Field Crop Update, August 4, 2022

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

August 4, 2022

1. Field Observations

Madison and Chenango counties remain "abnormally dry", along with eastern Schoharie and Saratoga Counties, while the southern tip of Saratoga County is in a moderate drought:

Drought Monitor for August 2, 2022

Early-planted corn and soybeans seem to be largely ok, but later plantings are really suffering. Rain is in the forecast all of next week, so hopefully that provides some respite. As we approach corn silage harvest, we will email some articles that help outline how to navigate harvest in a dry year.
3rd cutting alfalfa and second cutting of grass hay is suffering as well, so once again, consider a triticale winter cover crop that you can use for forage in spring.

2. Growing Degree Days as of Aug 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. Check your location and planting date:

Growing Degree Day table as of July 20, 2022

3. Pest and disease monitoring

Crop foliage continues to be largely clean in terms of insect pests and diseases. However, I've been checking every stand of knapweed I can find, and I managed to identify a single stand of true spotted knapweed in Montgomery county (a small stand in a ditch. So it's definitely out there, but I still haven't yet seen it in a hay field or pasture - I'm assuming it must be in some fields, somewhere). Once again, the main point of positively identifying knapweed species is that spotted knapweed (Centaurea stoebe) may be managed using biological control beetles, while these beetles are not effective at managing other knapweed species. Here are some pics I've taken recently, including the spotted knapweed. The bracts (papery scales beneath the flowers) are the identifying character:

Meadow Knapweed

Brown Knapweed

Spotted Knapweed

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

This week, insect numbers increased slightly, but remained relatively 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) have long-since tasseled and there are still no egg masses in sight. We'll continue monitoring for a few more weeks as we still want to track the life cycle of this relatively-new pest in NY so we can better predict its population dynamics in the future:

Table of WBCW, TAW, and FAW found in corn

B. Potato leafhopper in alfalfa.

Table of potato leafhopper in alfalfa

*No action needed within a week of harvest.




Field Crop Update, August 4, 2022 (pdf; 466KB)


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