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Weekly Field Crops Pest Report 2010

September 10, 2010       Volume 9 Number 19

1. View from the Field

2. Weather Outlook September 9, 2010

3. Fall Weed Survey - Invasive species and Plants affecting Livestock

4. Fall IPM Alfalfa Assessment

5. Clipboard Checklist

6. Contact Information

View from the Field

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A field corn field heavily infected with Gray leaf spot (see photo) was observed in the Elmira area this past week. Initial infection had been observed about V7, plants now in early dent stage. Silage harvest has begun in many areas of NY. Western bean cutworm moth captures have dropped of dramatically over the last several weeks. However, a few moths are still being caught with captures in Cayuga, Chautauqua, Columbia, and Ontario counties. Individuals assessing corn for maturity have reported finding Western bean cutworm larvae in ears of sweet and field corn. WBC larvae will become more difficult to find in damaged ears in next several weeks as they drop to the ground to overwinter in the soil.

A few soybean aphids are being found in maturing soybeans. Populations include normal yellow-green types as well as white dwarf and winged types.

Gray leaf spot on field corn. (photo: K. Waldron)

At the Cornell Research Farm in Valatie I found mold growing on ears of corn. Gary Bergstrom states that the corn is infected with a combination of Cladosporium (charcoal gray) and Fusarium graminearum (pink-white). Fusarium graminearum can contain mycotoxin.  The following photo show the mold growth on the ears of corn:

Weather Outlook September 9, 2010

Jessica Rennells
NOAA NE Regional Climate Center, Cornell University

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Last week temperatures ranged from 3 to 6 degrees above normal for most of the state.   The northern corner of the state was 6 to 9 degrees above normal and the southwestern corner was 0 to 3 degrees above normal.  Precipitation was a half inch or less for most of the state.  Some areas in western NY, and Jefferson and Lewis counties had half to two inches 

The base 50 Growing Degree Days ranged from less than 100 to 150.  Almost the entire state is ahead of last year by over three weeks.  Compared to normal, most of the state is ahead by over three weeks. The northern Adirondack region and part of the Catskill region is ahead by 7 to 18 days. 

Todays (Thursday) highs will be in the 60s with rain showers likely.  Tonights temperatures will be in 40s and low 50s. Friday will be in the 60s with a chance of showers in the morning and clearing throughout the day.  Friday night will be in the mid 40s to low 50s. Saturday high pressure will bring sunny conditions with highs in the low to mid 70s.  Lows will be in the mid 40s to mid 50s. Sunday highs will be in the upper 60s and low 70s.  Overnight temperatures will be in the mid to upper 50s.  Rain is likely in the evening. Monday will be in the upper 60s and low 70s.    Lows will be in the mid to upper 50s with scattered showers possible. Tuesdays temperatures will again be in the upper 60s and low 70s with the possibility of showers continuing.  Lows will be throughout the 50s. Wednesdays highs will be in the mid to upper 60s with lows in the upper 40s to mid 50s.  Showers possible.

The five day precipitation amounts will be onto three quarters of an inch.   The 8-14 day outlook is showing normal temperatures and precipitation.

Fall Weed Survey - Invasive species and Plants affecting Livestock

Keith Waldron

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Harvest season is upon us and with it another opportunity to visit fields up close and personal. This is a great time to take stock of what field issues can be found and note them in field records to enhance future management decisions. Note particularly good and bad areas, differences in crop height, plant populations, drainage, yield, etc. Updates on pest presence or damage can also be noted at this time.

An easily visible pest group to document this time of year are weeds. What species? Where are they found? How many are there? What management type (annual, perennial, biennial, grass or broadleaf species? Knowing this information helps to refine weed management decisions and develop next years cropping plans.

While visiting fields to conduct the fall weed survey note presence of troublesome perennial species like Canada thistle and milkweed and potentially invasive species such as spiderwort, garlic mustard, Japanese knotweed, leafy spurge, multiflora rose and spotted knapweed growing in or around production and fallow fields, pastures, in fence lines or in windbreaks. Many websites have information on invasive plant species. For information on invasive species in NYS see Sea Grant New York Invasive Species Information and USDA Invasive Species: Plants.

If you raise livestock, fall is also a good time to assess pastures and other grazed areas for presence of common weed species known to be harmful to animals. These species include horsetail (Equisetum spp), poke weed, St. Johnswort, tall buttercup, jimson weed, common milkweed and among others. A listing of some common plants poisonous to livestock can be found in the publication: Common Weeds Poisonous to Grazing Livestock.

To learn more about Plants Poisonous to Livestock and other Animals see Cornell University Dept. Animal Science Plants Poisonous to Livestock.

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.

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 any patches of herbicide resistant weeds, weed escapes
  • Storage areas cleaned and ready to accept hay, soybean, corn harvests

Field Corn:

  • Note crop growth stage and condition
  • Check for European corn borer, Western bean cutworm, foliar diseases, vertebrate injury (birds / deer), weed escapes, herbicide injury, nutritional deficiencies, etc.
  • Monitor weed populations noting presence of "who", "how many" and "where"
  • Check herbicide resistant corn fields for herbicide resistant soybean

Alfalfa & Hay:

  • Monitor alfalfa seedings for weeds, for potato leafhopper & diseases.
  • Check established alfalfa stands for potato leafhopper, weed and disease problems.
  • Check established alfalfa stands for signs of alfalfa snout beetle infestations in counties known to have this pest.
  • Storage areas cleaned and ready to accept next harvest?


  • Note crop growth stage and condition
  • Evaluate stand for soybean aphid, spider mites, deer, weed assessment, foliar disease incidence, harvest timing

Dairy Cattle: Livestock Barn Fly Management:

  • Monitor animals and facilities for house fly and stable fly populations
  • 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
  • Continue release of purchased natural enemies (fly attacking parasitoids)

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)
  • 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


  • Note any repairs needed for recently used equipment: tractors, tillage implements, harvesting equipment, etc. as they are cleaned and serviced.
  • 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.

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