Posts Tagged ‘20:1’

WCU Volume 20, Issue 1 – March 2, 2012

Friday, March 2nd, 2012

PDF Version of WCU 20:1 – March 2, 2012

In this issue:

WCU Subscription Options for 2012: Mail, Fax, Email or Text

Vegetable Crops
Seed Corn Maggots (SCM) Control in Spring Planted Vegetables
Insecticide label Updates for Vegetable Crops
Sweet Corn Fungicide Label Updates
Processing Acres Up this Year
Pea Planting
Cover Crops that Did Not Winter-Kill
Pea Herbicides

Fruit Crops
Spotted Wing Drosophila Verified in Delaware
Be Sure to Monitor for Spotted Wing Drosophila in Strawberry and Brambles This Year
Strawberries, Row Covers & Freeze Protection

Agronomic Crops
Avipel Section 18 Request for Bird Management in Field Corn
Seed Corn Maggots (SCM) Control in Field Corn
Western Bean Cutworm Verified
Small Grain Diseases
Nematode Sampling for Soybean
First Split Nitrogen Application to Small Grain
For First Split Nitrogen Applications on Wheat, Is Price per Pound of N the Right Criteria to Use?
Small Grain Weed Control
A Quick Note on Cover Crop Management
Getting Your Pastures Off to a Fast Start
March 15 Sales Closing Date for Crop Insurance

Announcements
Cover Crop Demonstration Plots
Produce Food Safety Training: Kent/New Castle – March 21; Sussex – March 21
Food Safety Training for Potential On-Farm Food Entrepreneurs

Weather

Food Safety Training for Potential On-Farm Food Entrepreneurs

Friday, March 2nd, 2012

Saturday, March 24, 2012     8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
Delaware Department of Agriculture
2320 South DuPont Highway, Dover, DE 19901

Dr. Sue Snider, University of Delaware Cooperative Extension, will provide food safety training for potential on-farm food entrepreneurs who wish to produce non-potentially hazardous foods in their licensed on-farm kitchen. Participants must complete eight hours of training and pass a written test on the materials presented in order to receive a certificate and be eligible to have their on-farm kitchen inspected and to be licensed.

As a result of training in food safety, participants will be able to: Identify potentially hazardous and non-potentially hazardous foods, Appreciate foodborne pathogens and understand ways to control them, apply basic principles to reduce the risk of foodborne illness evaluate their plan for controlling potential microbial problems in their operation, and understand requirements of the regulations for farm produced non-potentially hazardous food items.

In January 2006, Delaware’s regulations governing “On-Farm Home Processing of Non-Potentially Hazardous Foods” were adopted. Farmers who wish to process non-potentially hazardous foods in their on-farm home kitchens for sale to the public at farmers’ markets, on-farm markets, or roadside stands must abide by these regulations. These regulations established standards of practice for on-farm home food processing operations that safeguard public health and provide consumers with food that is safe, unadulterated, and honestly presented.

The regulations provide definitions, define operator qualifications, and establish operation food safety and physical facility requirements. Non-potentially hazardous foods include: Baked breads, cakes, muffins, or cookies with a water activity of .85 or less; Candy (non-chocolate); Containerized fruit preparations consisting of jellies, jams, preserves, marmalades, and fruit butters with an equilibrated pH of 4.6 or less or a water activity of 0.85 or less; fruit pies with an equilibrated pH of 4.6 or less; herbs in vinegar with an equilibrated pH of 4.6 or less; honey and herb mixtures; dried fruit and vegetables; spices or herbs; maple syrup and sorghum; snack items such as popcorn, caramel corn, and peanut brittle; roasted nuts.

Under the regulations, potential on-farm food entrepreneurs will be required to have eight hours of food safety training and have their farm kitchens inspected.

Copies of these regulations and applications are available on the Delaware Department of Agriculture website: www.dda.delaware.gov

On-farm kitchens will be inspected by appointment.

Registration deadline for the training is March 19. Participants are asked to bring their own lunch. Beverages will be provided.

For more information, to register for the training, or to receive a copy of the regulations, please call or e-mail
Andrea Jackson at the Delaware Department of Agriculture: (302) 698-4545,
Andrea.Jackson@state.de.us

Farmers Market – Market Manager Training

Friday, March 2nd, 2012

Saturday, March 3, 2012      9:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Delaware Department of Agriculture
2320 South DuPont Highway, Dover, DE 19901

General food safety training for farmers market managers in Delaware will be given by Dr. Sue Snider. An optional GAP/GHP session will be given in the afternoon by Dr. Gordon Johnson from 1:30-3:30 to fulfill GAP/GHP training certificate requirements. For those that have already obtained their certification, updated information on recent produce related outbreaks, regulatory updates and national initiatives in produce food safety will be discussed so your attendance is also encouraged.

Produce Food Safety Training Sessions 2012: Good Agriculture Practices (GAPs) & Good Handling Practices (GHPs)

Friday, March 2nd, 2012

All produce growers who did not attend voluntary produce food safety (GAP/GHP) training sessions in 2011 or previous years are encouraged to do so in 2012. This training program is offered by the University of Delaware Cooperative Extension, and the training certificate is issued by the Delaware Department of Agriculture. Trainings are also sponsored by the Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association of Delaware. Training covers microbial food contaminants, outbreaks associated with produce, how produce becomes contaminated, Good Agricultural Practices in the field (water sources; animals, manures, and compost; field sanitation; and worker hygiene) and Good Handling Practices from harvest to sales (packing area sanitation, worker hygiene, storage, handling, and shipping).

For wholesale growers, this training certification program satisfies some wholesale buyer requirements that growers attend GAP/GHP training. For those expecting to go through an audit this year, this program will help you to know what is covered in an audit and how to develop your farm food safety plan.

Smaller growers who market locally are also encouraged to become trained and learn about best ways to keep produce safe from food borne pathogens.

Growers that market locally and do limited or no wholesale will only need to do 3 hours of training.

Growers that do significant wholesale must attend 6 hours of training to be certified.

TRAINING CERTIFICATION SESSIONS IN 2012

Kent or New Castle County Growers
Wednesday, March 21, 2012      9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.
Kent County Extension Office (UD Paradee Building)
69 Transportation Circle, Dover, DE 19901

Morning session, 9-noon, is for all growers large and small. Afternoon optional session is to complete training for those that do wholesale.

Call (302) 730-4000 to register. Contact Phillip Sylvester for more information.

Sussex County Growers
Wednesday, March 21, 2012     6:00-9:00 pm
Carvel Research and Education Center
16483 County Seat Highway, Georgetown, DE 19947

This training is for all growers large and small. A second session to fulfill requirements for wholesale growers will be scheduled as needed.

Contact Tracy Wootten or Cory Whaley for more information (302) 856-7303.

Cover Crop Demonstration Plots

Friday, March 2nd, 2012

The cover crop demo plots are still available for viewing at your leisure until March 11. The plots were planted on 2 dates and contain 16 different cover crop species and 7 cover crop mixtures.

The plots are located at the University of Delaware Carvel Research and Education Center, 16483 County Seat Hwy, Georgetown, DE 19947.

For more information or questions contact Cory Whaley (302-856-7303) or Phillip Sylvester (302-730-4000)

March 15 Sales Closing Date for Crop Insurance

Friday, March 2nd, 2012

Carl German, Extension Crops Marketing Specialist; clgerman@udel.edu

March 15, 2012 marks the sales closing/policy change date for many Delaware crops: corn, soybeans, processing beans, processing sweet corn, processing tomatoes, and grain sorghum, as well as the Adjusted Gross Revenue programs for whole farm insurance. Now is a good time for farmers to review their risk management strategies. One should consider the question, “Is my 2011 plan good enough for 2012?” Producers may want to expand coverage levels or consider different unit options in order to customize protection to fit their operation’s needs.

In 2010, the Risk Management Agency (RMA) introduced the Common Crop, or Combo, policy. This policy restructured the RMA’s crop insurance roster and streamlined and combined outdated policies into a single unit. The Combo policy features three insurance plans from which a farmer can build an insurance strategy:

Yield Protection – which protects the actual yield of the crop

Revenue Protection-which protects the revenue the crop yield provides and also insures against price volatility by taking the greater of a projected price and a harvest price to determine revenue guarantee

Revenue Protection with Harvest Price Exclusion -in which a projected price is solely used in determining revenue guarantee

Farmers have a choice between the three depending on which is best suited for their respective operations. The insurance policies are fully customizable, not only through the use of different levels of coverage and a choice of price elections, but also in the way a farm can be divided into insurance units. Each parcel of land that is insured independently of other parcels is called a unit. One operation can include multiple units or could be one whole farm unit. The choice is up to the producer, so long as certain stipulations are met. The idea behind dividing a farm into multiple units is that some disasters affect certain fields or parts of fields, while missing others. For instance, a producer can receive an indemnity on a unit of corn devastated by hail, while a nearby unit’s crop stands tall.

A Basic Unit includes all of a producer’s insurable acreage in a county by crop by share agreement (premiums are reduced for a basic unit). Optional Units can be used to divide a basic unit into separate units if it consists of two or more FSA farm serial numbers and certain record keeping requirements are met. Enterprise Units are, generally, all the insured acreage of a crop in a county (premium discounts and additional subsidy apply).

With the prime growing season on the horizon, Delaware farmers are gearing up for their busiest time of the year. Crop Insurance provides the safety net operations need in order meet each growing season with positivity and profitability.

Talk to your crop insurance agent today. If you do not have one, go to http://www.rma.usda.gov/tools/agent.html to find one or call 877-673-2767 for free information.

Information provided by Lucas Clifton, Farmers First Services.

Getting Your Pastures Off to a Fast Start

Friday, March 2nd, 2012

Richard Taylor, Extension Agronomist; rtaylor@udel.edu

This year, with very high hay prices and short supplies, there is a need for early pasture for grazing to stretch tight budgets and short hay supply. One of the few ways to stimulate growth in pasture is the application of nitrogen (N) at, or just before, pasture spring greenup. Even when N was applied in the early to mid-fall period to stimulate root system expansion and provide pasture grasses with stored N for early spring regrowth, an additional application of N just at greenup can be useful in promoting early pasturage.

A question often asked is whether it’s economical and safe to use granular urea on pastures at this time of year. To answer the economics in the question you need to understand what happens when urea is applied over top of a pasture. If conditions are favorable, urea applied to a pasture can react with water from the soil or vegetation and the ever present enzyme, urease, to convert into ammonium carbonate. Ammonium carbonate is a very unstable form of fertilizer N that breaks down spontaneously into ammonium (NH4+) or ammonia gas (NH3), if the pH is alkaline, water, and carbon dioxide. The ammonium then is either taken up by plants, or it attaches to the cation exchange sites on clay and soil organic matter, or is acted on by the nitrifying bacteria to become nitrate (NO3-). If conditions favor it staying ammonia, this is lost to the atmosphere and effectively raises your cost per pound of N. Urea frequently has the lowest cost per pound of N but if much N loss occurs the savings will be eliminated.

Conditions that favor ammonia loss, besides the presence of plant material that provides the urease enzyme, include warm temperatures (especially 70°F. and higher), high humidity or a moist soil surface, and high soil pH where the prill or urea granule rests on the soil. On Delaware soils where the pH is often maintained between 5.5 and 6.5 for pastures and where air and soil temperatures are cool to cold at this time of year, the loss of N from urea fertilizer is minimal. In fact when I worked in the Deep South, pastures or hay fields were fertilized with urea rather than ammonium nitrate all the way into April as long as the temperatures did not warm up into the mid to upper 70s. Through March at least in Delaware, fertilization with urea should be the most cost effective way to provide N for pastures since losses will be minimal.

What about animal health concerns? Since urea, like other fertilizers, is a salt, animals can become ill if they gain access to bags of urea fertilizer and consume too much of it. As long as the applicator practices safe handling and storage principles and ensures that the fertilizer is evenly spread without large clods, animal safety should be ensured. For those that prefer to err on the side of more caution, we suggest that they keep animals off a fertilized field until it has received from ¼ to ½ inch of rainfall. Rainfall or irrigation water will move the urea quickly into the soil eliminating any concerns for animal health; and, at the same time, will reduce or eliminate the concern with ammonia volatilization.

Another way to get pastures off to a fast start, which also plays into the above health concern, is to keep animals off pastures early in the greenup period to promote more growth. As an analogy, think of a tiny little tomato seedling. It can double in size a number of times but until it reaches a critical size the doubling amounts to only a very small increase in dry weight of the plant. Pastures that are grazed even before the permanent grasses green up in the spring will produce little useable forage compared with a pasture that is fertilized and then allowed to grow to a height of 3 to 4 inches before being lightly grazed, rested a couple of weeks and then grazed again. If the grazing animals are removed when 3 inches of pasture remains, recovery and the pounds of dry matter produced per day will be much greater than that of a pasture kept constantly at a grazed height of 0.5 to 1 inch. It may mean using more hay initially but once the pasture reaches that 3 to 4 inch height, it often will produce more feed per day than your animals will consume.

Once you begin grazing a pasture, the best thing you can do to promote growth is to practice rotational grazing where you allow animals on a subdivision of your pasture for a short period, usually no more than 3 to 5 days at most, and then remove the animals to another subdivision while the plants in the recently grazed subdivision rest and recover and renew growth.

Another suggestion is to take that soil test sample you’ve been meaning to get and send it in for analysis. Soil tests should be taken at least every three years and as often as every year at the same time of year each time. The soil test will help you decide if you need to correct a pH problem or apply nutrients to relieve any nutrient deficiencies. If the pasture soil pH level has declined below 6.0, an application of lime will help both grasses and legumes grow better.

I mentioned N fertilization earlier. How much N should you apply? This does depend a bit on the pasture you are fertilizing and your goal for that pasture. Where you either have too much legume (clover) or where you have so little clover that is isn’t contributing N to the surrounding grass, an application of about 100 lb urea per acre (this is about 46 lb N/acre) will stimulate grass growth helping to reduce the percentage legume in the pasture or will replace the N lacking when legumes are grown with grasses. This rate should be enough to jump start the pasture grasses without a risk of overfertilization and risking damage to the environment. On pastures where maintaining legume presence is important, you should apply only half the rate of urea (50 lb urea per acre). At this rate of N, the legume can continue growing and will not slough off the bacteria nodules that help the legume by fixing atmospheric N (N2 gas) in a plant available form.

A Quick Note on Cover Crop Management

Friday, March 2nd, 2012

Richard Taylor, Extension Agronomist; rtaylor@udel.edu

In many areas of Delaware this winter has not only been lacking in significant snow cover but also marginal to deficient in rainfall, resulting in soil moisture levels that are at risk of becoming short as we move to corn planting season in April. Although the forecast does call for rainfall this week, growers who have established cover crops on their 2012 corn fields will need to carefully monitor their soil moisture levels. When spring growth begins, cover crops can remove a large amount of soil moisture in a relatively short space of time. This is not only because of their rapid growth rate in the spring but also because they have a well-developed and often deep root system already established. Cover crops can remove not only surface moisture but the subsoil moisture we often depend on to hold corn during early- to mid-summer drought conditions.

If rainfall between now and early corn planting time remains below normal, growers should think seriously about killing cover crops early, before too much soil moisture is removed. If using a systemic herbicide to kill the cover crop, you should also account for the week to two weeks it will take for the crop to die when determining the timing of herbicide application versus soil moisture levels.

Finally, a number of growers around the state planted the tillage radish or daikon radish as a cover crop this past fall. Although the weather was cold enough on some fields in New Castle County to winter kill the tillage radish, not all fields were completely killed. I suspect that the same is true in the lower counties of Delaware. You should carefully monitor these fields so you can make the decision on whether or not you will need to spray these fields with an herbicide to clean them up in time for corn planting time. Again, you should also monitor the subsoil moisture levels since this crop can send roots very deep into the soil. If it remains alive, a large amount of the subsoil moisture may be lost through transpiration as the radish enters the reproductive stage later this spring.

Small Grain Weed Control

Friday, March 2nd, 2012

Mark VanGessel, Extension Weed Specialist; mjv@udel.edu

With the mild winter that we have had, small grain fields should be scouted for weeds, and applications should be made before the weeds get too large.

Be sure to read the herbicide label carefully because some products can be tankmixed with nitrogen but only if the nitrogen is no more than 50% of the spray solution (nitrogen is mixed 1:1 with water). A few specifics:

    · Osprey cannot be applied within 14 days of nitrogen application.
    · Harmony Extra can be applied with nitrogen, but use of surfactant differs depending on concentration of nitrogen and targeted weed species.
    · Axial XL and PowerFlex can only be applied with nitrogen if it is mixed 1:1 with water; also PowerFlex cannot be applied with nitrogen if the amount is more than 30 lbs of N/A.

Be sure to consider your rotation after small grains when you select your herbicides. Harmony Extra is very flexible for vegetable rotations; and Starane Ultra and Axial may require up to 120 days; while Osprey and PowerFlex cannot be rotated to vegetables for 9 to 12 mos. The most restrictive are Finesse and Maverick, which cannot be rotated to vegetables and require use of STS soybeans.


For First Split Nitrogen Applications on Wheat, Is Price per Pound of N the Right Criteria to Use?

Friday, March 2nd, 2012

Richard Taylor, Extension Agronomist; rtaylor@udel.edu

There’s a debate going on as to what the best source of nitrogen (N) is for broadcasting over winter wheat or barley at this time of year. The question arises because it is known that urea can volatilize to ammonia (NH3), a gas, and be lost to the atmosphere because the enzyme urease, which helps break down urea, is present in all organic matter. What a lot of people overlook is the speed of this conversion which is affected by the soil pH, soil and air temperature, and moisture conditions. When temperatures are relatively low, below 70°F, and soil temperatures remain well below 50º, the activity of the enzyme is significantly reduced. Another factor involved is soil acidity or pH. When the soil surrounding the urea particle is acidic (pH<7.0), there are available hydrogen ions (H+) that can quickly react with ammonia to form an ammonium ion (NH4+). An ammonium ion is a cation that can occupy a place on the cation exchange sites in clay and soil organic matter and be held for plant absorption. The conversion of urea into ammonium bicarbonate and a hydroxyl (OH-) and then into ammonia (or an ammonium ion if an H+ is available), carbon dioxide, and water raises the localize soil pH and increases the likelihood that some of the N will volatilize off as ammonia.

In general, we found in the Deep South that you more economically apply urea to pastures or wheat fields in the early spring and often into mid-spring with only minor losses of N as ammonia. Since the soil temperature in Delaware soils seldom reaches the 50º F. level until well into April and we often have long periods of cool rainy weather in the spring, the choice of fertilizer to use on small grains is most likely best decided by economics rather than concern over just how much might be lost through volatilization. The most likely choices of fertilizer products are a urea ammonium nitrate solution (UAN) and granular urea. Since UAN does contain half urea and half ammonium nitrate, the small percentage N loss from ammonia volatilization is not likely to impact the economics between the two fertilizers very much. Growers should evaluate available fertilizers and choose the most economic fertilizer based on the cost per pound of N plus the expected application cost and the availability of the fertilizer through their usual dealer rather than arbitrarily sticking with what they’ve used in the past or what their dealer prefers to sell them.