Posts Tagged ‘19:9’

Grain Marketing Highlights – May 20, 2011

Friday, May 20th, 2011

Carl German, Extension Crops Marketing Specialist;

Commodity Markets Gain Strength on a Myriad of Factors

Corn Analysis
U.S. corn planting continued to lag the five year average for the week ending May 15 in Monday afternoon’s release of USDA’s Weekly Crop Progress report. Sixty-three percent of the nation’s corn crop was reported as planted, twelve points behind the five-year-average. Emergence was reported at twenty-one percent, eighteen points behind the average. On the surface the planting progress doesn’t strike one as being all that bad, however, what has commodity traders in a quandary are questions concerning flooded acres, prevented planting claims, continuing rain delays, frost damage, and lost acreage. We are not likely to know the extent of acreage shifts and/or lost acres for at least a couple of months. Corn prices have turned higher in the last four trading days as a result. Additionally, the Dow and energy prices are lending support. This is a year where we have no margin of error for U.S. corn production. In May, USDA projected 2011 U.S. corn production at 13.505 billion bushels assuming 92.2 million acres planted and 85.1 million acres harvested at 158.7 bushels per acre (about 2 bushels per acre below trend). Traders now expect further adjustments to be made to the U.S. corn production estimate. The weekly export sales report was bullish for corn, although shipments are running five percent behind the projected pace.

Soybean Analysis
U.S. soybean planting was reported to be twenty-two percent complete, nine points behind the average. However, it is important to note that questions surrounding the soybean market, at the present time, have more to do with whether intended corn acres switch to soybeans due to necessity, eventually getting too late to plant corn. It will take about three weeks, around the 10 to mid-June, before that question can be answered. In the meantime, the soybean market appears to be getting a boost from the corn and wheat markets. The export sales report for soybeans is price neutral to bearish this week.

Wheat Analysis
Spring wheat planting was reported as thirty-six percent complete, forty points behind the average. Eleven percent of spring planted wheat was emerged, thirty-three points behind the average. Twenty-six percent of the winter wheat crop was reported to be in good condition as compared to fifty-two percent last year. Only six percent of winter wheat was reported to be in excellent condition, lagging last year by eight points. Generally, wheat thrives better under drier as opposed to wet conditions. This year parts of Kansas and the Southern Plains are experiencing severe drought, while the Northern tier, where spring wheat is planted is extremely wet. Suffice it to say that commodity traders are anticipating a reduction in 2011 wheat production. Again, we will know the extent of the damage to the wheat crop within the next two months. Reportedly, parts of Europe are also experiencing reductions in their intended wheat production. Europe is in the grip of a drought which could have devastating effects on yields. Conditions are said to be worsening daily in France, Germany, the U.K. and Poland–which account for around 65% of the 27-nation bloc’s wheat crop–and more heat and dryness are expected in May. France, Western Europe’s largest producer expects to grow less than 35 million tons, compared with 35.6 million tons in 2010.

USDA Export Sales Report 05/19
Pre-report estimates for weekly export sales of soybeans ranged from 7.3 to 14.7 million bushels. The weekly report showed total old-crop export sales of 6.1 million bushels, above the 2.2 million bushels needed stay on pace with USDA’s demand projection of 1.55 billion bushels. Total shipments of 4.3 million bushels were considerably below the 12.2 million bushels needed this week.

Pre-report estimates had weekly corn export sales at 31.5 to 39.4 million bushels. The weekly report placed total export sales (old-crop and new-crop) at 44.5 million bushels, with old-crop sales of 33.2 million bushels, well above the 15.8 million bushels needed to stay on pace with USDA’s demand projection of 1.9 billion bushels. Total shipments of 37.9 million bushels were slightly below the 42.2 million bushels needed this week.

Pre-report estimates for wheat ranged between 16.5 to 27.6 million bushels. The weekly report placed total export sales (old-crop and new-crop) at 29.4 million bushels, with old-crop sales of 4.7 million bushels, bringing total sales to 1.3 billion bushels, above USDA’s 1.275 billion bushel demand projection for the current marketing year. Shipments of 29.2 million bushels were well below the 51.4 million bushels needed. This report is considered bearish due to the shipment pace lagging the projection with only two weeks left in the marketing year.

Market Strategy
Currently, Dec ‘11 corn futures are trading at $6.68; Nov ‘11 soybeans at $13.45; and July ‘11 SRW wheat at $8.12 per bushel. These prices represent about a 40 cent improvement for new crop corn, 50 cents for soybeans, and about 90 cents per bushel for SRW wheat from last week’s recent lows. Some profit taking is likely to occur while traders anticipate their next move. What happens next will be largely weather dependent.

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


Postemergence Pokeweed Control

Friday, May 20th, 2011

Mark VanGessel, Extension Weed Specialist;

A few questions have come in about controlling common pokeweed postemergence in field corn. We had a trial a few years ago with tall pokeweed (sprayed in late June) and had results similar to a study contacted at Southern Illinois University. Dicamba [Banvel, Clarity, Sterling]; Distinct; NorthStar, and Callisto were the best treatments for conventional corn hybrids. Glyphosate was also effective if Roundup Ready corn was planted. Our trial did not include Lightning, but the SIU trial reported good control with Lightning with Clearfield corn. For soybeans, glyphosate is the best option. In non-Roundup Ready soybeans, Synchrony was fair (but requires STS-soybeans) or FirstRate which was only fair in the SIU trial.


Getting the Most from Your Hay Operation (For Those Who Primarily Feed Their Own Hay)

Friday, May 20th, 2011

Richard Taylor, Extension Agronomist;

On my way to work each day, I drive by a dairy farm and often enjoy watching all the activities occurring on the farm. The thing that has struck me in particular over the years is not just how much hay has been stored along field borders and roadways and around the barnyard in the fall; but how much of that hay remained the next year and beyond (Photos 1, 2 and 3). I watched as the oldest round bales stored on the wood line gradually decayed and disappeared. This was caused in part due to on-ground storage that allowed moisture to wick into the bale (Photo 3). Being somewhat dense (on occasion), it took me a long time before I realized that he was actually cutting hay for quantity rather than for quality; I guess the grower had in mind that some of the low quality hay could be used in the TMR feed as a fiber source while the remainder could be fed to dry cows or heifers if feed ran short.

Photo 1. Hay (6 months post harvest) stored in round bales along wood’s edge on a dairy farm. This hay although in contact with the soil was stored at the top of a hill but the quality was declining and the amount of spoiled hay was rapidly increasing.

Photo 2. Hay from previous years’ harvest stored along field edge on a dairy farm. Wrapped in this fashion, soil moisture was not causing spoilage although wildlife damaging the plastic was contributing to hay losses. Late in the spring this hay was actually fed to the herd.

Photo 3. Hay stored in contact with the ground along a wood’s edge deteriorates with time. At another location with twine wrapped bales, I was too late to even find recognizable bales.

The next question that came to mind was whether cutting hay for quantity rather than quality is the correct way to manage this valuable resource when year after year more old hay is added to the fence line compost line. With diesel prices at or near four dollars per gallon at the pump, nitrogen and other fertilizer inputs near all time highs, and hay equipment and supplies also very expensive, producers need to place a higher value on the hay they do harvest. For dairy producers, the cost of importing feed onto the farm is another consideration when deciding whether to harvest hay for quality or quantity. That extra effort to harvest hay for quality rather than quantity can really pay premium dollars in reduced input costs and, if you sell hay, in the price you can charge customers.

Still there will be times when there’s a mismatch between the weather and the forecast that results in poor quality hay lying in the field and to preserve the health of the grass or legume stand the hay must be removed. Other times, a long period of poor hay-making weather will result in an overly mature hay crop. In these cases, you may end up with “fence-row” hay. One thing you can do in these situations is to minimize your hay making inputs by using the simplest, least expensive method of removing the hay from the field. If it’s still good enough, use this hay for animals with minimal nutritional requirements or advertize and sell it as mulch or compost hay. Creative marketing may just help you cover at least a portion of the input costs incurred.



Small Grain Disease Update – May 20, 2011

Friday, May 20th, 2011

Bob Mulrooney, Extension Plant Pathologist;

Fusarium Head Blight (Scab) in Wheat Update: Although the recent weather pattern early this week has been favorable for head scab in wheat, most of the wheat in Sussex and Kent County has completed flowering by now and not likely to become infected with scab. If you have wheat that is flowering now consider a fungicide application of Caramba or Prosaro. Wheat that is about 5 days or more past initial flowering cannot be treated. The labels state the last stage of application is mid-flower and there is a 30-day to harvest restriction.

Scab identified on barley. We just received a sample of ‘Nomini’ barley from Kent County and have confirmed a scab (Fusarium head blight) infection on the top 6-7 kernels. The sample was only two heads and several plants but growers will want to keep an eye out for bleached heads on barley from here on out. Nothing can be done now but increasing fan speed on the combine at harvest which can help blow the lighter chaffy infected grains out of the combine. Hopefully this turns out to be an isolated find.


Agronomic Crop Insects – May 20, 2011

Friday, May 20th, 2011

Joanne Whalen, Extension IPM Specialist;

When checking regrowth for damage from weevils, be sure to also consider damage from adults. If economic levels were present before cutting and no spray was applied, both adults and larvae can hold back re-growth. With the cool, rainy conditions we have had this week, there may not have been enough “stubble” heat to control the weevils with a cutting. Potato leafhoppers are now present in fields so be sure to sample on a weekly basis after the first cutting. Once the damage is found, yield loss has already occurred. The treatment thresholds are 20 per 100 sweeps on alfalfa 3 inches or less in height, 50 per 100 sweeps in 4-6 inch tall alfalfa and 100 per 100 sweeps in 7-11 inch tall alfalfa.

Field Corn – Cutworm Alert
During the past week, we have seen a steady increase in the number of no-till fields with economic damage from cutworms. Damage has mainly occurred in fields that were not treated with a cutworm product at planting. In some cases, cutting damage has been well above the threshold of 3% cut plants in spike to 2-leaf stage corn. Be sure to scout fields carefully for cutworms – in some cases you will need to check fields twice a week to be sure you do not miss an economic population. In addition to cut plants, be sure to watch for leaf feeding which can be an indication of the potential for significant cutting damage and yield loss.

With the recent cool, wet weather, slugs continue to be a problem in no-till corn, especially in fields with a history of problems. In fields where Deadline MPs have been applied at a rate of 10 lbs per acre and the distribution of pellets is at 5 per square foot, control has been good and plants have been able to grow ahead of the damage. The best control with the Deadline M-Ps has been observed when applications were made and there was at least one day of sunny weather after an application. In general slugs stop feeding in 2-3 hours even though it may take the slugs 2-3 days to die. There is also a 2ee recommendation for Lannate LV for slug management that was issued for corn last season. In the past, evening applications of 30% nitrogen when the plants are dry and wind conditions are low has resulted in varying levels of slug control. The rate used in past years was 20 gallons per acre of 30% N on corn in the spike to one-leaf stage. The mix was cut 50/50 with water to reduce – but not eliminate — plant injury. Slugs seem to be most active on the plants between midnight and 3 AM so applications of nitrogen have been most effective when applied between those hours. Remember that when it comes to slug management all of the available control tactics generally reduce the slug activity – buying time to enable the crop to outgrow the problem.

Small Grains
We continue to find armyworms and cereal leaf beetles in barley and wheat fields that were not treated. Population levels remain variable throughout the state so scouting fields will be the only way to determine if an economic level is present. Although armyworm can attack both wheat and barley, they can quickly cause significant losses in barley. Heavy defoliation of the flag leaf can result in significant economic loss in wheat and barley. Armyworms generally begin head clipping when all vegetation is consumed and the last succulent part of the plant is the stem just below the grain head. Larvae can feed on the kernel tips of the wheat, resulting in premature ripening and lower test weight.

As barley and wheat approach harvest, the treatment options change due to the pre-harvest interval (the waiting period between application and harvest). In addition, not all materials are labeled on both crops so be sure to carefully read all labels. Lannate has a 7 day pre-harvest interval (PHI); therefore, it is the only labeled option on barley at this time. All other products labeled on barley are not an option since they have a 30 day PHI. In addition to Lannate, there are a number of pyrethroids labeled on wheat with varying PHIs: (a) beta-cyfluthrin (Baythroid XL;30 day PHI), (b) cyfluthrin (Tombstone; 30 day PHI) ), (c) gamma-cyhalothrin (Proaxis;30 day PHI), (d) lambda-cyhalothrin (Warrior II and generics; 30 day PHI); and (e) zeta-cypermethrin (Mustang MAX, Respect; 14 day PHI). It should also be noted that some pyrethroid labels say control of small larvae only so be sure to carefully read the label. Remember, the label is the law so be sure to read the label for rates as well as all restrictions.

As the earliest beans emerge, be sure to watch carefully for slug damage. Remember, if you had a problem in past years, the slugs may still be present in fields and can quickly damage soybeans if present as plants emerge. Be sure to also watch fields carefully for bean leaf beetles and grasshoppers. Small grasshoppers have already been detected in fields before planting. Early detection and control of small grasshoppers is necessary to achieve control. As a reminder, OP insecticides (e.g. dimethoate or Lorsban) cannot be combined with SU/ALS herbicides (like Harmony GT). Since other materials may also state restrictions regarding combinations of insecticide and herbicides, you should be sure to check all labels carefully before combining insecticides and herbicides.


Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs Damaging Peaches and Apples in WV, NJ, MD and VA

Friday, May 20th, 2011

Joanne Whalen, Extension IPM Specialist;

Over the past week, we received reports of Brown Marmorated Stink Bug adults being found in peaches and apple trees in West Virginia, NJ, Western Maryland and Virginia. So far, we have not heard of reports on the Eastern Shore but it is important that you scout orchards for activity. Reports from Dr. Tracy Leskey (USDA/ARS in WVA) indicated that the feeding in peaches was concentrated in the upper third of the canopy – and in some situations it appears that this is also the case with our native green and brown stink bugs. Please see the photos (courtesy of Dr. Tracy Leskey) of damage to young peaches online at


Spartan Charge for Lima Beans

Friday, May 20th, 2011

Mark VanGessel, Extension Weed Specialist;

There is a 24c Label for use of Spartan Charge for lima beans in Delaware (not available in other states in the region). It is for control of ALS-resistant pigweed (Group 2 herbicides). It is a lower rate of the active ingredient (sulfentrazone) than is used in soybeans. The rate will provide early-season control of pigweed, but do not expect to see significant control of most species on the label due to this lower rate. The level of crop safety is marginal with Spartan Charge and so overlaps will cause injury. Also, sandy soils or sandy knolls in fields are likely to show injury. Injury is also likely if used early-season. Under conditions of cool soils and sandy soils, less than the labeled rate is suggested. We do not have experience with Spartan Charge on lima beans under a wide range of conditions, so be cautious and consider using it only in fields with known history of ALS-resistant pigweed.


Grower’s Guide to Understanding the Protectant Fungicides (FRAC Codes M1 – M9)

Friday, May 20th, 2011

Bob Mulrooney, Extension Plant Pathologist;

The following article is excerpted from Rutgers Plant and Pest Advisory Newsletter and is a good refresher on fungicide basics. It was written by Andy Wyenandt, Ph.D., Specialist in Vegetable Pathology, Rutgers University

Protectant (or contact) fungicides, such as copper (FRAC code M1) and sulfur (M2), the dithiocarbamates (mancozeb, FRAC code M3) and chlorothalonil (M5) belong to FRAC groups which have a low chance for fungicide resistance to develop. Protectant fungicides typically offer broad spectrum control for many different pathogens. So, why wouldn’t fungi develop resistance to protectant fungicides? Protectant fungicides are used all the time, often in a weekly manner throughout much of the growing season. The answer is in their modes-of-action (MOA). Protectant fungicides have MOA’s that affect (i.e., prevent) fungal development in different manners. In inorganic compounds, sulfur (M2) prevents fungal growth (i.e., spore germination) by disrupting electron transport in the mitochondria. Coppers (M1), on the other hand, cause non-specific denaturation of proteins. Chlorothalonil (M5) inactivates amino acids, proteins and enzymes by combining with thiol (sulfur) groups. In all cases, a protectant fungicide’s chemistry disrupts fungal growth and development either non-specifically or in multiple manners. Because of this, there is a much lower chance for fungi to develop resistance to them.

Protectant fungicides are contact fungicides, meaning they must be present on the leaf surface prior to the arrival of the fungus and must then come into direct contact with the fungus. Protectant fungicides can be redistributed on the leaf surface with rainfall or overhead irrigation, but can also be washed off by too much of either! Remember, that with protectant fungicides, any new growth is unprotected until the next protectant fungicide is applied, in other words, protectant fungicides are not systemic and do not have translaminar activity like some of the newer chemistries. Protectant fungicides should be tank-mixed with fungicides with higher risks for resistance development. Protectant fungicides used in this manner will help slow (or reduce the chances for) fungicide resistance development on your farm. In any case, it’s best to always follow the label and tank mix protectant fungicides with those fungicides with a high-risk for resistance development when required to do so.


Bacterial Fruit Blotch Epidemiology

Friday, May 20th, 2011

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

I have continued to receive questions about bacterial fruit blotch (BFB), including how it spreads through a transplant house and the production field during the growing season. To understand BFB it is important to understand a little about its’ epidemiology.

Infected transplants are the most common source of BFB inoculum in Delmarva fields. (However, it can overwinter on debris and on infected volunteer plants). The reason that transplants remain a major source of inoculum is that 100% detection of infested seed is not possible. Many steps are taken by seed companies and transplant growers to avoid infestation, detect infection, and eliminate the disease. However, currently we don’t have the technology to accomplish this.

The environmental conditions in watermelon transplant production houses are highly conducive to disease development and spread of BFB. High temperatures, high humidity, overhead irrigation and high plant populations favor BFB and result in rapid symptom development. As a result, detection of BFB in transplant production is common.

BFB spreads from plant to plant on hands or equipment, in splashing water (irrigation or rain), or in aerosols. Once it lands on a plant it enters (infects) through wounds or stomates.

In commercial fields, spread of BFB will occur most rapidly under warm, humid conditions and during rainfall or overhead irrigation. When the bacterium is deposited on the watermelon flower, it can penetrate through stomates and infect fruit. The infections that cause fruit loss can only take place during flowering and fruit development before wax deposition (wax seals the stomates). That means that the yield damaging infections occur only during flowering and for about 3 weeks afterward. Although infections occur early in the season, fruit symptoms often do not develop until harvest. Chemical treatments (i.e. copper) to protect the crop should be applied before and during flowering, and for three weeks afterward.

Low humidity in watermelon fields prevents the development of both foliar and fruit symptoms. In fact infested seed can be produced from completely symptomless plants. Simply put, infected plants can appear symptomless. (This is one reason why, during seed production, infections cannot be completely eliminated based on symptoms).


Bolting in Spring-Planted Vegetables

Friday, May 20th, 2011

Gordon Johnson, Extension Vegetable & Fruit Specialist;

Bolting is the term used for flower stalk formation in vegetables. Bolting response may be related to temperature, daylength, or a combination.

Bolting in spinach, lettuce, and some radishes (oriental types) will occur naturally as days get longer. High temperatures will accelerate bolting in spinach and lettuce.

Many mustard family plants need a cold period along with lengthening days to flower. The amount of cold needed depends on the species and variety. Mustards are very prone to cold initiated spring bolting; turnips, Chinese cabbage, and salad radishes require more cold to initiate the bolting response.

In the cole crop group, cabbage planted very early in cold springs may bolt and premature flowering in broccoli, cauliflower, kale, and collards also occurs when planted too early, or if the spring is abnormally cold. However, cole crop transplants have to be of a certain age to be susceptible to this cold-initiated bolting.

Other biennial vegetables such as beets, carrots, and onions also can be induced to bolt but only once plants have reached a certain size (they are past the juvenile growth stage). This is uncommon in our region.

Controlling bolting starts with planting during the recommended planting window. Early planting will contribute to bolting in some crops (such as cabbage), late planting in others (such as lettuce).

Select varieties that are adapted to the spring planting season (an example would be Savannah mustard). Chose slow bolting varieties of spinach and lettuce. Choose spring adapted varieties of oriental radishes and Chinese cabbage.

One issue that complicates this is the use of high tunnels for early production. High tunnels allow for earlier planting but cold snaps still may drop temperatures enough to cause the cold induced flowering response in many of these crops.