Ag Report : Washington County Ag Report July 1, 2003
Washington County Ag Report
|Rain Past Week||0.8||0.97||0||1.18||0.23||0.46||0|
|So far this month||2.49||4.25||1.4||5.34||2.39||4.33||1.6|
|Total since April 1st||8.21||10.05||6.58||11.61||9.28||10.49||7.74|
|GDD Base 41 Growing Degree Days = [hi temp + low temp]/2 - 41|
|Since April 1st||1346||1486||1410||1561||1587||1690||1487|
|GDD 86/50 [hi temp + low temp]/2 - 50 High’s >86oF are set to 86oF, low’s <50oF are set to 50oF|
|Since April 1st||873||1003||925||1085||1035||1143||1023|
Midwest Commodity Prices - from the Wall Street Journal
Corn per bushel $2.265/bu
Cotton Seed Meal per ton $/ton
Soybean per bushel 6.12/bu
Corn Gluten Feed 60/ton
Hominy Feed per ton 47/ton
Wheat, soft white 3.4/bu
48% Soybean meal per ton
191/ton Tallow per pound .175/lb
These prices are provided only to show where the general market trends are moving and to help you determine appropriate ration ingredients. Local prices will vary due to shipping, processing, and discounts.
FARM BUSINESS MANAGEMENT: The latest update on the Cooperatives
Working Together (CWT) program from the National Milk Producers Federation:
The NMPF Board met and approved a modified CWT program which would require 70% of the nation's milk supply (as opposed to the 80% in the original proposal). A final vote on the modified program will take place on July 8. My interpretation of this is that they couldn't get the 80% of the milk committed to support the original program.
The modified program would have a 5 cents/hundredweight assessment for participating producers. The goal would be to decrease milk production by 1.2 billion pounds over the next 12 months. The program would be a combination of dairy herd retirements, production reduction and some export assistance. The all-milk price is expected to increase about 23 cents per hundredweight after accounting for the assessment cost and the lower MILC payments.
A press release on this can be found at the NMPF website: www.nmpf.org.
(from: Dr. L. E. Chase, Cornell University)
FOREST MANAGEMENT: I mentioned the Master Forest Owner Program a few weeks. The other day a Master Forest Owner walked my woods with me. It was a very useful visit. On my property, I have a few small areas of white pine (couple acres each) which I hoped to improve and harvest when my kids go to college. Well, the site is clay soil - not very good for white pine. Also, they have a pest problem that I did not see before. So, I can not count on that for tuition. The good news is that few areas of hardwoods that I have are really pretty good, and something that I can count on in the future. In fact, there is one patch of sugar maple on a nice slope that I could possibly develop and sell sap to a syrup producer. The areas of woodlands where livestock do not have access are in much better condition than where they roam freely. So, I will be fencing out more of the hardwood areas. In three hours, I learned a lot. My whole plan for my woodlands is now changing. My next step is to pay a professional forester to help me develop a plan: which trees should be thinned out; when should I remove the trees; when should I schedule timber sales; to whom should I market the pines if I decide to simply remove them now that they have stopped growing? THE TAKE HOME MESSAGE IS TO GET ADVICE IN MANAGING YOUR WOODLOTS. AG
LIVESTOCK PEST MANAGEMENT: Can you tolerate the flies right now? It will be a totally different situation in 3 - 4 weeks if you do not clean out moist organic materials where they are developing (manure, refuse and spilled grain and silage, bedding, etc). The heat is here and the time it takes for a fly to develop from an egg to an adult goes from about 4 weeks in the early spring, to 2 weeks (or less) in the hot summer. SANITATION! SANITATION! SANITATION! AG
Beneficial Insects: This is a critical time of season for the balance of beneficial and pest insects. There is a large variety of beneficial insects in the field in a range of developmental stages. Pest species are also present and the hot part of the season is upon us. In this hot weather, will the pest populations develop faster than the beneficial populations? Or will the beneficials develop fast enough to prevent a pest outbreak? Conserve beneficial insects as much as possible since this is a critical time for their population growth.
Alfalfa: One field I looked at (cut June 5) was in the bud stage and at 35% NDF. A 30-day cutting schedule is in order here for top quality. Potato leafhopper (PLH) are in moderate numbers. Check new seedings at least weekly, especially those near alfalfa being harvested. PLH can migrate from field to field during harvest, and hot weather accelerates their population growth. Tom Kilcer reminds us to do an In Vitro digestibility test on first cut forages. The cloudy weather we had has a way of reducing the quality in early-cut good-looking forage.
Field Corn: "KNEE HIGH BY THE 4TH OF JULY"??? That is
how the saying goes, but in our area we want corn chest high by July 4th.
Tassling and pollination usually begins the last week of July. Will the
corn mature, now that it is all planted (I saw one field planted yesterday
- hopefully the last one)? Well, it takes about 900 growing degree days
(~ 40 hot calendar days) to go from silking to full dent, no matter what
the hybrid maturity rating. All corn takes the same amount of time to
develop the ear (the reproductive stage). The early, mid, and late-season
hybrids vary in the time it takes to reach silking (the vegetative stage).
About 52% of the season is spent in the vegetative stage for a mid-season
hybrid. It takes about 750 GDD to go from the 6-leaf stage to silking.
If your corn has 6 leaves, it will take 750 + 900 GDD or 1650 GDD to reach
silage maturity (full dent). Doing some calculations from our "Ag
Report" weather data, we have another 1600 GDD in Argyle and 1700
GDD in Easton and Whitehall before Sept. 30. So, hopefully your corn is
at least in the 6-leaft stage. Of course, everything depends on the weather.
Drought will slow corn development and an early freeze will stop it. I
hope that this helps your curiosity as to whether or not your corn will
We found an European corn borer egg mass today. This the first generation.
Grasses: The stock market may not be the best investment right now, but putting nitrogen on grass is a good investment. Tom Kilcer estimates a $4 return in yield for $1 in nitrogen applied. This assumes a reasonable amount of rain. If most of your corn has not reached the 6-leaf stage yet, you ought to focus on getting as much grass and alfalfa as you can. You can buy fertilizer for your grasses and get high-quality forage, or you can buy soy bean meal to make up for low-protein forage.
Pasture: The issue of "Graze" asks several farmers how they manage flies on pastured cattle. They all used several techniques, which is good, because fly control requires several different efforts. Included in the methods were repellants applied to the cattle, rubs, dust bags, sanitation around the barn, and insecticides as pour-ons, sprays, and oral treatments.
Solanaceae: Tom Zitter from Cornell warns to be on the look out for bacterial canker. Bacterial canker is a serious disease of tomato and is one of two bacteria diseases of tomato that is truly systemic in nature. Symptoms of bacterial canker occur both internally and externally. The marginal necrosis of leaves is one key external symptom and illustrates that spread can occur by heavy rains when abrasions on margins and stems allow bacteria to enter and spread to adjoining plants. Down the row occurrence can be expected, so this bacterial disease is highly infectious, contaminating hand, stakes and string used for trellising. The use of copper mixed with maneb can be used to lessen this external movement. Plants are also infected internally, and browning of the vascular tissue is often most prominent at the nodes. Spray will not affect this stage of the disease. A second bacterial disease that we occasionally see in New York is tomato pith necrosis. This bacterial infection is favored by low night temperatures, high humidity and excessive nitrogen, with the latter being a key component for disease occurrence. Affected leaves will show brown to black necrosis along the mid-veins and internally the vascular system will show extensive necrosis and blackening. Greatly enlarged leaves and internally blackened nodes is a common appearance. Occurrence of infected plants will be at random. Because this disease is truly systemic in nature, no chemical controls are effective. (John Mishanec, ENY IPM)
Sweet Corn: We are finding the first ECB larvae in fields. The
larvae is very small, about 1/8" long with clear bodies and a black
head. Most corn is small but with all the heat, much of the earliest bare
ground corn will be in tassel by early next week. It is very important
to scout your fields. Scouting is easy and does not take very much time.
Remember, looking for ECB damage is different than scouting for ECB damage.
You will always find ECB damage when you are looking for it. When you
scout, you are taking a statistical analysis of the field. A true random
sample of the field will give you a percentage of damage you can base
a spray decision on. If you are just looking and finding some feeding
damage, you really don't know the percentage or how widely spread out
in the field the damage is. Look for small shot holes, windows and feeding
frass on the leaves. When you find a plant with feeding damage, break
it off and unroll the leaves and find the larvae to see their size. Scout
your fields to find out how much ECB infestation is present. You also
need to know when the corn is going to come into tassel. Look for feeding
damage at the center of the whorl.
With the high ECB populations, you can know fairly quickly when you are over threshold. Look at 5 plants at 5 different locations in your field. Ten locations is better. If you look at 25 plants and, for example, you find 3 plants with feeding damage, you multiply that number by four and this is your percentage. If you look at 50 plants and you find 7 infested plants, multiply this number by 2 to get the percentage. Once you know your percentage of infestation you can decide if you have to get in and spray. The threshold is 15%. The next important thing to scout for is tassel. When 40% of the field shows tassel, apply your first control spray. The best time is when the flag leaf pulls away from the tassel and the tassels themselves have separated but are still vertical. ECB larvae ride the tassel till it is open. The ECB then drop down. Some larvae will drop on the ground. Some larvae will fall on a leaf and bore into the stalk and some larvae will drop down on an ear. Eighty Percent field infestation does not necessarily mean 80% ear damage. Take the time to scout your corn fields. Scouting gives you valuable information on pest levels and correct timing for control. (John Mishanec, 6/27/03 Veg Pest Status)
Weeds: DIAGNOSING HERBICIDE INJURY With the recent stretch of
cool and wet weather, plants have been looking yellow and stunted. Many
growers have questioned whether herbicide applications may be the cause.
This is especially true in a year when many new products are on the market
and growers are using them for the first time. Following is a summary
of new products and herbicide injury symptoms. Strategy. This is a premix
of ethalfluralin (Curbit) and clomazone (Command). Curbit has the potential
to cause swollen stems at the soil line and short stubby roots. Roots
will appear very white and healthy but will just be very short and fat.
The result of this injury is stunted plants and is usually worse when
soils are cool and rainfall is heavy, especially just after seeding and
before the crop is up. Command causes complete loss of chlorophyll and
thus turns leaves white. Any result on plant growth is related to how
white the crop is. It is not uncommon to see some white leaves after using
Strategy. Sandea (halosulfuron). As with Strategy, the potential for injury
is increased with cool soils and heavy rains. With a preemergence application
to the crop, the primary symptom is stunting. Heavy rains following application
but before crop emergence in cold soils is the trigger. When a postemergence
application is used, symptoms will appear in 3-5 days and generally last
for a week or two. Symptoms include yellowing of the growing point and
young leaves as well as leaf crinkling. Prowl (pendimethalin). Prowl injury
is expected to be worse when soil are cool and should lessen as soil temperatures
warm. Rates should also be lower when soils are cool. Prowl causes stunting,
root pruning (roots will be white but short and stubby), and sometimes
causes a failure of the leaves to unroll.Dual Magnum (metolachlor) and
Lasso (alachlor). The following symptoms could also be caused by Bicep
which is a premix of metolachlor and atrazine. Symptoms in cold soils
include stunting, leaf crinkling, rough leaf margins (edges), and twisted
and bent leaves.Sometimes herbicide injury occurs in bands where the spray
boom may have overlapped, in wetter areas where the tractor may have moved
more slowly due to slippage, or in areas with lighter soils where the
rate may have been too high. Take all of this into consideration.
In conclusion, many crops this year have not looked good just because of the weather but could also show some symptoms of herbicide injury. Once soil and air temperatures warm, plants should outgrow both the cold weather problems of yellowing and stunting as well as much of the herbicide injury. If plants do not respond after this week of very warm temperatures, good soil moisture, and plenty of sun, look for the symptoms described above.(Rich Bonanno, Weed specialist, University of Massachusetts)
Wildlife: Woodchucks are destructive to crops and their burrows
are dangerous holes that can cause a tractor to flip or injury to people
and livestock who stumble into them. Like deer, their populations have
increased with deforestation. In a Pennsylvania study, 1,040 woodchucks
were removed from a 600-acre site over four years without significantly
affecting the population due to increased juvenile survival, increased
birth rates, and animals moving in from surrounding areas. Woodchucks
are herbivores and eat a wide variety of vegetation, including grasses,
weed shoots, clover, alfalfa, and soybeans. They will also consume vegetables
and fruit and damage ornamental plants. Woodchucks prefer early morning
and evening hours for feeding because they depend on dew and plant moisture
for their water intake. Natural predators include hawks, foxes, dogs and
So what to do? If they are under a structure you need to remove the woodchucks and then use hardware cloth buried 12 inches down to exclude them. Fencing is effective (hardware cloth 4' high buried 12 inches or electric). Studies on apple trees have shown bobcat urine is an effective repellent sprayed on the trunk. The urine sprayed on cloth strips attached to a single strand of electric polytape fencing or on a single line rope fence is also effective. Eliminate cover by cleaning up brush piles and overgrown areas.
Although shooting, trapping, or gassing the den can manage woodchuck numbers, the results are usually short-term. Spring is the best time to use lethal controls because adults are active, young animals may remain in their burrow and burrows are not concealed by vegetation. NYS law prohibits the discharge of firearms within 500 feet of a building without the owner's permission. Woodchucks can be captured using #2 foothold traps or #160 or #220 bodygripping traps placed at the burrow entrance. Body-gripping traps do not need to be baited. Live traps, set near burrow entrances in the trail they travel and baited with apples, cantaloupe, carrots with tops, lettuce, cabbage, or peas, can also be effective. Where food is abundant woodchucks may not enter traps. Conceal the trap with a lightproof canvas or grass if possible. Logs or rocks may be used to help guide the woodchuck into the trap as well as a bait trail.Growers have tried a hose or a tuna can filled with gasoline placed on a small dugout shelf just inside the entrance (the fumes settle down into the den) to flush a woodchuck out of a borrow .References: Cornell Woodchuck fact sheet available at the office or online at http://www.dnr.cornell.edu/ext/wildlifedamage/Woodchuck_factsheet.pdf
Cornell Recommends woodchuck info: http://www.nysaes.cornell.edu/recommends/5wildlife.html
Ornamentals: Lots of things happening in the field and being brought
into the office. Herbaceous landscape: We've seen a lot of rust problems,
specifically on hollyhock and snapdragons. It is still early enough in
the year that fungicides will really help a planting, so don't give up
yet. On the other hand it is also not too late to put some really good
looking transplants in and have them look much better than the infected
plants. Most greenhouses are getting pretty picked over, but it might
behoove landscapers to call around and try to find good-looking product.
Zinnias are very susceptible to stem and root rot as well as powdery mildew.
To control stem and root rot, rogue out wilted plants and discard; avoid
soil moisture extremes and use a fungicide drench if necessary.
Greenhouse: A problem that has been mentioned a few times this spring in other newsletters, but I have not seen in this county, is Citrus mealybug. Most of you know what mealybugs look like - cottony white masses. The pest is coming in on plant material from southern greenhouses - especially herb plugs. The crawlers are so small when received that it's very hard to notice them. This is another great reason to isolate plants as soon as they're received. These insects can be controlled with horticultural oil or insecticidal soap if caught early enough. Again, with the hot weather last week, be careful to get rid of thrips infested plants, look carefully in double impatiens and potted sunflowers. After this weekend, you may want to really consider scaling way back on left over stock. Greenhouse sales decrease dramatically after July 4th and it may be a better management decision to dump leftover stock and rid your greenhouse of weed and insect pests than to pay someone to take care of marginal material that will never sell anyway - just a thought!
Woody Plants: A host of interesting problems this week. Mites causing leaf galls on azalea - these pests could probably be controlled most effectively next spring with a dormant oil spray. Loads of calls that seem to implicate Maple Decline. This syndrome is really perplexing to manage, but mainly water is the most important part of the treatment. Fertilizer is not recommended. Insect problems on woody plants include the Cooley Spruce Gall Adelgid. This insect forms pineapple shaped galls primarily on Blue spruce. You can prune them off if there aren't many. Get rid of the gall before it opens. The next window to treat is mid-September. The Cottony Taxus scale can be controlled with Horticultural oil if caught early enough, but if you have a lot of sooty mold, it may be time for insecticide to manage the crawlers.
Some unusual calls, especially since we've seen more than a single example include Horsehair worms, hair-like worms that are present on the surface of the soil and seem to almost stand at attention. They are not harmful, just a curiosity.
Viburnum Leaf Beetle
A fact sheet is attached to teach you about this important new pest. Please keep a look out and report any findings of this pest to Laura McDermott.
Aaron D. Gabriel
Extension Resource Educator
Crops and Soils