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Weekly Field Crops Pest Report 2011

June 19, 2011, Volume 10 Number 7

  1. View from the Field
  2. Weather Outlook
  3. Soybean Seed Rots and Seedling Blight
  4. Growing Degree Days
  5. Clipboard Checklist
  6. Mark Your Calendars
  7. Contact Information

View from the Field

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There are reports of black cutworm causing economic losses to field corn. In one case cutworm caused up to 80% loss in a corn field.  Other parts of the county are reporting similar issues with black cutworm. Make sure to look for cutworms in your corn fields. The signs of cutworm are plants cut off at the base of the plant or higher. During the day larvae burrow into the soil next to the corn plant or hide under crop residue.

black cutworm damage

Black Cutworm and Damage

While scouting the Cornell University Research Farm in Valatie I found a substantial amount of a corn seed picked out of the ground by birds. As seen below the "Pitting" is caused by birds trying to get the seed out of the ground. When seed is planted too shallow the birds can get dig them out. When seed is planted 2 inches deep the birds find it difficult to dig them out and give-up.

pitting by birds

Mike Hunter in Jefferson County reports the discovery of brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB). This was confirmed by the Cornell University Hudson Valley Research Lab. This is the farthest north this new insect pest has been found in NY. This new insect pest was first documented in NY in the Hudson Valley Region in 2008. Here is a link to a photo of BMSB.
Mike Stanyard reports some wheat fields with limited amounts of fusarium head blight. He stated that 1 or 2 heads/hundred were infected. Diseased wheat heads exhibit premature bleaching as the pathogen progresses.  Over time, the premature bleaching of the spikelets may progress throughout the entire head. If the environment is warm and moist, aggregations of light pink/salmon colored spores may appear on the rachis and glumes of individual spikelets. Later in the season, bluish- black spherical bodies may appear on the surface of affected spikelets. 
Soybean aphid has been reported in some soybean fields in western NY. These are winged aphids and most likely came from buckthorn their overwintering host plant. Buckthorn is a plant that can be found in hedge rows and forests statewide. Soybean aphids coming from buckthorn are local overwintering populations. We also get soybean aphids that ride weather fronts from the south and southwest that can infest our fields.

Weather Outlook

June 16, 2011

Jessica Rennells, Northeast Region Climate Center, Cornell University

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The whole state has had above normal temperatures, mostly between 0 and 3 degrees above normal.  Precipitation has ranged from less than half an inch to 2 inches.  The base 50 growing degree days have ranged from 75 to 125.

Today will be mostly sunny with temperatures ranging from low 70's to low 80's.  Lows will range from upper 40's to upper 50's.  A warm front will track from western NY eastward bringing showers and possible thunderstorms later in the day and into Friday morning.

Friday will be cloudy with showers & thunderstorms as the frontal system moves out, temperatures will be in the 70's.  Overnight temperatures will be in the 50's.

Saturday temperatures will be in the upper 70's and low 80's.  It will be a dry day for most of the state but northern NY has a chance for showers.  Lows will be throughout the 50's.

Sunday will be sunny with highs throughout the 70's and lows throughout the 50's. 

Monday will be dry with temperatures throughout the 70's and possibly reaching into the 80's.  Overnight temperatures will be in the mid 40's to mid 50's.

Tuesday's highs will be in the mid 70's to low 80's with a possibility of some showers in western NY.  Lows will be in the 50's.

Sunday will be sunny with highs throughout the 70's and lows throughout the 50's. 
Monday will be dry with temperatures throughout the 70's and possibly reaching into the 80's.  Overnight temperatures will be in the mid 40's to mid 50's.
Tuesday's highs will be in the mid 70's to low 80's with a possibility of some showers in western NY.  Lows will be in the 50's.
Wednesday's temperatures will be in the upper 70's and low 80's.  Showers will be possible for western and central NY.   Overnight temperatures will be in the mid 50's to low 60's.

The five day precipitation amounts will range from one to three quarters of an inch.  The Chautauqua-Allegheny region could see closer to 1 to 1.25 inches.   The 8-14 day outlook is showing above normal temperatures for eastern half of the state and above normal precipitation for all but the lower Hudson Valley.

June rain amounts have ranged widely throughout the state.  Here are a few stations:
Aurora 0.38"
Ithaca 0.88"
Cooperstown 3.07"
Watertown 1.13"
Lowville 0.69"
Cobleskill 2.36"
Fredonia 1.97"
Boonville 0.92"

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.

Growing Degree Days

Ken Wise,

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CURRENT Accumulated Growing degree days (48F Base):

March 1 - May 25, 2011

Base 48 F
Base 50 F
*Indicates missing data
Data from NEWA

Degree Days for Peak (50%) Occurrence of Alfalfa Weevil Stages
Stage or Event (Degree Days - Base 48): eggs hatch (280 GDD), instar 1 (315 GDD), instar 2 (395 GDD), instar 3 (470 GDD), instar 4 (550 GDD), cocooning (600 GDD), pupa (725 GDD), adult emergence (815 GDD). (Source: R.I. Carruthers)

(Note: for alfalfa weevil predictions use Base Temp of 48F)

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.).
*Mow around farm buildings to minimize rodent and other pest habitat
Alfalfa and Grass Hay:
*Monitor alfalfa for crop condition, watch re-growth for alfalfa weevil, potato leafhopper, and diseases.
*Evaluate alfalfa seedings for weeds, insects (potato leafhopper) & diseases.
Small Grains:
*Monitor winter grain fields for crop growth stage, signs and symptoms of diseases, weed pressure, insects (cereal leaf beetle)
*Monitor winter wheat for foliar & grain head 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"
*Monitor for soybean aphid
*Check and mend fences as needed.
*Check crop growth
*Check for presence of undesirable plant species harmful to livestock.
*Review/Plan rotation system
*Arrange for custom weed / disease management 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 manure spreaders - maintain records on amount spread per field
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

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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Cornell University's Aurora Farm Field Day, Musgrave Research Farm, 1256 Poplar Ridge Road, Aurora, NY, Thursday July 14, 2011. 10:00am-3:00pm, free registration begins at 9:00.
Aurora Farm Field Day will highlight research demonstrations and presentations of interest to the local farming community.  Details on program topics forthcoming.  

Cornell University's Weed Days – Wednesday, July 13th
Morning program at the Thompson Vegetable Farm in Freeville and afternoon program at the Musgrave Research Farm in Aurora. DEC and CCA credits available. 
For more information regarding these meetings, please contact Larissa Smith at or 607-255-2177

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