Cornell Field Crops News

Timely Field Crops information for the New York Agricultural Community

April 6, 2015
by Jennifer Thomas-Murphy
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Cost-Sharing Available to Protect NNY Alfalfa Crops; Farmers Must Register by May 15

Cornell entomologist Dr. Elson Shields holds an alfalfa plant with a healthy root. His protocol for treating fields infested with alfalfa snout beetle is helping to restore alfalfa crops on NNY farms. The NNYADP is also funding selective breeding of beetle-resistant varieties of alfalfa.  Photo: NNYADP

Cornell entomologist Dr. Elson Shields holds an alfalfa plant with a healthy root. His protocol for treating fields infested with alfalfa snout beetle is helping to restore alfalfa crops on NNY farms. The NNYADP is also funding selective breeding of beetle-resistant varieties of alfalfa.
Photo: NNYADP

Northern NY. The Northern New York Agricultural Development Program, Cornell Cooperative Extension, and the Shields Lab at Cornell University are partnering to offer farmers a cost-sharing opportunity to encourage more growers to treat fields with biocontrol nematodes in areas infected with the highly destructive alfalfa snout beetle.  The deadline for expressing interest in the funding is May 15, 2015.

Alfalfa snout beetle is the major limiting factor in alfalfa production and stand longevity in all six NNY counties: Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence. The pest is also known to exist in three other counties in New York State and in southeastern Ontario.

‘Uncontrolled, the beetle can destroy a new alfalfa seeding in just a year or two, with field losses from $250 to $400 per acre,’ says Cornell Cooperative Extension Field Crops and Soils Specialist Kitty A. O’Neil.

To date, the beetle-attacking nematodes have been applied to between 8,000 and 10,000 acres of NNY farmland. A single application is enough to prompt success.

‘Early adopting producers who have applied the nematodes to multiple fields within an area have reported a significant decline in the alfalfa snout beetle population on their farm and are now successfully growing alfalfa again,’ says Cornell Cooperative Extension Field Crops Specialist Michael E. Hunter.

The farmer-driven Northern New York Agricultural Development Program is making funding available to help underwrite the rearing and application of the native nematodes. Extension personnel are serving as the application conduit.

‘On-farm research in Northern New York in the past seven years indicates that just a single application of the biocontrol nematodes is required in a field as the nematodes will persist in the field for many years,’ says Cornell Entomologist Elson Shields.

The most recent research funded by the Northern New York Agricultural Development Program shows that the nematodes will persist through a corn crop grown after alfalfa in the same field.

The project is also encouraging growers to plant varieties of alfalfa that are increasingly resistant to the pest, as identified by the selective breeding project funded by the Northern New York Agricultural Development Program and managed by the Cornell University Department of Plant Breeding and Genetics.

Farmers interested in participating in the cost-sharing program will find guidelines on the home page at www.nnyagdev.org. Requests must be made through Cornell Cooperative Extension for Clinton, Essex, Franklin or St. Lawrence counties to Kitty A. O’Neil at 315-854-1218, kitty.oneil@cornell.edu and for Jefferson or Lewis counties to Michael E. Hunter at 315-788-8450, meh27@cornell.edu.

The funding for the cost-sharing program was made possible through the $600,000 appropriated to the Northern New York Agricultural Development Program in the 2014-2015 New York State Budget.

The nematode biocontrol concept that arose from NNY alfalfa fields is now being evaluated to control pests in berry crops in Northern New York and, with funding through the New York Farm Viability Institute, in grape and organic apple crops elsewhere in New York State.

For more information about the Northern New York Agricultural Development Program, a complete list of 2015 projects, and results of the past projects, visit the Program website at www.nnyagdev.org.

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April 1, 2015
by Jennifer Thomas-Murphy
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Four new disease management reports have been posted with data on disease control in small grain cereals with fungicides, resistant varieties, and integrated management in New York in 2014.  They are available on FieldCrops.org.

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March 31, 2015
by Jennifer Thomas-Murphy
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How Well Will Corn Grow in Northern NY? NNYADP Field Data Now Available

Northern New York farmers grow 156,221 acres of corn; five of the six northernmost counties each grow more than 24,000 acres of corn, according to the 2012 Census of Agriculture. Corn is an essential feed crop for the Northern New York agricultural industry. To help farmers decide which corn hybrids have the best chance to produce high yield and high quality under Northern New York growing conditions, the farmer-driven Northern New York Agricultural Development Program, NNYADP, funds annual corn variety trials.

The results of the 2014 on-farm corn hybrid variety trials, conducted in St. Lawrence and Clinton counties, are now available online at www.nnyagdev.org.

Seed companies provided early maturing and medium-early maturing corn seed for the 2014 evaluation under the shorter Northern New York growing season as compared to more southern locations in New York State.

Lead researcher Dr. Margaret E. Smith, Cornell University Plant Breeding and Genetics, Ithaca, NY, notes, ‘The 2014 trials included longer-season corn hybrids that many Northern New York growers had found that they can use in light of the recent warmer and longer growing seasons in the region. As it turned out, 2014 was not one of those extra-long seasons in much of the Northern New York region.’

The data from the Northern New York trials is used in the development of the annual Cornell Guide for Integrated Field Crop Management for growers statewide.

Another NNYADP-funded project conducted field surveys of farms across the region to build a two-year database of common and newly-emerging diseases in corn and soybean crops.

The Northern New York Agricultural Development Program provides small grants for on-farm research and technical assistance projects in Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence counties. Success stories and research results are posted at www.nnyagdev.org.

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March 23, 2015
by Jennifer Thomas-Murphy
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The Capital Area Ag Report for March 2015 is now available online. Inside this Issue:

  • Announcements
  • FYI
  • Salesmen
  • Low Lignin Alfalfa
  • RR Alfalfa
  • Alfalfa Comparison
  • Total Tract NDFd
  • Sorghum

Click here for the issue in PDF format.

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March 18, 2015
by Jennifer Thomas-Murphy
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The first Crop Alert from the Northwest New York Dairy, Livestock, and Field Crops Team for the 2015 season has been posted.  Topics include:

  • Evaluating Winter Small Grain and Alfalfa Winter Damage
  • Early Nitrogen On Winter Small Grains
  • Frost Seeding Legumes & Grasses

Download it here.

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February 25, 2015
by Jennifer Thomas-Murphy
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Researchers, Coordinators, and Farmers:

An online survey has been created to learn about cover cropping practices and preferences of farmers. The survey is multiple-choice and should take between 5 and 10 minutes to complete. This is an excellent opportunity to hear directly from farmers about their needs and desires for improving cover crops.

If you have connections with networks of farmers (within New York State or elsewhere), we ask that you distribute the below survey link. If you are a farmer yourself, we enthusiastically invite you to take our survey.

https://cornell.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_6qWpsn7f9BZsyjj

Thank you for your time,

Sandra Wayman
Matt Ryan
Cornell University Sustainable Cropping Systems Lab

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February 20, 2015
by Jennifer Thomas-Murphy
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The Capital Area Ag Report for February 2015 is now available online. Inside this Issue:

  • Announcements
  • Soil Health Recap
  • Grain School Recap
  • Forage Sampling
  • Frost Bite in Livestock
  • Frost Seeding
  • Cover Crop Tables

Click here for the issue in PDF format.

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February 11, 2015
by Jennifer Thomas-Murphy
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NYCSGA Request for 2015 Corn Research Proposals – Due Feb. 28th

NThe New York Corn & Soybean Growers Association is requesting proposals for 2015 corn research and education. Proposals must be received no later than 4 pm on February 28, 2015 at:

NYCSGA
PO Box 605
Sackets Harbor, NY 13685 or
Email: Julia@nycornsoy.com

Emailed proposals formatted as a PDF are encouraged and should be sent to Julia Robbins, Julia@nycornsoy.com.

Funding decisions are expected to be made on or around March 30, 2015. Typical awards are expected to be $10,000 per project or less. NYCGSA reserves the right to negotiate award/contract funding with successful applicants.

The available funds for 2015 research and education projects will be awarded with funds from New York state. There is a limited amount of funding available, so this process will be competitive. In addition, funds will be awarded on a reimbursement basis. Grantees should be prepared for a lag time in receiving reimbursement, as the funding must first come from the state.

Eligible researchers/ investigators may include scientists from colleges and universities or agri-businesses, cooperative extension agents, independent consultants and farmers. Collaboration between academic institutions, businesses and farmers is encouraged.

Please use the following format for your proposal:

1.   Project title

2.   Investigator(s) name, contact information, and affiliation (contact information should include, phone, address, email).

3.   Specific research or education objectives

4.   Brief discussion of the expected benefits of the research or education to soybean producers.

5.   Identify the goal(s) of the project, and list the “key performance indicators” that will be used to measure the success of the project. *

6.   Concise description of the experimental or educational approach with procedures to be used, and explanation of how the proposed research or education relates to any past research or showing that no previous research has been done (reference key research publications as appropriate).

7.   Detailed line-item budget including any other sources (current or pending) of funding for this same research. Attach supporting data for any proposed expenditures in excess of $10,000. Principal investigator or educator salary and non-expendable equipment are not eligible for funding. NYCSGA will not pay overhead and direct costs.

8.   Brief description of investigator or educator qualifications for the proposed research.

9.   Signature of authorized representative & date.

*A set of quantifiable measures used to gauge or compare performance in terms of meeting strategic and operational goals.

Note: If on farm field trials or other farmer engagement is part of the research proposal, then please include letters of collaboration from participating farmers.

While NYCSGA will consider multi-year proposals, funding awards/ contracts will only be made for one year at a time given that the Board’s source of funds depends on renewed funding from the state. This also allows the Board to consider the effectiveness of any previous research or education expenditures on the proposed or similar research projects and of the researcher on this or other projects.

The following is a summary of New York’s highest priority corn-related research needs. We encourage you to consider this list as guidance when submitting your proposals. All proposals must clearly show the benefits for corn farmers.

2015 New York State Corn Research & Education Priorities:

  • Plant population/nitrogen rate interaction
  • Pop-up and 2×2 effects on test weight/yield/forage quality
  • Adapt-N model with variable rate
  • Late season fungicide application with corn silage
  • Population in corn silage
  • Stabilized vs Unstabilized Anhydrous and Rates
  • Stabilized vs Un-stabilized Anhydrous Ammonia Placement Trial
  • Planting depth

*These are NYCSGA’s top priorities in 2015. NYCSGA has developed descriptions for these projects. Researchers interested in pursuing these projects should consult the project description developed by and available through NYCSGA and submit a proposal in full, as described on page 1.

Remember – this is not an exclusive list. If you have an idea for a project that is not listed here but has the potential to benefit New York corn farmers, you are invited to enter a full proposal.

New in 2015: Applicants will be required to present their proposal for funding to the NYCSGA Research Committee on March 25 at Monroe Tractor in Henrietta, NY. Applicants should prepare a 10-15 minute presentation. More information TBD.

NYCSGA will require that researchers or educators who are successful in receiving NYCSGA funding for their work will acknowledge NYCSGA support in any publication reporting findings of the NYCSGA sponsored research. Projects awarded funding by NYCSGA must demonstrate a direct benefit to corn farmers. In addition, NYCSGA requires electronic copies of the final research reports, any publications of the findings, and a research abstract, all of which NYCSGA may use in describing the project and its findings in any NYCSGA publication or the website.

For more information, please call Julia Robbins, NYCSGA Executive Director at 315-583-5296, email Julia@nycornsoy.com.

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February 11, 2015
by Jennifer Thomas-Murphy
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NYCSGA Request for 2015 Soybean Research Proposals – Due Feb. 20th

NThe New York Corn & Soybean Growers Association is requesting proposals for 2015 soybean research and education. Proposals must be received no later than 4 pm on February 20, 2015 at:
NYCSGA
PO Box 605
Sackets Harbor, NY 13685 or
Email: Julia@nycornsoy.com

Emailed proposals formatted as a PDF are encouraged and should be sent to Julia Robbins, Julia@nycornsoy.com.

Funding decisions are expected to be made on or around March 30, 2015. Typical awards are expected to be $10,000 per project or less. NYCGSA reserves the right to negotiate award/contract funding with successful applicants.

The available funds for 2015 research and education projects will be awarded with funds collected from NYCSGA’s Soybean checkoff assessments, and will be based on actual and anticipated collection of checkoff assessments received in New York State.

Eligible researchers/ investigators may include scientists from colleges and universities or agri-businesses, cooperative extension agents, independent consultants and farmers. Collaboration between academic institutions, businesses and farmers is encouraged.

Please use the following format for your proposal:

1.   Project title
2.   Investigator(s) name, contact information, and affiliation (contact information should include, phone, address, email).
3.   Specific research or education objectives
4.   Brief discussion of the expected benefits of the research or education to soybean producers.
5.   Identify the goal(s) of the project, and list the “key performance indicators” that will be used to measure the success of the project. *
6.   Concise description of the experimental  or educational approach with procedures to be used, and explanation of how the proposed research or education relates to any past research or showing that no previous research has been done (reference key research publications as appropriate).
7.   Detailed line-item budget including any other sources (current or pending) of funding for this same research. Attach supporting data for any proposed expenditures in excess of $10,000. Principal investigator or educator salary and non-expendable equipment are not eligible for funding. NYCSGA will not pay overhead and direct costs.
8.   Brief description of investigator or educator qualifications for the proposed research.
9.   Signature of authorized representative & date.

*A set of quantifiable measures used to gauge or compare performance in terms of meeting strategic and operational goals.

Note: If on farm field trials or other farmer engagement is part of the research proposal, then please include letters of collaboration from participating farmers.

While NYCSGA will consider multi-year proposals, funding awards/ contracts will only be made for one year at a time given that the Board’s source of funds varies by annual soybean sales and checkoff assessment collections. This also allows the Board to consider the effectiveness of any previous research or education expenditures on the proposed or similar research projects and of the researcher on this or other projects. Payments of research grant awards will be made as follows: 40 % when project is approved and contract is returned to NYCSGA, 40% upon submission of progress report, and 10% upon submission of final report.

The following is a summary of New York’s highest priority soybean-related research needs. We encourage you to consider this list as guidance when submitting your proposals. All proposals must clearly show the benefits for soybean farmers.

2015 New York State Soybean Research & Education Priorities:
*Soybean Seed Treatments
*Soybean Nitrogen applications
*Pop-up fertilizers in low fertility soils
White mold management
Consumer education about modern agriculture practices
Integrated pest management in soybeans
Feeding quality for livestock – whole cooked vs. meal – nutritional value
International and domestic trade marketing
Biodiesel
Feasibility or development of in-state soybean processing

*These are NYCSGA’s top priorities in 2015. NYCSGA has developed descriptions for these projects. Researchers interested in pursuing these projects should consult the project description developed by and available through NYCSGA and submit a proposal in full, as described on page 1.

Remember – this is not an exclusive list. If you have an idea for a project that is not listed here but has the potential to benefit New York soybean farmers, you are invited to enter a full proposal.

New in 2015: Applicants will be required to present their proposal for funding to the NYCSGA Research Committee on March 25 in Pavilion, NY. Applicants should prepare a 10-15 minute presentation. More information TBD.
 
NYCSGA will require that researchers or educators who are successful in receiving NYCSGA funding for their work will acknowledge NYCSGA and soybean checkoff support in any publication reporting findings of the NYCSGA sponsored research. Projects awarded funding by the New York Soybean Checkoff must demonstrate a direct benefit to soybean farmers. In addition, NYCSGA requires electronic copies of the final research reports, any publications of the findings, and a research abstract, all of which NYCSGA may use in describing the project and its findings in any NYCSGA publication or the website.

For more information, please call Julia Robbins, NYCSGA Executive Director at 315-583-5296, email Julia@nycornsoy.com.

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February 10, 2015
by Jennifer Thomas-Murphy
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New York State Industrial Hemp Trials

There have been a number of inquiries about potential industrial hemp trials in NYS in 2015.  Here is my view of the current state of affairs (from Jerry Cherney):

  1. Industrial hemp is not marijuana. Hemp has very low THC content, the psychoactive component of marijuana. So unless you want to smoke a joint the size of a telephone pole, you can’t get a high from hemp.
  2. NYS passed a law allowing research trial sites for industrial hemp in NYS in 2015, becoming the 19th state legalizing either research and/or production industrial hemp trials. At this time, the NYS law does not take effect until mid-June, so nothing could be planted before then. It may be possible to amend the law.
  3. Agronomic guidelines are not obvious for NYS conditions. Seeding rates for hemp have varied from 10 to 125 lbs/acre, optimal seeding rates may be around 25 lbs/acre. Hemp should be planted after danger of a hard freeze, maybe a little later than corn, when soil temperatures reach 50 F. Like corn, it likes warm weather, well-drained soils, and good fertility. A 6-8” row spacing is typically used, ideally ending up with around 10 plants per square foot.
  4. There is also a range in maturity ratings, but varieties are available that may have as short a season as 110 to 120 days to grain maturity. Maturity ratings from other regions may not apply here. There are seed-type hemps, fiber-type hemps, and dual purpose hemps. Seed-type hemps are shorter (5-7’ tall), while fiber types may be 10-15’ tall, with dual purpose intermediate in height.
  5. Hemp clearly has problems with harvesting, tending to wrap up and plug combines, the taller the hemp the greater the issue. Some modifications have helped with this.
  6. There is a wide range of products that come from hemp fiber and seed. Right now there is an organized market for hemp seed, and less of an organized market for other hemp products.
  7. NYS Ag & Markets has formed a Hemp Work Group, and is currently working on a set of guidelines governing any hemp trials. It is difficult to make any plans for potential trials before guidelines are developed.
  8. At least two companies/organizations are interested in sponsoring hemp trials or providing varieties for testing. One of these groups is planning 2015 hemp trials in Vermont and Maine. Most likely a number of other states will conduct trials.
  9. Funding, the elephant in the room. The interested organizations would like to partner with Cornell and other institutions to conduct trials, but there may not be enough funds to actually conduct the trials, without partners contributing. Discussions with other groups over the past 4 years about potential hemp trials (even though illegal at that time), indicated that there was limited funding available for hemp trials from the industry.
  10. At this time there is no financial support for hemp trials from NYS or from Cornell. (It appears that the state of Kentucky and several other states are providing some sort of financial support for organized hemp variety trials). Hemp research trials were conducted in Kentucky, Colorado, and Vermont in 2014.
  11. Federal law still forbids planting of hemp for any reason, but there is legislation proposed to change this. It is not clear at this time what sort of regulations will be necessary for growing hemp in NYS. Last year Kentucky attempted and eventually got hemp trials planted considerably later than normal, because the seed was being held by DEA until they were politically forced to release the seed for some late May plantings. The problem with DEA has been resolved for 2015.

A mid-June or later planting date will be very problematic for getting a mature hemp crop in 2015. It may be possible to plant in late June and still get a mature crop, but it is unlikely. Kentucky was successful in getting a grain crop in 2014, after planting in late May, but their growing season is 2-3 weeks longer in the fall compared to ours.

Regardless of the products produced from hemp, agronomically it can be treated essentially as a grain crop, which could be successfully grown by NYS farmers with grain crop expertise. One of the better quotes I found is: “Probably more so than any plant in living memory, hemp attracts people to attempt its cultivation without first acquiring a realistic appreciation of the possible pitfalls. American presidents Washington and Jefferson encouraged the cultivation of hemp, but both lost money trying to grow it.” Hemp cultivation in Canada over the past 15 years has had mixed results, a large investment in hemp for fiber was not linked to the development of an organized market. Teenagers raided fields in the mistaken belief they were getting marijuana. Growing this crop in NYS will be benefited by informing local and statewide media of the facts about industrial hemp.

 

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