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19 March 2014

Field Crop News for March 18, 2014

Field Crop News

The latest news from the Penn State Extension Field and Forage Crops Team.
March 18, 2014

In This Issue

1.        Weather Report for March 18, 2014
2.        Frost Seeding of Pastures
3.        Weed Control in Winter Wheat and Barley - Here we Focus on Chickweed and Roughstalk Bluegrass
4.        Roundup Ready 1 Soybeans: Can Seeds Be Saved This Fall?
5.        Tis the Season, Tax Season
6.        Pesticide License Questions, Check out PaPlants

1. Weather Report for March 18, 2014

It has been one of the colder starts to the year with most regions averaging 3 to 5 degrees below normal for the first 10 weeks of 2014, the coldest beginning since 1994.

2. Frost Seeding of Pastures

Now that the snow cover has melted over much of the Commonwealth, we can begin to think of some late winter and early springtime tasks. One of the first on your list should be evaluating the condition of your pastures. If stands are thin, consider frost seeding as an option to thicken your pasture.

ALS resistant chickweed in barley3. Weed Control in Winter Wheat and Barley - Here we Focus on Chickweed and Roughstalk Bluegrass

One of the first field activities of the spring is spraying small grains. This article provides some results on a small grain herbicide trial conducted last year in Lancaster County.

4. Roundup Ready 1 Soybeans: Can Seeds Be Saved This Fall?

It may be possible for growers to be issued a license to replant seed from original Roundup Ready varieties in 2015 if certain conditions are met, but this will be determined by each seed supplier.

5. Tis the Season, Tax Season

There are 28 days remaining to file your individual taxes, April 15th will be here soon.

6. Pesticide License Questions, Check out PaPlants

Do you need a few more pesticide credits before the end of the March and are not sure where to get them or are you not sure if you have enough credit? The PaPlants website can answer those questions.


Questions and Suggestions

If you have any questions or would like to suggest a topic, please contact your local Extension Educator .
Readers can subscribe electronically to this newsletter at the Field Crop News website.
If you have problems subscribing or wish to cancel your subscription, please contact Lisa Crytser by e-mail at lac8@psu.edu or by phone at 814-865-2543.
Information presented above and where trade names are used, are supplied with the understanding that no discrimination is intended and no endorsement by Penn State Extension is implied.
This publication is available in alternative media upon request.

Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences research and extension programs are funded in part by Pennsylvania counties, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
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Real time pest and heat unit activity


100 years of Extension still conducting Soybean Research

Del Voight, via Craig Williams- Penn State Extension
Then 1926 testing Soybean Varieties in Bradford, Pa.


History of Extension



Now PSU Crop Team Checking Trial at the Landisville Experimental Center








05 March 2014

Protecting Soybean Yields

Del Voight- Penn State Extension
Numerous growers question what is the current trends in raising soybeans in Pennsylvania.  One reason I am involved with the Soybean Contest is that as an agronomist we get to view what practices seem to promote these high yields. The Agronomy Guide Soybean Production Section details our current recommendations in detail.  Here are some highlights.





  1. Soil Management(Soil Test not less than 3 years old)
    • Maintain a pH of 6.8 but not higher than 7.2
      • If less than 6.8 utilize .25lb/acre of sodium molybdate either on the seed or applied before V2
      • Inoculate with rhizobium regardless of history.
    • Maintain phosphorus and potassium levels in the optimum range.
    • Check compaction in the spring with a penetrometer and avoid side wall compaction by adjusting planting date so as to ensure soil is dry enough to plant into.
  2. Rotations
    • Rotate with a grass seems to aid in production.  Growers use cover crops of wheat or barley and rotations with corn.
  3. Variety Selection
    • Get to know a variety and what it requires.  Yields can vary 18 bushel per acre within a maturity based on variety.Numerous pest resistance packages are unique to varieities and growers need to make selections based on the field in question and diseases that may be present in the field.
    • Many growers and Penn State research has shown that in many cases early maturing soybeans in the southeast tend to outperform full season with respect to timing grain fill to late season rains.
  4. Seeding Rate
    • Seed drop will vary by soil conditions  and tillage practices.  Tremendous yields are confirmed at seeding rates of 140,000.  To that end I have documented the final stands seem to always end up at about 120,000ppa. The grower needs to make the decision as what rate to drop to acheive a final stand at harvest of 120,000 ppa. In most situations dropping 170-180,000ppa seed drop will meet the needs for full season early to mid season plantings. Late and or double crop plantings should be much higher in the 200-225,000ppa ranges due to the influence of sunlight on the plants ability to gain hieght and flowers later in the season.
  5. Planting Date and Row Width
    • For early planting row width is not important however as planting is delayed into late May the advantage of narrow rows is evident.
    • Extremely early and or extremely late often times results in reduced yields however the wide planting window afforded between those times gives ample time to get the soybeans planted and growing.
  6. Foliar Nutrients
    • Gather leaves at R2 when the plant is at full flower and send to for a plant tissue test. Determine any hidden fertility issues. Select a PDA approved foliar fertilizer or dry application with basic fertilizer to manage any micro nutrient issues.
  7. Pest Management
    • Utilize a seed treatments with an insecticide(imadicloparid, thiomethoxym, or pyrethroid) and fungicide for early planted soybeans and particularly in fields that have a manure history or tend to be moist or in no till conditions.
    • Consider a pre followed by post herbicide program or ensure weeds are controlled by the time the weed height reaches 6 inches in height.
    • Scout for insect pests and treat accordingly
    • Scout for disease at R1 and determine applications of a fungicide at R2 keeping in mind the two week forecast if calling for high humidity and wet conditions.
  8. Harvest Management
    • Harvest beans at 14-16% moisture 
    • Ensure slow speed during combine process ensuring reel speed is managed based on shatter potential which changes daily.