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Weekly Field Crops Pest Report 2011

June 27, 2011, Volume 10 Number 8

  1. View from the Field
  2. Weather Outlook
  3. Soybean Emergence and Stand Counts
  4. Western bean cutworm in NY?
  5. Time to scout for soybean aphids
  6. Clipboard Checklist
  7. Mark Your Calendars
  8. Contact Information

View from the Field

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Soybean aphids have been found in several fields in NY. Infestation levels remain low at this time. Remember that aphids can increase in population very quickly when it starts to get warm.

The small grains at the Cornell Research farm in Valatie have what I think is a severe infestation of Stagonospora Nodorum Blotch and Glume Blotch. Splashing rain or thunderstorms can move spores from field surface to the plant. Greatest yield losses occur when the flag leaf and the next two lower leaves become infected by the time the wheat flowers. Symptoms usually appear within two or three weeks of head emergence. Leaf lesions begin as very dark brown flecks or spots, sometimes with a yellow halo. These small irregular lesions expand into oval light brown lesions with dark brown centers. On wheat heads the lesions begin as either grayish or brownish spots on the chaff, usually on the upper third of the glume. As lesions enlarge, they become dark brown and the centers turn grayish-white in color as tiny brown or black dots (pycnidia) develop within them.

Weather Outlook

June 23, 2011

Jessica Rennells, Northeast Region Climate Center, Cornell University

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The temperatures for the state were up to 3 degrees above normal.  Most of the state has had up to an inch of rain, though some areas have received more, such as the Catskills, lower Hudson Valley, and parts of western NY with up to 2 inches.  The base 50 growing degree days have ranged from 75 to 150, most of the state is in the 100 to 125 range.

Today (6.23.11) will be partly sunny with temperatures throughout the 70's and into mid 80's with showers and thunderstorms likely.  Tonight temperatures will be in the mid 50's to mid 60's with showers and a chance of thunderstorms. Friday will be cloudy with temperatures in the 70's and possible showers.  Lows will be in the 50's with the continued possibility of showers. Saturday's highs will be throughout the 70's with showers likely.  Lows will be in the upper 50's and low 60's. Sunday will be partly sunny with highs again throughout the 70's and lows in the mid to upper 50's.   Monday will partly sunny with temperatures in the upper 70's and low 80's.  Overnight temperatures will be in the mid to upper 50's. Tuesday's highs will be in the low to mid 80's with sunshine.  Lows will be in the upper 50's and low 60's. Wednesday's temperatures will be in the upper into the mid 80's with some showers possible.    Overnight temperatures will be warm in the 60's.

The five day precipitation amounts will range from 1.25 to 2.5 inches.  The 8-14 day outlook is showing above normal temperatures and below normal precipitation for the whole state.

Soybean Emergence and Stand Counts

Keith Waldron,

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Soybean growth is moving along and it will soon be time to assess soybean stands. The to-do list includes estimating plant populations and investigating the cause of missing plants in the rows.
The following table summarizes a method for estimating plant populations. Count the number of plants in the given length of row based on the row spacing, and then add 3 zeros. (For example, if 165 plants are counted, your estimated plant population is 165,000). Repeat this for the number of rows in your planter or drill, and repeat in 2 more areas of the field.

If the row width is:(inches)

Then measure this length of row:


74 feet, 8 inches


34 feet, 10 inches


26 feet, 2 inches


17 feet, 5 inches


16 feet, 4 inches


14 feet, 6 inches


When skips are seen in the rows, it is time to do some digging. Are seeds planted too deep such that plants are still emerging? Was the planter or drill acting up? Are damaged seeds or seedlings seen? If seeds are mushy or rotten, a seed or seedling blight might be the problem.
If seeds, stems, or roots show signs of feeding injury, the usual suspects are seed corn maggot, wireworm, or white grub. Risk from seed corn maggot is greatest if there is high organic matter on the soil surface, from crop residue or manure, for example. Wireworm and grub threats are usually greatest following a grass or pasture sod.
Stand assessment information gathered this year will help guide decisions about management that may be warranted in future years.

Western bean cutworm in NY?

Ken Wise,

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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 first confirmed in Pennsylvania and western New York.  Extensive monitoring across New York last summer found WBC present in 28 of 29 counties sampled. 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 2011.  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.  To determine where WBC may be found and when, WBC traps have been deployed in nearly every NY county from Chautauqua to Suffolk, Steuben to St. Lawrence. Monitoring was initiated mid-June. To date, no WBC moths have been captured in NY this season. However, this week WBC moths were collected in Indiana and in Ontario Canada. This could indicate the possibility of migrants reaching NY from other states given the large geographical spread but only time will help us determine that once we see the next few weeks worth of trap counts. Last year our first WBC trap catches occurred the week of June 28th.
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 Report (ECB, CEW, FAW, WBC), and Pennsylvania State University's Pest Watch website. Stay tuned for more information.

Time to scout for soybean aphids

Keith Waldron,

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Most areas across the state are currently reporting few or no SBA's present, however, soybean aphid (SBA) populations appear to be on the increase in the central NY production areas of Wayne and Yates counties. Adjacent counties could also be affected. Fields with higher SBA numbers have been those surrounded by hedgerows that contain the overwintering host – buckthorn. Field monitoring is recommended since at least some fields may reach threshold numbers every year requiring treatment to avoid losses. No cause to panic... but now is the time to begin checking fields soybean aphid.

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. Note: Treating fields in the early vegetative stages can be tricky. 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.
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. When treating aphid populations with one of the newer pyrethroid insecticides, it has been frequently observed that the use of this class of insecticide riggers  population buildup of spidermites paricularly during hot dry periods of the growing season. The buildup of spidermites has been observed when the pyrethroid insecticide is used early in the season. 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.

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 wheat for foliar & grain head diseases, Fusarium Head Blight incidence
*Monitor winter grain fields for crop growth stage, signs and symptoms of diseases, weed pressure, insects (cereal leaf beetle)

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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Fly Management in the Organic Dairy Pasture – eOrganic Webinar
July 6th, 2011

Donald Rutz, Keith Waldron, NYS IPM Program
Cornell Seed Growers Field Day
Thursday, 7 July 2011
Time: 8:30 AM-12:00 noon
For Seed Growers, Seed Treatment Applicators, and other Seed Professionals
Place: NYSIP Foundation Seed Barn, 791 Dryden Rd., Rt. 366, Ithaca, NY

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