Lebanon Crop Management Video


20 December 2013

Extension and Farming


17 December 2013

History of Corn pictures from or plots

Album link: History of Corn Pictures from a Demonstration Plot at Landisville.

This gallary shows the history of corn from Teosinte to the present modern hybrid corn.  Lancaster Sure Crop lead to future crossings and as genetic crossing progressed jumped corn up to the present day tremendous yielding corn.

kudzu bug and counties in pa with kudzu

Album link: https://picasaweb.google.com/105289552470383244464/Rust?authkey=Gv1sRgCJPssdPL7oykjQE -- via http://bit.ly/picasa_tool

05 December 2013

26 November 2013

2013 Penn State Crops Conference and Pesticide Compliance Meeting - Lebanon County

The Lebanon County Crop Advisory Group would like to invite you to attend the 2013 Penn State Crop Conference to be held on Feb 27th 2014 at the Lebanon Expo Center. For a modest entry fee you can gain valuable information on crop production as well as be in Compliance with pesticide, nutrient management and certified crop advisor programs.  Please go to Penn State Crops Conference Lebanon County to register or stop by the Lebanon Extension Office with your plans to attend. See you there!

I have added a 1 hour session for fumigation so that one can obtain 2 cat credits in all three fumigation categories.
I have also added another session on simply reading and interpretiing your soil test report.  It is beginning to shape up nicely.


21 November 2013

Grain Bin Management


01 November 2013

Pa Soil Test Optimums for Soil Test interpretation

Soil Test Rules of Thumb

Here are some guidelines from an older Agronomy Guide for assessing soil test levels. Dr. Beegle has certainly changed some items but it is a good start.
It is extremely important that if you have surpassed your yield estimates yearly that you account for the high yield depleting your soils over time. For instance if you figured a 150bu/acre corn yield removing 45 lbs of K and then end up getting 200 bu /acre actual or 60lbs a difference of 15 lbs over a period of three years you would have depleted the soil buy about 45lbs or one full crop year.  So keep this in mind as we improve yields and try to maintain soil test levels. Penn State reports now in ppm but in case you are still in the lbs/acre you need to convert.
Remember to convert from lbs per acre to ppm. 
  • ppm to lbs/ acre multiply by 2. 
  • K to K20 multiply by 1.2.
  • P to P205 multiply by 2.3
Average Rules of them to maintain between
CEC 8 about average for Pa.
Organic Matter 2% should try to increase.
K 2-5%
MG 5-15%
CA 60-90%
pH Changes
Acidity level multiplied by
  • 750lbs of calcium carbonate equivalent to go  pH of 6
  • 840lbs to get to pH  6.5
  • 1000lbs to get to pH 7
Dr. Beegle had an informal response to this concept.
There is nothing wrong with this but we determined through our calibration research that it was unnecessary complication especially considering the variation we see in estimating CEC.  What we gain by using % saturation K to adjust for the CEC we lose in the CEC variation.  For the normal range in CEC ~9-12 meq/100g  we just went to using the K test result ie.  100 ppm is on average in our soils is about 15% above 2% K sat.  If you are at the extremes in CEC ie. Real low or real high this critical levels in this table are probably better.  We could probably just use 60 ppm for low CEC soils and 120 ppm as the critical level for high CEC soils and do just as well.  This is one of those cases where something makes sense conceptually but turns out to not be worth the bother in the real world so in those cases I try to go with the simplest approach.  We still do report the % saturation  on the soil test report.  So with a PSU soil test report, you do not need this table because you can just look at the % saturation directly.  See below.  This soil is 4.5% K Sat and 175 ppm K.  Both give you the same information about the K level in the soil.

All this table did is just convert the 2-3.3% saturation range to lb of extractable K2O/ acre.  Also, we quit reporting lb/A extractable  and just report ppm instead because people seem to think that since this was given in lb/A units you can just subtract these numbers from the recommendation which is absolutely not true. Also, the % saturation approach, while useful, has been greatly abused over the years so this change separated us from that issue.

Pa Soybean Workshops

Del Voight - Penn State Extension
Penn State Crop Management Team is again holding a 4 day series of workshops with the goal of related all the production and management research and extension information to growers. Here is the flyer for the event.  Pa Soybean Workshops

We will be detailing alot of information in a short amount of time. The farmer panel is always a key portion of the program where local growers describe what varieties seem to work for them as well as their pest tactics and marketing and storage schemes.  Please plan to attend!

30 October 2013

Monsanto Soybean Patent expiration for 2015 planting.


21 October 2013

Spray Systems Improve Accuracy and Quality of Chemical Application

This event is approved for 1 CEU in Pest Management.  Follow the link for more information.  You may have to cut and paste.

Del Voight
As in Email from 
Mindy Fleetwood

PennAg Industries

18 October 2013

Keystone Crop and Soils Conference Oct 29 and 30

We hope you will join us for the annual Keystone Crops and Soils Conference on October 29 and 30 at the Hershey/Harrisburg Holiday Inn in Grantville.
Please see the attached brochure for complete session and registration information.

There are two ways to register for this event:
1. Online (with credit card)
Log onto http://www.cvent.com/d/g4qm11/1Q and provide all information necessary to complete your registration.  When this option is used, there is no need to complete and submit the attached registration form.

2. Via Fax/Email/Mail
Complete the attached registration form as usual and submit with payment to:
Amy Bradford | PennAg Industries Association
2215 Forest Hills Drive, Suite 39 | Harrisburg, PA 17112
Phone: 717-651-5920 | Fax: 717-651-5926 | Email: abradford@pennag.com

Thank you for your support of this event and hope to see you at the end of the month!

2013 PDMP Silage Trial Results

This message is sourced from correspondence with Dr. Greg Roth. Official results will be posted November 1 2013.  We have several key locations of our Penn State/PDMP silage hybrid performance data analyzed and ready.  Since we know corn growers are ready for the data, we have decided to post the results as we get them ready this year, rather than wait for the November 1 posting target date.

So far we have posted results from the short season test in south central PA and the full season tests in south central PA.  These can be accessed at this site http://extension.psu.edu/plants/crops/grains/corn/hybrid-tests/2013-results/silage-hybrid-performance-data  Yield and forage quality have been very good at all of these sites.

We anticipate posting the remaining data in the next two weeks. 



03 October 2013

Farmland Rental

Attached are the results from our Farmland rental survey back in 2008.
You are welcome to use it as a reference but since the sample size is relatively small for any one county it is not a good representative sample size.
I would suggest looking back in NASS data for Censes of Ag data for inflation adjustments.
Here is on link I found that lists PA average cropland values and rental values from 2006-2010

02 October 2013

Government Shut down affect on PDA

Please note the following information from the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture as in Penn Ag in regards to the effects of the Federal Government shut down:
Animal Health
Animal Plant and Health Inspection Service - Not impacted.
Consumer Protection, Regulatory Affairs and Dairy Relations
Food Distribution - No impact unless the shutdown continues into the next calendar year except for The Commodity Supplemental food program (CSFP). We are checking on the status of this program, which provides a box of food to seniors once a month. As of Oct. 1 there were no funds. But there may be enough food inventory to carry the department through for one to two months.
The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TFAP) supplements are all in the channel right now and the administrative funds are available to run the program throughout the end of the calendar year. The TFAP program provides USDA commodities to counties and food banks for distribution to low-income residents. Distribution of the food is all handled by the private sector.
State Administrative Expense (SAE) - These funds are used to support bureau staff, bureau operations and its computer contract, (www.PAMeals.org). No impact as the bureau will have carry over funds at least until the end of the year.
Farmers Market Nutrition Program (FMNP) - No impact. Program is currently winding down. Checks are being honored until December using past fiscal (10/12-9/13) year funds.
Food Safety - All of the programs we complete in cooperation with FDA and USDA are suspended, which include COOL, Interstate Milk Inspections, FDA contracted inspections and egg inspections. Payments for work already completed are also on hold. FDA grants for special projects are not impacted.
Weights and Measures - Not Impacted.
Plant Industry - The Department of Agriculture receives federal funds from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for the pesticide program. There is nothing pending - no money due right now.
Marketing and Agricultural Development
Crop Insurance - The shutdown impacts the support outreach in the upcoming Crop Insurance Conference on Oct. 8 and training sessions. Program people who are from the federal government will not be able to travel. The shutdown may also impact the fall advertising campaign.

Palmer Pigweed?

Numerous calls from growers sparked by articles in local media on Palmer Pigweed in Pa.  I picked up a few tips today.
1.  Check the proportion of leaf  petiole to length of leaf....Palmer has a longer leaf stem petiole  than leaf.
2.  Hairs on stem or leaves?  Palmer has no hairs. This is the first give away that you have red root. Most I checked have hairs. Move to next case.
3.  Seed heads soft and bunchy?  palmer is straight up and prickly at seed head. Seed has much longer spikelets than other pig spp
3. Axial buds with  spike? No spikes on Palmer... spiny has spikes at axial. Joint where petiole meets stem.
I had a grower swear he had it. Everything lined up except the spines at the petiole junction with the stem....spiny amaranth. Still took pictures and sent them to Weed specialist.
More to come

11 September 2013

04 September 2013

Corn silage harvest in full swing

I reported that on August 21 was tested at 73% moisture the same field tested August 26 110 day corn planted late April was tested at 70% moisture. Today that field was harvested at 64% moisture. 

25 July 2013

Be Careful with Fungicide Applications

Almost 80 teen workers sprayed with fungicide in Ill. corn field, http://fxn.ws/16fqZst - Sent via the FOX News Android App.

09 July 2013

Poison Hemlock in pastures


16 May 2013

07 May 2013

Cicadas coming to the South East Pa area

.  It seems like you guys will be able to experience them first hand in the coming weeks--they should be restricted to the SE, and probably not extend too much into the central portion of the state.  Here is a resource that you might find useful if questions come up:

This link provides a map reflecting the expected emergence, and some other information.  
Feel free to share with colleagues in your region.  If I can help somehow, please let me know.

John F. Tooker
Assistant Professor
Extension Specialist
Department of Entomology
Penn State Extension
Penn State University
501 ASI Building
University Park, PA 16802
Research: http://ento.psu.edu/research/labs/john-tooker
Extension: http://ento.psu.edu/extension/field-crops-new

25 February 2013

Scouting Rust Mites on Timothy ; Penn State Extension - Del Voight- Pa...

Feb 25th Growing Degree Days way behind

Del Voight - Penn State Extension
Here we are in late February less than a month away from beginning to work on wheat pests and calibrating the sprayers and planters.  I am looking at my most recent heat accumulation since Jan 1 and it appears that we are behind in heat compared to past years. Actually we have about half the accumulated heat than last season.  This may have some implications for predicting the emergence of pests as well as the potential for early harvest of ryelage and alfalfa.  As we move through this spring if we get some spikes in temperature we can certainly begin to move this season forward. For example a base of 41 for alfalfa as of today we have 67 heat units compared to 143 this same time last year. The historic accumulation of 94  indicates we are slightly behind.  The Pa Pipe system is a great way to track. They typically get started sometime in Late March.  This link will get you to where you need to view the interactive map and can be saved as a bookmark on your mobile phone or tablet PC. While some pests like it hot the Cereal Leaf Mite does not mind the cold. Here is a picture from Dr. Dively and his counts during the winter of the mite on Timothy leaves. Check it out the black are the eggs and the red are the adults.  Too early spraying for these could miss alot of eggs later on.

Pa Heat Development Map