Posts Tagged ‘19:22’

University of Delaware Lima Bean Twilight Meeting

Friday, August 19th, 2011

Thursday, September 15, 2011     4:30 p.m.
UD Carvel Research and Education Center
16483 County Seat Highway
Georgetown, DE

The University of Delaware will be hosting a lima bean twilight meeting and tour on Thursday, September 15. Featured will be preliminary research results from yield trials with UD breeding materials. Other research on lima beans at UD will be discussed including breeding and evaluation for disease resistance, weed control, disease management, insect management, inoculation trials, cropping systems, regrowth cropping, and irrigation.  Researchers will be on hand to discuss their work and present current results. There will be a wagon tour to visit late season plots.

Light refreshments will be provided.

Please RSVP by Wednesday, September 14 by calling 302-856-2585 ext. 540 or emailing

Delaware State University Small Farms Program Niche Market Field Day and Open House

Friday, August 19th, 2011

Tuesday, August 30, 2011  10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.
884 Smyrna-Leipsic Rd.
Smyrna, DE 19977

Learn about niche market crops, such as pole lima beans, ethnic crops, organic production, and how to extend your season with a high tunnel. See demonstrations on different tomato stringing and Integrated Pest Management techniques. FSA and NRCS representatives will also be presenting.

Register by August 26. To register and if you have any questions or special needs, please contact Mike at (302) 857-6438 or

Aronia Twilight Tour

Friday, August 19th, 2011

Tuesday, August 23     5:30 p.m.
Wye Research and Education Center
211 Farm Lane, Queenstown, MD

University of Maryland Extension will conduct a Twilight Tour of the Aronia research orchard. Participants will learn about highly nutritive Aronia fruit; varieties and yield; plant densities and propagation; cultural and production methods; fertility practices; and experience ripe Aronia fruit, along with tasting fresh Aronia products.

A light dinner fare will be available.

The event is free, however, registration is requested. Please contact Debby Dant: 410-827-8056 X 115,, if you need any additional information and/or to register.

More information at:  

Reducing Weed Seed Production in Harvested Fields

Friday, August 19th, 2011

Mark VanGessel, Extension Weed Specialist;

Many annual and some perennial weeds are flowering, particularly those that emerged early in the summer. Destroying the plant or seed heads now will prevent most of these plants from producing mature seed. If these plants are mowed off, they are likely to regrow and eventually produce seed, but the quantity of seed produced will be dramatically reduced. Many of these fields will need at least one additional mowing to prevent seed production. Disking or a non-selective herbicide is another option to prevent seed production.

Dual Has a 24c Registration for Spinach in Delaware

Friday, August 19th, 2011

Mark VanGessel, Extension Weed Specialist;

Delaware has been granted a state registration (24c) for use of Dual Magnum in spinach. Growers in other states need to check with officials to ensure you have this registration. A few reminders: rate is 0.33 to 0.67 pt/A to the soil surface as a preemergence application i.e. prior to crop and weed emergence. Dual will not control emerged weeds. Irrigating spinach within two days of Dual application will ensure it gets moved into the soil. Restrictions: (1) Do not mechanically incorporate. (2) Do not apply this product through any type of irrigation system. (3) Only one application of Dual MAGNUM is permitted per spinach growing season. (4) Do not exceed more than 0.67 pt/A Dual MAGNUM. (5) Do not harvest with 50 days of application. Dual can cause injury to spinach and end user or grower accepts the risk of crop injury.

Grain Marketing Highlights – August 19, 2011

Friday, August 19th, 2011

Carl German, Extension Crops Marketing Specialist;

Life-of-Contract High Recorded for New Crop Corn Futures
New crop corn futures reached a new life-of-contract high this week on Wednesday, August 17 ($7.33 per bushel), closing at $7.25 per bushel. Wednesday’s day trade settlement price was two cents lower than the previous day’s close. The recent rally began with the release of USDA’s August 11 Supply and Demand report that lowered the national average corn yield projection to 153 bushels per acre, well below trend line projections and 5.7 bushels per acre lower than the July estimate. Analysts are now looking at the probability of achieving the August estimate both in terms of yield potential and acreage. A recent study at the University of Illinois depicts that Illinois and Iowa, the largest corn producing states, need near trend-line yields to meet USDA’s 12.9 million bushel projection. Go to to view the analysis.

Market Strategy
An old adage says that short crops get smaller as the season progresses. However, that may or may not be the case, much depends upon August weather. The commodity markets remain extremely volatile due to production and global economic concerns. We can expect large price swings in commodity prices to continue. The weekly export sales report, released this morning, was bearish for U.S. corn, bearish for U.S. soybeans, and bullish for U.S. wheat. A rule of thumb in grain marketing suggests that rallies be rewarded by advancing sales where needed. Currently, Dec ‘11 corn futures are trading at $7.11; Nov ‘11 soybeans at $13.53; with July ‘12 SRW wheat at $8.03 per bushel.

Source: DTN

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

Thinking of Renovating or Planting a New Pasture or Hay Field? Part 3: Pasture and Hay Planting Time Has Arrived

Friday, August 19th, 2011

Richard Taylor, Extension Agronomist;

In previous articles, I’ve discussed some of the decisions and planning that needs to be taken ahead of planting hay and pasture fields but we now have entered the ideal planting time for forage grasses and legumes. This holds true at least for those parts of the state that have received the recent rainfall — some areas in southern Delaware still have inadequate soil moisture levels to even think about attempting to seed new forage fields. For those areas that have remained dry and do not receive the rain currently in the forecast over the next five days, the decision to plant will have to be delayed until adequate surface and subsoil moisture is present.

Some species have specific requirements that limit how late in the fall you can plant. For example, reed cararygrass requires at least six weeks between planting and the average date of the first frost, otherwise the crop can be winterkilled or be severely weakened over the winter so that it’s unable to compete with the usual weed competition crops experience in the spring. Other species, such as Kentucky bluegrass, just take a very long time (21 to 28 days) to germinate and begin fall growth and so should not be planted very late in the fall. Before deciding to plant a species or mixture, be sure to study the species in question to avoid problems with late plantings.

In other areas of the state that received some of the recent downpours and that now have adequate soil moisture reserves, planting can begin. Early planting can lead to well established forage seedings that will be able to survive the winter and get off to an early vigorous start the following spring. Early planted stands are much better at competing against weeds the next spring and will often yields much better as well. Work by Dr. Marvin Hall at the Pennsylvania State University showed significant yield decreases for all forage species tested as the date of fall planting was delayed with higher losses occurring the further north the site was located.

If planting into a prepared/tilled seedbed, be sure that all weeds have been killed during soil preparation and that a good smooth (clod-free), firm (your shoe should not sink deeper than the sole level) seedbed is prepared for planting. Seed can then be broadcast over the seedbed and then firmed into the soil with any number of devices but seed should only be pressed into the soil and not buried more than 1/8 to ¼ inch deep. Covering the seed is ideal since the seed will be able to take in water from the soil but not be quickly dried out again by the sun’s rays. Seed can also be planted using a brillion seeder followed by a cultipacker or roller or seed can be placed in the soil using a drill. Since drills place the seed in rows from 4 to 8 inches apart, depending on the drill, I generally recommend that you drill at half the recommended seeding rate and run the drill at about a 45 degree angle across the field. This will help bring the rows closer together and allow the seedlings to more rapidly fill in the space so competing weeds can’t find space to grow.

Another method of seeding is to use a no-till drill following an herbicide burndown program. This is especially useful when perennial weeds with underground rhizome systems are present. Examples of these weeds are hemp dogbane, Canada thistle, and horsenettle. Although several herbicide treatments are often needed to get these weeds under control, one of the best times to apply herbicide is in the fall when the weeds are sending carbohydrates (sugars) down into the underground storage organs (rhizomes). If a systemic herbicide that can move in the plant is used, it will be taken with the sugars down to the rhizomes and help kill the meristem buds or next year’s growing sites in the weed. Read the herbicide label for exact requirements between treatment and seeding but generally for Roundup® or glyphosate you should wait several weeks after herbicide application before planting.

The no-till drills are similar to other grain drills in that the seed is placed in rows and then the open slot in the soil is closed with some type of packer wheels. I again recommend that you calibrate the drill for half the seeding rate and go over the area twice at a 45 degree angle to minimize the distance between rows.

In all cases I’ve talked about above, be certain to calibrate your seeding equipment and make sure the drills or other equipment is clean and functional before entering the field. These days forage seed is quite expensive so make the most of the money you spend by accurately calibrating your equipment. This involves the following procedure: weigh out some seed to add to the planting equipment, determine the width of area covered with seed by the equipment (in feet), run it for a certain number of feet (the length—say 50 or 100 feet); multiplying the two numbers together to get the number of square feet covered by the seed; divide that number by 43,560 (number of square feet in one acre); and finally weigh the amount of seed remaining in the equipment. Subtract the final weight from initial weight and divide that number by the number of acres you covered (usually this will be a number such as 0.15 or even 0.015 or other very small number). If your seed weights were in pounds of seed then the number you calculate at the end will be in pounds per acre or if you had access to an egg scale or something that measures in grams then divide the number of grams of seed used by 454 (grams per pound) to obtain pounds of seed and then divide that number by the number of acres planted in the calibration test. If all else fails, email me or give me a call and I’ll help you do the calculations.

The other articles in this series are:

Thinking of Renovating or Planting a New Pasture or Hay Field? Part 2: Planning to Planting

Thinking of Renovating or Planting a New Pasture or Hay Field? Part 1: The Pre-Planning Process

Fall Pasture and Hay Fertilization

Friday, August 19th, 2011

Richard Taylor, Extension Agronomist;

I had a question this week from a hay producer about whether it was best to apply the soil test recommended fertilizer the first thing in the spring or not. Since his crop was an alfalfa orchardgrass mix, he was not thinking about nitrogen (N) which is the first thing most people think of in the spring. He was asking about potash (K) and phosphorus (P). The answer really lies in the function of these nutrients.

Phosphorus really helps plants establish or grow a better root system and we’ve discovered that root development really goes on for quite some time in the fall for two reasons. First, we generally get more rain in the fall; and, when that is combined with the lower air temperatures and shorter days, it means that soil moisture levels are usually higher in the fall than in the summer months. Secondly in the fall, we’ve found that the soil temperatures stay warm until fairly late in the year unlike spring time when soils start off very cold from winter and tend to warm up slowly throughout the spring. The combination of available moisture and warm soil temperatures and the accumulation of fixed carbohydrates (sugars) and translocation of the sugars down to the roots means that fall applied P will further help plants establish a vigorous root system for better growth during the next spring growing season.

Potash has a number of functions in the plant ranging from enzyme activation to stress reduction to the control of transpiration and water use in the plant. For us, fall K fertilization helps plants lower the freezing point of the cell sap so there will be less winterkill or winter freeze damage to the plant crowns. In addition, fall K helps plants fight off disease problems and other pest injury. For K, I prefer that growers split their application with half going on the pasture or hay field in late May or early June and the other half going on in late August or September.

Finally thanks to research in the turfgrass industry, the forage industry is beginning to discover the benefits of adding at least some N in late summer or early fall to help grasses regrow after summer grazing or summer drought. Some recommendations even suggest a second application in mid-October that the previously N stimulated grass can pick up and store for early green-up growth the next spring. This second application negates the need for an early spring N application and seems to help prevent excessive forage growth the next spring. Too many people apply much of the nitrogen forages need in the spring causing such excessive growth that their grazing plan can’t keep up with it or causing so much yield in the first hay cutting that there is a significant delay in being able to dry and cure the hay. This can lead to poor quality first cut hay or to hay that retains too much moisture so that it either spoils or is at risk for spontaneous combustion.

In conclusion, think about changing your fertilization timing from the early spring to early fall. There are many potential benefits from this change as outlined above.

Agronomic Crop Insects – August 19, 2011

Friday, August 19th, 2011

Joanne Whalen, Extension IPM Specialist;

Be sure to watch for fall armyworm, beet armyworm, webworms and corn earworm which can quickly defoliate alfalfa. Mixed populations of larvae can be found in fields and controls should be applied before significant defoliation occurs. Also, larvae must be small to achieve effective control. Defoliators can be destructive in last cuttings, especially during drought conditions. When defoliators are present, early harvest may eliminate the problem. Although there are no specific thresholds, as a general guideline if the crop is more than 2 weeks from cutting and 25–30% of the terminals are damaged, treatment is suggested.

Be sure to continue to scout carefully for earworms during the next few weeks. Local trap catches continue to have high moth activity and we are getting reports of an increase in the number of locations throughout the state with economic numbers.

Economic levels and hot spots of high levels of corn earworm (CEW) continue to be found in soybean fields in Kent and Sussex counties but they are not present in every field. In general, most larvae are still small but we are hearing reports of a few more medium size larvae in the mix. Although they have been mainly found in dry land and irrigated double crop fields, they have also been found in a few full season fields. The only way to know if you have an economic level will be to scout all fields. The best way to calculate a threshold is to access the Corn Earworm Calculator ( which estimates a threshold based on the actual treatment cost and bushel value you enter. With the recent rains, I have been asked if it will help to reduce CEW populations. Although extremely small larvae may be susceptible to the rains, we have not seen any indication of populations being reduced by the rains. It is too early to decide if weather will play a role in moderating populations.

As far as defoliators, grasshoppers and green cloverworm populations are starting to cause economic levels of defoliation in double crop and a few full season fields. Remember, that in addition to defoliation grasshoppers can feed on and/or scar pods. Beet armyworm and yellow striped armyworm can also be found, but so far generally at low to moderate levels. With all defoliators, you will need to estimate defoliation to make a treatment decision. In full season soybeans in the pod fill stage, the threshold is 10-15% defoliation. Remember, double crop soybeans cannot tolerate as much defoliation since they often do not reach the leaf area index needed for maximum yields. With the increase in diversity of caterpillars being found in fields, the following links have pictures that can help with identification:

Soybean aphid populations remain very low in our area; however, spraying for this insect has occurred in the Midwest. You should continue to scout for soybeans aphids, especially in later planted fields. This aphid can increase if the temperature turns cooler. Remember the threshold is 250 aphids per plant up until the R-5 stage and in some cases R-6 stage of plant development. You should also watch for beneficial insect activity that can help control populations.

Lastly, although populations of native brown and green stink bugs have been moderate in general, we continue to find fields with economic populations throughout the state (2.5 per 15 sweeps). The highest levels of brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) are still being found in soybean fields in New Castle County but they are also present in fields in Kent County. In many, but not all cases, the highest levels of BMSB can be found on field edges and when practical an edge treatment might be considered. You will still need to scout fields on a weekly basis after an edge treatment to be sure that economic levels have not moved into the field interiors.

Fruit Disorders in Watermelon

Friday, August 19th, 2011

Gordon Johnson, Extension Vegetable & Fruit Specialist;

There are a number of fruit disorders in watermelons that are being found in Delmarva fields at this time. One of the most common is sunscald or sunburn on fruits. This occurs when fruits are exposed to direct sunlight, especially on extremely hot days. Rind surfaces can reach temperatures exceeding 140º F. This kills rind cells and results in the sun burnt spots where the cells have died. Fruits with little or no vine cover are at most risk. Also at greater risk are watermelons with dark colored rinds.

Another disorder that is being found is water soaking in fruits. This occurs where excess water accumulates at the bottom of the fruit, leaving a water soaked appearance in the flesh when cut open. Water accumulates during cloudy weather when transpiration from fruits is low. This year we have also seen water soaking in fruits in fields where foliage has deteriorated. In this situation, water is still being translocated in the xylem but there is limited transpiration through the leaves. Watermelon fruits are still transpiring, but due to the nature of the fruit (thick rind, waxy surface); transpiration is lower than in leaf tissue, leading to water buildup in the fruit. A related disorder is watermelon splitting during handling. In fruits with excess water, the high turgor pressure makes the fruit susceptible to splitting as it is handled (i.e. harvested into busses or trucks, grading, and placing in bins). Even small drops will lead to these splits. This year as growers were irrigating heavily due to the high heat, the potential for excess water in fruits was much higher, especially in certain varieties.

Irregular ripening has been a problem in some fields this year, especially with watermelons that are late maturing. Watermelons are classified as non-climacteric that is they do not continue to ripen significantly after harvest. Other fruits, particularly those that soften, such as peaches, release ethylene gas during the ripening process and will continue to ripen after harvest. It was once thought that ethylene was not involved in watermelon ripening, however, in 2009, USDA researchers found that watermelons released a burst of ethylene at the white fruit stage. Watermelon fruit development and ripening also is dependent on the accumulation of sugars. Sugars are produced by photosynthesis in the foliage of the watermelon plant and are translocated to the fruit. So what is causing this irregular ripening seen this year? One possible explanation is deteriorating vine health. Loss of foliage or stem tissue due to diseases such as gummy stem blight or insect or mite feeding on leaves and stems can reduce the amount of sugars available to translocate into the fruit. In a field, variability in vine health therefore would lead to variability in fruit ripening. The burst of ethylene that researchers found could also be an issue. In plants where ethylene production is compromised, this could lead to later ripening or incomplete ripening. Potassium may also be an issue. Potassium is important in fruit ripening and low or variable potassium levels may lead to irregular ripening. In fields with pre-plant potassium applications only, heavy irrigation could leach potassium out of the root zone creating lower than normal levels in the soil and potential deficiencies leading to irregular ripening.