Cornell Field Crops News

Timely Field Crops information for the New York Agricultural Community

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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October 4, 2016
by Cornell Field Crops
Comments Off on An open letter to the Seed Industry regarding the efficacy of Cry1F Bt against western bean cutworm: October 2016

An open letter to the Seed Industry regarding the efficacy of Cry1F Bt against western bean cutworm: October 2016

This open letter was prepared by the undersigned extension entomologists from the Great Lakes Region regarding the efficacy of the Cry1F (Herculex 1, TC1507) trait on western bean cutworm (WBC; Striacosta albicosta). We strongly urge seed companies to remove the designation of “control” for this pest with regard to this toxin.

At the time Cry1F received regulatory approval in 2001, western bean cutworm was found in the far western Corn Belt (Colorado, Idaho, Nebraska, and Wyoming), with occasional movement into western Iowa. Indeed, EPA’s original Biopesticide Registration Action Document (BRAD) for Cry1F Bt corn, published in August 2001, did not even mention WBC. Instead, the following language was used: “The registrant-submitted data indicate that Cry1F protected corn offers excellent control of European corn borer, southwestern corn borer, fall armyworm, black cutworm, and suppression for the corn earworm.” References to Cry1F giving “excellent protection” against WBC began to appear in marketing literature only after Iowa State University entomologists documented its eastward range expansion and the first economic damage in that state. Presumably this rating was based on a limited number of lab assays and field trials done in pure Bt stands, not Refuge-in-a-Bag hybrids.

The rapid eastward range expansion of WBC across the central Corn Belt into the Great Lakes Region resulted in a dramatic increase in the number of WBC-infested acres in a short time period. This created a large-scale ‘efficacy test’ of Cry1F hybrids to (as stated in the BRAD) “provide highly efficacious control of key Lepidopteran pests”, “reduce the use of more toxic chemical insecticides” and “reduce levels of mycotoxin in corn”. In all these regards, Cry1F has failed in our states. This season in particular, the level of larval infestation and damage is troubling in both single and pyramided Refuge-in-a-Bag hybrids from multiple seed companies. Wherever Cry1F is challenged by WBC, it fails to provide observable benefit to producers. We have collectively fielded dozens of phone calls and emails, and visited numerous fields; we know that our agribusiness contacts and seed industry agronomists have responded to many more, and corn acres were sprayed with both insecticides and fungicides (most too late and with little hope of benefit). People are frustrated and angry and, more importantly, yield was lost. Growers purchased Cry1F hybrids with the understanding that the trait provides “control”, thus negating the need to scout for egg masses or larvae in those fields. When the visible manifestations of damage became apparent late in the season, such as the intense ear-feeding we witnessed, it was far too late for rescue treatments. As the fall progresses and damaged corn is harvested, additional issues are sure to arise regarding quality and mycotoxin levels. The severity of the latter will largely be dependent on weather conditions favorable for ear mold development. What is certain is that many damaged ears are primed for fungal colonization and quality loss.

As extension educators and specialists, we can no longer refer to Cry1F as providing WBC control. In fact the opposite is true, and our extension recommendations (including the Handy Bt Trait Table) will be changing to classify Cry1F hybrids for WBC the same as non-Bt, Cry1Ab, or double/ triple pro hybrids, all of which provide no control. In other words, we believe that Cry1F fields must be scouted for egg masses and sprayed with foliar insecticides if needed, the same as a non-Bt corn. Western bean cutworm is now the PRIMARY Lepidopteran ear pest in many parts of the Great Lakes region. For growers in our states, the costs of scouting and spraying Cry1F corn negates a major reason they purchased and planted a hybrid with the trait in the first place.

Before growers make seed choices for 2017, we again urge the seed industry to acknowledge the reality of what is happening in the field, and to reclassify Cry1F in hybrid fact sheets, technical use agreements, and other educational materials. This would reduce grower expectations of Cry1F and allow local agricultural professionals to deal with their customers in a more truthful manner, in a way that allows for protection against yield loss. We also urge the industry to regard western bean as a primary, not a secondary, pest. Doing nothing risks alienating those close to the situation, including field agronomists, consultants, university extension staff and (most importantly) corn growers themselves who have a vested interest in finding effective pest management solutions for a growing world.

Sincerely,

Dr. Chris DiFonzo, Michigan State University
Dr. Christian Krupke, Purdue University
Dr. Andy Michel, The Ohio State University
Dr. Elson Shields, Cornell University
Dr. Kelley Tilmon, The Ohio State University
Dr. John Tooker, Pennsylvania State University

BRAD Document:  http://www.ceragmc.org/files/cera/GmCropDatabase/docs/decdocs/brad_006481.pdf)

 

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September 22, 2016
by Cornell Field Crops
Comments Off on Weather Outlook – September 22, 2016

Weather Outlook – September 22, 2016

From Jessica Spaccio, NOAA Northeast Regional Climate Center, Cornell University

Last week temperatures ranged from 6-8 degrees above normal. Precipitation ranged from a ¼ inch to 3 inches. Base 50 growing degree-days ranged from 50 to 130.

gdd48_mar1_sep14 gdd48_may1_sep14 gdd50_mar1_sep14 gdd50_may1_sep14

Another day of summer weather before a cold front brings light rain and cooler temperatures…

Today will start foggy then turn sunny with above-normal temperatures in the mid 70’s to mid 80’s. Overnight lows will be in the mid 50’s to mid 60’s. A weak cold front will bring scattered showers overnight, most likely in northern areas.

Friday isolated, scattered showers and thunderstorms will move through with the front. Highs will range from the mid 60’s to upper 70’s. Lows will be in the mid 40’s to mid 50’s.

Saturday temperatures will be noticeably cooler behind the front, in the 50’s and 60’s. Overnight temperatures will be in the mid 30’s to 40’s with frost possible.

Sunday highs will be in the mid 50’s to 60’s. Overnight temperatures will be in the mid 30’s to low 40’s with frost possible.

Monday highs will be in the mid 50’s and 60’s. Lows will be in the 40’s and low 50’s with rain possible.

Tuesday temperatures will be in the upper 50’s to around 70 with a chance of rain.  Lows will be in the 40’s and low 50’s.

Wednesday temperatures will be in the 60’s to around 70. Lows will be in the 40’s and low 50’s.

The five-day precipitation amounts will range from a trace to 1 ½” , with the highest amounts in northern NY.

The 8-14 day outlook (September 29 – October 5) shows increased chances for above-normal temperatures and below-normal precipitation.

The Drought Monitor: Rainfall associated with frontal passages prompted a 1-category improvement across southern Cattaraugus County in southwestern New York state, which shows up on the Advanced Hydrologic Prediction System (AHPS) 7-day observed precipitation map as southwest to northeast-oriented swaths of heavier rain. In the Lower Hudson Valley of southeastern New York, which missed out on recent rainfall, moderate drought (D1) was expanded across Dutchess and Putnam Counties.

Maps of 8-14 day outlooks:
http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/predictions/814day/index.php

National Weather Service watch/warnings map:
http://www.weather.gov/erh/

US Drought Monitor:
http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/Home.aspx

CLIMOD2 (NRCC data interface):
http://climodtest.nrcc.cornell.edu

 

 

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September 19, 2016
by Cornell Field Crops
Comments Off on Weather Outlook – September 15, 2016

Weather Outlook – September 15, 2016

From Jessica Spaccio, NOAA Northeast Regional Climate Center, Cornell University

Last week temperatures ranged from 6-8 degrees above normal. Precipitation ranged from a trace to 2 inches for most areas, isolated areas of 2 to 4 inches. Base 50 growing degree-days ranged from 90 to 170.

gdd48_mar1_sep14 gdd48_may1_sep14 gdd50_mar1_sep14 gdd50_may1_sep14

Monday highs will be in the 70’s with isolated showers and thunderstorms possible. Lows will be in the 50’s.

Tuesday dry weather will return with temperatures in the 80’s.  Lows will be in the mid 50’s to low 60’s.

Wednesday temperatures will be in the 80’s, with a slight chance of showers. Lows will be in the mid to upper 50’s.

The five-day precipitation amounts will range from ½” to 1 ½” , falling Sat- Sun.

The 8-14 day outlook (September 22-28) shows increased chances for above-normal temperatures for all of the state and above-normal precipitation for all but part of the Catskills and Hudson Valley Region.

The Drought Monitor: Despite the heat and dryness, heavy downpours (locally more than 2 inches) led to some drought reduction in southwestern New York and Jefferson County. D1/Moderate Drought expanded in the Adirondacks, Lake Champlain, and Hudson Valley regions.

Maps of 8-14 day outlooks:
http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/predictions/814day/index.php

National Weather Service watch/warnings map:
http://www.weather.gov/erh/

US Drought Monitor:
http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/Home.aspx

CLIMOD2 (NRCC data interface):
http://climodtest.nrcc.cornell.edu

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September 8, 2016
by Cornell Field Crops
Comments Off on Weather Outlook – September 8, 2016

Weather Outlook – September 8, 2016

From Jessica Spaccio, NOAA Northeast Regional Climate Center, Cornell University

Last week temperatures ranged from 2 degrees below normal to 4 degrees above normal. Precipitation ranged from a trace to 1 inch for most areas, isolated areas of 1 to 2 inches. Base 50 growing degree-days ranged from 70 to 130.

gdd48_mar1_sep7 gdd48_may1_sep7 gdd50_mar1_sep7 gdd50_may1_sept7

Hot, humid & windy before returning to seasonable weather the latter half of the weekend. Some severe storm potential …

Today will be hot and humid with scattered afternoon and evening showers and thunderstorms ahead of a week cold front. Areas in central NY will see gusty winds and isolated severe storms. Temperatures will be in the mid 80’s to near 90. Overnight lows will be in the mid to upper 60’s.

Friday will be sunny, less humid, and slightly cooler with highs in the upper 70’s to mid 80’s. Areas in eastern NY will still approach 90. Lows will be in the mid 50’s to low 60’s, with a few showers possible in western NY.

Saturday temperatures will heat up again to the mid to upper 80’s with scattered showers and thunderstorms possible. Possibility exists for some severe storms and windy conditions. Overnight temperatures will be in the 60’s.

Sunday high pressure dries things out after a few lingering showers in the morning, highs will be in the 70’s. Overnight temperatures will be in the 40’s and low 50’s.

Monday highs will be in the 70’s. Lows will be in the upper 40’s to mid 50’s.

Tuesday temperatures will be in the mid 70’s to mid 80.  Lows will be in the upper 40’s to mid 50’s.

Wednesday temperatures will be in the 70’s with a chance for precipitation. Lows will be in the mid 50’s to low 60’s.

The five-day precipitation amounts will range from a ¼” to ½” in eastern NY, and ½” to 1 ½” in the rest of the state.

The 8-14 day outlook (September 8-14) shows increased chances for above-normal temperatures and below-normal precipitation for all of the state.

The Drought Monitor: On this week’s map, short-term precipitation deficits (30–60 day), low streamflows, and dry soils led to the expansion of areas of Extreme Drought (D3) in the Finger Lakes District of New York.

Maps of 8-14 day outlooks:
http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/predictions/814day/index.php

National Weather Service watch/warnings map:
http://www.weather.gov/erh/

US Drought Monitor:
http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/Home.aspx

CLIMOD2 (NRCC data interface):
http://climodtest.nrcc.cornell.edu

 

 

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