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Weekly Field Crops Pest Report 2009

September 25, 2009             Volume 8 Number 22

1. View from the Field

2. Weather outlook - September 24, 2009

3. Fall IPM Alfalfa Assessment

4. Keeping Pest Records

5. Soybean Rust Update

6. Soybean Aphid Update

7. Clipboard Checklist

8. Contact Information

View from the Field

Ken Wise
NYS IPM Program

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This issue will be the last report for the 2009 growing season. We have enjoyed creating this weekly publication and hope you have found it informative, useful and timely. Thanks to the many Extension Educators, field scouts, and industry personnel who shared their field observations and other information this season. The importance of these inputs cannot be over estimated for their enhancements to the timely value of the report.

We will soon be sending our subscribers a survey via email to solicit feedback regarding perspectives on the usefulness of this publication to your efforts and suggestions for how to improve the report next season. We hope you will take time to complete and return the survey. We take your comments and suggestions seriously and have incorporated many of your suggestions to improve the publication over the years. Thank you for your interest. See you next year!

Many Extension Educators are reporting that much of the corn being harvested show signs of moderate to severe disease pressure. Many of the diseases identified are northern corn leaf blight, eyespot, anthracnose stalk rot, and anthracnose leaf blight. For more information on late season diseases of corn view the following 2 articles: Check for Stalk Rots and Stop, Check for Ear Rots.

If you notice you have disease issues on any of your field crops make sure to keep records on the problem. Identification, field / crop observed, etc. This can help you better select disease resistant cultivars and employ effective cultural or other management tactics in future seasons. For more information see the recordskeeping article that follows later in this issue.

Weather outlook - September 24, 2009

Jessica Rennells
NOAA NE Climate Center, Cornell University

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Temperatures were around normal this past week, varying from 3 degrees below to 3 degrees above normal. Most of the state had less than half an inch of precipitation. The St. Lawrence Valley region received between half and one inch.

The Base 50 Growing Degree Days ranged from less than 25 to 75. The entire state is behind last year and most of the state is behind by more than 2 weeks. Compared to normal most of the state is behind, but an area in the Catskills and mid Hudson Valley is ahead by 0 to 14 days. Central and Western NY are 3 to 14 days behind normal. The Northern Plateau, Mohawk Valley, and western St. Lawrence Valley are more than 14 days behind normal. Eastern St. Lawrence Valley and Champlain Valley are 3 to 10 days behind normal.

This week weíll have seasonal temperatures and rain is likely. Todayís highs will range from the 60ís to mid 70ís. The overnight lows will be in the 40ís. Friday will be cooler with temperatureís ranging from the mid 50ís to upper 60ís but it will be sunny. Friday night will bring a chance of frost with temperatures in the 30ís and low 40ís. Saturday will have highs in the 60ís with a chance of scattered showers in western NY and lows in the upper 30ís to upper 40ís. Sunday showers are likely for the whole state with temperatures in the upper 60ís and low 70ís during the day and in the low 50ís at night. Monday scattered showers are likely, highs in the upper 60ís and low 70ís and lows in the low to mid 50ís. Tuesday a few scattered showers are still possible. Temperatures will be in the upper 50ís and low 60ís during the day and upper 40ís to low 50ís at night. Wednesdayís highs will be in the low 60ís with a chance of scattered showers and lows in the 40ís. The 5 day precipitation amounts will range from half to 1.5 inches. The 8-14 day outlook is showing temperatures above normal and precipitation below normal.

Fall IPM Alfalfa Assessment

Ken Wise

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Fall stand counts are an indication of the health of your alfalfa crop. There are a number of pests and crop management issues that can reduce a stand count in alfalfa. The following are guidelines for stand counts in NYS:

Crowns per square foot

Harvest Year

Optimum Stand

Adequate Stand

New Spring Seeding



1st hay year



2nd hay year



3rd and older



Fall scouting before the first hard frost can also reveal pest problems. If you find yellow to brown plants it may indicate several different disease problems. These could range from a wide variety of disease problems including, verticillum wilt, leaf spots, fusarium wilt, anthracnose and more. An inspection of the root system can also indicated disease problems. Yellow, reddish-brown to black discolored or damaged roots may indicate disease problems such as phytopthora root rot or verticillium wilt. In northern NY counties where alfalfa snout beetles (ASB) have been a problem prematurely senescing, stunted or yellow alfalfa fields may indicate an ASB infestation. Fields should be evaluated for presence of the root feeding larval stage. For more information see the September 3, 2009 issue of the Weekly Pest Report.

Keeping Pest Records

Ken Wise

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It is very important to keep records from year to year on certain pest problems that may have occurred. Write down observations that you made over the season. Did potato leafhoppers go over threshold and which field(s)? Were there certain corn diseases present? Did you have corn that had corn rootworm injury? Were there new weeds or weed escapes you did not expect this year? Pick up a pencil and write them down on a field to field basis to better select certain management practices the next season. For example, if you were hit with potato leafhoppers this season and you want to rotate your alfalfa, one management option to consider for the future is use of a potato leafhopper resistant alfalfa variety. Another example might be to select wheat varieties that are resistant to certain diseases. If you had weed escapes you might reconsider your selection of weed control products. Are your pesticide use records up to date? Rates, dates, efficacy, etc. It is always important to keep pesticide records up to date. If you wait too long you may forget what happened in certain fields. So write them down! A sharp pencil beats a dull memoryÖ

Soybean Rust Update

Gary Bergstrom Plant Pathology
Cornell University

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Soybean rust has not been detected in New York. The current risk of soybean rust in New York is considered to be low. Management practices will most likely not be warranted for the remainder of 2008.

NY State Soybean Rust Hotline: 607-255-7850

NYS Soybean Rust Website

USDA Soybean Rust Website

Soybean Aphid Update

Keith Waldron

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The 2009 soybean aphid season is over. Soybean aphids (SBA) have been difficult to find across NY this week. Most NY soybean fields are close to or have reached full pod fill and maturity. In many instances, leaves have fully senesced. Early maturing fields are beginning to be harvested.

For more information see: USDA Public PIPE Website: Management Toolbox-Guidelines-USA

Clipboard Checklist

Keith Waldron

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* Emergency contact information ("911", local hospital, Chem. Spill emergency contact, other?) posted in central posting area
* Update crop records by field, including variety, planting date, pesticides used, nutrient inputs including manure, yields, etc.
* Watch for weed escapes, any patches of herbicide resistant weeds?
* Evaluate effectiveness of crop management decisions through yield monitoring, weed escapes, etc. as fields are harvested.
* Take soil samples as needed

Field Corn:
* Note crop growth stage and condition
* Check for European corn borer, foliar and stalk rot diseases and ear molds, vertebrate injury (birds / deer), weed escapes, nutritional deficiencies, western bean cutworm, etc.
* Check corn for potential lodging, kernel maturity, timing of silage/grain harvest
* Monitor weed populations noting presence of "who", "how many" and "where"

Alfalfa & Hay:
* Monitor alfalfa seedings for weeds, for potato leafhopper & diseases.
* Check established alfalfa stands for potato leafhopper, weed and disease problems.
* Storage areas cleaned and ready to accept next harvest?

* Check soybeans for condition, maturity and timing of harvest
* Evaluate stand for soybean aphid, spider mites, deer, weeds, foliar diseases and white mold incidence
* Note presence of herbicide resistant corn

Plant winter wheat after Hessian Fly-free date

Dairy Cattle Livestock Barn Fly Management:
* Monitor animals and facilities for house fly and stable fly populations
Note: expect barn fly numbers to increase as outside flies seek warmer conditions during cooler weather.
* Check facilities for favorable fly breeding conditions: (organic matter + moisture): leaks in watering systems, roof gutters for leaks and potential overspill, drainage,
* Sanitation, sanitation, sanitation - clean animal resting areas, feed troughs, minimize source of moist organic matter i.e. fly breeding areas in barn and in adjacent animal loafing yard
* Continue fly monitoring: install "3X5" index card fly speck monitoring cards through out barn
* Use, replenish, replace fly management materials: sticky fly tapes/ribbons, insecticide baits, natural enemies (parasitoids), fly population monitoring (3 x 5) spot cards

Dairy Cattle: Pasture Fly Management:
* Monitor animals for presence of face flies, horn flies and stable flies. Action guidelines: face flies (average 10 per animal face), horn flies (average 50 / dairy, 200 / beef cattle per animal side), stable flies average 10 per animal (all four legs)
Note: pasture fly numbers will decrease with each successive frost
* Check feed bunk / water source locations for signs of stable fly breeding (moist undisturbed organic matter spilled feed, round bales, etc.), minimize source of moist organic matter i.e. fly breeding areas in barn and in adjacent animal loafing yard
* Check paddocks for forage quality / quantity, rotate as appropriate
* Check paddocks for vegetation poisonous to livestock
* Consider use of fly traps to help reduce deer, horse and stable fly populations

* Pre-clean in and around grain storage bins in anticipation of soybean and grain corn harvests.
* Keep areas around storage bins and silos clean and mowed
* Check temperature, moisture, and pest status of previously filled grain bins (wheat, etc.). Aerate or otherwise treat as needed.

* Note any repairs needed for recently used equipment: tractors, tillage implements, harvesting and planting equipment, etc. as they are cleaned and serviced.
* Calibrate manure spreaders - maintain records on amount spread per field

Contact Information

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Keith Waldron: NYS Livestock and Field Crops IPM Coordinator
Phone: (315) 787 - 2432
Fax: (315) 787-2360

Ken Wise: Eastern NYS IPM Area Educator: Field Crops and Livestock
Phone: (518) 434-1690
Fax: (518) 426-3316