Skip to main content
link to field crops section
->Home > fieldcrops > tag > pestrpt > pestrpt10

Weekly Field Crops Pest Report 2010

June 18, 2010             Volume 9 Number 9

1. View from the Field

2. Weather Outlook June 17

3. Be Ready for Potato Leafhopper before the damage occurs!

4. Not too Early to think about Stored Grain Pests

5. Black Cutworm in Field Corn

6. Curb conditions that can favor dairy barn fly populations

7. Clipboard Checklist

8. Mark Your Calendars

9. Contact Information

View from the Field


return to top

This week many extension educators from across the state indicated they detected black cutworm injury. In Rensselaer County, we found several plants chewed off at the base. Less than 10 percent of the plants showed damaged. For more information see black cutworm article below.

We also found low infestation levels of potato leafhopper (PLH) in alfalfa. We did find a few PLH nymphs.

Weather Outlook June 17

Drew Montreui
NOAA NE Regional Climate Center, Cornell University

return to top

Over the last week, most of New York was a couple of degrees cooler than normal. Parts of the Southern Tier into far Western New York were a little warmer, ending up just above normal. Growing degree days ranged from under 50 in parts of the Adirondacks, to between 75 and 100 across most of central and southern New York. For the season, this puts most of the Finger Lakes, western and southern New York in the 600-800 range, with eastern and northern New York between 400-600.  Comparing these values to last year, almost the entire state is 10 to 14 calendar days ahead, with areas towards Albany 7 to 10 days ahead. Compared to normal values, most of the state is 10 to 14 or more days ahead, with parts of the North Country 7 to 10 days ahead. This translates to 150 to 200 growing degree days more than normal for most of the state, with 100 to 150 more than normal across the north. Most of the precipitation fell from I-81 east, where 1? to 2? fell. The Finger Lakes and western New York saw under an inch, except in areas that saw heavy rainfall yesterday, the data for which is not yet available.

The week ahead will feature a couple more systems moving through and an increasingly summer like pattern. The storm system that brought showers and a couple of thunderstorms yesterday is pulling off the New England coast this morning. Clouds and a couple of showers will linger, but by later this afternoon, sun should overspread the region. Highs today will generally be in the low to mid 70s. High pressure will take hold of the region tomorrow and most of Saturday, with increasing temperatures. After morning lows in the low to mid 50s, temperatures will jump into the mid to upper 80s Friday, with many places getting to or above 90 on Saturday. The next chance for rain comes late Saturday evening for the west, and overnight into Sunday morning for the rest of the state as a cold front brings some thunderstorms. Most of Sunday should end up sunny, with highs running near 80 for most of the state. Highs on Monday will be in the low to mid 80s with more sun. Morning lows will again dip into the low to mid 50s Monday and Tuesday morning with high pressure overhead. The next system begins to impact the region later Tuesday into Wednesday, with chances for showers and thunderstorms. Highs on both days will likely be in the mid 80s, though even warmer air will not be that far south and may make a run at the southern half of the state. For the next 5 days, the heaviest precipitation can be expected across the Adirondacks and North Country, where ?? to 1? will fall. Most other areas should pick up between a quarter and half inch of rain. Any thunderstorms, of course, may lead to localized heavier amounts. Over the next two weeks, both temperatures and precipitation are expected to be above normal.

Be Ready for Potato Leafhopper before the damage occurs!

Ken Wise
NYS IPM

return to top

As temperatures increase and weather fronts roll through NY, so does the risk of potato leafhopper populations reaching levels damaging to alfalfa yields and quality. Do you know what to do if a field reaches an action threshold for potato leafhopper in alfalfa? Here are the management options for potato leafhopper in alfalfa!

Option 1: Early Harvest
You can harvest the alfalfa early to control potato leafhoppers if the field is within a week to ten days of a scheduled harvest. By harvesting the alfalfa early, you'll prevent potato leafhopper from reaching infestation levels that can cause yield and quality loss to the forage. Make sure that the whole field is harvested at the same time. If a field is not clean harvested then the alfalfa that has not been cut will serve as a refuge for potato leafhoppers and can re-infest; thus severely damaging alfalfa re-growth.

Option 2: Use an Insecticide
To protect yield and health of new seedings and established alfalfa, insecticide control can be warranted when a field is not within a week of harvest. For selection of an insecticide consult the current issue of Cornell Guide for Integrated Field Crop Management. Remember to read the label and be aware of blooms, bees and the days until harvest restrictions.

Option 3: Plant Potato Leafhopper Resistant Alfalfa
A third option for control is planting potato leafhopper resistant alfalfa. Obviously, it is a little late for this season's crop but something to consider for future seedings. Research has shown that potato leafhopper resistant alfalfa is consistently higher in quality than susceptible alfalfa varieties with or without potato leafhopper pressure. PLH resistant varieties yields are comparable and generally better than susceptible varieties when PLH are present. A bonus benefit is that currently available alfalfa varieties with PLH resistance have come down in price over the past several years.

Not too Early to think about Stored Grain Pests

Keith Waldron
NYS IPM

return to top

It won't be long before wheat heads begin to lighten in color indicating harvest time is near. This year's strong commodity prices prompt much anticipation for a profitable harvest. With that in mind, it is not too early to begin preparing for harvest and checking the readiness of your on-farm storage bins. To maintain the profits a good yield can bring, make and follow a plan to protect the grain while in storage. Remember: Grain storage will not improve grain quality. However, proper management of grain during storage will protect the quality present at harvest.

The IPM approach for stored grain protection includes a combination of sanitation, well-sealed bins, frequent monitoring for temperature, moisture and insect populations, aeration to cool grain in the fall, and pest management treatments as needed. Stored grain management begins with "an ounce of prevention". This article will highlight some steps one can take now to protect stored grain before it is harvested. The following pre-harvest information was "gleaned" whole or in part from Stored Grain IPM information from Oklahoma State University Stored Products Research & Education Center and Purdue University. Source URL's are provided at end of this article.

Insect infestations are the more common stored grain pest issues one might encounter. Insect infested grain can be docked at time of sale. Most common grain bin insect problems can be traced back to infestations in previously stored material, cracked grain and grain fines and trash. The key to prevention is SANITATION - clean out the bin every time it is emptied. How clean? If you can tell what was stored in the bin the last time it was used, it needs more cleaning. In addition to insects, birds and rodents are also attracted to left over and spilled grain. Lights mounted on or in close proximity to grain bins may attract unwanted stored grain insects. Who might the likely insect pests be? This could be the subject for a future article. In the meantime the following extension factsheets provide information to help identify the insects you may find as you clean out your storage bins: Management of Stored Grain Insects, Part II. Identification and Sampling of Stored Grain Insects and Principal Stored Grain Insect Pests of Indiana.

The following sanitation practices are recommended for managing empty storage bins.

  • Remove old grain from combines, truck beds, augers and any other equipment used for harvesting, transporting or handling grain
  • Remove remnants of grains from aeration systems, ducts, and exhaust systems
  • Empty storage structures of old grain. The new crop should never be stored on top of old grain.
  • Remove and destroy any grain from beneath, around or near the bin area. Sweep and vacuum the floors, false floors, and walls inside empty bins to remove old grain and debris. This debris usually contains insect eggs, larvae, pupae, and/or adults, all ready to infest the new grain. A shop vacuum, broom and scoop are very useful in a cleanup job, and all collected material should be discarded properly.
  • Check fan boxes for possible grain pests.
  • Clean/inspect/repair/replace aeration equipment and dryers
  • Remove any spilled grain, weeds and tall grass around bins to reduce likelihood of rodent or insect infestations
  • Check, clean or replace rodent traps.
  • Check screens and porcupine wires to limit bird entry and roosting.
  • For additional protection against infestation, the inside and outside surfaces, foundations and floor of a storage facility can be sprayed with residual insecticide, two to three weeks prior to harvest, to kill any insects that were not removed during cleaning and those that migrate into the bin.
  • NOTE: Before using an insecticide always check current labels for state registration, grains that can be treated, rates, application sites and procedures and safety considerations. Many products now carry the statement "Do not apply directly to grain."  Some products may not be labeled for treating grain storage facilities.  Products not labeled for application to stored grain facilities should not be used as empty bin sprays. Check with grain buyer or consumer as to what is acceptable
  • Clean areas surrounding storage sites that might house insects in various stages of development
  • Establish a written sanitation schedule and keep appropriate records

Bin Sealing
Roof leaks are common contributors to moisture and columns of spoiled grain. Check for these leaks by looking for light coming into the bin. Moisture can also accumulate as condensation in situations requiring aeration. Moisture coming into the bin through the seal between the bin and concrete can cause spoilage around the perimeter of the bin at the base. Check the integrity of the seal since these materials can deteriorate over time. Water will run away from the seal at the base of the bin wall if the concrete is sloped away from the bin. Also check the seals around the doors and hatches.

Besides keeping grain dry, grain storages should be well sealed for two other basic reasons: (1) to minimize grain insect entry problems into base and sidewall grain, and (2) to minimize leakage should fumigants be used.

More information on bin sealing is available on the SPREC Web site.

Source of the above stored grain pest management information: Oklahoma State University Stored Products Research & Education Center Newsletter - Spring 2004 and Stored Grain Management in Oklahoma.

See also Purdue's Stored Product Pest factsheet.

Black Cutworm in Field Corn

Ken Wise
NYS IPM

return to top

The cutworm adult moths ride weather fronts that carry them from the south to the Northeast.  Weedy grasses and winter annual broadleaves (especially chickweed) are favorite targets. If cutworm moths lay eggs in the field and the field is treated with an herbicide, hatching cutworm larvae bail off the dying weeds and look for greener food sources such as emerging corn seedlings. Cutworms can be an annual problem in some fields; particularly those with a history of poor weed control or with low wet areas in the field. Field margins, especially those next to ditch banks, grassy lanes, and hay fields are potential sites for infestation. Doing an early season plant population count is a good way to check corn fields for cutworm damage and other corn emergence problems. The cutworm adult moths ride weather fronts that carry them from the south to the Northeast.  Weedy grasses and winter annual broadleaves (especially chickweed) are favorite targets. If cutworm moths lay eggs in the field and the field is treated with an herbicide, hatching cutworm larvae bail off the dying weeds and look for greener food sources such as emerging corn seedlings. Cutworms can be an annual problem in some fields; particularly those with a history of poor weed control or with low wet areas in the field. Field margins, especially those next to ditch banks, grassy lanes, and hay fields are potential sites for infestation. Doing an early season plant population count is a good way to check corn fields for cutworm damage and other corn emergence problems.

The cutworm adult moths ride weather fronts that carry them from the south to the Northeast.  Weedy grasses and winter annual broadleaves (especially chickweed) are favorite targets. If cutworm moths lay eggs in the field and the field is treated with an herbicide, hatching cutworm larvae bail off the dying weeds and look for greener food sources such as emerging corn seedlings. Cutworms can be an annual problem in some fields; particularly those with a history of poor weed control or with low wet areas in the field. Field margins, especially those next to ditch banks, grassy lanes, and hay fields are potential sites for infestation. Doing an early season plant population count is a good way to check corn fields for cutworm damage and other corn emergence problems.

Curb conditions that can favor dairy barn fly populations

Keith Waldron
NYS IPM

return to top

Take some warm and wet weather, add moist organic matter like animal bedding and spilled silage and you have perfect conditions for house and stable fly populations to develop in and around confinement areas. To minimize risk that these nuisance flies will reach problem numbers pay attention to the critical keys for effective fly management.

Clean and Dry!
By keeping barn areas clean and dry you can help minimize 90% or so of the potential fly problem. A little management time each week will pay big dividends as the season progresses.

Sanitation, Sanitation, Sanitation!
Staying ahead of fly populations begins with cultural practices that eliminate conditions favorable to fly breeding. House flies and stable flies both breed in areas where moist undisturbed organic matter such as spilled feed, moist hay, wet grain, and manure-soiled bedding are present. Another favorable breeding spot is a location that remains relatively undisturbed and offers protection from foot and hoof traffic. Frequent clean out of potential breeding sites and other activities that enhance dry conditions in animal areas will make the local environment inhospitable to successful buildup of fly populations.

A variety of natural enemies of flies occur naturally in the typical dairy barn. These include various predators of house and stable fly eggs, larvae and adults. When sanitation, are used effectively, natural enemies can more easily keep up with what fly populations remain and can be quite effective at reducing their numbers. The key is to employ sound sanitation, early and as often as practical, as the first line of defense for mitigating fly populations.

With sound sanitation as the foundation for fly management, additional tactics can be brought to bear such as sticky papers and fly tapes, insecticide baits and the use of fly predators.

For more information on IPM for barn fly management see: Integrated Management of Flies in and around Dairy and Livestock Barns and Pest Management Recommendations for Dairy Cattle.

Clipboard Checklist

Keith Waldron
NYS IPM

return to top

General

  • 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, deer, etc.).
  • Mow around farm buildings to minimize rodent and other pest habitat

Alfalfa and Grass Hay

  • Monitor alfalfa for crop condition, potato leafhopper, foliar, systemic and crown rot diseases.
  • Evaluate alfalfa seedings for weeds, potato leafhopper & diseases.
  • Monitor alfalfa and grass stands to assess regrowth and determine optimal harvest date.

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
  • Evaluate field for projected harvest date.

Field Corn

  • Post emergence: Determine corn plant populations, monitor for weeds, noting presence of "who", "how many" and "where"
  • Mid season corn pests: European corn borer, slugs, armyworm, foliar diseases, birds

Soybeans

  • Monitor crop growth and condition, monitor for weeds, noting presence of "who", "how many" and "where"
  • Monitor for soybean aphid and diseases

Pastures:

Check crop growth

  • Check for presence of undesirable plant species harmful to livestock.
  • Review/Plan rotation system

Equipment

  • Check your application or harvesting equipment for readiness or need for repairs.

Storage

  • Clean grain storage bins in anticipation of wheat harvest.
  • 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.

PESTICIDE EMERGENCY NUMBERS

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

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


return to top

July 7, 2009 -- Cornell Seed Growers Field Day, Ithaca, NY

July 15, 2009 -- Weed Science Field Day, Thompson Research Farm, Freeville,NY (morning program)

July 15, 2009 -- NYSABA Summer, BBQ, Musgrave Farm, Aurora, NY 12:00 noon

July 15, 2009 -- Weed Science Field Day, Musgrave Farm, Aurora, NY(afternoon program)

July 23, 2009 -- Aurora Farm Field Day, Musgrave Farm, 1256 Poplar Ridge Rd,Aurora, NY

Aug. 10-14, 2009 -- Soil Health Training Workshop,Ithaca, NY

Contact Information


return to top

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