Posts Tagged ‘20:3’

Commercial Vegetable Production Recommendation Books Available

Thursday, April 5th, 2012

The 2012 Commercial Vegetable Production Recommendations are available online at

Printed copies of the books are available at all three of the county Extension offices courtesy of the Fruit & Vegetable Growers Association of Delaware.  Books may be purchased for $10 for FVGAD members and $20 for non-members.

Short Course: Pruning Trees and Shrubs

Thursday, April 5th, 2012

Friday, April 5     4:00-6:00 p.m.
Kent Co. Extension Office, Dover, DE

Tuesday, April 10    4:00-6:00 p.m.
New Castle Co. Extension Office, Newark, DE

Cost: $10
Credits:  1 CNP,   2 ISA, 2 CCA

This class is being offered to professional arborists and others in the green industry who often have trees and shrubs that need to be pruned for safety, health or aesthetic reasons. Participants will become familiar with growing points, pruning specific species and schedules, reasons for pruning and techniques used to accomplish the desired end result. We will also discuss and demonstrate equipment needed, care and safety issues. Bring your pruning tools and a pair of work gloves. We will be conducting a pruning activity.

Instructors:  Dot Abbott and Richard Pratt

Grain Marketing Highlights

Thursday, April 5th, 2012

Carl German, Extension Crops Marketing Specialist;

U.S. Corn Planting May be Ahead of Crop Progress Report?
As of the week ending April 1, 2012, three percent of the nation’s corn crop was reported as planted compared to two percent this time last year and the five year average of two percent. Next week’s report is expected to bump planting progress up considerably based upon anecdotal evidence from states such as Illinois, where planting began to some degree as early as mid-March but was not yet on the radar screen, meaning Illinois planting progress was reported to be at zero as of last Sunday.

USDA Export Sales Report 04/05
Pre-report estimates for weekly corn exports ranged between 15.7 to 31.5 million bushels. The weekly report placed total export sales at 44.2 million bushels with 36.9 million bushels scheduled for ‘11/‘12. This was well above the 17.2 million bushels needed this week to stay on pace with USDA’S demand projection of 1.7 billion bushels. Weekly shipments of 31.2 million bushels were below the 34.2 million bushels needed this week. This report is viewed as slightly bullish.

Pre-report estimates for weekly export sales of soybeans ranged from 22 to 36.7 million bushels. The weekly report placed total export sales at 40.9 million bushels with 15 million bushels scheduled for ‘11/‘12. This was well above the 5.4 million bushels needed this week to stay on pace with USDA’s demand projection of 1.275 billion bushels. Shipments of 31.4 million bushels were well above the 13.5 million bushels needed this week. This report is viewed as bullish.

Pre-report estimates for wheat exports ranged from 11 to 25.7 million bushels. The weekly report placed total export sales at 22.3 million bushels with 15 million bushels scheduled for ‘11/‘12. This was above the 6.6 million bushels needed this week to stay on pace with USDA’s demand projection of 1 billion bushels. Weekly shipments of 14.9 million bushels were below the 23.1 million bushels needed this week. This report is viewed as bearish.

Market Strategy
The incentive for farmers to switch from corn to soybeans has increased since the release of the planting intentions report with Nov ‘12 soybean futures closing at $13.76 in yesterday’s day trade and the corn-to-soybean price ratio now favoring soybeans in some areas. New crop soybean futures are 71 cents per bushel higher than they were the day before the report, with new crop corn futures currently about 20 cents per bushel higher. Commercial interests are said to be supportive of the corn and soybean markets this week. At today’s open, Dec ‘12 corn futures are trading at $5.46; Nov ‘12 soybeans at $13.80; and July ‘12 SRW wheat at $6.57 per bushel.

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

Updated Weed Control Guides are Available – And They’re Free

Thursday, April 5th, 2012

Mark VanGessel, Extension Weed Specialist;

Available from your county Extension office are weed management guides for assistance in weed control in corn, soybeans, or forages. There is a separate guide for each commodity. The first half of the corn and soybean guides deals with soil-applied herbicides and the second half is for postemergence herbicides. These guides include information on pre-mixes and what is in the pre-mix, expanded weed control tables, information on application timing, comments for each of the herbicides, and much more. The forage guides cover alfalfa as well as grass forages. Contact your county extension office for these free guides. Or find them at the UD-REC website:

A Couple of Yearly Reminders Regarding Herbicides

Thursday, April 5th, 2012

Mark VanGessel, Extension Weed Specialist;

Acetochlor is a preemergence herbicide for corn that controls annual grasses and some broadleaf weeds. It is in the following products: Harness, Harness Extra, Degree, Degree Extra, Topnotch, Fultime, and Keystone. There are use restrictions related to groundwater quality. The restrictions are based on depth of groundwater within one month of planting and the combination of soil type and organic matter. Do not apply acetochlor if the groundwater depth is within 30 feet and you have sands with less than 3% organic matter, loamy sands with less than 2% organic matter, or sandy loam with less than 1% organic matter.

“Activating” Herbicides
Herbicides applied to the soil surface require rainfall or irrigation to move them into the soil where the plants will absorb them; or mechanical incorporation (field cultivator). Some areas have not received much rainfall lately and you need to be aware if your soil-applied herbicides have been activated. If you have irrigation and your herbicides have been applied but you have not received water, you should consider irrigating to activate those herbicides.

Early Planted Corn Risk

Thursday, April 5th, 2012

Richard Taylor, Extension Agronomist;

The warm late-March air temperatures and reports of soil temperatures in many locations well above the minimum 50º F required for corn to begin the germination process have encourage a number of growers, especially those with many acres to plant, to get an early jump on corn planting season. Recently the weather pattern has brought in cold air over our region and some areas are experiencing frost, albeit light frost. If even colder air arrives, early emerging corn may be frost injured. Until the corn’s growing point extends above the soil surface, corn often grows out of frost or freeze injury, although some minor yield reductions may occur. In the past we have seen such severe leaf injury on no-till corn which was at the third to fourth leaf stage that the growing point was unable to recover. This resulted in very thin, weak stands. It was thought that so much leaf tissue was killed that the decay process caused free-radical formation which overwhelmed the ability of the growing point to survive.

I point this possibility out so growers will be aware that there is a greater risk that more of the early planted corn fields will need to be replanted. I understand that the seed supply, especially for the better hybrids, will be very limited this year due to unfavorable weather conditions in Argentina where a lot of our seed corn is grown. Although growers who need to replant may be able to find replacement corn seed, it is likely that the best genetics will not be available. This fact should be kept in the back of the grower’s mind when planting early.

Frost Injury on Small Grains

Thursday, April 5th, 2012

Richard Taylor, Extension Agronomist;

Several weeks ago frost damage was identified on several barley fields, although it appeared to be limited to leaf tip burn (see Photo 1). Since that time, a number of other fields of both wheat and barley have shown similar symptoms and at least at this time the long-range weather forecast indicates a continuing risk for frost in the state and region. Barley fields have begun to head out and are quite susceptible to frost which can kill the pollen in the anthers preventing successful pollination and subsequent grain fill. Many times the only way we can determine if this has happened is to wait and see if the crop develops blank heads as maturity approaches. In the most recent issue of the Mid-Atlantic Regional Agronomist Quarterly Newsletter (March 2012), Dr. Wade Thomason from Va Tech wrote a review article entitled ‘What’s The Risk? Development of the 2012 Small Grain Crop and Potential for Spring Freeze Injury’. The article, as well as one I wrote for Weekly Crop Update April 13, 2007, gives the risk of injury from frost and the expected impact on wheat yield potential.

The Mid-Atlantic Regional Agronomist Quarterly Newsletter is posted on several web sites. Among these are the following locations: (look for the March 2012 issue) or (look for Mid-Atlantic Regional Agronomy Newsletter) or (click on Newsletter).

Photo 1. Leaf tip burn on barley from freezing temperatures (Kent County Delaware)

Agronomic Crop Insects – April 6, 2012

Thursday, April 5th, 2012

Joanne Whalen, Extension IPM Specialist;

Economic levels of pea aphids and alfalfa weevil ( can be found in fields at this time. When sampling for aphids and weevils, collect a minimum of 30 random stems throughout a field and place them top first in a white bucket. For aphids, you want to count the number present per plant as well as any that have dislodged from the stem into the bucket. As a general guideline, you should consider a treatment in alfalfa less than 10 inches tall if you find 40-50 aphids per stem. The treatment threshold for alfalfa 10 inches or taller in height is 75- 100 per stem. Although beneficial insects can help to crash aphid populations, cooler temperatures will slow their activity. As a general rule, you need one beneficial insect per every 50-100 aphids to help crash populations. For alfalfa weevil, you will want to record the number of weevil larvae per stem. The following thresholds, based on the height of the alfalfa, should be used as a guideline when making a treatment decision: up to 11 inches tall – 0.7 per stem; 12 inches tall – 1.0 per stem; 13 to 15 inches tall – 1.5 per stem; 16 inches tall – 2.0 per stem and 17 to 18 inches tall – 2.5 per stem.

Field Corn
We recently received a 24(c) Special Local Needs Registration for Avipel Hopper Box (dry) Corn Seed Treatment for bird management on field corn in Delaware. It is my understanding that product should be available this week and the 24(c) label with use instructions and restrictions will be on the canisters. If you have any questions, you can call David Pyne at the Delaware Department of Agriculture: (302) 698-4570.

Small Grains
Aphids and cereal leaf beetle eggs and small larvae can be found in fields throughout the state. The next important time to consider aphid management in small grains is at grain head emergence. During heading, check 50 to 100 heads throughout a field. At grain head emergence, a treatment may be necessary once populations exceed 20‐25 per head. Since cereal leaf beetle populations are often unevenly distributed within the field, it is important to carefully sample fields so that you do not over or under estimate a potential problem. Eggs and small larvae should be sampled by examining 10 tillers from 10 evenly spaced locations in the field while avoiding field edges. This will result in 100 tillers (stems) per field being examined. Eggs and larvae may be found on leaves near the ground so careful examination is critical. You should also check stems at random while walking through a major portion of the field and sampling 100 stems. The treatment threshold is 25 or more eggs and/or small larvae per 100 tillers. If you are using this threshold, it is important that you wait until at least 50% are in the larval stage (i.e. after 50% egg hatch). The following links provide additional information on cereal leaf beetle in small grains:

Low levels of small true armyworm larvae have been found in an occasional small grain field in Kent and Sussex Counties. Our black light traps will not start running until mid-April so we do not have a record of moth activity at this point. However, pheromone traps being run as part of a research project at our Research and Education Center in Georgetown found the first moths two weeks ago and populations have increased this past week. So be sure to scout all fields for armyworms and grass sawflies. The following link provides information on these two insect pests:

Economic levels of the cereal rust mite ( can be found feeding on timothy. Symptoms can appear as retarded growth, leaf curling, stunting, and plant discoloration. Injured plants appear to be drought stressed even when adequate moisture is available for plant growth. There are no established economic thresholds for the pest; however, treatment is recommended in fields with a previous history of cereal rust mites and/or when 25% of the plant tillers exhibit curled tips of the new leaf blades within several weeks following green-up. The use of a 20x-magnifying lens is often necessary to find mites on leaves. The only effective and labeled material on timothy is Sevin XLR Plus. Be sure to read the label for information on the number of applications per season as well as the days to harvest. For effective rust mite control, the use of the higher labeled rate and at least 25 gal/acre of carrier to get good coverage of leaf surfaces generally results in better control.

Monitoring Nutrient Levels for Plasticulture Strawberry Production

Thursday, April 5th, 2012

Gordon Johnson, Extension Vegetable & Fruit Specialist;

In last week’s Weekly Crop Update, I gave some recommendations for petiole sap nitrate and potassium levels in plasticulture strawberries. This is based on sampling leaf petioles from the most recently expanded leaves from plants in the field, extracting the sap, and using portable nitrate and potassium meters. The procedure can be found at this website, along with recommended levels for different growth stages.

While this is a quick way to monitor nutrient levels, growers are also encouraged to take petiole and leaf samples for laboratory analysis. The recommended levels for petiole nitrate and leaf tissue contents from laboratory analyses can be found at this publication from North Carolina: A description of how to sample is also given. We do now have a lab on Delmarva that can run tissue samples. Leaf tissue nitrogen levels should be maintained as follows: N (%) 3–4, P (%) 0.2–0.4, K (%) 1.1–2.5, Ca (%) 0.5–1.5, Mg (%) 0.25–0.45. Petiole nitrate content until the end of the month should be around 4000 ppm (3000 ppm is low and 5000 ppm is high).

More Vegetable Fungicide Updates for 2012

Thursday, April 5th, 2012

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

I wrote last week about some new and recent fungicide registrations of interest to vegetable growers. Two additional registrations occurred in the last week.

  • · Luna Experience has now received a label for use on watermelon in both DE and MD. Diseases on the label include gummy stem blight, anthracnose, and powdery mildew.
  • · Meteor is a new fungicide from United Phosphorus, Inc., with the active ingredient of iprodione. It is labeled for beans (white and grey mold), broccoli, carrots, Chinese mustard, bulb dry onions, garlic and lettuce (drop and bottom rot). See label for more details. There are other fungicides that are labeled for similar diseases on vegetables with the same active ingredient, such as Rovral.