Cornell Field Crops News

Timely Field Crops information for the New York Agricultural Community

April 6, 2017
by Cornell Field Crops
Comments Off on Corn Hybrid Trial Results Help Northern NY Farmers Select Seed

Corn Hybrid Trial Results Help Northern NY Farmers Select Seed

Northern NY farmers Dan and Andrew Reed check a past year’s corn crop. Photo: Brian P. Whattam

Northern New York farmers harvest approximately 13 percent of the total corn acreage in New York State. To help growers select the highest yielding corn varieties for planting, the farmer-driven Northern New York Agricultural Development Program funds Cornell University field trials that evaluate not only yield, but crop vigor, moisture, standability, and other plant health factors that influence the opportunity to grow a high quality, productive crop.

The results of the 2016 field trials with 50 early-maturing hybrids on farms in Madrid and Chazy, NY, and 16 medium-early hybrids in Madrid by Cornell Professor of Plant Breeding and Genetics Dr. Margaret E. Smith are posted in the Field Crops: Corn section of the Northern New York Agricultural Development Program website at www.nnyagdev.org.

An evaluation of leaf disease development was planned as part of the 2016 hybrids trial, however, generally due to dry conditions throughout the growing season in Northern New York, no significant leaf or insect pressure was found at either the Chazy or Madrid site.

Smith notes, “Growers should always choose hybrids based on multiple years of evaluation and multi-location data whenever possible since any hybrid can have a banner year or banner environment one year but not necessarily hold up over a range of different growing seasons.”

The results of corn grain hybrid testing in Northern New York since 2004 are posted at www.nnyagdev.org.

The farmer-driven Northern New York Agricultural Development Program is a research and technical assistance program serving all agricultural sectors in Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Jefferson, Lewis, and St. Lawrence counties. Funding for the Northern New York Agricultural Development Program is supported by the New York State Senate and administered through the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets.

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March 21, 2017
by Cornell Field Crops
Comments Off on NNY Winter Survival of Alfalfa Under Evaluation by Farmer-Driven Research Program

NNY Winter Survival of Alfalfa Under Evaluation by Farmer-Driven Research Program

Before the snow: 2016 Winter Survival Alfalfa Trial after transplanting and watering alfalfa seedlings at Chazy, NY, in Clinton County, Northern New York, May 2016. Photo: J. Hansen

Winter weather in recent years has created a variety of conditions for Cornell University researchers evaluating the cold weather hardiness of alfalfa crops. At the request of the farmer-driven Northern New York Agricultural Development Program, Dr. Julie L. Hansen and Dr. Donald R. Viands of the Cornell University School of Integrative Plant Science are evaluating carefully-selected alfalfa varieties in trials at the W.H. Miner Agricultural Research Institute in Chazy, NY. The preliminary results of this research have been recently posted at nnyagdev.org.

‘The harsh winter conditions typical in Northern New York make winter survival an essential trait in alfalfa variety selection for regional growers,’ says Hansen.

‘The ultimate goal of this research is to lesson winterkill losses of alfalfa, thereby reducing the money and time farmers lose to forage loss and reestablishment costs for this valuable perennial crop that feeds the dairy and livestock industries,’ notes Viands.

Growers have traditionally planted alfalfa varieties that produce less forage after the final harvesting of the growing season and prior to the onset of winter as those varieties have a typically shown better winter survival. Forage breeders, however, are working to develop alfalfa varieties that will produce both more forage into the fall season and have improved winter survival.

Data on the fall dormancy and winter survivability of six alfalfa varieties planted in 2015 and 2016 at Chazy is being correlated to the National Alfalfa and Miscellaneous Legume Variety Review Board standards that require winter survival ratings collected over either two years or two locations to be averaged.

The combined two-year evaluation of the 2015 and 2016 alfalfa trials in Northern New York creates a baseline index to help growers make a more well-informed decision about which alfalfa varieties might work best for their growing conditions and micro-climate areas.

To add to their data set, Hansen and Viands are separately analyzing the winter hardiness of alfalfa populations planted at Chazy for a brown root rot-resistance trial funded by the farmer-driven Northern New York Agricultural Development Program. That trial experienced a major winterkill in 2012, providing a small sampling of surviving plants for evaluation.

The farmer-driven Northern New York Agricultural Development Program is a research and technical assistance grants program serving all agricultural sectors in Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Jefferson, Lewis, and St. Lawrence counties. Funding for the Northern New York Agricultural Development Program is supported by the New York State Senate and administered by the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets.

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February 20, 2017
by Cornell Field Crops
Comments Off on NNY Corn and Soybean Disease Survey Alerts Growers to New Arrivals

NNY Corn and Soybean Disease Survey Alerts Growers to New Arrivals

The Northern New York corn and soybean disease survey work will continue in 2017 with new funding from the farmer-driven Northern New York Agricultural Development Program. Photo: Scott Bauer, USDA

Two soybean diseases not previously confirmed in Northern New York crops were identified in 2016 by the annual corn and soybean disease survey and assessment funded by the farmer-driven Northern New York Agricultural Development Program. The proactive disease assessment program helps protect the security and profitability of corn and soybean, two major agricultural crops fro the Northern New York region.

Survey project leader and Cornell University plant pathologist Dr. Gary C. Bergstrom, Ithaca, NY, notes, ‘The unusually dry conditions of the 2016 growing season resulted in very low disease pressure for corn and soybeans in general across Northern New York, but provided a unique environment which favored the development of some soybean soil-borne diseases never before confirmed in the region.’

The soil-borne charcoal rot and Phythophthora root rot were confirmed in soybean in Northern New York for the first time in 2016. Fusarium root rot was first diagnosed in soybean in the region in 2015 and was present again in 2016. Northern stem canker was first identified in soybeans in Northern New York in 2014 and in 2015 and 2016.

Northern corn leaf blight was observed at relatively low levels in NNY cornfields in 2016. Bergstrom suggests regional growers plant corn hybrids with moderate resistance to the disease in 2016. Northern corn leaf blight has been identified as the most prevalent disease affecting corn production every year since this survey effort began in 2013. It occurred at its lowest levels, however, in 2016.

Prior to 2013 no systematic assessment of corn and soybean diseases had been made in the region for decades. Bergstrom is urging Northern New York growers to be alert to a potential resurgence of corn head smut which has not been a major concern in the region since the 1980s but was identified in crops in the western part of the area in 2014 and 2015.

Fifty-six farms located across the six-county Northern New York region participated in the 2016 survey. Cornell University Cooperative Extension Field Crop Specialists Mike Hunter and Kitty O’Neil noted disease symptoms and collected samples for analysis by the Bergstrom Lab at Cornell University and as needed by Wang Lab of the USDA at Cornell University. Soybean disease results for 2012 – 2016 are posted to the Cornell Field Crops website at https://fieldcrops.cals.cornell.edu/soybeans/diseases-soybeans/soybean-disease-survey.

The results of the regional work are being added to Cornell’s statewide mapping of the distribution of corn and soybean diseases to help growers make well-informed seed selection and crop management decisions.

The Northern New York corn and soybean disease survey work will continue in 2017 with new funding from the farmer-driven Northern New York Agricultural Development Program, a research and technical assistance program serving Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence counties. Funding for the Northern New York Agricultural Development Program is supported by the New York State Senate and administered through the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets.

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February 14, 2017
by Cornell Field Crops
Comments Off on Hemp, Alternative Forage, Nutrient Balancing on March 13 New York Certified Organic Agenda

Hemp, Alternative Forage, Nutrient Balancing on March 13 New York Certified Organic Agenda

Industrial hemp trials under evaluation by the University of Vermont. Photo: UVM

The last of the 2017 New York Certified Organic winter meetings on Monday, March 13 in Geneva, NY, will include an update on organic hemp production trials plus presentations on nutrient balancing, crop production, and alternative forage production for organic farming systems. Presenters include Cornell University and University of Vermont faculty and a New York organic dairy farmer.

The meeting will start promptly at 10 am in Jordan Hall at 630 West North Street at the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station, Geneva. There is no cost or need to register to attend the NYCO meetings; participants are asked to bring a dish for potluck lunch. The Monday date is a break with the traditional Tuesday meetings.

Dr. Heather Darby, an agronomic and soils specialist with the University of Vermont, will review field trials conducted at the University research farm on organic hemp production in the Northeast and narrow row organic spring grain production.

Dr. Quirine Ketterings of the Cornel University Nutrient Management Spear Program and Cornell PRO-DAIRY Program Senior Extension Associate Karl Czymmek will show how doing annual whole farm mass balance assessments can help farmers understand the long-term capacity to support optimum yields, identify management strategies that will optimize farm nutrient imports and exports, quantify a farm’s footprint and track how it is changing over time, and summarize and evaluate the farm as a whole system.

Organic dairy farmer Tim Demerree from Little Falls, NY, will talk about his experience with growing annuals, including sudangrass, millet and sorghum for forage and how they fit in his crop rotation. Demeree will also share a comparison of the ensiling profiles of baleage using different preservatives. Nutritionist Adam McFarland of Agriking worked with Demeree to develop this comparison.

Round table discussions after lunch provide farmers the opportunity to ask questions and hear from the combined experience of the group that includes new and transitioning farmers and long-time organic producers.

The March 13 NYCO meeting also includes a brief description of how crop insurance can benefit organic farmers.

The New York Crop Insurance Education Team and Cornell Cooperative Extension provide support for the NYCO meetings. For more details, contact Fay Benson, 607-391-2699, afb3@cornell.edu. Benson is an educator with the Cornell University SCNY Regional Team, project manager for the NY Organic Dairy Program, coordinator of the NY Soil Health Trailer, and a member of the New York Crop Insurance Team. Information on past NYCO meetings is online at http://blogs.cornell.edu/organicdairyinitiative/.

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January 31, 2017
by Cornell Field Crops
Comments Off on Farmer-Driven Projects on 2017 North Country Crop Congresses’ Agenda

Farmer-Driven Projects on 2017 North Country Crop Congresses’ Agenda

Four projects funded by the farmer-driven Northern New York Agricultural Development Program will be featured at each of the 2017 North Country Crop Congresses

The 2017 North Country Crop Congresses will feature updates on research projects funded by the farmer-driven Northern New York Agricultural Development Program. The Program provides small grants for on-farm research and technical assistance projects in Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence counties.

The Crop Congresses on February 1 in Chazy and on February 2 in Canton will include presentations on Northern New York Development Program-funded research evaluating ways to manage the crop pests corn rootworm, alfalfa snout beetle, and western bean cutworm, and on field trials with forage sorghum.

The February 1 Crop Congress at the Burke Education and Research Center at Miner Institute in Chazy will also include an update on Northern New York Agricultural Development Program-funded tile drainage research by Miner Institute, and other Miner Institute research updates. This event is free to attend. Pre-registration is encouraged; call 518-846-7121 x117.

The February 2 Crop Congress at the Best Western University Inn, 90 East Main Street in Canton, will also include a presentation on Northern New York Agricultural Development Program-funded field trials of late summer-planted oats as a forage option. Weed control management, neonicotinoid seed treatment restrictions, and crop insurance presentations are also on the agenda. There is a fee to attend this event; call 315-788-8450 or 315-854-1218.

More than 100 regional farmers serve on the Northern New York Agricultural Development Program committee that identifies and prioritizes research and technical assistance projects for attention in the six northernmost counties of New York State.

Project leaders receiving funding from the farmer-driven Northern New York Agricultural Development Program in 2016 included Cornell University and State University of New York faculty, and personnel with Cornell Cooperative Extension; the Cornell Willsboro Research Farm, Willsboro, NY; W. H. Miner Agricultural Research Institute, Chazy, NY; and Uihlein Maple Research Forest, Lake Placid, NY.

Funding for the Northern New York Agricultural Development Program is supported by the New York State and administered by the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets. Project results are posted online at www.nnyagdev.org.

Media Contacts:
. Publicist Kara Lynn Dunn, 315-456-7578, karalynn@gisco.net
. Northern New York Agricultural Development Program Co-Chairs: Jon Greenwood, 315.386.3231; Joe Giroux, 518.563.7523; Jon Rulfs, 518.572.1960

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January 31, 2017
by Cornell Field Crops
Comments Off on Solution for Beetle Pest in NNY May Help Control Corn Rootworm

Solution for Beetle Pest in NNY May Help Control Corn Rootworm

Russian farmers visited Morning Star Farms in Smithville, NY, to learn about the use of biocontrol nematodes. Photo: Northern New York Agricultural Development Program

Smithville, NY.  A management solution developed with funding from the farmer-driven Northern New York Agricultural Development Program for controlling one field crop insect pest may also help corn growers protect their crop from another.

The protocol for applying biocontrol nematodes to manage alfalfa snout beetle shows potential for managing corn rootworm, says research leader Cornell University entomologist Elson Shields.

Biocontrol nematodes are microscopic worms that eat the larva of alfalfa snout beetle, thereby reducing beetle populations to less damaging levels in alfalfa crops. Shields says his research in Northern New York indicates the nematodes persist, even increase, at effective populations over multiple years even when the field is rotated to corn or soybeans for 4 to 5 years.

‘We are seeing an increasing biocontrol nematode population when the field is rotated to corn, strongly suggesting the nematodes are reproducing in corn rootworm which is attacking the corn. An associated study initiated in 2014 at the Cornell Musgrave Research Farm demonstrated nematodes applied there persisted in continuous corn until 2016 at a level to completely protect non-Bt rootworm corn at the same level as rootworm Bt corn,’ Shields notes.

The farmers who prioritize on-farm research for Northern New York Agricultural Development Program grant funding want to know if the impact of biocontrol nematodes on corn rootworm may be significant enough to eliminate the need for Bt-rootworm corn seed or soil insecticide.

Bt corn seed is genetically modified to express one or more proteins from the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis that is poisonous to certain insect pests and is used in organic production systems.

The potential for corn rootworm resistance to Bt corn is increasingly a concern for agricultural producers as is the cost of Bt corn seed, making the potential use of biocontrol nematodes to manage corn rootworm particularly timely.

Grant funding from the farmer-driven Northern New York Agricultural Development Program in 2016 established research plots to evaluate the effectiveness of biocontrol nematodes on corn rootworm at Morning Star Farms in Smithville, NY. Results are not expected until the end of the 2017 growing season as corn rootworm becomes a pest of corn starting in year 2.

Farmers interested in applying biocontrol nematodes on alfalfa crops will find a how-to manual on the Northern New York Agricultural Development Program website at www.nnyagdev.org.

The farmer-driven Northern New York Agricultural Development Program is a research and technical assistance program serving Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence counties. Funding for the Northern New York Agricultural Development Program is supported by the New York State Senate and administered through the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets.

MEDIA CONTACTS:
. Project leader Dr. Elson Shields, Cornell University, 607.255.8428
. Northern New York Agricultural Development Program Co-Chairs: Jon Greenwood, 315.386.3231; Joe Giroux, 518.563.7523; Jon Rulfs, 518.572.1960
. NNYADP Publicist Kara Lynn Dunn, 315.465.7578, karalynn@gisco.net

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January 13, 2017
by Cornell Field Crops
Comments Off on Russ Hahn and Bill Cox honored at Corn Congress

Russ Hahn and Bill Cox honored at Corn Congress

Drs. Russell Hahn and Bill Cox were honored Wednesday and Thursday at the Northwest New York Corn Congresses in Batavia and Waterloo, respectively.  Both men are retiring from Cornell after a combined 70+ years in service to the New York Field Crops community.  We wish them both well in their future endeavors and will miss them tremendously!

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December 15, 2016
by Cornell Field Crops
Comments Off on January 10, February 14, March 13: New York Certified Organic Sets 2017 Winter Program Dates

January 10, February 14, March 13: New York Certified Organic Sets 2017 Winter Program Dates

1086faybensonnycocrowd3005New York Certified Organic (NYCO) has set the dates for its Winter 2017 meetings, bringing grain and dairy farmers together with guest speakers on the organic crops and dairy production. The 2017 dates are January 10, February 14 and March 13. Each program begins at 10 AM in Jordan Hall, 630 West North Street at the New York State Agricultural Experimental Station, Geneva, NY.

There is no cost or need to register to attend the NYCO meetings; participants are asked to bring a dish to pass at the potluck lunch. Round table discussions after lunch provide farmers the opportunity to ask questions and hear from the combined experience of the group. These sessions help advance organic production in New York and have been helpful to new and transitioning farmers as well as long-time organic producers.

The New York Crop Insurance Education Team and Cornell Cooperative Extension provide support for these meetings. A brief description of how crop insurance can benefit organic farmers will be included at each of the meetings.

The January 10, 2017 NYCO meeting will feature presentations by Bob Quinn of the Quinn Organic Research Center, Big Sandy, Montana; Dr. Mark Sorrells of the Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future at Cornell University; organic producer Tim Christensen of Penn Yan, NY; and Sandra Wayman with the Cornell Sustainable Cropping System Lab.

Bob Quinn leads the Quinn Organic Research Center that includes a 2,800-acre farm in Big Sandy, MT. The 4th generation farm transitioned to organic production in 1986. Work on organic grain varieties led to the redevelopment of Kamut, an ancient grain grown by the Egyptians. The farm also grows soft white wheat, durum wheat, buckwheat, lentils, peas, sweet clover, and flax.

Quinn, a sought-after speaker on marketing and development of organic grains, will present his vision of where organic markets are going and how New York’s producers can prepare for the future at the January 10 NYCO meeting.

Mark Sorrells, PhD. is the chair for the Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future at Cornell University. As part of a research team there, he worked on the ‘Accelerating Production of Organic Grains in Western NY’ project sponsored by the Genesee Valley Regional Market Authority and Wegmans, the family-owned supermarket chain. Sorrells will review the results of this study conducted at the Cornell University Musgrave Research Farm in Aurora, NY.

Tim Christensen farms with his father, Guy in Penn Yan, NY. He has been experimenting with different cover crops in his corn and small grain rotation. His decisions are based on the multi-layered objectives of protecting soil health, adding green manures, and qualifying for annual Conservation Stewardship Program payments. Christensen will share some of the success and failures he has had on his farm.

Cornell Sustainable Cropping System Lab Research Technician Sandra Wayman will review work with the newly-developed perennial grain Kernza.

The February 14 NYCO meeting will focus on how to diversity farm business with organic poultry. The March 13 session will feature speakers on nutrient balancing, crop production and alternative forage production.

2017 marks the 23rd season of the NYCO winter meetings that began in Klass and Mary-Howell Martens’ farmhouse kitchen in Penn Yan, NY. The meetings became increasingly more popular every year, moving to the Geneva site to accommodate more than 100 people at each session.

Producers, educators and agribusiness representatives are encouraged to mark calendars for the January 10, February 14, and March 13 sessions in 2017. For more information, contact Fay Benson, 607-391-2699, afb3@cornell.edu. Benson is an educator with the Cornell University SCNY Regional Team, project manager for the NY Organic Dairy Program, coordinator of the NY Soil Health Trailer, and a member of the NY Crop Insurance Education Team. Information on past NYCO meetings is online at
http://blogs.cornell.edu/organicdairyinitiative/.

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December 15, 2016
by Cornell Field Crops
Comments Off on Research Helps Young NNY Entrepreneur Build New Crop Pest Management Business

Research Helps Young NNY Entrepreneur Build New Crop Pest Management Business

Applying biocontrol nematodes in Northern New York. Photo: Northern New York Agricultural Development Program

Applying biocontrol nematodes in Northern New York. Photo: Northern New York Agricultural Development Program

As she promised one year ago, Mary DeBeer established her own biocontrol nematode rearing lab in Moira in Northern New York in 2016. The young agricultural entrepreneur is on the leading edge of business development prompted by the success of pest management research funded by the farmer-driven Northern New York Agricultural Development Program.

‘This new agribusiness development by a young entrepreneur is an added benefit to our regional economy and we are pleased it was sparked by the science developed with Northern New York Agricultural Development Program funding,’ said Jon Greenwood, co-chair of the farmer-driven research and technical assistance program serving Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence counties.

‘With the development of her own biocontrol nematode rearing facility, Mary is leading the way for new business opportunities as a result of the long-term commitment the farmers of Northern New York made to find a science-based solution for alfalfa snout beetle,’ says Dr. Elson Shields, the Cornell University entomologist who pioneered the use of native NY nematodes as a biocontrol for managing the destructive crop pest.

DeBeer, who earned an agronomy degree at SUNY Morrisville and a dairy degree at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, learned how to rear and apply the biocontrol nematodes with Cornell University Research Support Specialist Tony Testa who developed the nematode rearing protocol at the Shields Lab at Cornell.

In the new facility at her family’s farm, DeBeer raises the nematodes and helps schedule their custom application by her father Ronald DeBeer of DeBeer Seeds and Spraying. In 2016 they tripled the number of farm acres protected by the microscopic worms proven to reduce alfalfa snout beetle populations and showing promise for managing corn rootworm in Northern New York Agricultural Development Program-funded research trials that Shields currently has underway on regional farms.

The number of acres treated by the DeBeers has grown from 125 acres in Franklin County in 2014 to 435 acres across six farms in the county in 2015 to 1,200 acres on farms in Franklin and St. Lawrence counties in 2016.

DeBeer gained three new customers in 2016 after the farmers discovered alfalfa snout beetle in their fields. The insect can destroy entire fields of alfalfa, a high value dairy and livestock feed crop, in just one growing season.

‘My goal is to grow my nematode rearing capacity to supply other custom applicators and farmers who apply the nematodes on their own to protect their crops,’ DeBeer says.

Farmers interested in applying biocontrol nematodes on alfalfa crops will find a how-to manual on the Northern New York Agricultural Development Program website at www.nnyagdev.org.

‘Scouting vigilance and proactive application of the biocontrol nematodes are key to limiting the spread and impact of alfalfa snout beetle,’ Shields notes.

Funding for the farmer-driven Northern New York Agricultural Development Program is supported by the New York State Senate and administered through the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets.

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November 18, 2016
by Cornell Field Crops
Comments Off on 2016 Corn Silage Variety Trial Results

2016 Corn Silage Variety Trial Results

In 2016 a commitment was made at Cornell to resume corn silage trials on a more limited basis with the hope to expand locations and hybrid numbers in coming years.  Need to give thanks here to folks like Joe Lawrence, Tom Overton and Margaret Smith from PRO-DAIRY, Department of Animal Science and Department of Plant Breeding and Genetics for their time and expertise to get these trials up and running again.

Within the results you will still see silage yield info, but a more intensive effort has been made to translate the forage quality tests of each hybrid into milk production, another and very important measure of performance.

The results and more information are at the link below and a complete report is expected in the coming weeks:

http://bit.ly/2f7WBef

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