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NY Weekly Field Crop Pest Report, 2005

September 9, 2005 Volume 4 Number 21

1. View from the Field

2. Harvesting Soybeans Soon? Think Stored Grain Pests!

3. What is an Alfalfa Snout Beetle?

4. Fall Weed Survey for Alfalfa

5. NYS Growing Degree Days

6. Clipboard Checklist

7. Soybean Rust Update

8. Contact Information

View From the Field

Ken Wise

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Next week will be the last issue of the NYS IPM Weekly Field Crops Pest Report for 2005. We plan to continue this publication next growing season. We will compile a web-linked index of all the issues and articles we published this year. We will also follow-up with a survey on how effective this publication is to your extension programming in the next few weeks.

Harvesting Soybeans Soon? Think Stored Grain Pests!

Ken Wise, NYS IPM

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It is time to start CLEANING your grain bins. Sanitation is the key to keeping insect pests out of your stored grains. Soybean harvest is not as far off as you may think so knowing what you need to do is important. The following is a step by step method for IPM in stored grain:

1. Clean grain handing equipment (augers, combines, wagons, scoops, and trucks).

2. Clean inside the grain bin (remember to clean under the false floor). Mice, moths, weevils and much more can survive under the false floor.

3. Clean around the outside of the grain bin. Remove all weeds, spilled grain and debris 6 to 10 feet from around the grain bin. This will remove all habitats that can support a grain bin pest problem.

4. Seal all cracks and crevices. Cracks are prime locations for insects to enter grain bins.

5. Cover fans when they are not being used. Insects can enter the grain bin this way also.

6. Use a registered sanitizing insecticide spray in and around the structure after cleaning.

7. Never store new grain with old grain.

8. Dry the grain bin before adding new grain. Insect pests need moisture to survive.

9. Level the surface after filling the grain bin. Moisture accumulates in a grain peak. Microbial activity in the wet area will heat up and attract secondary insect pests.

10. Do not fill grain bin all the way to the top. Leave a few feet for aeration.

11. Aerate the grain to at least the ambient temperature. The hotter the grain gets the faster insect pests can develop. Stored grain insect pests development slows when the temperature falls below 500 F.

12. Monitor grain for insect pests every 20 days from spring till fall and every 30 days in the winter.

13. If you discover an infestation of insect pests you may consider an insecticide application. Select a NYS registered product for your stored grain. READ THE LABEL.

14. Keep areas around grain bins mowed to limit rodent hiding places.

Common Insect Pest of Stored Grain

• Granary weevil

• Saw tooth grain beetle

• Red flower beetle

• Larger cabinet beetle

• Lesser grain borer

• Rice weevil

• Indian-meal moth

• Flat grain beetle

• Angoumois grain moth

• Confused flower beetle


IPM in Kentucky Farm Stored Grain

IPM Tactics for On-Farm Stored Grain

and Improve Stored Grain Through IPM

Alfalfa Snout Beetle Monitoring Opportunity?

Ken Wise, NYS IPM Keith Waldron, NYS IPM

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Short, chlorotic alfalfa? Alfalfa stands showing signs of premature senescence?

Do you grow alfalfa in Oswego, Jefferson, Cayuga, Wayne, Lewis, St. Lawrence, Clinton, Essex or Franklin Counties?

If you are in one of the above counties where ASB has been confirmed… alfalfa fields can begin to show symptoms of ASB larval feeding damage in the fall.

Alfalfa snout beetle (ASB) is a very serious root-feeding weevil that is found only in northern New York State and southern Ontario. Adult ASB feed on leaves and stems, and the larvae feed on the roots of alfalfa and clover.

ASB is one of the few pests that can completely destroy an alfalfa field. Some growers have been forced to grow other forages than alfalfa because of the destructive damage by this insect to alfalfa and certain clovers. Adult ASB are mottled gray, humpbacked, 1/2 inch long, do not fly, and are all females. Adult ASB emerges in the spring to feed on new shoots from the alfalfa crown. (Note: above ground active adult ASB is only a small portion of the infestation). ASB larvae live under the soil surface for about 2 years. When adults emerge in the spring they migrate in mass numbers often in a northeast or northwest direction. Legless white larvae, are a 1/2 inch long, can be found within a foot of the soil surface in mid to late summer and feeding on alfalfa roots. Larvae feed on side roots, and girdle the main taproot causing death to the plant. As mentioned earlier, ASB root feeding and systemic root diseases can cause alfalfa stands to exhibit sign of early senescence in the fall. In counties with confirmed ASB infestations, fields showing these symptoms should be sampled for ASB. If snout beetles are present their larvae should be easily found on alfalfa tap roots. THIS MEANS CHECK NOW! During late summer and early fall the larvae move deeper in the soil where they spend the winter. The following spring the larvae move 10-12 inches from the surface, pupate by mid-summer and become inactive adults, which remain in the soil until the following spring. To combat ASB the only current line of defense is to practice intensive crop management. Rotating alfalfa and non-susceptible crops is very important. Rotation to non-hosts limits the ASB from developing large infestations in field. ASB has host plants other than alfalfa that make eradication impossible. Host plants for ASB are: alfalfa, red clover, dock, wild carrot, quackgrass, and white clover. Non-host cultivated crops for ASB are: corn, wheat, oats, soybeans, potatoes, and birdsfoot trefoil. Growers should plan to crop alfalfa for 2 to 3 seasons, using clear seedlings, and then rotate with non-host cultivated crops for 2 or 3 successive years. New infestations can result from emigration of ASB adults from previously infested fields or by ASB being transported in contaminated debris, soil, machinery, etc. from other farms, fields or homes. Take precautions to limit artificial transport of ASB by cleaning equipment between fields and farms. Limit transporting possibly infested hay bales, gravel and soil to non-infested sites. Research is continuing to identify sources of host plant root resistance and biological control options to ASB(Don Viands, Julie Hansen and Elson Shields). The use of an insecticide for the control of this insect has not been shown to be effective and none are registered for this purpose in NYS….

Fall Weed Survey for Alfalfa

Ken Wise, NYS IPM

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In the fall as your alfalfa is putting energy back into their roots for the winter it is a good idea to go and look at what weeds might be in the alfalfa stand. This can help you make decisions about what to do with your alfalfa fields the next season. You will want to conduct a weed survey. Observe weed infestations in at least 5 locations chosen at random in a 40-acre field. Divide fields larger than 40 acres into equal parts for scouting. Keep a record of significant weed infestations by drawing their location and logging predominant species composition on a map of the field. Check unique features such as droughty slopes, poorly drained areas, field borders, and fence rows for weed infestations. These areas can be major sources of weed contamination. Visually estimate significant weed infestations (by individual species) using the following Weed Rating Scale:

Determine the severity of the most common weeds observed.

Few: Weeds present, but very few plants in the field. There are enough to produce seed but not enough to cause significant loss

Common: Weeds are dispersed throughout the field. There are up to 5 grass or 3 broadleaf annual weeds per sq. ft. or 0.3 perennial or biennial weeds per sq. ft. (3 per sq. yd.) or scattered spots of severe infestation.

Abundant: Fairly uniform concentrations of 6 to 20 grass or 4 to 10 broadleaf annual weeds per sq. ft. or 0.5 to 1.0 perennial or biennial weeds per sq. ft. (6 to 20 per sq. yd.).

Extreme:Concentrations of more than 2 grass or 1 perennial or biennial weeds per sq. ft. (20 grassy or 10 perennial or biennial plant sq. yd.). Large areas of severe weed infestation.

Clear stands of alfalfa should have at least 5 healthy crowns per sq. ft. but grasses can be important in maintaining quality and quantity of forage in thinning alfalfa stands. Consider crop rotation for alfalfa stands with less than 4 vigorous alfalfa crowns per sq. ft. Don’t forget to check areas where there are many weeds for diseases which may have thinned the stand. If the field needs to be rotated this information will be very helpful in future selection of appropriate disease resistant varieties.

NYS Growing Degree Days

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March 1 - September 7, 2005


Base 50 F





Clifton Park








* missing data

Source: 'http://newa.nysaes.cornell.edu/

Clipboard Checklist

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• Update crop production activity records by field, including harvest date, pesticides used, nutrient inputs including manure, etc.

• Check fall harvest equipment, sharpen chopper knives, check shear clearances, check protective shields on all harvest machinery

• Prepare bunkers, silos for incoming silage.

• Clean, disinfect and prepare grain bins and dryers.

• Mow weeds around barn, grain storage bins, farm buildings, pastures, control weeds, brambles.

Alfalfa & Hay:

• Monitor fields for weeds and diseases: record information on type and location for future cropping decisions.

• Record hay yields by field and quality by storage facility; take samples for forage analysis

Field Corn:

• Observe corn for weeds, stalk rots / lodging, and nutrient and moisture deficiencies

• Harvest corn silage at 65 to 70% moisture and high moisture shelled at 25 to 30% grain, and high moisture ground-ear at 30 to 35% moisture.

• Record corn silage yields by field and quality by storage facility, take samples for forage analysis

• Take Soil Samples for fertility analysis

• Take Fall Weed Survey following harvest.


• Monitor for pod, stem and foliar diseases.

Small Grains:

• Plant Winter Wheat (after fly-free date.


• House and stable fly populations may increase in barns and confinement areas in the next few weeks. This occurs as these flies look for warmer habitats when cooler temperatures begin to occur.

Soybean Rust Update

Gary C. Bergstrom, Professor-Department of Plant Pathology

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To date, (Sept. 1) positive confirmations of soybean rust have been reported in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi and South Carolina. As the New York soybean crop is approaching maturity, the risk of infection remains low, and no fungicide application is advocated in 2005. Weekly inspection of sentinel plots in New York State has concluded for the season. Spore trapping (from rainwater) and targeted inspections of commercial soybean and vegetable bean fields will continue in order to determine whether spores of the soybean rust fungus are carried into New York State by air currents from infested areas of the southern U.S.

Contact Information

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Julie Stavisky: IPM Area Educator, Livestock and Field Crops, Western NY
Phone: (315) 331-8415
Fax: (315) 331-8411
Email: js38@cornell.edu

Keith Waldron: NYS Livestock and Field Crops IPM Coordinator
Phone: (315) 787 - 2432
Fax: (315) 787-2360
Email: jkw5@cornell.edu

Ken Wise: Eastern NYS IPM Area Educator: Field Crops and Livestock
Phone: (518) 434-1690
Fax: (518) 426-3316
Email: klw24@cornell.edu