Capital Area Ag Report – July 20, 2017

This week’s Ag Report will just be this post.  I was in Utah last week for the National Association of Agricultural Agents.  At the tradeshow, they had a “steam generating machine” between the tractor and baler. Out there they have to add moisture to bale alfalfa so it does not crumble from the dryness.  What a contrast to our situation this year!

  • This week I scouted corn for diseases, as part of our fungicide trial.  All the plots were clean.
  • There was one report of armyworm last week.  Check all corn, grass, pastures, and small grain fields for armyworm.  There are spotty infestations in eastern NY.  If grasses do not regrow like normal, check for armyworm eating all the re-growth.
  • Spring barley is ripening, but not yet ready for harvest.  The more I learn about malting barley, the more I realize how tricky this crop can be.  Despite our weather, I have seen no head blight – thanks to timely fungicide applications.
  • Potato leafhopper have been severe since before I left.  Check alfalfa fields.  Adult PLH will migrate to a different field when alfalfa or clover is harvested.  Keep an eye on adjacent fields.
  • I am not sure what advice to give to dry hay growers.  Beef and horse owners are in tough shape since all their hay is still in the field.  Consider having uncut fields harvested for haylage and put in a pile or made into baleage.  If properly fermented, horses can eat haylage, but if the fermentation is bad, they can be quite sensitive.  It is a slight risk.  Also, a machine called the Macerator conditions haycrop after mowing.  It is basically a roller mill that speeds drying.  However, it also softens coarse hay.  So, if we do get any good hay weather, this would be a good machine to use on rank hay.  I only know of one in our area.

Hang in there.

Aaron Gabriel,
Sr. Extension Resource Educator, Agronomy
Cornell Cooperative Extension
415 Lower Main St.
Hudson Falls, NY 12839
518-380-1496 cell
518-746-2560 ofc

Cornell Cooperative Extension
Capital Area Agriculture and Horticulture Program

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