Lebanon Crop Management Video


11 February 2014

Sudden Death in Soybeans Drone 2.0 Video: 2013/08/26

This was one of my first uses of the drone to scout a field that the producer had reported had an issue. If you take the time to observe this you will see the pattern in the field that matched up with the producers disc at the time of discing  he had gotten rained out. The sidewall compaction from the disc they hastened the infection of the SDS into the soybeans and affected that area of the field

Del Voight - Penn State Extension.

12+ inches of snow forecasted- snow load considerations

Del Voight - Penn State Extension
Snow loads are important to consider during the winter. In most cases the structure engineering should easily handle the small snow falls that we get in the Lebanon area. However, if the snow drifts to certain parts of the roof this is where more than the 4 foot or 4 inch of ice can build and overwhelm the structure of the building.
Check periodically to determine where the snow is beginning to build up.
If you do venture on the roof to clean it off be sure to tether yourself to secure point with rope so you are safe in cleaning it off.
I am not a structural engineer however just checking into some engineering books I found some references that basically depends on the building codes in the area for snow loads.  Typical light fluffy snow can wiegh about 20lbs but a heavy snow can wieght as much as -60 lbs of load per cubic foot for most common structures.
It appears that it is not any easy answer unbalanced loads cause issue as well as the slope and design not to mention the age of the structure and if there are other items under the roof in storage adding wieght.  Cornell Snow Load calculation accounts for roof type and pitch and other factors. Snow load estimate.
It is important to prevent snow dams that allow water to freeze and dam up on the roof which can be common on L or T structures. Further there are specialized roof rakes to assist in reaching dangerous areas and are worth the purchase versus injury.

Before doing anything consult a local engineer and or your local township building inspector and ensure that removal is the right course of action.  Remember shingles get brittle and metal roofs are very slippery so safety first when dealing with this issue.

07 February 2014

Cold Weather Impact on Pests

Del Voight- Penn State

There is alot of buzz about how this cold might affect insects.  I listened to a DNR spokesman on NPR about Emerald Ash Borer still not definative on how much larvae will survive. I do know that the mild winter last season impacted the bean leaf beetle very little for most areas of Pa. This map shows the mortality in May.  In the northern tier based on Models lost about 50% of the over wintering population. Here are some comments by Dr. Tooker.
Posted: February 5, 2014
Will this winter's cold temperatures reduce pest populations in your crops next year?
The cold winter thus far has prompted many folks to ask me what the influence of these temperatures might be on insect and slug populations.  It certainly is the case that harder winters will knock back the populations of some pest species--bean leaf beetle, cereal leaf beetle, and slugs are three that jump to mind; I would expect populations of these pest species to be lower than usual come spring.  (For slugs, their survival is also influenced by the amount of snow on the ground, higher amounts of snow insulate against colder temperatures.)
But, as for most issues with insects, it is difficult to generalize and the influence of cold winter temperatures on the majority of crop pests we face is not very predictable.  For example, many insect pests that we face (e.g., potato leaf hopper, black cutworm, armyworms) are migratory and come to Pennsylvania from southern states; therefore, our local weather will not influence their arrival much—their local overwintering conditions matter more.
For pest species that have arrived more recently, we have a relatively poor understanding of the influence of winter temperatures on their populations. Brown marmorated stink bug, for example, seems to have higher mortality the colder it gets, but their overwintering site likely influences their survival.  If stink bugs are able to find just the right overwintering spot that keeps them cold but not too cold they will probably make it through the winter.  For an even newer pest like kudzu bug, which is on the verge of being in Pennsylvania, we will find out together how well they survive the cold temperatures.
When spring arrives, to understand local pest populations and be certain of what is in your fields, growers will need to rely on regular bouts of scouting—get out in the field and see what is active! The best approach will be to watch fields closely, talk with others to learn what they are seeing, and stay tuned here for reports of pest activity.

Contact Information

  • Extension Specialist
Phone: 814-865-7082