Field Crop Update July 27, 2022

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

July 28, 2022

1. Field Observations

All of the corn fields where I have pheromone traps have tasseled within the last 7-9 days. There are a few late plantings that have yet to tassel. Soybean canopy is closing, but other than the usual Japanese beetles and grasshoppers that descend this time of year, I haven't seen many pests as of yet. A few aphids and leafhoppers here and there, but lots of ladybugs and other predators.

Hay production is suffering this year, so consider a triticale winter cover crop that you can use for baleage in spring: Winter Triticale - A Cropping Opportunity

Conditions were very dry until our recent rainstorms, but the outlook isn't very favorable. Very hot and likely dry through August (see figures below).

Drought-stressed corn that experiences high temps late in the season can actually have delayed dry-down according to Joe Lawrence of Dairy One. So while our Growing Degree Day predictions are a good first-step - and they will dictate whether harvest will be relatively early or late - be sure to check dry matters to make sure you're on target.

See these articles for more info:

Corn Silage 2019: 2 Different Crops
Wet Corn Silage Can Be an Environmental Challenge

Outlook for temperatures and presipitation for August 4-10
August Outlook for temperatures and precipitation

2. Growing Degree Days as of July 20 (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. Check your location and planting date:

Growing Degree Days as of July 20 for the region

3. Pest & Disease Monitoring

A. Western bean cutworm (WBCW), true armyworm (TAW) and fall armyworm (FAW) in corn.

This week, insect numbers increased slightly, but remained low. At tasseling, the window of risk for WBCW largely closes, and the cornfields where we saw the highest populations (still very low by damage-causing standards) tasseled last week and there were no egg masses in sight:

Amount of WBCW, TAW, and FAW found in corn

B. Potato leafhopper in alfalfa.

Monday's rain got in the way of my sweeping schedule this week, but almost all of my usual fields were either just cut last week, or are due to be cut imminently. So we will check back in with those locations next week:

Amount of potato leafhopper found in alfalfa



Field Crop Update July 27, 2022 (pdf; 448KB)


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