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Weekly Field Crops Pest Report 2010

June 25, 2010             Volume 9, Number 10

1. View from the Field

2. Weather Outlook June 24, 2010

3. June Soybean Pest Watch

4. Wheat Stripe Rust

5. Western bean cutworm in NY?

6. Clipboard Checklist

7. Mark Your Calendars

8. Contact Information

View from the Field

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Potato leafhopper populations are still low but increasing at the Cornell Farm in Valatie and at SUNY Cobleskill farm fields. I was also in 2 soybean fields this week in Schoharie County and did not find any soybean aphids. Apparent planter error presented issues in one of the fields causing several large skips in the field. In some spots you could count 10 plants in 6 inches and then a big gap for several feet after that. This stand was at about 80,000 plants per acre.

Across the state several Extension Educators report slug damage on corn and soybeans. Japanese beetles have been reported causing some feeding injury to soybeans and other crops. This week marks the first report of soybean aphids this season Ė a very low population of these soybean feeding insects were found in Livingston county in western NY. No western bean cutworm moths have been collected in our NY pheromone trap monitoring network so far this season (see article below for more information). 

Weather Outlook June 24, 2010

Jessica Rennells
Climate Center, Cornell University

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Last week temperatures ranged from 0-6 degrees above normal.  Precipitation amounts were half to 2 inches for most of the state.  You may have felt the earthquake that occurred at 1:41 Wednesday afternoon.  It was a 5.5 magnitude centered in Canada.

The base 50 Growing Degree Days were between 100 and 150 for most of the state.  Part of the Adirondack region had 100 or less days.  The state is ahead of last year by 7 days to more than two weeks.  The GDD are ahead of normal by 10-14 days for most of the state.

Todayís highs will be in the 70ís and low 80ís with a chance of scattered showers and thunderstorms across the state.  Lowís will be in the low to mid 50ís. Fridayís temperatures will be in the upper 60ís to low  80ís.  Overnight temperatures will be in the low to mid 50ís. Saturdayís highs will be in the mid 70ís to low 80ís.  The overnight lows will be in the mid to upper 50ís.  Thereís a possibility for some scattered showers and thunderstorms. Sunday a warm front will be moving in the area bringing temperatures in the upper 70ís to mid 80ís.  Lows will be in the mid 50ís to low 60ís.  There will be more chance of showers and thunderstorms, especially for western NY. Mondayís temperatures will be in the mid 70ís to low 80ís.  The overnight temperatures will be warm, ranging in the 60ís.  Rain and thunderstorms are likely for the whole state. Tuesdayís temperatures will range throughout the 70ís as a low pressure system moves through.  The lows will be in the upper 50ís and low 60ís.  Rain is still likely, the eastern half of the state is likely to get more.  Wednesday will have highs in the low to mid 70ís and low in the mid to upper 50ís.  Some scattered showers are possible.  The five day precipitation amounts will range from 1 to 2 Ĺ  inches.   The 8-14 day outlook is showing equal chances for above or below normal temperatures and precipitation.  The drought monitor is showing the Catskill region as abnormally dry.

June Soybean Pest Watch

Keith Waldron

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Soybeans are up and growing well across much of the state. Pest issues have been light so far this season with the possible exception of slugs in reduced tillage fields. Japanese beetles are now becoming more prevalent and causing some leaf injury. The ability for soybeans to compensate for foliar damage usually reduces risk of economic impact from these defoliators.

One soybean pest on our watch list this time of year is soybean aphid (SBA). The first SBAís of the season were found in Livingston county this week. Since their initial introduction into NY in 2000-2001 SBA problems have fortunately been relatively isolated across the state. Due to some boom and bust pest population dynamics, our trend in NY has been to have higher risk of economically significant SBA populations in odd numbered years. 2009 however was a big year for SBA statewide. If our trend holds true, SBA issues in 2010 are expected to be relatively light. Field monitoring for this pest is, however, recommended since at least some fields reach threshold numbers every year requiring treatment to avoid losses. While we are only beginning to hear of SBA observations in adjacent states, it is not too early to begin monitoring soybean fields for presence of this insect in NY fields.

What to look for: Check the under surface of leaves for presence of very small aphids. If present, the aphids are usually seen in small clusters near the leaf veins. They are tiny, 1/16" long at their largest, with distinctive black cornicles (tail pipes).  Soybean aphids are the only aphids to successfully colonize soybean plants. These aphids may or may not have wings. Infested fields may also be stunted, have areas leaf curling and the sticky "honey dew" residue associated with a high aphid population and relatively low numbers of natural enemies. A large colony of soybean aphids often includes white, shed skins and brownish carcasses killed by fungal pathogens. Plants with very high SBA populations can also attract ants that can be seen on and in the plant canopy. Threshold guideline: SBA threshold guideline is 250 soybean aphids per plant if populations are actively increasing on 80% or more of the plants prior to early pod fill (R4). The 250 SBA / plant action threshold is based on an average of aphids per plant over 20-30 plants sampled throughout the field. This threshold incorporates an approximate 7-day lead time between scouting and treatment to make spray arrangements and handle weather delays. Midwestern research has found that treating earlier than this threshold in most cases does not pay for itself. When scouting the early vegetative stages of soybeans for soybean aphid, it is just as important to watch for the aphid's natural enemies, including ladybugs, syrphid fly larvae, parasitic wasps, and fungal pathogens.

If fields are approaching threshold, a follow up field visit is recommended within a week, particularly following rain storms, to determine if SBA populations are increasing, assess potential impact of natural enemies and re-assess if rains have affected aphid numbers on plants. Treatment: Insecticides labeled in NY for treatment of SBA's are shown in Table 6.6.1 of the Cornell Guide for Integrated Field Crop Management. If fields are treated, re-evaluate fields for SBA numbers at least 7-10 days following treatment. Information from any treat / no treat side-by-side comparisons is always appreciated.

Wheat Stripe Rust

Gary C. Bergstrom
Plant Pathologist, Cornell University

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Cornell Field Crop Pathologist Gary Bergstrom reports the presence of stripe rust of wheat, Puccinia striiformis f. sp. tritici, in wheat research plots in Cayuga Co. and Tompkins Co. This is the first report of stripe rust for the state of NY.   Occurrence of stripe rust this late in the crop season will not impact yield of this year's wheat crop and no management practices are warranted.  Samples have been sent to the USDA for rust race determination. Stripe rust occurrence in New York is not unexpected as the wind-borne fungal pathogen has been increasing it's range of northerly occurrence in the Eastern U.S. in recent years.

Stripe rust presents as leaves with 'yellow' rust pustules in 'stripes' along the veins in contrast with wider 'brown' leaf rust pustules that are scattered over the leaf surface (see attached photo).   Leaf (brown) rust is present almost everywhere in NY wheat growing regions at this time.

Dr. Bergstrom suspects stripe rust is occurring at low levels in much of the state's wheat acreage.  We are interested in knowing more about the extent of this disease in NY. If you happen to see symptoms in your wheat fields similar to those in the picture please contact your local Cornell Cooperative Extension educator. Thanks!

Western bean cutworm in NY?

Keith Waldron

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Western bean cutworm (WBC) is an emerging pest in NY, with the potential to cause substantial damage to corn, Zea mays and beans, Phaseolus vulgaris.  Native to North America, WBC has historically been a pest of corn and dry beans in the high plains region of the western US.  However, in the last decade, infestations have steadily been moving eastward. In 2008, WBC moths were collected in Ontario Canada and in 2009 WBC were confirmed in Pennsylvania and western New York.  These were the first reports of this insect in Ontario, PA or NY. Fortunately, the numbers found last season were well below numbers associated with any potential crop loss. There is concern that these insects may over the next several years establish and become a chronic problem in NY. Economically important infestations of this insect are not expected in 2010.  The question remains, however, will the insect be found again this season?, where?, in what numbers? and what will it mean to our producers?

This summer NY is cooperating with Pennsylvania, Ohio, other Midwestern states and Ontario and Quebec, Canada in a regional WBC monitoring effort to detect distribution of this pest.  Over 45 western bean cutworm pheromone traps are currently deployed in 26 counties across NY. Monitoring was initiated the second week of June 2010. To date, no WBC moths have been captured. Within the past week however, WBC moths have been captured in Ohio, Indiana and Ontario Canada. Our NY trapping program will continue through August. Results of the regional trapping network will soon be posted at the Sweet Corn Pheromone Trap Network for Western New York and Pennsylvania State Universityís Pest Watch website. Stay tuned for more information.

For a description of the Western Bean Cutworm. See the North Central IPM Regional Pest Alert factsheet: Western Bean Cutworm Striacosta albicosta (Smith).

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, 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, armyworm)
  • Monitor winter wheat for foliar diseases, potential for Fusarium Head Blight, Stripe Rust
  • Evaluate field for projected harvest date.

Field Corn

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


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


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


  • Check harvesting equipment for readiness or need for repairs.


  • 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 areas of moist organic matter i.e. fly breeding areas in barn and in adjacent animal loafing yard
  • Check pastures for forage quality / quantity, rotate as appropriate
  • Check pastures 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

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

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