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Weekly Field Crops Pest Report 2010

June 10, 2010             Volume 9 Number 8

1. View from the Field

2. Weather Outlook, June 10, 2010

3. Soybean Seed Rots and Seedling Blight

4. Growing Degree Days for NYS

5. Clipboard Checklist

6. Mark Your Calendars

7. Contact Information

View from the Field

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I saw a lot of bird damage to field corn this week. This is because the seed was not plated deep enough and birds had picked out seed and plants. At SUNY Cobleskill one field had a reduction of about 25% in plant population.

Mike Stanyard and Mike Hunter report alfalfa weevil damage approaching threshold on alfalfa re-growth. The recommendation they have made is not to spray for the weevils because growers were within a week to 10 day of their second alfalfa harvest and larvae are in the 4th instar should pupate soon, thus they stop feeding. The threshold for re-growth is 50% tip feeding on the alfalfa. Mike Stanyard also reports slug damage in fields in Western NY. Some of these fields were spot treated with a molluscicide.  Potato leafhoppers have been reported at low infestation levels in alfalfa in several areas of the state.

Weather Outlook, June 10, 2010

Jessica Rennells
NOAA NE regional Climate Center, Cornell University

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Last week was cooler than it has been, but still 0 to 6 degrees above normal for most of the state.  The St. Lawrence Valley and part of the Great Lakes region was 0 to 3 degrees below normal.   There was a wide range of precipitation over the state from only .01 up to 4 inches.   Most of the state had 1 to 3 inches. 

The base 50 Growing Degree Days ranged from 75 to 125 for most of the state.   Part of the Adirondack region and St. Lawrence Valley had 50 to 75.  The state is ahead of last year and normal by 10 to more than 14 days. 

Todays highs will be in the 60s to mid 70s and lows will be in the 40s.  There will be a chance of more showers, more likely for northern NY.

Fridays temperatures will be in the upper 60s to upper 70s during the day and mid 40s to mid 50s overnight.  Some scattered showers are possible for the Adirondack region and Mohawk Valley.

Sat high pressure is in place with temperatures throughout the 70s and into the mid 80s during the day and 50s overnight.  Showers and thunderstorms are possible, likely for western NY.

Sunday low pressure moving in but temperatures will remain in the 70s and some low 80s.   There will be scattered showers and thunderstorms across the state. Lows will be in the upper 50s to mid 60s.   

Mondays highs will be in the low 70s to low 80s and lows will be in the upper 50s and low 60s.  There will still be a chance of scattered showers across the state.

Tuesday s highs will be in the low to mid 70s with sunshine and lows in the low to mid 50s.

Wednesday high-pressure system will bring warmer temperatures and partly sunny skies in the mid and upper 70s.  Overnight temperatures will range in the 50s.

The five day precipitation amounts will range from of an inch to 2 inches. The 8-14 day outlook is showing normal temperatures and precipitation.  Less of the state is in an abnormally dry condition.  Parts of the Great Lakes, St. Lawrence Valley, Mohawk Valley, and Eastern Plateau are still abnormally dry.  With more rain in the forecast these should improve.

Soybean Seed Rots and Seedling Blight

Ken Wise

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Many different organisms cause seed rot and seedling blights. Most of these organisms are soil-borne and a few are seed-borne. Most seed rots and seedling blights proliferate in poorly drained, cold (less than 58 degrees) and wet soils.

Seed Rot: Many times the infected seed will not germinate. If the seed does germinated the radicle will become infected and rot. The rot can be tan, brown, gray or black and the seed or radicle will appear wet and mushy. Some of the organisms that infect seed are Pythium, Fusarium, and Rhizoctonia.

Seedling blight: It is difficult to determine which pathogen causes seedling blight in any one field. Many times it can be a complex of Pythium, Rhizoctonia and Phytophtora. Pythium can cause the seedlings to have a wet, rotted appearance, while Phytophtora generally appears as a dry, dark rot on the roots.  Sunken, reddish-brown lesions on the hypocotyls is most likely a Rhizoctonia infection. The Rhizoctonia lesions are small when they first appear. As these lesions grow they can girdle the stem, causing the soybean plant to die. If the Rhizoctonia infected seedlings do not kick the bucket the infection will weaken the stem and may cause the plant to lodge after the pods form.

This week, I have seen a few ground beetles in corn fields. Ground beetles are very good predators of several insect pests in corn and other crops. Generally, we think of them as those big black beetles we find in the garden or under rocks. There are more that 20,000 of species of ground beetles in the world ranging in size from very small to large. The adult beetles can appear in a fascinating array of colors, textures and spots. Many studies have shown that smaller fields with grassy margins can promote ground beetle predation. Both the soil-dwelling larvae and above-ground adults feed on several different kinds of insect pests. Currently, some entomologists in the country are researching on how much predation occurs on corn rootworm by ground beetle larvae. For a few good pictures and general information on ground beetles you can view the Natural Enemies Gallery: Predaceous Ground Beetles

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 9, 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.
  • Watch for weed control escapes and any patches of herbicide resistant weeds?
  • Storage areas cleaned and ready to accept hay harvest?


  • Determine plant populations, make notes on emergence problems, plant vigor, growth stage
  • Gaps in row? Check cutworm, armyworm, seedling blights, birds, seed placement issues
  • Check no-till fields/fields with high residue or weeds for slug damage
  • Monitor for weeds, note presence of "who", "how many" and "where"
  • Adjust post emergence weed control actions

Small Grains:

  • Monitor winter grains for crop stage (heading? anthesis?), insect problems (cereal leaf beetle, armyworm, European corn borer) and foliar / head diseases
  • Evaluate crop for adequate stand and plant vigor

Alfalfa & Hay:

  • Monitor alfalfa seedings for weeds, insects & diseases.
  • Check regrowth of established alfalfa stands for alfalfa weevil, potato leafhopper, weed and disease problems.
  • Check windrows of recently harvested alfalfa for signs of alfalfa weevil feeding damage and weevil life stage (instar cocoon).
  • Storage areas cleaned and ready to accept incoming harvest?


  • Evaluate stand emergence - seedling blights, seed corn maggot, weed assessment, soybean aphid
    Dairy Livestock Barn Fly Management:
  • 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
  • Check waterers, drainage, roof gutters for leaks and potential overspill
  • Begin fly monitoring: install "3X5" index card fly speck monitoring cards through out barn
  • Order fly management materials: fly tapes, insecticide baits, natural enemies (parasitoids)

Pastured Dairy Livestock:

  • Monitor animals for face fly, horn  fly and stable fly issues.
  • Check paddocks for grass regrowth, adjust grazing schedule as needed.
  • Check paddocks for signs of dung beetle activity


  • Check storage areas (bunk silos, etc.) for readiness to accept first cutting
  • Keep areas around storage bins and silos clean and mowed


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


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

For pesticide information:

National Pesticide Information Center: 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: Poison Control Centers nationwide: 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, may be able to assist you in obtaining such information.

Mark Your Calendars

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July 8 Seed Growers Field Day, NYSIP Foundation Seed Barn, Ithaca, NY (791 Dryden Road, Route 366)

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