Posts Tagged ‘16:5’

WCU Volume 16, Issue 5 – April 18, 2008

Friday, April 18th, 2008

Volume 16, Issue 5 – April 18, 2008

PDF Version of WCU 16:5 – April 18, 2008

In this issue:

Cold Effects on Early Transplanted Vegetables
Vegetable Diseases in the Greenhouse
Vegetable Crop Insects
Grower’s Guide to Understanding DMI or SBI (sterol biosynthesis inhibitor) Fungicides (FRAC Code 3)

Agronomic Crops
Agronomic Crop Insects
Small Grain Diseases
Soybean Rust Update
Soybean Seed Treatment
Update on Wheat Irrigation
Tips for Successful Corn Production
Update on Hay and Pasture Crop Irrigation
CFTC Announces Details of Agricultural Forum
Grain Marketing Highlights

Certified Pesticide Applicators Test – April 23
Recent Topics on Gordon’s Blog


Recent Topics on Gordon’s Blog

Friday, April 18th, 2008

For Current Agricultural Information from the UD Kent Co. Extension Office Visit

 Recent Topics:

Landscape and Nursery – Crabapple Scab
Cold Weather and Early Transplanted Vegetables
Corn Production Tips
Observations and Notes from the County
Glyphosate Use Decisions in Soybeans
Aphids, Aphids, Aphids
Grain Markets – Corn Fundamentals Remain Strong
Grain Marketing – Recent Supply and Demand Estimates
Dairy and Livestock – Fineness of Corn Grind
Poultry Water Systems – Questions to Ask
Check Your Center Pivot Systems
Pictures of Later Wheat Growth Stages
Wheat Growth Stages – Flag Leaf to Maturity
Seed and Seedling Issues in Beans and Other Legume Vegetables
Cutworm Countdown Starts

Grain Marketing Highlights

Friday, April 18th, 2008

Carl German, Extension Crops Marketing Specialist;

U.S. Row Crop Planting Progress Slowed
Cool and wet conditions throughout much of the Corn Belt has kept planting progress to a bare minimum so far this row crop season. U.S. corn plantings were running 5 percent behind and spring wheat plantings were about 4 percent behind the 5-year average on Monday, April 14th. Although there is still plenty of time to get this year’s corn planted, it will take another week of drying weather before planters can roll in large parts of the Corn Belt. The corn-to-soybean price-ratio has recently favored corn production. General consensus suggests that another 3 to 4 million acres of corn plantings are needed, above the 86 million acres reported in the March 31st planting intentions report. Based upon yesterday’s close (4/16/08 – Dec corn @ $6.25; Nov soybeans @ $12.73) the ratio is currently at 2.08:1, favoring corn planting. The price-ratio needs to bid to 2.5:1 or better before favoring soybean plantings. Some analysts have suggested that a 2 or 3 million acre shift to corn plantings may be more in line with reality when all things are considered e.g., the high cost of growing corn as compared to soybeans.

Weekly Export Sales Report Bullish Corn, Soybeans, Neutral Wheat
U.S. corn exports for the 32nd week of the current marketing year are slightly ahead of what’s needed to stay on pace with USDA’s projection of 2.5 billion bushels to be booked in ’07/’08. For the week ending April 10, 2008 shipments were reported at 36.3 million bushels. Note: actual shipments at 43.8 mb were slightly behind the 45.6 mb needed to be on pace with projections.

U.S. soybean exports, reported at 17.6 mb, were viewed as bullish for the soybean market considering only 2 mb of soybean sales were needed last week to stay on pace with USDA’s projection of 1.075 bb for the ’07/’08 marketing year. Soybean exports are running well above the quantity needed to reach the official export projection before September 1. Shipments of 15 mb were ahead of the 10.3 mb needed to be on pace with projections.

Weekly sales reported for all U.S. wheat at 4.7 mb brings accumulated sales in the 45th week of wheat’s ’07/’08 marketing year up to 1.231 bb. USDA’s projection for export sales in the current marketing year (’07/’08) is currently pegged at 1.275 bb. Shipments at 11.8 mb were well below the 30.4 mb needed to stay on pace with projections.

Marketing Strategy
The price of crude oil hit an all time high of $114.93 per barrel in yesterday’s trading (04/16/08), with the high at $115.00. The U.S. dollar index, marked at 71.64 at yesterday’s close, is within four tenths of its low made on March 17th. We can expect commodity prices to remain extremely volatile in the near term.

A webinar on using Agricultural Options on Futures, specifically, the put option is being planned to air in mid-May. The thinking is that grain marketers will need to consider/use the put option for forward pricing decisions around mid-June to early July for corn and mid-July to early August for soybeans. More details to follow.

For technical assistance on making grain marketing decisions contact Carl L. German, Extension Crops Marketing Specialist.

CFTC Announces Details of Agricultural Forum

Friday, April 18th, 2008

Carl German, Extension Crops Marketing Specialist;

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has announced the details concerning the April 22nd roundtable discussion on the agricultural markets. The roundtable is designed to gather information about whether the futures markets are properly performing their risk management and price discovery roles.

Discussion Agenda
The roundtable will include discussion of the following topics:

I. Price Discovery in the Agricultural Futures Markets
  a. Overview of market supply/demand in markets
  b. Role of speculators, index funds, and commercial hedgers
  c. The adequacy of transparency in the markets
  d. The adequacy of contract terms and conditions

II. Hedging in the Agricultural Futures Markets
  a. Convergence of futures and cash prices
  b. Forward contracting in the current markets
  c. Role of agricultural swaps and other risk management tools

III. Margin Levels (Performance Bond) and Agricultural Credit
  a. Role of margin and the clearing system
  b. Overview of agricultural credit and record margin levels
  c. Proper determination of margin
  d. Price limits and margin levels
  e. Credit market conditions and Ag lending outlook

Officials from the CFTC, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Farm Credit Administration, Federal Reserve System, and a broad spectrum of agricultural market participants, including producer groups, commodity merchandisers, consumer groups, financial firms, and futures exchanges.

Attendance and Comment
The roundtable discussion session will begin at 9:00 a.m. on Tuesday, April 22, 2008 in the Commission’s hearing room located on the ground floor of CFTC headquarters – Three Lafayette Centre, 1155 21st Street, NW, Washington, DC 20581. Hearing room doors will open at 8:30 a.m.

Due to significant space limitations, interested members of the public are strongly encouraged to use the following alternative options to access the hearing:

1. Watch the live broadcast of the roundtable via Webcast on
2. Call into a toll-free telephone line to connect to a live audio feed. Call-in participants should be prepared to provide their full name and affiliation. Conference call information is listed below:
Domestic Toll Free: 866-759-0291
Conference ID: 43214239
Call leader name: “CFTC”

Members of the public may submit statements for the official record up to two weeks following the roundtable discussion.

Go to for an official copy of the press release.

Update on Hay and Pasture Crop Irrigation

Friday, April 18th, 2008

Richard Taylor, Extension Agronomist;

Many of our hay and pasture species are just beginning the rapid growth phase that occurs each spring. More and more hay and pasture fields are set up to receive irrigation. The limited rainfall the southern half of the state has received so far this spring means that the soil water supply will be rapidly depleted as the cool-season hay and pasture grasses enter the rapid growth phase. Orchardgrass, in particular, since it matures earlier than many of the other species we grow, will be using large quantities of water during the next few weeks. If you are set up to irrigate hay and pasture fields, now is the time to begin the irrigation system. Try not to let the soil moisture levels be lowered to the point that water stress symptoms actually show up on the crop. As the species enter the rapid growth phase of spring, water use will increase from about a tenth of an inch of water per day to a quarter inch or more water per day. To keep fields actively growing, be sure to replace that quantity of water each week. When warmer temperatures occur in June, water use can increase to that approaching corn (about a third of an inch per day) so your irrigation regime will need to increase as summer approaches. Keep in mind that you will need to stop irrigation long enough for the soil to dry enough to support haying and baling equipment without causing significant compaction. It’s also usually best to wait until the crop begins regrowth before resuming irrigation so that you do not encourage weeds.

It also is time to get nitrogen (N) out on irrigated and non-irrigated hay and pasture fields. For hay, the latest research from Pennsylvania State University and Dr. Marvin Hall’s team shows that you should be applying about 50 lbs of N per acre per ton of expected yield. This is a good compromise between maximum economic yield from the hay and the risk of high nitrate levels in the hay if the crop becomes very drought stressed. For pastures, our N recommendations still vary based on the amount of legume in the pasture. If pastures contain a one to one ratio of legume to grass (50 percent of the biomass-forage-comes from the legume), additional N fertilizer will not be needed. If the legume component makes up between 25 and 50 percent of the forage, then apply about 25 lbs N/acre and if there is less than 25 percent legume in the forage, you may need as much as 50 lbs N/acre to maximize productivity of the pasture.

Tips for Successful Corn Production

Friday, April 18th, 2008

Richard Taylor, Extension Agronomist;

With the higher prices available for corn, it would seem that profitable corn production is assured. However even if a profitable season is highly likely where either irrigation or timely rainfall is plentiful, there are many agronomic practices that can be used to improve the chances of success. The first one that comes to mind relates to the yield curve as affected by planting date. In research conducted in Delaware and surrounding states in the past, we’ve seen slightly (3 to 5 percent) lower yields when corn is planted before the first of May. Large acreage growers often feel the need to begin planting early just to be able to finish planting their corn acreage before yields begin to decline due to late planting. Small acreage growers can get restless seeing others out planting corn and move to plant before the ideal window, the last week of April and the first week of May. Growers can still satisfy the need to plant enough acres to finish in time or the urge to get into the field early by dividing their fields up into high yield potential fields, moderate yield potential fields, and low yield potential fields. Plant the low yield potential fields at the earliest opportunity and again at the end of the corn planting window if all of the acres aren’t completed early or if special soil conditions preclude entering the field until later in the spring. If all the low yield potential fields are planted and more time is available before the ideal planting window, growers should move to the medium yield potential fields. As soon as the ideal window opens, growers should change to the best high yield potential fields. The higher yield potential during this period can add quite a bit of extra corn to your final farm yield. Once past the first week of May or once all the best fields are planted, move on to finish with the medium yield potential fields and finally those low yield potential fields with special problems are that weren’t planted earlier.

On no-till fields, be sure to use row sweeps or row cleaners to help warm up the soil at the planted rows. Soil temperatures high enough for rapid uniform germination are essential in obtaining the highest possible yield potential. Also, consider using hybrids ranked highest for cold tolerance since improvements have been made on that front in the past few years.

The same thing applies to deciding where to apply the most fertilizer dollars. You should always aim at fertilizing your high yield potential fields with enough fertilizer to obtain maximum economic yields (MEY). Recognizing that yield from your medium yield potential fields will be lower than that in the high potential fields, you should reduce your input levels on these fields. For the low yield potential fields, keep the number of fertilizer dollars spent on these fields to the minimum needed to obtain the average yield you expect off these fields. By adjusting your fertilizer rates for each field, you can reduce your overall fertilizer bill as well as ensure that your get the biggest bang for your buck from your best fields.

I think it is safe to say that seed costs are higher than ever nowadays. Again, choose the best hybrids and use the highest (best) seeding rate on your best fields. Not only will you get more for your money but since you’ll be planting this expensive seed at the ideal time, your plant stands will be better and less seed will be wasted. In other words, use your race horse hybrids on your better fields. For the medium and low yield potential fields, choose the work horse hybrids which can tolerate the less favorable growing conditions and still respond if the growing season turns out to be a good one. Adjust your seeding rate slightly up when planting early to help ensure better stands and lower your seeding rate later in the planting window when the soil is warmer and germination conditions are closer to ideal. In addition, you won’t waste as much seed in fields that have lower potential.

A final suggestion on irrigated land would be to consider irrigating early if the dry conditions persist. A recent visit down the state showed very low water levels and therefore water tables in much of central and southern Delaware. Although corn uses very little water when it is early in its growth cycle, it is highly likely that the subsoil layers are not at field capacity. It is highly advisable to bring soil moisture levels in both the top soil and subsoil close to their maximum water holding capacity early in the season so that the corn will not suffer early water stress. This also will give you a base or buffer so that later in the season during tassel, silking, and seed fill, the irrigation system can keep up better with the crop’s water demand.

Update on Wheat Irrigation

Friday, April 18th, 2008

Richard Taylor, Extension Agronomist;

This past winter at a Kent County Crops Masters program on irrigation a number of growers talked about their experiences with irrigating wheat. In addition, I’ve talked recently with others who were able to estimate the value of irrigation on the sandier soils in southern Delaware. It seems that many of the growers irrigating wheat on sandy loam soil types in Kent County found yield responses on the order of 3 to 5 bu/acre this past year. On the loamy sands and sands in southern Delaware, growers report a larger response in the range of 20 to 30 bu/acre during 2006. This year’s very dry spring in many parts of the state suggests that once again we will find responses to irrigation. It’s still my contention that your best response to irrigation on wheat will be when you apply a lot of water early (before heads emerge) in an attempt to bring soil water levels to field capacity in both the top soil and the subsoil horizons. Once heads emerge, you should not irrigate while the wheat head is in flower since this can lead to the development of head scab. In our limited research on irrigated wheat, we also found small decreases in yield when irrigation was applied after heading. For that reason, unless the soil becomes excessively dry, I would suggest heavy early irrigation to charge up the soil water supply, no irrigation during heading and initial seed fill, and limit the number of irrigations after the seeds begin to fill to the minimum number possible that will keep the wheat growing up to maturity.

Other than the lower than ideal rainfall totals across the region at this point, the growing season has generally been very favorable for wheat development with cool nights and moderate daytime temperatures. Temperatures have been nearly ideal for wheat. Limited rainfall and cool weather also means that very little of the nitrogen fertilizer applied to wheat has been lost so yield potential from the fertility viewpoint should be high.

Soybean Seed Treatment

Friday, April 18th, 2008

Bob Mulrooney, Extension Plant Pathologist;

Seed production regions were hard hit last year by drought including Delmarva. Seed is in short supply and the quality is variable. It will be important this year to handle your soybean seed carefully. Be gentle with the seed, the seed coats may be thinner than normal and the cracks that form from handling may be avenues for fungal infection when the seed is planted. Most Delaware growers plant soybeans when temperatures are above 60°F which is favorable for rapid germination. At lower temperatures especially around 50°F emergence is delayed and fungi have an opportunity to infect since the cracked germinating seed is leaking nutrients that they can use. Once emergence takes place the plants become more resistant to infection. So the sooner the plant gets out the ground, the shorter the period that it is exposed to infection by soilborne fungi. Most seed will be or should be treated this season. Any seed that tests less than 80% germination should definitely be treated with a fungicide.

Soybean Rust Update

Friday, April 18th, 2008

Bob Mulrooney, Extension Plant Pathologist;

On April 10th, all green tissue from a soybean rust-infected kudzu vine in Mobile, Alabama was removed. This was the only “known” rust-infected site in Alabama. At this time the disease can only be found in Florida. Soybean rust is still active on kudzu in six counties in Florida. Soybean sentinel plots are beginning to be planted in some of the Gulf Coast states. Kudzu is also greening-up rapidly in this region of the country.

Small Grain Diseases

Friday, April 18th, 2008

Bob Mulrooney, Extension Plant Pathologist;

We have had reports of increasing amounts of powdery mildew on barley. Looking at my evaluations of the barley variety trials that Bob Uniatowski conducts yearly, ‘Thoroughbred’ looks to be the most susceptible in the trials but there has never been enough disease present to warrant spraying. Regionally we have no data to evaluate fungicides for control of barley diseases because barley rarely needs to be sprayed for diseases and the cost has been prohibitive. Times have changed and if the heads are emerging and the top two leaves are infected there may be some benefit to controlling powdery mildew on a susceptible variety if the weather continues to favor powdery mildew. Stratego, Tilt, Quilt (10.5- 14.0 oz/A) would be suggested for control if necessary. A beneficial non-target effect will be brighter straw if straw is being baled.

Barley Powdery Mildew

Powdery mildew on barley

This week the diagnostic lab received more wheat samples with virus symptoms. The first results have come back and the virus detected was soilborne wheat mosaic virus. SBWMV is a virus that is transmitted to the wheat in the fall by a soil born fungus called Polymyxa graminis. Symptoms range from mild green to prominent yellow leaf mosaics and streaking. Stunting can be moderate to severe. In this region the symptoms are found on plants in areas that are generally wet or poorly drained. Virus symptoms often diminish when the weather gets warm and symptoms are confined to the lower leaves. Symptoms on the upper leaves can look identical to wheat spindle streak mosaic virus. Planting resistant cultivars is the best solution for fields with a history of SBWMV.

I would suggest waiting until early head emergence before applying fungicides to wheat if disease levels do not warrant spraying now. Delaying until head emergence is the last opportunity to apply most fungicides and that application can carry the crop through harvest if glume blotch, tan spot, or rust should appear at or after heading. Another benefit is sooty mold control if we have poor weather during harvest. In most cases disease levels are low in wheat except where high nitrogen carry-over or over fertilization has occurred. That has resulted in more powdery mildew.