Posts Tagged ‘17:23’

WCU Volume 17, Issue 23 – August 21, 2009

Friday, August 21st, 2009

PDF Version of WCU 17:23 – August 21, 2009

In this issue:

Vegetable Crop Insects
Ripening Disorders in Tomatoes
Keep Scouting for Lima Bean Downy Mildew
Downy Mildew on Cucurbits
Phytophthora Blight on Watermelons

Agronomic Crops
Agronomic Crop Insects
Soybean Disease Update
Grain Marketing Highlights

Soil Health and Vegetable Crops Twilight Meeting – August 27
“Raising Farm Profits” Farmer Bus Tour – Aug. 31-Sep. 1
Beekeeping Meeting @ Wye REC – September 12
Friends of Agriculture Breakfast – September 18
Equine Pasture Walk – September 29
Grass Finished Livestock Conference – October 23 & 24


2009 Mid-Atlantic Grass-Finished Livestock Conferece: “Merging the Art and Science of Grass Finishing”

Friday, August 21st, 2009

Friday, October 23 and Saturday, October 24
Holiday Inn Conference Center
Staunton, VA

Topics Covered
Forage Systems for Grass Finishing
Alternative Marketing Outlets
Small-Scale Processing Facilities
Healthy Grazing Systems
Supplementation in Pasture Finishing
Factors Affecting Meat Quality
Genetics for Grass Finishing
Meat Cutting and Cooking Demo

Early registration is $200, and must be postmarked by September 15, 2009.

Brochure and registration information is available here:  or contact Margaret Kenny at (434) 292-5331 or

Friends of Agriculture Breakfast Series

Friday, August 21st, 2009

Modern Maturity Center
1121 Forrest Avenue, Dover, DE

Friday, September 18, 2009     7:15 a.m.
Agriculture: Delaware and Beyond – Considering the Complex Issues Facing our Industry
Dr. Bill McGowan
Agriculture is one of Delaware’s leading economic engines and touches every Delawarean and beyond. As we begin our 2009-2010 Ag Breakfast series, it’s appropriate that we take time to consider the complex issues facing our industry. Using a discussion format and audience response system, we will identify and discuss several of those issues.

Registration for each breakfast is $20.

Additional upcoming dates for the 2009–2010 Friends of Agriculture Breakfast Series
Speakers to be Announced
October 16, 2009
November 20, 2009
January — Ag Week
March 19, 2010 

To register, please contact Alice Moore at (302) 831-2504 or Additional information at:

Beekeeping Meeting

Friday, August 21st, 2009

Saturday, September 12, 2009     8:30 a.m.-noon
Wye Research and Education Center
Queenstown, MD 21658

Meeting Agenda

8:30-9:00 – Sign-in and coffee

Varroa Mites
Dean Burroughs, Master Beekeeper and Maryland Apiary Inspector

The BARC American Foul Brood Diagnostic Laboratory and Update on the Specifics of American Foul Brood Disease
Bart Smith, USDA Bee Laboratory in Beltsville

Nosema Diseases (yes, there are two of them!) and What We Can Do to Prevent or Control Them
David Morris, a master beekeeper from the Bowie-Upper Marlboro Beekeepers Association and a past President of the Maryland State Beekeepers Association

Update on Control of Small Hive Beetle
Mike Embrey, University of Maryland Extension Apiculturist

Question and Answer Session

Meeting will end at 12:00

For additional information please contact Mike Embrey at (410) 827-8056 x148 or

Grain Marketing Highlights

Friday, August 21st, 2009

Carl German, Extension Crops Marketing Specialist;

Will U.S. Produce Bumper Corn and Soybean Crops?
The Pro Farmer crop tour is taking place this week. Crop scouts will be making their annual U.S. corn and soybean crop production estimates on Friday afternoon after the market closes. A quick review of scout reports thus far on corn yield estimates and soybean pod counts suggests a high degree of variability in crop development and potential yields with the qualifier being the length of the growing season. If Mother Nature allows ‘09 row crops to mature, then crop production is likely to be record or near record. Since the U.S. is certain to have plenty of corn and soybeans on hand going into harvest there isn’t much, if any, reason for commercial users and/or speculators to bid prices higher until more is known concerning actual crop size. My theory concerning the August 12 crop report being more positive than negative held water for about one day of trading before prices turned negative. Outside market forces have also influenced corn and soybean prices to the downside this past week.

The top five U.S. corn production states are Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Nebraska and Minnesota. Iowa and Nebraska are likely to have better crops than last year. In Illinois, typically the nation’s second largest corn producer, crop conditions are highly variable, as is the case in Indiana and probably Minnesota. The question remains: Can the U.S. meet or exceed USDA’s August corn and soybean production estimates of 12.761 billion bushels for corn and 3.199 billion bushels for soybeans, 159.5 and 41.7 bushels per acre, respectively? We will have a firmer grip on the answer to that question within the next two to three weeks.

Market Strategy
In the near term we can expect outside market forces (Dow Jones Industrial Average, crude oil prices, dollar) to heavily influence the direction in commodity prices. We might even garner a slight rally due to markets becoming oversold. Dec ‘09 corn futures are currently trading at $3.21; Nov ‘09 soybean futures at $9.46; and Dec ‘09 SRW wheat futures at $5.01 per bushel, with Dec ‘09 corn and wheat futures recording new lows this week. Nov ‘09 soybeans were trading near $1.00 per bushel lower a month ago. Although export and feed demand for corn and wheat are rather anemic, China is still purchasing U.S. soybeans. In fact the sleeper in these markets may turn out to be drought reduced corn and soybean production in China this year.

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

Soybean Disease Update – August 21, 2009

Friday, August 21st, 2009

Bob Mulrooney, Extension Plant Pathologist;

Powdery Mildew on Soybeans
We received a report of powdery mildew on soybeans from Sussex County this week. The weather has been very favorable for powdery mildew on many crops, as well as ornamental plants of all kinds. Powdery mildew on soybean is a rare occurrence these days. It is caused by the fungus Microsphaera difusa and produces the white talcum-like growth on the leaf surfaces which can infect all the plant parts eventually. Symptoms can vary from one cultivar to another. Rusty spots, chlorosis, green islands, defoliation or combinations of these symptoms may occur. Most cultivars have the dominant gene for resistance to this disease. Fungicides are not recommended for this disease since it is not known to reduce yields.

powdery mildew on soybeanpowdery mildew on soybeanPowdery mildew on soybeans

Soybean Rust Report
On August 19, soybean rust was reported on soybeans in Bolivar, Issaquena, Sharkey and Warren Counties in Mississippi. On August 18, soybean rust was reported in commercial soybean fields in West Baton Rouge, Pointe Coupee and East Carroll Parishes in Louisiana. On August 15, soybean rust was reported in nine new counties in Mississippi, all in commercial soybean fields. The positive counties include Carroll, Grenada, Humphreys, Leflore, Montgomery, Sunflower, Yalobusha, Yazoo and Washington.

In spite of the rash of SBR finds in Mississippi most of these are at low levels and most soybeans are at R5 and later, so the threat from soybean rust for these growers is low. Earlier soybeans at R3/R4 would be at risk in these areas. Rust is heating up a bit in the South and may become more of a threat if spores are spread in the developing cold front that is forecast to bring rain to the region during the next several days. Spore deposition is forecast from the Gulf Coast through Arkansas and spreading as far north as Kentucky.

Soybean sampling for soybean rust continues here in Delaware. The only diseases that we are seeing in the sentinel plots are low levels of Septoria brown spot, downy mildew and Phyllosticta leafspot. Visit for more information.


Agronomic Crop Insects – August 21, 2009

Friday, August 21st, 2009

Joanne Whalen, Extension IPM Specialist;

Field Corn
You may have seen a recent article in the Delmarva Farmer regarding a detection of a new pest of field corn in Pennsylvania, the Western Bean Cutworm. In the article, the field crop entomologist from Penn State talked about this insect and how the first moths were found this year in northern PA. However, as far as I know, they have not found any fields with larval damage. This pest has been increasing in importance in the Corn Belt. We did set out two trapping sites in 2008 and no moths were detected all season. There is a good article, as well as video, in this week’s C.O.R.N. Newsletter from Ohio State ( about this pest. Although we do not anticipate finding this pest in Delaware for a few years, please let us know if you suspect an infestation.

As the potential for late season insect control increases, be sure to check all labels for the days from last application to harvest as well as other restrictions. Be sure to scout carefully for earworms during the next few weeks. Local trap catches, as well as traps to our south, are showing an increase in moth activity.

As of today, we continue to find sporadic numbers of corn earworms in soybean fields; however, this can quickly change so be sure to scout all fields. Information from VA and areas to the south indicates that they are starting to spray fields; however, populations vary in the South, based on the degree of drought stress in corn, as well as differences in corn maturity. As we know, when corn dries down, the moths emerging from larvae found in corn fields will lay eggs in soybeans. The only way to know if you have an economic level will be to scout. In the past, we have used the treatment threshold of 3 corn earworms per 25 sweeps in narrow-row fields and 5 corn earworms per 25 sweeps in wide-row fields (20 inches or greater). However, these are static thresholds that were calculated for a 10-year average soybean bushel value of $6.28. A better approach to determining a threshold is to access the Corn Earworm Calculator ( which estimates a threshold based on the actual treatment cost and bushel value you enter.

Green cloverworm are still of concern in double crop soybeans with defoliation exceeding 20% in a number of fields throughout the state. We still have not seen enough diseased larvae to indicate that the population is crashing. Continue to scout for soybeans aphids as well, especially in later planted fields. Remember the threshold is 250 aphids per plant with the populations rising up until the R-5 and in some cases R-6 stage of plant development. You should also watch for beneficial insect activity that can help control populations.

Phytophthora Blight on Watermelons

Friday, August 21st, 2009

Kate Everts, Vegetable Pathologist, University of Delaware and University of Maryland;

In the past three weeks I have received many reports of Phytophthora blight in watermelon fields on Delmarva. This disease appears to be especially common this year on watermelons. We have had a few periods during the summer where we had high volume rain events. The threshold that usually triggers disease development is 2 inches of rain that falls over a short enough period of time to pool in the field. If soil is saturated for 5 to 6 hours, the zoospores are released and a new infection cycle will begin. Optimum temperature for spread is 28C (82°F). There are several reasons that disease might be especially severe this year. In addition to high volume rain events, soil compaction may be greater this year because growers had to work in fields during June when soil remained wet from frequent rains. Soil compaction would slow drainage and increase the length of soil saturation.

Management practices for this disease must begin prior to planting. Remove infected debris from fields, including, where possible, diseased fruit. Cultural practices for management of Phytophthora blight are to improve soil drainage through tillage, use raised beds and reduce soil compaction. Alternate hosts include beans (snap and lima), cucurbits (pumpkin, melons, cucumbers, etc.), eggplants and tomatoes.

Fumigants such as K-pam. Vapam and Telone will reduce plant death, but fumigation should not be used as a stand-alone practice. Fumigants and fungicides, used in an overall disease management program, which includes cultural practices, is the best approach.

The fungicides available for Phytophthora blight control are, at best, suppressants of disease. Forum, Gavel, Tanos, Presidio, Revus and Ranman are labeled. Bob Mulrooney wrote a good overview of treatments in a Weekly Crop Update article a few weeks ago

phytophthora fruit rot on watermelonPhytophthora fruit rot on watermelon

"felt-like" Phytophthora sporulation on watermelon fruit“Felt-like” sporulation on fruit


Downy Mildew on Cucurbits – August 21, 2009

Friday, August 21st, 2009

Bob Mulrooney, Extension Plant Pathologist;

The weather continues to be very favorable for downy mildew. It is spreading now to hosts other than cucumber. Cantaloupe, watermelon, winter squash and pumpkin have all been infected in the region. The spots are much smaller on butternut squash and watermelon but still produce the small tuft of fungus growth on the underside of the leaf. All cucurbit growers need to be including a fungicide specific for downy mildew in their spray rotation such as Previcur Flex, Ranman, Presidio, or Tanos at this time. Follow the label directions for plant-back restrictions, mixing partners, such as Bravo and mancozeb, and adjuvants. See the 2009 Commercial Vegetable Productions Recommendations for more information. Check the Cucurbit Downy Mildew ipmPIPE web site as well for more information.

cucurbit downy mildew symptoms on watermeloncucurbit downy mildew symptoms on watermelon

Downy mildew on the upper surface of watermelon leaves. Fungal growth on the underside of the leaves is often sparse.

Keep Scouting for Lima Bean Downy Mildew

Friday, August 21st, 2009

Bob Mulrooney, Extension Plant Pathologist;

Continue to scout fields for downy mildew. The recent hot weather is less favorable but the high humidity and morning fog might counteract the heat and provide conditions for the fungus to survive until the temperatures cool off. Areas that are getting thundershowers should be checked often for downy. See articles in past issues of WCU for pictures and more information (WCU17:22 and WCU17:20).