Field Crop Update June 17, 2021

Erik Smith, Area Field Crop Specialist
Central New York Dairy and Field Crops

June 18, 2021

Field Crop Update for June 17, 2021.

1. Field Observations

It's hard to believe, but some folks in Bainbridge (Chenango Co.) woke up to frost this mid-June morning (and perhaps others in our region). High barometric pressure, no breeze, and clear skies are the perfect recipe for radiational cooling. And valleys are especially vulnerable to this type of frost as the cold air can pool. Oddly enough, the land immediately up the hill may be fine, as the freezing air can roll on past.

The growing point of corn can be killed if the temperature is near 32F for a few hours, or 28F for a few minutes. Damage will show as water-soaked leaves 1-2 days after the event, but one should wait 5-7 days to assess damage to see how plants react. Much of the corn acreage in our region is V5 or younger (and I suspect this is certainly the case in the frost-affected area), which means the growing point is safely underground. Even heavily-defoliated corn at this early stage can recover and yield as well as undamaged corn, so it's best to wait a week and see if there is regrowth. Wait a similar period of time to assess damaged soybeans.

Several folks have taken second cutting of hay or will next week, so the window for alfalfa weevil damage is mercifully closing soon. Leafhoppers have shown up in notable numbers as of this week, but nothing approaching threshold yet. More pests in section 3….

2. Growing Degree Days as of June 16th (See: Climate Smart Farming Growing Degree Day Calculator)

Growing degree days (GDD) are calculated by taking the averal daily temperature and subtracting the base temperature for development of a given organism ((High + Low)/2 - base temp = GDD).  For corn silage, we are using base 50/86, as corn development starts at 50 degrees F and ceases above 86.

Virtually unchanged from a week ago, some of us are still in the "abnormally dry" category in the drought monitor.  Please see the attached document from Joe Lawrence, PRO-DAIRY, for resources for forage management in a drought situation.

We're forecast to have some scorching temperatures through the weekend with scattered thunderstorms through the first half of next week, followed by mild, fair weather.

3. Pest Monitoring

Some helpful links:

New York State IPM Weekly Field Crops Pest Report

Potato Leafhopper Scouting and IPM Thresholds in Alfalfa (VIDEO)

This year we will again monitor for several pests of corn and soybean using pheromone-baited traps, including black and western bean cutworms, true armyworm, and the invasive soybean pests (and as-of-yet undetected) silver Y moth and golden twin spot moth.

This is our last week of monitoring black cutworm, as the first wave of adults has passed. Check your young plants for damage. Once again, the thresholds for damage from this pest:

Corn at V2 stage (2 fully emerged leaves with leaf collars) - 2 cut plants per 100
Corn at V3 stage (3 fully emerged leaves with leaf collars) - 3 cut plants per 100
Corn at V4 stage (4 fully emerged leaves with leaf collars) - 5 cut plants per 100
Corn at V5 stage (5 fully emerged leaves with leaf collars) - 7 cut plants per 100

From this point on, we will begin monitoring for western bean cutworm.  We will continue to monitor true armyworm for another month.

I've seen lots of winter grain fields with tracks in them, which means they've been spraying with fungicides - which is probably for the best, considering the current risk.  The image below shows the current risk for fusarium head blight in winter wheat (green = low risk, orange/brown = high).  Our region is still mainly in the medium-high-risk range.

I STILL want to collect your fall armyworm adults and larvae this summer! While Bt has done a good job of controlling fall armyworm on conventional corn here in the US, it's still a concern in our non-GMO corn and grass crops, and is a major invasive pest in other parts of the world. I'm teaming up with a group in southeast Asia who is studying this pest and its genetic variability around the world, so I'm looking for locations to place pheromone traps so I can collect specimens for them to evaluate. Let me know if you have a field that would be a good trapping candidate this summer, and regardless, please let me know if you encounter larvae:


Resources for Forage Management in a Drought Situation (pdf; 1003KB)









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Parasite Fecal Analysis Roadshow II

June 10, 2024 : SUNY Morrisville
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Artificial Insemination Training Course~Stillwater

June 25 - June 26, 2024 : Artificial Insemination Training Course~Stillwater
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Two-Day Course.  English / Spanish program. Lunch included.

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Cash Rent and Custom Harvest Survey

To date, there is limited information available about rental rates and fees for crop harvesting.  Farms can use this valuable information for their farm business planning to help improve decision making and profitability. 

The data that is collected, and the subsequent reports/findings/resources will be helpful for all of us to answer that call of "What's the average rental rate in my area?" and "How much do people charge to combine oats?"

Take the survey here.

Farmers Can Join MeatSuite For Free! is a free resource provided by Cornell University where NY meat farmers can create a farm profile and list their bulk (wholes, halves, quarters) and bundled (i.e. Grilling Bundle) meat products.

Why should farmers join?

1. It's free and easy!
2. Connect with more local customers. In the past year the farm directory had 8,300 visits from New York consumers. Farm profiles get as many as 25 views per month from potential local customers. We also spotlight MeatSuite farms on social media and bring attention and purchases to farms through highlights and giveaways.

How do I join?

Farmers can visit to create a free farm profile. You must list at least one product for your farm's profile to go live. You'll also have access to Cornell's free Meat Price Calculator, a helpful tool for pricing your meat to make a profit.

While you're on MeatSuite, check out the "Creating Consumer-Friendly Bulk Meats" publication on the log-in page. It has tips on how to create bulk meat products that are easier for first-time buyers to say "yes" to.

If you have any questions as you create your farm profile or products, we're here to help! Please email Matt LeRoux at

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Spotted Lanternfly

Lycorma delicatula, or Spotted Lanternfly (SLF), is an invasive plant hopper from Asia and is an agricultural pest. In the United States, it was first found in Pennsylvania in 2014. Spotted Lanternfly has been found in New York State on Staten Island, all New York City boroughs, Long Island, Port Jervis, Sloatsburg, Orangeburg, Ithaca, Binghamton, Middletown, Newburgh, Highland, and the Buffalo area. SLF threatens the agriculture and forestry industries, and is also a nuisance pest. The nymphs and adults feed on over 70 different plants, but is especially detrimental to grapes, a black walnut, hops, maple trees and apples. New York State Ag and Markets supported CCE efforts to help bring awareness to communities and we developed this Public Service Announcement and would appreciate you sharing it with your member lists. 

CCE Livestock Program Work Team

See the Livestock Program Work Team website for news, upcoming programs, and NYS Slaughterhouse Map.