Field Crop Update, August 31, 2023

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

Last Modified: September 6, 2023

1. Announcements and Weather Outlook

White mold continues to show itself in soybean crops, even those that were sprayed twice (R1 and R3)! Remember that at this point, there's really nothing you can do for that crop. Just try and harvest that field last (to not spread it to your better fields) and clean your harvester well afterwards. For every 10% increase in affected plants, you can expect a yield loss of 2-5 bu/ac. So if 20% of your plants are infected, you could see a loss of up to 10 bu/ac. Pretty substantial if your expected yield is around the state average of about 50 bu/ac. Of course, the yield loss is greater if damage causes the plants to lodge or leads to dockage.

Cover crop planting season is here. There is still plenty of time to plant a great cover crop that will achieve your goals for that ground. Check out this short article for info on fall oat, wheat, and rye, and check out the links at the top of the page to learn more about other cover cropping strategies.

Winter grain planting season is nearly here. Here are the results of the 2023 small grain variety trials:

2023 hybrid rye trial, Cornell University
2023 Winter Malting Barley Regional Trial Summary - Cornell University
2023 Winter Malting Barley Regional Trial Summary - Cornell University
2023 Red Winter Wheat Summaries - Cornell University

2023 Red Winter Wheat continued:

2023 Red Winter Wheat
2023 Soft White Winter Wheat Summaries - Cornell University

2023 Soft White Winter Wheat Continued:

2023 Soft White Winter Wheat

Weather Outlook:

GDD difference from Normal (Days) March 15 - August 30 2023

7-Day Precipitation Amounts

Outlook September 7-13

2. Growing Degree Days See: Climate Smart Farming Growing Degree Day Calculator. 

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!

Hybrid relative maturity and GDD from silking to reach ~32% DM table

color coded for Growing Degree Days table
growing degree days table

3. Pest Monitoring

Potato leafhopper (PLH) in alfalfa - PLH season is just about over, so this will be the last week of reporting!

Huge thanks to Emily Anderson and Ashley Bound of CCE Chenango, and our local FFA chapters who swept many of our region's alfalfa fields this year with 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 in alfalfa table

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









Upcoming Events

Farmer Mental Health in New York State

May 29, 2024

A Story of Crisis and Advocacy from the Makers of the Documentary "Muckville"

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New York State Fiber Conference

June 9, 2024
Bouckville, NY

Theme for this year: Quality Matters

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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.