Lebanon Crop Management Video


20 July 2012

Early Planted Soybeans move into R3 Growth Stage

This season 2012 is extremely ahead of schedule and growers need to adjust accordingly.
Early Soybeans planted from Late March to Mid April have moved into the R3 Stage of growth and development. This is fully about a month ahead of normal.  For more staging information please visit my early blog on Staging Staging Soybeans.
We have found the most benefit from fungicide applications at this stage of growth.  Later applications tend not to protect yields as much as the earlier timing.  As growers scout fields a keen eye on insect pressure is critical for the inclusion of an insecticide to avoid running the soybeans down a second time. The relative small yield increase of 3-4 bu/acre demands attention to the overall economics.  Refer to my early blog article on sprayer width impacts on soybean yield. It just might pay to have a commercial applicator with wider boom width to apply the product saving yield from less beans run over. Soybean Yield Reduction from Boom width and wheel traffick.
As far as product selection there are many. Here are the numerous fungicides labeled for use in Soybeans.

Fungicide Class
Fungicide Active Ingredient
Headline 2 EC
6 fl oz.
Quadris 2 SC
6-9 fl oz.
Domark 230 ME
4-5 fl oz.
Folicur 3.6 Fz
4 fl oz.
Laredo 2 EC
7-8 fl oz.
Punch ECz
4 fl oz.
Topguard 1.25 SCz
7 fl oz.
Strobilurin + Triazole
Azoxystrobin + Propiconazole
14 fl oz.
Stratego 2 EC
Strobilurin + Triazole
Trifloxystrobin + Propiconazole
7-10 fl oz.
wAlways consult the pesticide label for appropriate rates and timings of application.xData from 5 trials in Indiana, Ohio, Oklahoma, North Dakota, and Mississippi (brown spot); 7 trials in Virginia, Louisiana, and Alabama (Cercospora blight); 8 trials in Louisiana, Mississippi, Virginia, Indiana, and Georgia (frogeye leaf spot); 13 trials in Louisiana, Georgia, Alabama, and Florida (soybean rust).yRating of product efficacy: NR = Not Recommended; F = Fair; G = Good; VG = Very Good; E = Excellent; — = No data.zCurrently, these products have Section 18 Exemptions for soybean rust only. They cannot be used to control a foliar soybean disease other than soybean rust in the state of Nebraska. As of Nov. 10, 2007 Folicur has no Section 18 or Section 3 label in Nebraska and cannot be used for application on soybeans.

18 July 2012

Thoughts on irrigating Field Crops

Del Voight - Penn State Extension
After  discussing some options with the drought with some local producers. A few asked about the economics of irrigating.  I found a useful factsheet  Economics of Field Crops NCSU  that appeared in the e Extension web service.  What I found was that there are tremendous start up fees for a typical pivot system. At the time of this factsheets writing (2007)  a typical system for 31 acres was about $80000-$100,000 the costs are much lower for the 80 acre system versus the 31 acre system. The per acre costs at that time was about 400 dollar per acre to pay for the system amortized over 10 years plus the operating of the equipment.   Basically after 10 years the per acre rate would drop to a maintenace fees plus the operating fees depending on how much a producer uses the system.
At todays prices it would take about 50bu/acre of corn increase to pay for the additional cost on 31 acres. On our soil types in the north it would be entirely possible to increase yields by a minimum of 50 bu/acre under irrigation to pay for the system. What we do not have is some comparison data for the Lebanon area to come up with a real return by irrigation.   Some farms situated near large streams and rivers will have varying economics versus a farm that would need to drill wells and draw water from a well and the additional costs for that process.
Be sure to read the publication in its entirety and really think and work this out before laying out the capital to begin the process.  There are also other types of irrigation. I have seen drip line laid in fields in New Mexico with a deep shank the tubes were placed a foot deep and trickle water out very slowly.  I have also seen water pumped almost a mile inland in Oklahoma then diverted through canals into hilled soybeans.  The overhead nozzle method also is another system to which to compare.  If you take the time to read this publication you will find that this is not a simple answer there are many facets to this decision and I do not feel that anyone can recommend irrigation unless a thorough review of each farm is taken and  economics worked out.

Fire Fighter Comments on preventing Fires on the Farm

In a recent discussion with a Fire Chief Matt Hetrick he sent a note to me with some of his comments regarding preventing fires during this drought. Here are some of his comments.

 In thinking about this topic as it relates to fire protection I think there are several areas that should be covered:

1)     During drought conditions its not just the fields that are dry. In fact any wood or natural commodity loses moisture. If you think about wooden barn siding, un-painted barns lose moisture faster in their old dried wood which creates the potential for faster fire spread should a fire ignite. There are several ways to deter fire spread of wood sided barns:
A)    Repaint barns, this gives the wood a protective coating, yes paint does burn, but at a much slower rate than exposed dried wood.
B)    Remove fire loading. Fire Loading pertains to anything that burns. The more you have to burn, the bigger the fire. The bigger the fire the less chance of it being stopped. Get rid of the trash, segregate commodities and supplies, create aisles, clean out the cob webs, etc.
C)    Inspect Electrical Equipment. Only use extension cords temporarily and unplug them when not in use. Make sure electrical components are in good working order. When it’s hot, electrical motors are hotter too, especially ones in bad repair.

2)     Control Fires. Most farmers burn trash, keep fires under control and supervised. Move fires far away from buildings. Call sooner rather than later. What I mean by that is when a fire gets out of control, most farmers try to handle it themselves and wait too long to call 911. It is much better to call and not be needed then to call too late and give the fire department a situation that is well out of control. From my experience of 25 years, false alarms are pretty easy to handle, 4 alarm barn fires that were started by burning trash are a nightmare.
3)     Know your water supply. Many farms have streams and ponds. Many fire departments know these streams and ponds, but often, during a drought we count on these water supplies to be there and they are not. If you know of a water supply that is normally accessible to the fire department and that supply is now dry, it is a good idea to give the local fire department a call and let them know.
4)     If you have questions or concerns, contact your local fire department and ask the fire chief to visit your farm. Most would be very willing and could provide helpful hints to keeping your farm safe.


17 July 2012

Affect of weeds in droughted corn.

Del Voight Penn.State Extension
See the affect of the drought and the weeds left to grow on right.  Sweet corn.on right field corn on left.

Soybean sun scald

Del Voight Penn State Extension.
Some shots of soybean sun scald due to drought. Leaves flip backward then heat up.

Surface Water Use For Irrigation a Matter of Reporting?

Del Voight - Penn State Extension
I recieved some calls regarding pulling water from the Swatara Creek to irrigate corn and soybean fields.  As a result I call the SRBC Susquehanna River Basin Commission. The surface water contact is Andrew Dehoff 717-238-0423.  They advise growers whom are not Concentrated Animal Operations (CAO)that they may pull up to 100000 gallons of water per day over a 30 day period. This requires written logs of the estimated water being pulled from a surface stream.  If this level is exceeded they must report their use with  the SRBC and gain a permit which is free of charge.  The SRBC also related to me that growers must contact the DEP if they pull more than 10000 gallons of water per day and must get a permit to do this from DEP prior to irrigating.  A CAO will most likely already have a water plan and if irrigation is not included this must be amended into the current water use plan.

Drought Discussion for Lebanon County

There are many facets to this drought that I will discuss a few.  One of the main issues that drought is causing has been to reduce forage for the close to 100,000 livestock in the County. Grass hay failed to regrow after first cutting and thus there is little grass hay for feed. The market price today soared to over $400/ton almost double from spring.  Those grazing livestock and horses are now utilizing their winter storage to get them through until rain returns. This alone will cause extreme economic times particularly this winter when supplies run out and producers need to purchase additional hay. Corn silage acres(@40,000 acres) will need to be expanded to make up for the short crop resulting in less acres harvest for grain. 
Some soil types that retain more moisture than others will be close to normal in yield of corn and soybeans while areas that do not retain moisture (or have compacted soils from last falls heavy rains) like that in the northern areas of the county will result in a half crop at best in many cases. Recent rains did little to change the scenario for those growers. The spotty nature of rains have left some with the only choice but to consider chopping the corn early that has failed to unroll in the morning and is dead at that point and begin the thought process to plant perhaps a fall crop to gain addition forage. The first call however needs to be made to the Crop Insurance representative to determine the best options for the grower. Penn State has done some research in forages for fall and by and large August seedings of Oats, corn, sorghum sudan provided about 2 ton per acre of dry matter.  There are safety concerns with harvesting the crop ranging from nitrate poisoning to silo gas and the obvious fire concern in these conditions.
Not only forage crops are affected but also  the national grain supply is also shrinking due to the drought across the major grain producing states in the Midwest.  It is always best to produce  local grains but with the current conditions many growers will need to purchase additional grain supplies at extremely high prices.  In a recent report on Ag Web there could be a global shortage of soybeans (one of the primary protein sources in all animal feeds). 
 Fields of any crop locally are faced with fending off tremendous numbers of insect pests.  Penn State Pest monitoring system recent trap captures indicate large populations of corn borer, western bean cutworms, yellow striped armyworms to name a few.  In addition leaf feeding insects such as Japanese beetles, red legged grass hoppers, and a large population of potato leaf hoppers are a constant threat and supplies of crop protection products are beginning to run dry in some cases. So right now the growers whom fields are surviving well need to be observed weekly for signs of pest feeding and damage to preserve the potential yield that is left.
Livestock growers will need to begin assessing alternative feeds to reduce feed costs. I am aware of one dairy nutritionist that helped save a local grower $1200 in one month by backing out corn and soybeans and using alternatives such as wheat mids and soy hulls and alternative protein sources. There are many other facets pertaining to this drought that are available that better quantify the drought and its impact through drought mitigation websites and water resources sites such as the SRBC site that can give one a better scope of the water supply presently.
We are roughly three weeks ahead of our normal heat accumulation and growers need to realize this and adjust for the early timing for harvests for the remainder of the season. Of most concern is to begin chopping corn at ideal moisture and plant development.

16 July 2012

United States Soybean Rust Commentary (updated: 07/16/12)

Soybean rust (SBR) was detected in a soybean sentinel plot and three commercial fields in George County, Mississippi on July 16th. SBR was reported in two counties in Florida on July 14th, one county in Georgia on July 13th, and in two counties in Alabama on July 9th. So far in 2012, SBR has been reported in 27 counties in the USA including Alabama (6), Florida (8), Georgia (8), Louisiana (2), Mississippi (1), Texas (2), and 13 reports from Mexico. With continued hot dry weather, new reports of SBR are not expected in the central and northern states, but new reports are expected to continue in the southern states.

US Farm Report (USFR) from AgWeb Potential World Shortage of Soybeans discussed in Market Report

US Farm Report (USFR) from AgWeb

July 16 Farm Report. I was listening with intent on what the traders are discussing relative to commodity prices. Sounds like Soybeans might be a real issue going into winter.

03 July 2012

Stress, Anthesis - Silk Interval and Corn Yield Potential

This is a great article detailing the impact of drought conditions on corn growth and development by Roger W. Elmore, Department of Agronomy  We are experiencing similar conditions and our corn happens to be in the sam growth stages as Iowa.

Del Voight- Penn State Extension.
Forecast daily high temperatures every day this week hover just below 100 degrees. Across Iowa corn ranges from the 10th leaf stage (V10) to tasseling and silking (VT and R1). As of July 1st, the USDA reports that 16 percent of Iowa’s corn was silking; that's nearly 2 weeks ahead of normal. Unfortunately, dry surface and subsoil moisture conditions prevail (see June 26, 2012, Drought Monitor). In the USDA report linked above, 73 percent of Iowa's subsoil moisture was reported as either short or very short compared to 2 percent last year. Crop water use ranged between 0.2 and 0.4 inches per day in central Iowa the last few days (see Soil Moisture Conditions and Crop Water Use, ICM News, for more information on this). With the majority of Iowa’s corn pollinating in the next week to 10 days, this combination of events does not lead to optimism among Iowa’s corn agronomists.
The impact of stress on corn depends on the timing of two critical events: pollen shed and silking. In May, I discussed the multiple 2012 planting dates in a Crop Minute, as well as some of the pluses and minuses associated with them. The USDA forecast of above trend-line yields released after planting earlier this year reflected optimism often associated with early planting and higher yields. On average, we often say that earlier planting results in greater yields and later planting results in lower yields (see the April 27th ICM News). Of course, as with any average, these generalities are not always true.  Sometimes later planting dates result in the best yields.

Pollen shed and silking

Due to the wide planting window experienced this year, expect a wide window for both pollen shed and silking. No doubt earlier silking in normal years is in part associated with earlier planting, and, in addition, early silking is loosely correlated with higher yields. However, many exceptions to this occur. For example, although we had relatively early silking dates from 2005 to 2007 and again in 2010, silking nearly a week later in 2009 resulted in the highest corn yield in Iowa’s history. Our second best yield occurred in 2004, which silked about the same time as those of from 2005 to 2007, and 2010. Early silking this year, if associated with the anticipated stress, will not be associated with maximum yields.
Stress during the pollination and silking period often reduces yield potential.  Water stress is the worst stress factor although high temperatures, defoliation – from hail, insects, etc. - and extremely high plant populations, among others, reduce yield during this critical time especially when coupled with drought stress.   During flowering, plants use more water (0.35 to 0.40 inches per day) than at any other time.  This is in part because silks have the highest water content among all parts of the corn plant.


Anthesis – silk interval: An indicator of stress

One of the best indicators of how plants respond to stress during flowering is the Anthesis – Silk Interval, ASI.  This measures the time in days between pollen shed and silk emergence. We also are concerned about ‘nick,’ referring to the overlap of these two critical developmental stages. The ASI for older hybrids in good condition might have been 2 to 3 days with a range up to a week or more. Corn breeders over the last 5 to 6 decades worked toward developing hybrids that shed pollen and silk at nearly the same time. They have succeeded. With some modern hybrids, silks actually emerge before pollen shed even begins.
These reductions in ASI over the decades helped stabilize modern corn yields in stressed environments. In situations where water is limited, silk emergence and elongation slows. Pollen shed remains constant or accelerates. In older hybrids, water stress often resulted in a loss of nick; thus when silks emerged, there was no pollen source. Barren plants or ears with fewer kernels per ear resulted. By condensing the window of time between tassel and silk emergence, we are more assured of having good pollination with modern hybrids. This is true even if the silks are delayed a couple days or more due to water stress.
Pollen shed occurs over a 5 to 8 day period and silks are viable and receptive to pollen up to 7 to 10 days. Smaller ASI values means a greater chance of successful seed set, increased kernel numbers and increased yield.
The wide planting window this year offers challenges as well as opportunities. Taking note of ASI in your fields will indicate how the crop is faring at flowering. Did pollen shed and silking coincide in near-perfect synchrony, or did stress delay silking and not pollen shed.
In the long-run, the impact of stress conditions during this time will determine yield. On the positive side:
  • No major storms are expected this week, so thunderstorms and the associated strong winds that lodge and break plants prior to tasseling, i.e. greensnap, won’t be a problem.
  • The wide range of 2012 planting dates means that a portion of the crop will not tassel and silk this week and thus may avoid the threats of an abundance of stress for corn… and everyone associated with it.

Roger Elmore is a corn agronomist in the Department of Agronomy. He can be reached at 515-294-6655 or e-mail relmore@iastate.edu.

02 July 2012

Pa Soybean Pest Monitoring

Sentinel Plot Program in Soybeans — John Tooker, Penn State Entomology Specialist

Insect pests and pathogens are annual problems in soybean fields. To manage these threats to crop production, extension personnel typically recommend an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program that relies heavily on understanding local populations of pests and the threats they pose to crop fields. For both insect pests and diseases, understanding local populations requires scouting fields regularly and assessing pest population sizes using accepted methods and then applying economic thresholds to determine if it is in the grower’s economic interest to apply a management tactic. Scouting, however, is time consuming and growers and their associates might be able to better direct their efforts if they had a resource that they could consult to determine if pest populations are active around the state or in their region. To provide such a resource to soybean growers this growing season, the Pennsylvania Soybean Board is funding a Sentinel Plot Program. In this effort, Penn State Extension will regularly scout fifteen ‘typical’ soybean fields across the state, reporting significant populations of plant pathogens and insect pests. These reports will be distributed via this weekly newsletter, Penn State’s Field Crop News (http://extension.psu.edu/field-crop-news), and will be available shortly on Penn State’s Field Crop Entomology website (http://ento.psu.edu/extension/field-crops-new). The objective of the program is to inform growers what they may find active in their fields with the expectations is then that growers will be able to better direct their scouting efforts. This effort also includes an additional thirty or so fields in Lancaster and surrounding counties that will be scouted for brown marmorated stink bugs, so we can keep soybean grower apprised of the risk from this important invasive pest species.
Reports thus far found locally heavy populations of slugs, the populations of which should be dissipating with increasing heat and decreasing moisture in fields. The reports for the last week are listed below. Pests that were found during scouting are listed with their severity, which is rated on a 1-10 scale with 10 being the highest.

25 June 2012 – Tioga County

Field 1 – Growth stage V3
  • Bean leaf beetle active – Severity: 1
  • Potato leafhopper active – Severity: 3
  • No diseases found
Field 2 – Growth stage V3
  • No pest insects or diseases found
Field 3 – Growth stage V1
  • Bean leaf beetle active – Severity: 1
  • No diseases found

22 June 2012 – Berks County (two fields)

Field 1 – Growth stage V5.5
  • Bean leaf beetle feeding evident – Severity: 2
  • Potato leafhopper active – Severity: 1
  • Green cloverworm active – Severity: 1
  • No diseases found
Field 2 – Growth stage V5.5
  • Bean leaf beetle feeding evident – Severity: 1
  • Potato leafhopper active – Severity: 1
  • Green cloverworm active – Severity: 1
  • Grasshoppers active – Severity: 1
  • Lady beetles and damsel bugs active (beneficial species)
  • No diseases found

21 June 2012 – Lebanon County

Fields 1 and 2
  • Slugs active – Severity ranges from 1 to 5 depending on portion of the field considered
  • No diseases found

20 June 2012 – York County

Growth stage: V5
  • Japanese beetles active with typical feeding signs – Severity: 1
  • Septoria leaf spot is becoming a little more prevalent, but still on the lowest leaves – Severity: 1

19 June 2012 – Crawford County

  • No pest insects or diseases found