2012 DROUGHT COULD MEAN LARGER SOYBEAN SEEDS FOR 2013 GROWING SEASON
COLUMBUS, Ohio - Soybean growers heading into the 2013 planting season might find that many soybean seeds are larger than normal - a lingering impact from the 2012 drought, says an expert with Ohio State University's College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES).
On average, 2,500 individual soybean seeds constitute a pound, said Laura Lindsey, a soybean and small grain specialist with the college's outreach arm, Ohio State University Extension. But considering that dry conditions during seed fill followed by August and September rains can result in larger than normal seeds, growers could find instances where 1,700 seeds constitute a pound, she said.
Last year's drought conditions plus late-season rains expedited the growth of soybean plants, which has caused fewer seed pods and larger seeds for growers to plant this year, Lindsey said.
"Because of last year's drought, which is when the seeds were grown out that will be used to plant this year, many growers are wondering what they need to consider going into the 2013 planting season," she said. "The question has come up at several Extension meetings across the state, as growers worry about how last year's drought could impact them this year."
Growers should check soybean seed size before planting this year and contact their equipment dealer or check their operator's manual to adjust for seed size if planting abnormally large or small seed, Lindsey said. And because drought can have a negative impact on seed quality, growers should check germination results of their seeds.
"Germination is considered good if it is approximately 95 percent," she said. "If germination is less than 90 percent, consider increasing the seeding rate.
"To adjust the seeding rate because of low reported germination test results, divide 0.9 by the germination rating on the seed tag. Then multiply that number by the normal seeding rate."
But, Lindsey said, seed companies typically don't sell low-quality seeds.
"I'm not too worried about the quality," she said. "Most seed companies check seed quality several times, including when they get it, when they apply seed treatments and anytime they handle the seed."
Growers should also avoid field operations when soil conditions are too wet, Lindsey said. Some areas of Ohio experienced soil compaction after harvesting in too wet soil conditions, she said.
"Soybean germination and emergence were negatively affected by compaction areas from the 2011 harvest," Lindsey said. "So if possible, avoid field operations when soil conditions are too wet because you may see uneven soybean emergence as a result."
CATTLE BODY CONDITION MONITORING IMPORTANT FOR PRODUCERS
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Monitoring condition in gestational and lactating cows is extremely i mportant for successful reproduction, Purdue Extension beef specialist Ron Lemenager says.
Cows with less-than-ideal body conditions can have longer postpartum intervals, calve later, or just fail to breed at all.
"If producers with spring calving herds have thin cows now, they need to put those cows on a diet that allows them to gain weight," Lemenager said. "That's challenging because those cows are approaching peak lactation, but if you don't make adjustments, fertility can suffer."
The best ways to help animals gain weight is to feed high-quality forages. If forages are of low quality, they can be supplemented with dried distillers grains, soybean hulls, corn gluten feed or grain.
At this point in the season, producers with fall calving herds who have thin cows have more time to make nutritional adjustments before calving season. They also have time to decide whether to wean calves early, or wait until calves are 7 to 8 months old.
ALFALFA WEEVIL STARTS TO EMERGE; GROWERS NEED TO SCOUT FIELDS
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Indiana has had enough warm, spring days for alfalfa growers to start seeing alfalfa weevil emerging in their fields. So producers should be scouting for the pest now instead of waiting to see obvious damage before doing anything about it, a Purdue Extension entomologist says.
The early season pest is active in both adult and larval forms in the spring, and heavy infestations can be destructive to the alfalfa crop.
In early spring, alfalfa weevil larvae hatch from eggs deposited in the plant stems and begin feeding within the folding leaves at the growing tips, Christian Krupke said. A heavy infestation of larvae can consume enough foliage that an entire field might take on a grayish appearance.
"When you can see the damage from the road and the field starts to look gray, you've missed the opportunity to treat the field with an insecticide," he said.
ENTOMOLOGIST OFFERS GUIDANCE ON CONTROLLING SLUGS IN NO-TILL CORN, SOYBEAN FIELDS
WOOSTER, Ohio - Crop growers should take extra precautions to scout their fields this spring for slugs to try to get control of these plant feeders before they attack corn and soybean plants and cause feeding injury, an Ohio State University Extension entomologist said.
Ron Hammond, who also has an appointment with the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, offers his guidance in videos posted on the Plant Management Network, a nonprofit publisher of science-based crop management information for growers, consultants and other applied audiences.
"The gray garden slug is the most damaging slug in field crops across the county," he said. "It's also the No. 1 slug pest problem probably worldwide. And this is the one causing problems in corn and soybeans and other field crops, but especially soybeans."
The majority of problems with the gray garden slug come at crop planting in the spring, Hammond said. That is when the eggs have hatched and the juvenile slug starts to grow and reaches a size to start heavy feeding.
"And if the crop is there, they start feeding on it," he said. "And if the crop isn't there yet, they'll wait for the crop and feed on it."
General IPM recommendations Hammond suggests include:
* Monitoring fall slug population to identify potential problem fields.
* Using tillage in those fields if possible.
* Planting fields with potential problems early.
* Using practices to encourage quicker growth such as row cleaners or strip tillage.
Growers can use one of two available baits that contain metaldehyde (Deadline MPs and others), and those with iron phosphate (Sluggo) and a new one coming out (Ferrox), Hammond said.
APHIDS IN WHEAT
By Christian Krupke & John Obermeyer
• Aphids are active very early in the spring.
• Virus transmission by aphids occurs mainly in the fall – not now.
• Watch for aphids accumulating on wheat heads late in spring.
The presence of aphids in wheat is common every spring. Unless populations are very heavy, aphid feeding contributes very little to yield losses at this time of year. In addition, aphids at this time aren’t likely to infect and spread Barley Yellow Dwarf Virus (BYDV. Plants infested with aphids in the fall are more likely to be infected with BYDV and possibly severely damaged. Insecticide applications applied after wheat reaches Feekes growth stage 4.0 does little good to prevent the transmission of BYD. In short, there is little justification to treat aphids at this time.
This is not the end of the story though - aphid populations may increase as wheat heads begin to emerge and fill. The aphids can injure developing heads by sucking plant juices. An average of 50 or more aphids per head indicates that an insecticide treatment should be considered. Normally when aphid numbers build to 10 or more per plant, aphid predators and parasites increase rapidly in response to this food source. Lady beetles (adults and larvae), syrphid (often called hover flies) larvae, lacewing larvae, and several species of parasites will soon be scouring fields for aphids. In Indiana, because of a reduced virus threat and the natural enemies, the necessity to treat for aphids in the spring is rare.
Purdue will again be doing a survey of fields in different counties. Decatur County has been included the past two years. If you would like one of your soybean fields included let the office know. Last year we visited the fields 3 times doing soil test, tissue sampling, weed counts, insect counts, plant population, etc. We will do up to 5 fields, one per farmer.
ALFALFA AND FORAGE PRODUCTION - SPECIALIST COMING TO DECATUR COUNTY
Keith Johnson will be presenting a program on Alfalfa and Forage production at the Decatur County Office on May 30th at 9:00 AM. The drought has hurt a lot of our alfalfa and forage species this past year. We will be discussing how to evaluate and steps to establish new alfalfa and forage fields. Please RSVP the office at 812-663-8388.
OHIO STATE STRAWBERRY WORKSHOP, MAY 16
PIKETON, Ohio - Strawberry growers can learn about new production methods that can help them extend the growing season and boost on-farm profits during an Ohio State University strawberry plasticulture workshop May 16.
The workshop will be 6-9 p.m. at the Ohio State University South Centers in Piketon, 1864 Shyville Road. Registration is $5. The centers are part of Ohio State's College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES).
The workshop will feature Brad Bergefurd, a horticulturist with Ohio State University Extension and the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC). Bergefurd will discuss the plasticulture production method, in which strawberries are planted in September and grow over the winter using plastic to keep the soil warm and suppress weed growth. Plasticulture results in larger, sweeter berries during an earlier growing period.
POST-PLANTING WEATHER COULD DECIDE INSECT THREAT
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Farmers should look to the skies for an idea of how active below-ground insects could be in cornfields later this spring, a Purdue Extension entomologist says.
Weather conditions following planting are a good barometer for infestations of seedcorn maggots, wireworms, grubs and slugs, Christian Krupke said. Those insects, and others like them, are beginning to move toward the surface of the soil after overwintering beneath the surface. They feed on plant roots and green material and are a greater threat if the corn plant is not well established.
"All of those pests get a foothold only when we get a cool, wet post-planting period," Krupke said. "If you don't have those weather conditions the corn plant generally pops out of the ground and does just fine in terms of insect pests. So in the early stages of the crop season it really is weather-dependent."
Corn planting is off to a slow start in Indiana. As of Monday (April 15) farmers had planted less than 1 percent of the 6.1 million acres they told the U.S. Department of Agriculture they intend to plant in a March survey. That compares with 21 percent planted by this time one year ago and the mid-April five-year average of 6 percent.
Cooler and wetter weather in much of Indiana has slowed planting progress but won't necessarily contribute to post-planting insect problems, Krupke said. Aside from timely control of winter annual weeds that can attract egg-laying moths like black cutworm, there's little farmers can do ahead of planting to reduce insect damage risk and only certain steps they can take after seeds are in the ground.
"Sometimes you'll get insect protection from insecticidal seed treatments at this time of year. Seedcorn maggot is one example, " Krupke said. "For others such as rootworms, white grubs and wireworms, you also can get some protection from in-furrow insecticides - for those still using granular and liquid products. The Bt corn hybrids have no affect on wireworms, white grubs, seedcorn maggots or slugs. There's not much that can be done in terms of managing below-ground pests once damage has occurred, however."
If the weather cooperates and corn plants are able to outgrow those pests, other insects - notably, armyworm and black cutworm - could present problems, Krupke said.
"Right now these moths are in the Gulf states where they can develop year-round," he said. "In the spring they move north on prevailing winds and with storm fronts - some years many, some years few - and look for places to lay eggs. They prefer to lay eggs in green material such as weedy fields and fields with cover crops, and when those cover crops or weeds are killed the larvae will then move over to the corn that is out of the ground."
Purdue Entomologist John Obermeyer coordinates a network of volunteers who monitor the moths and others using pheromone traps placed throughout the state. They report their findings in the weekly Purdue Pest & Crop Newsletter (http://extension.entm.purdue.edu/pestcrop/2013).
The good news for farmers is that last year's drought hurt some insects as much as it did crops. Krupke believes overwintering insect populations generally are lower and, with the exception of spider mites, which thrive in hot, dry conditions, could portend fewer insect problems this year.
But farmers should not be overconfident.
"If condre just right and these insects are in contact with germinating seed for a long time, that's when you have a recipe for bad things to happen," Krupke said. "Insects in general, and pests in particular, can increase their populations extremely rapidly when conditions are right."
Additional information about crop insects is available on Purdue's Field Crops Integrated Pest Management website, at http://extension.entm.purdue.edu/fieldcropsipm/.
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