Lebanon Crop Management Video


18 November 2014

Penn State Dairy and Crops Compliance Day

Del Voight- Penn State Extension

A joint program between the Dairy team and the Crops Team will be held on January 20th 2015 at the Lebanon Expo Center in Lebanon. A full complement of credits will be offered in a breakout session format.  Some highlights of the event are that Dr. Paul Knight will begin the general session with a weather outlook for the months of Feb to April and from May to July and again from August to September. He has been right on with his forecast from last winter.  From there participants may choose which breakout to attend based on their credit needs. For those requireing a pesticide license then can attend 2 core and 2 category sessions in the morning and take in either manure, nutrient management or any of the other two silage and dairy sessions.  The discussion of GMO in agriculture as well as local issues with the pipeline and how to remediate the value of disturbed soil will be discussed by both Williams pipeline and Dave Messersmith Penn State Extension.  As we move toward more regulations this day long conference will meet the needs of growers in the area.

For registration information please navigate to: Penn State Dairy and Crops Compliance Day

Keystone Farm Show Penn State Extension Pesticide Update Meetings

Keystone Farm Show Pesticide Update Meetings

If you are interested in gaining 2 core and 2 category credits stop by the Utz building formerly the Toyota Building to sit in on the classes.
This link has the specifics for the two days.

30 September 2014

Lebanon County Field Extension Education Lab Crop Walk via the Lebanon Grazing Group

Del Voight- Penn State Extension
You are invited to attend the fall crop walk to be held at the Southeast Experi-mental Center. Many of you might have never realized the vast amount of research con-ducted right in the back yard of Lebanon County. The farm has over 180 acres of re-search in numerous production practices. This site serves as a location for the testing of 28 hybrids of corn for silage, 23 wheat, barley, rye and triticale varieties in addition to alfalfa varieties. It serves as a site for the research in the efficacy of herbicides in all field crops. Please plan to join us on October 17th for this informative in the field walk of the farm Friday, October 17 , 2014.

10 am – Noon (light lunch served)
 Welcome and Introduction: Dr. Alyssa Collins and discuss the farm and re-view her projects on the impact of fungicides on wheat, alfalfa, soybeans and corn.
 Small Grain Assessment –Discussion on Dr. Roth’s current impact of winter annuals and forage quality.
 Soil Testing Fundamentals – Del Voight
 Interseeder Research – Dr Roth will detail his current work in interseeding cover crops into standing corn and the result fall growth and forag


Southeast Research &
Extension Center in
1446 Auction Road
Manheim, Pennsylvania
October 17, 2014
10:00 AM—Noon
(light lunch served)
Cost: FREE

Registration: You can register for the walk at http://extension.psu.edu/plants/crops/events/crop-walk-via-the-lebanon-grazing-group or by contacting Penn State Extension - Lebanon County at 717-270-4391.

Directions to the Southeast
Research and Extension
Center in Landisville
From Rt. 72:
From the North or South –
 travel to Auction Road, located at the Manheim auto auction.
 Turn west on Auction Road and fol-low to stop sign.
 Make a right and immediate left, continuing on Auction Road for about 1 mile.
 Farm is on right.
From Rt 283:
( From the west )
 Exit at Esbenshade Rd.
 Turn left at the end of the ramp.
 Turn right on Auction Rd immediate-ly after you cross the overpass.
 Follow this to the stop sign (Erisman Rd)
 turn right, and then left back onto Auction Road.
 The farm is on the left.
(From the east )
 Exit at Salunga.
 Turn right on Spooky Nook Rd.
 Turn left on Shenk Rd. (opposite the Armstrong building).
 Follow Shenk Rd to the covered bridge.
 After crossing the bridge, turn right

2014 Soybean Workshops Planned for this Winter

Del Voight- Penn State Extension

Over the past few years The Penn State Extension Crop Management team has been offering a Penn State Soybean Workshop to discuss current research that Penn State has conducted with assistance from the Pa Soybean Board.  Growers that attended in the past have responded to surveys that they were able to use some of the tips to increase their soybean yields and in some cases growers reported growing soybeans for the first time gaining over 60 bu/acre the first year on virgin soil.  The workshop will feature topics that  range from Cultural practices to pest management and harvest management.  
One popular session is the farmer panel in which a local successful grower shares his/her tips for making soybeans work in that geography.  The workshops are offered in 4 locations throughout the state to offer site locations that might be more central for growers to attend. This season we will be offering the workshops as follows:
9 December  North Hampton County 
10 December Bradford County 
11 December Union County 

12 December Centre County 
If you would like to attend please navigate to
2014 Penn State Soybean Workshops and follow the prompts to register. We hope to see you there!

23 September 2014

Harvesting Frost Damaged Soybeans

Del Voight - Penn State Extension - Crop Management
There are a tremendous number of double cropped acres of soybeans this season. Temperatures are rapidly dropping this time of year.  Harvesting soybeans in various stages of growth presents a clear issue in dealing with proper management of the harvest and drying strategies for these soybeans. In the past mills could fairly easily deal with frosted beans by putting them on air however there are alot of important decisions to make to increase income and reduce discounts that growers might not be aware of.  Here is an informative factsheet from Purdue University that details issues with frost damaged soybeans.  The direct link is Harvesting, Drying, and Storing Frost-Damaged Corn and Soybeans Dirk E. Maier, Agricultural & Biological Engineering Samuel D. Parsons, Agricultural & Biological Engineering .
An early frost on soybeans can greatly diminish soybean yield, reduce bean size, and lower test weights because the beans may not have had enough time to fill completely. Given a cool September and an early frost, one can expect harvesting difficulties, and lower than normal protein and oil levels of the beans.
Whether early-frosted or not, late-planted beans in many fields will be quite "short" this fall - both in height and yield. And special consideration will be needed for combine operation and adjustment. Cutting as low as practical, as usual, will be necessary to get what little crop is there. Slow down if needed to avoid stones. Crisp, clean cutting is essential to minimize shatter and pod drop if bean and pod moistures are low. Keep cutterbar in tip-top shape at all times - knife sharpness, guard alignment and positive clip hold-down are needed.
Don't set and forget the reel! Adjust as conditions change, which may be needed in different parts of the same field - as plant height varies. Position the reel axis a few inches ahead of the cutterbar, with bats just low enough to catch bean tops and tip plants onto the platform. Bats should usually run 25-40% faster than ground speed depending on conditions - just fast enough to avoid pile-up on the cutterbar and excessive shatter and pod drop.
If beans are at "normal" harvest moisture content, keep cylinder speed to a minimum to avoid bean crackage - especially as beans dry out more in mid-afternoon. If beans are wetter than normal, more aggressive threshing action may be needed. If so, reduce concave clearance first (as with corn), then increase RPM until acceptable threshing occurs.
In addition to threshing, pay attention to other internal settings and adjustments for beans - including the separation and cleaning units. Bean loss out the back of the combine are usually not significant, but can be when conditions change, settings slip, or plugging occurs. Monitors can signal dramatic changes, but can't replace attentive, skillful operating and diagnostic expertise.

Field and weather conditions in the fall are usually such that field drying is sufficient to reduce the moisture content in soybeans to a safe storage level. However, wet and cool conditions this fall especially in fields that were planted late and/or frost-damaged may require harvesting of soybeans at 16 - 20%. Provided that soil conditions support equipment and soybeans are sufficiently defoliated, high moisture beans up to 18% can be successfully harvested and dried. Essentially, all grain drying methods (see Grain Quality Fact Sheet 15) are adaptable with some restrictions on the use of heat and handling practices.
Too much heat while drying soybeans causes excessive seed coat cracking, which results in splits. Seed coat cracking destroys the integrity of the seed and its protection during storage and handling. The key factor in avoiding splits is to keep the relative humidity of the drying air above 40%. This is a significant limitation on heat input and drying capacity. For example, 50F outside air with 80% relative humidity can only be heated to 70F in order to maintain humidity above 40%. Thus, high temperature drying with air heated to 160-180F or above is not an option when drying soybeans.
Medium Temperature Drying
The heat input in column and bin dryers can be restricted either by using short heat-on cycles, or changing the burner jets to a low-fire type. The resultant temperature rise from ON/OFF cycling is proportional to the percent of ON time.
For example, a burner with a minimum continuous fire rate of 40F rise will average about 20F rise if fired only 50% of the time. The same unit will average 10F rise if fired only 25% of the total ON/OFF cycle time. Utilization of a proportional timer that allows calibration of the total cycle by turning a percent dial can be used to control the length of the fire cycle. If splits are not as much of a concern, drying air temperatures limited to 120 - 140F to avoid heat damaged beans can be used.

Low Temperature Drying
Natural air above 60F and below 75% humidity will require no supplemental heat to remove 2 to 3 points of moisture from soybeans. However, natural air and low-heat drying in deep bins are slow processes. For example, a 24 ft diameter bin filled to 16 ft depth with 18% moisture soybeans will require about 23 days to complete drying to 13% during an average weather year. This assumes a 7.5 HP fan delivering 1.4 cfm/bu and a temperature rise of 10F.
Drying speed can be increased by reducing the depth in the bin (which increases the airflow per bushel), by adding more than 10F of heat, and/or by utilizing stirring devices. When adding supplemental heat, the 40% humidity requirement becomes the limiting factor. The limitation on drying capacity can be further reduced by only harvesting during the afternoon hours when moisture contents are closer to 16%.
Fans (and low heat burners) should generally be operated continuously as long as the average 24 hour air conditions are below 70 - 75% relative humidity and soybean moistures are above 15%. Generally, only little rewetting occurs, and then only in the bottom 6 to 18 inches. The balance of good weather during the day or week more than off-sets short high-humidity periods during the night, or 1 to 2 days of drizzle. Additionally, heat generated by the fan motor reduces the outside air relative humidity by 10 to 20 percentage points.
Green Soybeans
Green soybeans contain chlorophyll that will cause oxidation of the oil, and thus greatly reduce shelf-life. Although the chlorophyll can be removed as part of the oil bleaching process, processing costs and refining losses increase.
Data from the University of Minnesota indicates that the surface color does not change significantly during storage. During a six month test of green versus normal yellow soybeans under safe storage conditions, monthly surface color readings changed little. However, the green beans appeared to be slightly mottled at the end of the six months. Others have observed that green beans will fade somewhat after 4-6 weeks of aerated storage. They will also fade in the field if the stem has not been killed. Problems with green beans are generally most noticeable to processors at harvest time, and tend to diminish with time. This may be due to the perceived lightening of the surface bean color, or due to increased co-mingling with other beans.
Storage and Discounting of Green and Immature Soybeans
A related study by the University of Minnesota revealed that when either green or yellow beans at 18% moisture were stored, no significant difference in the rate of respiration of green versus yellow soybeans was determined. Thus, green beans dried in the field or in dryers do not appear to present a greater storage risk. The general recommendation for storing clean, high quality soybeans in aerated storage for up to six months is to maintain moisture contents at 13% or lower. However, given the concern over high FM levels due to ineffective weed control this past spring in many soybean fields and the kernel-to-kernel moisture variations among beans, it is advisable to reduce storage moistures to 11-12% moisture or lower to be safe. It has also been reported that moisture readings will generally read low on immature ("butter beans") soybeans fresh out of the field. Readings should stabilize after a few hours of equilibration at room temperature in a closed container.
Green and immature soybeans are included in the total damage factor in the U.S. soybean grading standard. In order to assign an official grade, the kernels suspected of being damaged must be sectioned or cut open and compared to the appropriate GIPSA line slide (SB-3.0 for green beans, SB-6.0 for immature beans). Since the revisions to the grading standard in 1986 the line for "greenness" on these slides is much lighter (and thus the definition for the amount of green present much stricter). Thus, although the surface color of the beans may fade during storage, once they are cut open for grading the amount of greenness may not have changed significantly during storage.
Although elevators and processors set their own discount levels, a typical discount may be 2 cents for each percentage point of total damage between 2.1-5%, 4 cents per point between 5.1-8%, and 6 cents per point above 8.1% total damage. It has been reported that during the fall of 1995 a number of elevators in Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, and Missouri rejected green soybeans at a damage level above 7% during the harvest season. Thus, the worst plan is to harvest green or immature soybeans wet and market them immediately at harvest. To reduce the potential for discounts further, it may also be desirable to screen out small beans before binning or delivery.

17 September 2014

Late Season Stalk Nitrogen Test - Time to get the samples to the lab.

Del Voight Penn State

Here is the link with all you need to know about sampling. I am going out to do 10 fields today. I have my wifes pruning sheers some rubber bands and paper  bags. 10 6 inch stalks about 6 inches high will stick in the bag and send up to PSU Ag Analytics for testing.

Stalk Nitrate Test for Corn

09 September 2014

Corn Silage Dry Down - Fast dry down rates Observed

Del Voight - Penn State Extension

Corn Silage is one of the most reliable forages grown as a main source of feedstuff for cattle.  Growers have invested a tremendous amount of time and money to plant and maintain fields to get them to this point of harvest and ensiling. The moisture matched to the structure in which it will be stored is absolutely critical to proper fermentation as is the quick and proper packing and subsequent feed out rates all come together to maintain high milk yields in the end.  Too wet and seepage and improper fermentation may result, too dry and pockets will develop traping oxygen in the pockets and allowing molds to develop. Here are some review items to consider.
Harvest  Moisture by structure.
Type                                                          Moisture
Upright                                                     60-65% moisture
Upright "Oxygen limiting"                         50-60% moisture
Horizontal Silos                                        65-70% moisture
Bag Silos                                                  60-70% moisture

Silage Dry Down Status as of 9/8/2014
Dry down is really variable among hybrids but in general this year the dry down is hastened and some growers are reporting silage is drying down sooner than expected given the weather.  John Bray has been gathering samples for the last two weeks to monitor dry down.  Yesterday we chopped more corn silage to get an idea of silage dry down. For corn planted 
4/28 a 96-day hybrid tested 64.5% moisture on 8/29 and   on 9/8 is 51% losing 1.3 points per day. On 9/16 tested 49%  losing .25 points per day. 
While another 106-day hybrid planted on 9/8 that tested 69.5% on 8/29, on  9/8 tested 60.5% losing 
.9 points per day. and on 9/16 tested 52% losing at a rate of 1.06 points per day.
 A 112-day hybrid planted on 5/13 tested 68% on 8/29 today is 65% moisture losing .3 points per day. Testing on 9/16 is 55% so the rate of dry down in the last week was 1.25 points per day.

There is variability between hybrids, the average is .85 point per day and this average for the hybrids is consistent with the previous week dry down..  In a typical year we would expect about a .6 point per day drop so this season is drying a bit quicker than normal.  The point here is to gather moisture samples and get an accurate measure of the moisture to assist in proper timing of harvest. In communicating with Herman and Connie Manbeck they related that they  are finding it is drying down fast "guys need to keep on top of it I did some yesterday that Friday it was 69% and on  Monday 67% about a percent a day, that was 105 day corn for a Ag bag 66 percent is about great".
9675 49%
0604 52%
1498 55%
Moisture Testing
There are numerous methods to determine the moisture of the forages.  We utilized a Koster Tester(@$300.00) to obtain our results and chopped the corn using a modified home shredder.  Many farms that I get around to keep a Koster in or near the feed room and makes it ideal to keep track of changing forage moistures.   A microwave oven and a small scale can also be used for this purpose. The point is that growers need to arrange for a quick and easy method to measure moisture.  

What if my forage is dryer than the structure available?

Dry corn silage can lead to numerous feed out issues due to improper fermentation and in extreme cases cause fires in silos.  Adding water to dry silage is widely used however may prove impractical because of the amount of water and the fact that this water is extra cellular not intercellular and may not prove useful. For example it would take almost  150 gallons of water to go from a 45% dry matter to a 35%(Undersander 9/9/2014).  Locally however many growers will use water to aid in packing the top third of silo structures.  Dry silage also will have harder kernals and the starch components will change and kernal processing becomes more useful in chopping dryer corn silage. Inoculation of dry silage may prove useful as the dryer conditions may result in less naturally occurring bacteria.  One solution in extreme cases where an  trench or bunker was the targeted structure is to go with an oxygen limiting structure for the dryer silage such as a bag to avoid the pitfalls and ensure better fermentation and harvest other ideal moisture silage for the bunker if possible.

Be safe.  It is that time of year that growers are at a high risk of injury. Aside from the road hazards and phyisical stress, with silos the gas that may be formed can be deadly and observance of the 2-3 weeks of time it takes to allow for the gas to escape is advisable and not entering the silo until the blower has run for at least 20 minutes to remove the gases. Any yellowish brown fumes or bleach like odors should be a clue to keep humans and animals away until it is safe to enter.

There will be numerous other issues pertaining to this year as many fields were late planted and silage harvest will be pushed to the season end. In discussing this with a grower yesterday he has corn that is just silking now and will require 40-45 days to black layer  so for silage harvest it might mean another 30 days to get this later planted corn to silage.  

Source: Penn State Agronomy Guide, University of Wisconsin Corn Agronomy 9/9.2014

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?

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.

23 July 2014

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.

23 June 2014

8.23.14 Crop Season heat and moisture To Date

Just an update of where we are to date.  In regard to moisture we are above average by about 25% over the historic normal. This is as you might expect.  Some might have thought it to be much higher however the rainfall the past few years has been eradic compared to this season.
On the heat side however this map shows the relative difference between historic normal and what we are experiencing. To date Lebanon is about 100 to 150 heat units behind normal this is about 2 weeks off of the normal development. Take note of areas of the state in blue which are off more than a month.  2 Weeks might not sound like alot however looking to the fall 2 weeks could be a tremendous difference in the development of field crops due to the fact that our days will begin to shorten as today is one of the longest days. Soybeans will begin to flower and that will set the stage for the height of the crop.  In the north we use indeterminate varieties which will help allow for internode elongation if proper conditions exist for growth mainly a constant supply of sunlight. On the flip side in low light internodes may stretch to reach more sunlight with indeterminate types.

We have had few clear bright sunny days with temperatures over the target of 86 degrees F to keep the corn in high growth zone. We have been diagnosing many herbicide maladies due to the lack of corn metabolizing products due to these overcast days.  Likewise weeds have escaped as well due to the lack of the plant activly growing to adequately take in the enough herbicide to do the job.  As we move into this mid season we need as much heat as possible quickly to move this crop toward harvest.

21 June 2014

Crop talk Canadian Style


29 May 2014

Poison Hemlock near Jonestown


Got a call today on a large pigweed turned out to be what I think is Poison Hemlock not a weed to mess around with. I stopped into the producers milk house to check the sample out.

15 May 2014

May 21 Lebanon Area Crop Walk and Update on Seasonal Status

Del Voight- Penn State Extension
You are invited to attend an informal Crop discussion that will be located at the Burnin Bushels Farm owner Darren Grumbine located off just north of the interechange of 322 and Mt Pleasant Road near Fontana.  Arriving at Mount Pleasant Road travel north to the first farm on left(west).
We will start the day at 10am and conclude by noon.  The key discussion points will be to form groups and assess stand establishment.  Groups will enter the field and record the deviation of stand for corn and soybeans.  Once data is collected it will be entered into a simply calculator to assess the dollars lost due to any singulation issues. As we see any root disease and or above ground pests we will identify and discuss management strategies.
John Bray will be discussing key herbicide program strategies given the recent weather conditions. We will finish the morning discussing the heat development in terms of cropping decisions from here on out. Lastly a nitrogen status report will be discussed on key technologies to assess N and either apply additional or not put any on depending on field history and weather conditions.

Please let us know your intent on attending by call 717 270 -4391.

See you there.

14 May 2014

Small Grain Forage Harvest

Del Voight - Penn State Extension
Harvested some plots today as part of a small grain forage study. I noted today that the triticale was at boot stage, barley was at GS10.8 with fully elongated heads, wheat is at GS8 and rye was at GS10 with heads emerged but not elongated.  I am currently processing the dry matter yields but it appears that while the barley may win this plot for YPA the rye will most likely combine both YPA and quality.  Triticale will most likely be fairly high in quality but lower in yield. Once I get the dry matter and quality tests back I will update this post.

12 May 2014

Lebanon Farmer Crop Update

 The wave of work to be done is being hampered by the impending rains.  I was in rye this morning that is at boot stage and should be harvested today. I talked to a producer that will not mow it until he sees at least 3 days of no rain in the forecast.  
Also, walked some alfalfa fields that are at or near bud stage.  Heat units to date for alfalfa are nearing 700 and that indicates ideal NDF levels. While in the field I noted pretty uniform weevil damage however the weevils are very small perhaps instar 1 or 2. I advised to hold off on any  control measures and begin harvesting alfalfa and checking regrowth for both weevil, leaf hopper and aphids.  
Corn is out of the ground in many fields that were planted a week ago.  Stands appear uniform and are moving toward the first true leaf emergence.  I check my cutworm traps this morning and found lower flights so last weeks high trap captures would indicate the flight date in which to predict peak cutting time. This corn that has emerged will likely have some cutworm pressure in some cases to be checked periodically for the tell tail sign of plants cut at the soil line.  
Barley is expanding the heads out of the sheath and appears not very uniform and as in the case with most to all small grains the internodes have not elongated and are very short in hieght.  
Wheat appears to moving along and fairly even in hieght.  I did not note any heads emerged at this time.    Field conditions remain wet and soggy and with more rain and a push to get crops in I fear we could begin to get into a situation of sidewall compaction with plantings occuring between rainfall events. 

02 May 2014

Lebanon Rainfall Compared to 5 year average

Del Voight - Penn State Extension

Here is a quick status of our moisture scenario. This graphic depicts one of the fields I am tracking rainfall and currently compared to the 5 year average (the light blue line) we are tracking at a normal amount. We typically recieve about 4 inches of rain per month and it appears that we are on pace for normal rain thus far this season. I utilize the Farm Logs service to track rainfall on most of my applied research plots so I can view rainfall after applications of crop protection products which proves useful if a failure and or crop injury results.

01 May 2014

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

2014 Smith-Lever Proclamation

Lebanon Farmer 1st Edition

















1 May 2014

Spring Issue








In This Issue:

·         Back to Basics

·         May 21 Crop Walk

·         Specific  Crop Discussions

·         Chlorophyll Meter Readings in Corn


Back to the Basics           

                As we move into the age of internet and other ways to deliver information to you. I thought it necessary to go back to my time 20 years ago writing this Lebanon Farmer.  Our mailing list has dwindled to less than 200 and I am sure that you might have use of some of the information obtained through this system.  The Field Crop News remains our key method to get information to you.  You can subscribe to that publication by simply searching on the internet for FCN Penn State and tap on the subscribe button.   We meet weekly on Tuesday to discuss pertinent just in time information to assist in your cropping operation.   I would like to continue sending the Lebanon Farmer to you three times a year to keep you apprised of our Penn State Crop Team activities and key information that may be useful in your goal to remain profitable. I maintain a Facebook account, twitter, blog and feel free to follow any or all of these feeds to get information to you on a daily basis. My email is dgv1@psu.edu and I welcome your questions and comments.   We are holding informal crop walks this summer and will hold a dairy and crops expo this winter as our key meeting delivery so please feel free to attend any of our offerings.  Regarding field diagnostics, we will begin to charge a small fee to recoup travel costs due to the budget cuts, our travel budgets are tight.  In most cases it is a minimal amount.

Soybean Club

                Please plan to enter your soybean contest fields as soon as you determine which fields might best be suited for a high yield environment.  The enclosed flyer will need to be filled out and sent into Del Voight at the Lebanon Extension Office.

May 21 Crop Walk

                Please plan on attending the Crop Walk from 9:30-12:00pm at the Darren Grumbine Farm located on Mt Pleasant Road, Lebanon.  We will be discussing current conditions and estimating plant populations to determine if replant will pay depending on what is in the field. Please call into the office @ 717-270-4391 to sign up so I know how many snacks to get for the event.


                Pastures are growing vigorously at the time of this writing.  Grazing cattle poses unique risks particularly grass tetanus. You do not find the cows sick they are dead! Magnesium is at its lowest levels in the grass tissue in spring. This condition is worsened in cool wet weather. Lactating cows on pasture are at risk. Free choice mineral containing high levels of magnesium are critical at this time. Broadcast applications of magnesium may help but research indicates mineral supplements are the best defense against tetany. Potassium fertilizer applied this spring will also decrease magnesium levels so watch out for situations that lend itself to the issue. Contact a Vet if you have had issues before. Grass tetany is usually prevented with an appropriate mineral mixture available free-choice to grazing cattle. Commercial mineral mixes that are high in magnesium are readily available. A mix can be made at home, which also features a selenium supplement, with the following recipe (Wahlberg, 1995): 22.5% trace-mineralized salt, 22.5% dicalcium phosphate, 10% 0.06% selenium mix; 22.5% magnesium oxide, and 22.5% ground corn. Cattle should eat about one-fourth pound of the mixture daily.



Soybeans should begin to emerge and populations should be checked to ensure a minimum of 120,000ppa to ensure maximum yield. Be on the watch for bean leaf beetle, slugs and other pests to ensure you protect yield going forward this summer. For treatment options please refer to the Agronomy Guide.

                We again are surveying fields as part of a Statewide Sentinel Plot and are scouting pests weekly. Please visit the Field Crop News for weekly updates on activities in Lebanon or the Lebanon Crop Management blog. 



                Most new seedlings appear to be growing normally despite the amount of rains received this spring. There are numerous weeds that invade and there are numerous options to control these weeds. Consult the Agronomy Guide and or call for specific recommendations. It appears that the cool weather has slowed the development of alfalfa weevils but be advised to check for damage and begin to sweep for leaf hoppers as the weather warms.


Early planted corn that is emerged should be checked not only for population but also for the deviation from the goal.  Assess the plant evenness in the field.  In fact Penn State research suggests that within row unevenness robs 12% of yield while between rows only rob 5% according to his research.  At this time one can also assess the stand deviation. For each inch of deviation University research suggests a 2.5-5bu/inch loss.  This is more critical as populations are increased with traited corn. Most No Till Corn Club participants that average over 280bu/acre of corn record stand deviations of below 2.  A survey of Pa growers by county agents showed an average deviation of 4 so there is some room for improvement. 

Chlorophyll Meter testing for Nitrogen

As corn nears the V5 stage you may choose to call me or one of my staff to assist you in assessing the need for additional nitrogen. We use the chlorphyl meter to make on the spot recommendations based upon the specific field needs. This system is only useful if you spread manure and there is not more than 15lbs of applied nitrogen either fertilizer or starter applied to the field. If you have applied N to the field already it is best to use the calculated N requirement.  However you did not the meter is the best means to make accurate recommendations within minutes of surveying a field. I have a summer intern that is trained in the use of the unit and additionally you can use one of the three units we have if you have received instruction on how to properly use the system.  Again we would have a nonprofit charge to recoup our expenses for travel so take that into account.



Delbert G. Voight, Jr.

Senior Extension Agent - Field and Forage Crop Team


















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