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Weekly Field Crops Pest Report 2010

June 7, 2010             Volume 9 Number 7

1. View from the Field

2. Weather Outlook

3. Potato Leafhopper Identification and Potential Damage

4. Lacewings (several species) are Predator of the Week!

5. NYS Soybean Rust Information Center Update

6. Growing Degree Days for NYS

7. Clipboard Checklist

8. Mark Your Calendars

9. Contact Information

View from the Field

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This week at the SUNY Cobleskill Farm and the Cornell University Farm at Valatie all alfalfa fields were harvested. I did find a few potato leafhoppers along the edges of alfalfa fields at the SUNY Cobleskill farm. A few potato leafhoppers have been found in western NY in alfalfa re-growth and new seedings. See article below on how to identify potato leafhopper. I am still seeing 2nd to 4th instar alfalfa weevil larvae at SUNY Cobleskill. This could potentially damage alfalfa re-growth. If 50% of the stems show tip feeding and larvae are still small you have reached the action threshold. If larvae are in their 4th instar they will pupate soon and the problem for this year will be over.  

Weather Outlook

Jessica Rennells
NOAA Northeast Regional Climate Center, Cornell

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Last week was another warm week.  Temperatures were 6-12 degrees above normal for most of the state.  Precipitation ranged from .01 to 1 inch.  Small areas in Jefferson, Franklin, and Clinton counties received over an inch of much needed rain.

The base 50 Growing Degree Days ranged from 75 to150; most of the state was between 100 and 150.  We are ahead of last year by one to two weeks.  Most of the state is ahead of normal by 10 to over 14 days.

This week we will be cooler with more seasonable temperatures. Today's highs will be in the 70's with rain showers throughout the day.  The lows will be in the 50's with the chance of rain decreasing.  Friday will again be in the 70's but with clear weather.  Friday night will be in the 50's and low 60's with a chance of rain, more likely in upper NY. Saturday a low pressure system will be moving in behind a warm front, showers are likely for the whole state.Saturday and Sunday will have high temperatures ranging through the 70's and low temperatures will be in the upper 50's and low 60's.  Sunday there will be a chance of scattered showers.  Monday and Tuesday we will see some upper 60's to mid 70's with a slight chance of short lasting showers.  Monday's overnight temperatures will be in the 50's. Tuesday will have lows in the upper 40's and low 50's. Wednesday highs will be in the low to mid 70's with lows in the upper 40's and low 50's and again a chance for a short shower.

The five day precipitation totals will range from one to two inches. The 8-14 day outlook is showing normal temperatures and precipitation.  Currently most of the state is abnormally dry. The southern Hudson Valley, Catskills, and the PA border are not considered abnormally dry. There is moderate drought in Jefferson, Oswego, Lewis, and western Oneida counties. The drought outlook for those counties is ongoing drought with some improvement.

Potato Leafhopper Identification and Potential Damage

Ken Wise

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Potato leafhopper may soon show up in your alfalfa. Correct identification is essential to managing potato leafhopper in alfalfa.

Potato leafhopper is a lime-green insect about 1/8 inch long and rides the storms that come from the south, looking for alfalfa and other host plants. The adult females are strong flyers and move from plant to plant laying 2-3 eggs per day. Bright yellow-green nymphs (looking much like adults, but smaller and wingless) hatch from the eggs to feed on plant juices. Nymphs and adults alike use their needle-like mouthparts to suck juices, replacing them with toxic saliva. Once you see V-shaped yellowing on the tips of the leaves it's too late. Potato leafhopper has likely reduced plant protein by 5% and yield by about .10 - .25 ton per acre pre cutting. New seedings are at higher risk to potato leafhopper damage. Crop stress from this insect can impact production this season as well as affect production potential for subsequent years. The key is to scout fields before the damage has already occurred.

Potato Leafhopper Adult

Lacewings (several species) are Predator of the Week!

Ken Wise

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While I did not find any lady beetles this week I did see a few lacewing adults. Adults feed in the evening or night on nectar, pollen, and aphid honeydew. Larvae are very active predators of aphids and other small insects in many agricultural crops. Adults are light green with long, slender antennae, golden eyes and have large lace-like wings that are 1/2 to 1/3 inches long. Larvae are called antlions, and look like a little green-gray alligator. Antlions have sickle-shaped jaws, that penetrate the prey, inject a paralyzing venom, and then suck out the body fluids of the victim. The larvae will reach about 1/2" long before they pupate.

Lacewing Adult 

NYS Soybean Rust Information Center Update

Gary C. Bergstrom
Plant Pathologist, Cornell University

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United States Soybean Rust Commentary (updated: 05/24/10

Soybean rust scouting continues in the south and Mexico, but there are currently no known active sites in the US.

In 2010, soybean rust was reported on kudzu in one county in Alabama, two counties in Georgia, four counties in Louisiana, and one county in Florida in the US Soybean rust has also been reported in Mexico on soybean in the state of Tamaulipas in González and Mante municipalities. In Mexico soybean rust has also been reported on jicama in the states of Tamaulipas, Veracruz-Llave, Campeche, San Luis Potosi and Chiapas. In 2010, soybean rust has been found in eight US counties and five states in Mexico.

NYS Soybean Rust Website

USDA Soybean Rust Website

Growing Degree Days for NYS

Ken Wise

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Growing degree Days for peak (50%) Occurrence of Alfalfa Weevil growth stage:

Stage or Event
Accumulated growing degree days (48F base temperature)
Eggs hatch
Instar 1
Instar 2
Instar 3
Instar 4
Adult Emergence
(Note: for alfalfa weevil predictions use Base Temp of 48F)

CURRENT Accumulated Growing degree days (48F Base)

March 1 -   June 2, 2010

Base 48 F
Base 50 F
*Indicates missing data
source: NEWA

Clipboard Checklist

Keith Waldron

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  • Emergency contact information ("911", local hospital, Chem. Spill emergency contact, other?) posted in central posting area
  • Maintain crop records by field, including variety, planting date, pesticides used, nutrient inputs including manure, etc.
  • Walk fields to check crop condition, growth, and emergence. Look for signs of vertebrate pests (birds, ground hogs, deer, etc.).
  • Watch for early season weeds: winter annuals: chickweed, henbit, purple deadnettle, field penny cress, shepherd's purse; annuals: giant ragweed, lambsquarters, Pennsylvania smartweed, dandelion, bedstraw.
  • Mow around farm buildings to minimize rodent and other pest habitat

Alfalfa and Grass Hay

  • Monitor alfalfa for crop condition, alfalfa weevil, potato leafhopper, foliar, systemic and crown rot diseases.
  • Evaluate alfalfa seedings for weeds, potato leafhopper & diseases. Monitor alfalfa and grass stands to determine optimal harvest date.
  • Watch windrow areas of harvested alfalfa for signs of alfalfa weevil feeding

Small Grains

  • Monitor winter grain fields for crop growth stage, signs and symptoms of diseases, weed pressure, insects (cereal leaf beetle) goose damage
  • Monitor winter wheat for foliar diseases, potential for Fusarium Head Blight

Field Corn

  • Post emergence: Determine corn plant populations, monitor for emergence problems, weeds, noting presence of "who", "how many" and "where"
  • Early season corn pests: seedling blights, seed corn maggot, white grub, wireworm, black cutworm, slugs, birds
  • Adjust post emergence weed control actions


  • Post emergence: Determine plant populations, monitor for germination and emergence problems, monitor for weeds, noting presence of "who", "how many" and "where" Pastures:
  • Check crop growth
  • Check for presence of undesirable plant species harmful to livestock.
  • Review/Plan rotation system


  • Arrange for custom weed control or check your own application or cultivator equipment for readiness or need for repairs.
  • Check nozzles, pumps, etc., recalibrate pesticide application equipment regularly before use.
  • Calibrate planting equipment - maintain / update records
  • Calibrate manure spreaders - maintain / update records


  • Check forage allocation and anticipate feed program adjustments as forages from previous year are used up
  • Keep records on placement of forage harvested from various fields Cattle on Pasture:
  • 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)
  • 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

Dairy Cattle Barn Fly Management

  • Monitor animals and barn area for house fly, stable fly and other pest management needs including presence of rodents and birds.
  • 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 throughout barn
  • Use, replenish, replace fly management materials: sticky fly tapes/ribbons, insecticide baits, natural enemies (parasitoids), fly population monitoring (3 x 5) spot cards
  • Consider purchase and release of Muscidifurax raptor and/or M. raptorellus natural enemies of house and stable fly pupae.


Emergency responder information on pesticide spills and accidents…CHEMTREC - 800-424-9300; 800-424-9300

For pesticide information…National Pesticide Information Center - 800-858-7378; 800-858-7378

To Report Oil and Hazardous Material Spills in New York State…NYS Department of Environmental Conservation Spill Response - 800-457-7362 (in NYS); 518-457-7362 (outside NYS)

Poison Control Centers nationwide - 800-222-1222; 800-222-1222 If you are unable to reach a Poison Control Center or obtain the information your doctor needs, the office of the NYS Pesticide Coordinator at Cornell University, 607-255-1866

Mark Your Calendars

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July 14-- Weed Science Field Day, Thompson Research Farm, Freeville, NY (morning program)

July 14-- NYSABA Summer BBQ, Musgrave Research Farm, 1256 Poplar Ridge Rd.,  Aurora, NY (12:00 noon)

July 14-- Weed Science Field Day, Musgrave Research Farm, 1256 Poplar Ridge Rd., Aurora, NY (1:30pm 5:00pm)

July 22-- Aurora Farm Field Day, Musgrave Research Farm, 1256 Poplar Ridge Rd., Aurora, NY (10:00am-3:00pm) 

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