Field Crop Update June 24, 2021

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

June 25, 2021

1. Field Observations

Alfalfa weevil is out, and potato leafhopper is in. The rainy weather prevented me from doing my scouting earlier this week, so I'm going out tomorrow to check on a few fields. That said, we had low levels of PLH last week, so numbers are may be higher this week (if the rain didn't knock them back, which is not uncommon). So be on the lookout for yellowing at the tips of your alfalfa. If you're within a week of harvest, that will be your best, most economical method of control. Click this link for a video on scouting and action threshold info: Potato Leafhopper Scouting and IPM Thresholds in Alfalfa

Most corn I've seen has been V4-V6, and the next few days will be perfect corn conditions for many of us: warm, but not too warm, and good soil moisture.

Soybeans are looking excellent, but folks in western NY have seen some early infestations of soybean aphid (below). While this looks alarming, you're unlikely to see an economic benefit from spraying this early. From the late vegetative stages to R4, the threshold is an average of 250 aphids per plant and actively increasing. See this guide for scouting information.

See this week's Oneida County Ag Report and Capital Area Ag Report.

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

Growing degree days (GDD) are calculated by taking the average 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.


Still unchanged, folks in Fulton, Herkimer, and northern Madison counties 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 warm temperatures through the weekend with scattered thunderstorms all of next week. Consider taking second cutting now if you're close, or you may not have another clear opportunity until the beginning of next month.

3. Pest Monitoring

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.

Traps were completely clean this week. We'll get our first western bean cutworm numbers next week.

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

The image below shows the current risk for fusarium head blight in winter wheat (green = low risk, orange/brown = high). Chenango and Saratoga Counties and the central Mohawk Valley remain in the moderate risk range, while the risk has passed for the rest of our region.

I've seen some very early signs of Septoria brown spot on soybeans, but like other pests and diseases, the critical time for crops is during the reproductive stages. Dry weather can prevent infestation of the upper canopy, but we will continue to monitor these fields as the season progresses. Nothing to worry about at this point.

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


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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. 

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Why should farmers join?

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2. Connect with more local customers. In the past year the MeatSuite.com 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.

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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.

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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. 



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