recall seeing large amounts of beetles in fields or where significant silk feeding existed. Target heavily infested fields that will be cropped in corn again next year with an insecticide or a Bt rootworm hybrid. We know this because the beetles lay eggs only in corn and by knowing where the beetles are at this time of year forecasts where the eggs laid now will hatch out next year. By the way those hybrids proved highly effective however they will not kill adult beetles feeding on the silks and will only kill rootworms so another complement insecticide should be used and may be already included as a seed treatment on purchased seed. At least write down which fields you noted severe beetle populations.


8. Consider treating alfalfa fields after the last cutting for chickweed control next spring. There are many options that will provide residual control(as well as post control) through the spring and as we come on to the peak time for chickweed germination now is the time to begin treating to ensure weed free fields in the spring.


9. Cereal rye and small grains are in short supply this year why not plant alternative crops such as Hairy Vetch, oats, red clover, field peas, birds foot trefoil or maybe some brassicas. Check out the cover crop factsheet for detailed information available at the Extension Office.


10. Standing Corn does not mean options are not available to clean up fields of perennials. 2,4-D at dent stage or glyphosate at black layer to treat tough perennials or escaped bur cucumber is a viable option to eliminate weeds. A high clearance sprayer would be needed but may prove effective if a problem exists.


11. Put to bed pastures and hay fields this fall with a herbicide treatment (2,4-dicamba, Cimarron, Overdrive, Crossbow others) to best eliminate perennial weeds. As the plants move nutrients into the roots for winter why not have the herbicide move with them and kill the weeds roots and all.


12. Burn down(glyphosate) stands of grass or alfalfa hay now so that next spring the field will be ready to plant corn or soybeans into and the planter will operate more effectively in well rotted sod than in a freshly killed sod.


13. Finally, why not calibrate the spray monitor, overhaul/calibrate the planter, and service equipment this fall before winter sets in ( and dealers get backed up) to ensure that when planting time comes all is in order to take advantage of the spring planting window?

Small Grain Planting Considerations




Del Voight- Penn State Extension - Crop Management Team
I am beginning to get some questions pertaining to planting small grains this fall. Here are some tips that might assist you with your planting decisions. I would still adhere to the Penn State ideal planting date chart.
·         Variety Selection-A big decision is what variety to plant. Varieties can vary as much as 30bu/acre in a given test plot.  Local reporting as well as Industry reports is vital to selection.  Penn State tests numerous varieties those are available for online viewing at http://smallgrains.psu.edu/

·         Rotations- It is discouraged to plant wheat in a rotation with Corn. Diseases namely Take All, a fusarium species, and also head scab- fusarium, can cause tremendous losses. Some growers I discussed this with noted a 40 bu/acre loss from the disease. It is almost entirely avoided through a rotation with soybeans or other broadleaf crop.
·         To purchase seed or not?  First of all if the variety you have in hand has a legally binding agreement that limits saving the seed, you may not be able to replant it. Otherwise if one decides to replant the seed from last spring one needs to be sure to test the seed and utilize a seed treatment. If the test comes back below 80% then the decision should be to use certified seed.  A recent blog that I posted details this process, PDA seed lab, home seed testing etc. Navigate here.  http://delvoightcrops.blogspot.com/
o   Another consideration with seed treatments is which product to utilize.  Visit this link for a partial list of products and their affect on disease.  If your area is prone to fall aphid or hessian fly activity also consider insecticide treatments containing imadicloparid for management of fall insect pressure. 





·        RELATIVE EFFICACY OF FUNGICIDE SEED TREATMENTS FOR MANAGEMENT OF CERTAIN DISEASES OF WHEAT IN PENNSYLVANIA
Source: Ohio State University adapted for Pa by Del Voight. Prices subject to change.
Trade name
Active Ingredient
Loose smut
Common bunt
Stagonospora nodorum
Fusarium Head scab
Pythium damping off
Price Per GALLON OR QUART
Allegiance/Dyna-Shield Metalaxyl
Metalaxyl
N
N
N
N
E
$384.75 / gal
Apron XL
Mefenoxam
N
N
N
N
E

Dividend XL
Difenoconazol+ Mefanoxam
E
E
E
G
E
$67.50 / gal
LSP Flowable Fungicide
TBZ
N
G
P
G
N
??
Maxim 4FS
Fludioxonil
N
N
N
G
N
$504.65 / quart
Raxil-Thiram
Tebuconazole Thiram
E
E
E
G
F
$68.75 / gal
Raxil MD
Tebuconazole Metalaxyl
E
E
E
G
E
$80.25 / gal
Raxil XT/Dyna-Shield Small Grains
Tebuconazole Metalaxyl
E
E
E
G
E
$55.85 / gal
RTU-Vitavax-Thiram
Carboxin, Thiram
G
G
F
G
F
??
Vitavax-200
Carboxin, Thiram
G
G
F
G
F
??
Cruzer Maxx Cereals – (insect protection as well)
Thiamethoxam, Mefenoxam and difenoconazole
E
E
E
G
E
$94.55 / gal
a Efficacy based on labeled rates of active ingredient for each product.

b Efficacy rating scale: E=Excellent, G=Good, F=Fair, P=Poor and N=No activity.


·         Seeding date-the date for proper seeding is rapidly approaching. Seeding date does impact the overwintering capability of the crop.  For proper seeding dates the agronomy guide details those dates depending on your farms location in the state.  IF THE PLANTING IS LATER THAN THE IDEAL BE SURE TO INCREASE SEEDING RATES 30% TO COMPENSATE FOR LOSSES DUE TO LATE PLANTINGS. For wheat specifically,
 Seed winter wheat between September 20 and October 3 in Area 1, between September 25 and October 8 in Area 2, and between October 1 and October 15 in Area 3 (Figure 1.7-1). Seed 1.0 to 1.25 inches deep. Maintain a uniform seeding depth. The desired plant population for winter wheat is 1.3 to 1.5 million per acre (28 to 34 plants/sq ft). This requires a seeding rate between 1.5 and 1.7 million seeds per acre or 20–23 seeds per foot in a 7-inch row. Use the lower rates in Area 3 and the higher rates in Areas 1 and 2. The seeding rate should be based on the number of seeds per acre rather than pounds per acre. Refer toTable 1.7-3 when estimating the appropriate seeding rate for various drill row spacings. Seeding rates shown in Table 1.7-3 are adequate if you are seeding under ideal conditions; increase these rates when seeding under poor conditions such as a cloddy seedbed or a delayed planting date. When seeding more than 2 weeks following the fly-free date, later increase the seeding rate by 10 percent for each week delayed past that date. Do not delay seeding winter wheat because of dry soil. If fall pasture is desired, plant 1 to 2 weeks earlier and apply 40 pounds of nitrogen per acre in addition to recommended fall rates. 
·         No till Considerations – When no tilling small grains be sure to spread the residue evenly and increase seeding rates by about 15% to compensate for seed to soil contact issues.  One area that I run into frequently is seeding depth. The seed placement should strive to get the seed in the soil at a one inch depth. To measure this be sure to rule out the residue (that is not considered soil).  It is one inch of soil above the seed.  Slow down!  It appears that with larger equipment the faster the drill travels the more it rides up out of the soil and therefore places seed on the top.  This leads to poor root development and if any heaving occurs roots may be exposed to weather and herbicide applications.  For more visit.  http://agguide.agronomy.psu.edu/cm/sec7/notill.cfm

29 August 2014

Pre Harvest Soybean Yield Estimation

Del Voight - Penn State Extension - Crop Management

I have recieved a few calls on estimating soybean yield to determine which areas to select for the Soybean Yield Contest. I can relate that this is very difficult to estimate accurately. To come up with some idea of yield here is a simple procedure to follow to determine yield.
  1. Determine plant population
    • Reference  row needed to equal 1/1000th acre.  I use this primarily since it is difficult to walk beans at later stages of growth.
       Row Width 
      (inches)         Length of Row  Needed to Equal  1/1000th Acre
      6                                                     87 feet 1 inch
      7                                                    74 feet 8 inches
      7.5                                                  69 feet 8 inches
      15                                                   34 feet 10 inches
      30                                                   17 feet 5 inches
  2. Determine the Pods Per Plant
    • This will vary with weather.  Be sure to count the pods on the branches as well. Do this for at least 10 plants to get more accuracy.
  3. Determine Seeds Per Pod
    • Typically you will find 2.5 seeds per pod. In ideal weather 3 and 4 beans might be noted. In dry conditions this can drop to 1-2.  Get a handle by counting a few and averaging what you think is  the average seeds per pod.
  4. Determine Seeds Per Pound.  This is difficult. Beans vary in wieght dramatically from 2000-3600 beans per pound. The average is about 2500 and this is what I typically would use. If a drought year exists during pod fill then higher seeds per pound will exist.
  5.  Enter Information into a calculation to determine estimated yield
    the following yield estimate is determined:
    (plants per acre) x (pods per plant) x (seeds per pod) ÷ (seeds per
    pound) ÷ (pound per bushel) = (bushels per acre)
    121,968 x 22 x 2.5 ÷ 2,500 ÷ 60 = 44.72 or 45 bushels per acre

  6. Keep in mind that accuracy is difficult. Harvest loss and other deviations can make the estimate way out of line.

  7. Here is a sheet that may assist you in recording field information.