Field Crop Update, August 10, 2023

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

August 10, 2023

1. Field Observations

Many have struggled to harvest hay due to the rain. While it's targeted at first cutting, here is a link to an article by Joe Lawrence (with more relevant links in the article itself) that addresses the subject of how to manage over-mature hay: Forage - Storage Strategies for Over Mature Hay.

Another reminder that now is the time when perennial hayfield weeds start to make themselves known. Here is a great article from Penn State on Perennial Weed Control in Grass Forages. And here's a knapweed ID reminder from the CNY Field Crop Update from this time last summer (only spotted knapweed can be managed with biocontrols, not the other species that we commonly see in our region). The dark bracts (circled) are used to distinguish species:

meadow knapweed with dark bracts circled
Brown Knapweed with dark bracts circled
spotted knapweed with dark bracts circled

2. Growing Degree Days (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, we are using base 50/86, as corn development starts at 50 degrees F and ceases above 86. Check your location, planting date, and silking date. Silage corn needs 750-800 GDD (depending on hybrid maturity) after silking to reach a whole plant DM of 32%. Under typical late season dry down conditions we can expect the crop to reach 35% DM four to seven days later (Remember that we can expect to accumulate 20-25 GDD per day, or even up to 30, so this is not a large window). For more details, see this article. No matter what the numbers say, always check your crop to see how close you may be to harvest:

growing degree days for Agust 8

3. Pest and disease monitoring

Potato leafhopper (PLH) in alfalfa - Fields sampled by Ashley Bound and Emily Anderson (CCE Chenango), working with local FFA chapters across our region to sweep alfalfa fields this year (funding provided by the Chobani Community Impact Fund):

Action thresholds are determined by comparing average crop height and average number of potato leafhoppers per sweep (at least 3 sets of 10 sweeps in different parts of the field) using a 15" diameter sweep net.

potato leafhopper found in alfalfa chart

*No action needed if crop is within 1 week of cutting. If not, use a short-residual insecticide.




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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?"

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MeatSuite.com 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 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.

How do I join?

Farmers can visit https://www.meatsuite.com/farmers/ 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 mnl28@cornell.edu.


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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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