Cornell Field Crops News

Timely Field Crops information for the New York Agricultural Community

May 31, 2018
by Cornell Field Crops
Comments Off on Weather Outlook – May 31, 2018

Weather Outlook – May 31, 2018

NOAA Northeast Regional Climate Center, Cornell University

Last week temperatures ranged from 4 to 12 degrees above-normal. Precipitation has ranged from a trace to 2 inches. Base 50 growing degree-days ranged from 40-160.

Showers and thunderstorms Thursday and Friday, some could produce gusty winds and locally heavy rain with perhaps isolated flash flooding.

Today temperatures will be in the 70s to 80s and humid with showers and thunderstorms possible (scattered to numerous, more likely for western to central NY). Overnight lows will be in the 60s.

Friday will be humid with highs in the 80s and showers and thunderstorms likely. Overnight temperatures will be in the upper 50s to mid 60s.

Saturday will be cooler and less humid with seasonable temperatures in the 70s. Scattered showers are possible for southeast NY, but the rest of the state will be dry. Overnight temperatures will be in the 50s.

Sunday highs will be in the upper 60s to mid 70s with dry conditions. Overnight temperatures will be in the 50s.

Monday highs will be in the upper 60s to mid 70s with scattered showers possible. Overnight temperatures will be in the 50s.

Tuesday highs will be in the upper 60s to mid 70s with scattered showers possible. Overnight temperatures will be in the 50s.

Wednesday highs will be in the upper 60s to mid 70s with scattered showers possible. Overnight temperatures will be in the upper 40s to mid 50s.

The seven-day precipitation amounts will range from 1 ¼ inch to 2 ½ inches.

The 8-14 day outlook (June 7-13) favors below-normal temperatures. The precipitation outlook favors near-normal amounts for southeast New York, and favors above-normal amounts for the rest of the state.

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

May 30, 2018
by Cornell Field Crops
Comments Off on NNYADP-Funded Dairy Forage Quality Research: Add Meadow Fescue to Crop Mix

NNYADP-Funded Dairy Forage Quality Research: Add Meadow Fescue to Crop Mix

First-cut of alfalfa-grass research trial at Murcrest Farms in NNY in 2017. Photo: Debbie Cherney

The spring harvest of alfalfa-grass mixes may account for up to half of the total forage yield of those crops for dairy farmers. The results of alfalfa-grass research funded by the farmer-driven Northern New York Agricultural Development Program may suggest a new option for dairy farmers looking to enhance forage production. The report is posted under Field Crops: Alfalfa at www.nnyagdev.org.

Cornell University Animal Sciences Professor Debbie J.R. Cherney, who led the research conducted on dairy farms in Northern New York, notes, “It is clear from this research that switching the grass species to meadow fescue in mixtures may have more impact on forage quality than switching alfalfa varieties.”

Furthermore, Cherney notes that the combination of reduced-lignin alfalfa planted with meadow fescue, a winter-hardy grass species, can result in a large increase in neutral detergent fiber digestibility, a measure of the expected energy value that the forage will deliver to dairy cows. Higher digestibility value contributes to cow health and milk production.

Forage quality of both grass and alfalfa can be improved by well-informed variety selection. The field trials at two farms in Jefferson County and one farm in Lewis County in 2016 and 2017 provided researchers, Extension field crop specialists, and farmers the opportunity to learn how new varieties of grass and alfalfa seed released by the seed industry will perform under Northern New York soils and climate.

The trials also evaluated a meadow fescue variety developed by the USDA with reportedly higher digestibility than other meadow fescues.

The plantings and evaluations conducted at the NNY farms produced data on yield and the quality of the alfalfa and of the grass grown in various mixes. The alfalfa and grass were analyzed separately for crude protein, fiber, digestibility and lignin values.

With a 2018 grant from the Northern New York Agricultural Development Program, the Cornell team will evaluate an alfalfa-grass mixed seeding with timothy established in 2017 in Lewis County, along with seven grasses and three alfalfa varieties there.

The regional research in 2018 will also include testing meadow fescue at several seeding rates in plantings with alfalfa, and the addition of a new variety of meadow fescue that looked very promising in 2017.

Throughout the 2018 spring season, Cornell Cooperative Extension Field Crops Specialists provide weekly updates to alert Northern New York farmers for optimal harvest timing for the first cutting of their alfalfa-grass forage crops. Fiber digestibility declines more than one percentage unit per day in spring growth making optimal harvesting of alfalfa-grass crops a key component of good production management.

Funding for the farmer-driven 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.The spring harvest of alfalfa-grass mixes may account for up to half of the total forage yield of those crops for dairy farmers. The results of alfalfa-grass research funded by the farmer-driven Northern New York Agricultural Development Program may suggest a new option for dairy farmers looking to enhance forage production. The report is posted under Field Crops: Alfalfa at www.nnyagdev.org.

Cornell University Animal Sciences Professor Debbie J.R. Cherney, who led the research conducted on dairy farms in Northern New York, notes, “It is clear from this research that switching the grass species to meadow fescue in mixtures may have more impact on forage quality than switching alfalfa varieties.”

Furthermore, Cherney notes that the combination of reduced-lignin alfalfa planted with meadow fescue, a winter-hardy grass species, can result in a large increase in neutral detergent fiber digestibility, a measure of the expected energy value that the forage will deliver to dairy cows. Higher digestibility value contributes to cow health and milk production.

Forage quality of both grass and alfalfa can be improved by well-informed variety selection. The field trials at two farms in Jefferson County and one farm in Lewis County in 2016 and 2017 provided researchers, Extension field crop specialists, and farmers the opportunity to learn how new varieties of grass and alfalfa seed released by the seed industry will perform under Northern New York soils and climate.

The trials also evaluated a meadow fescue variety developed by the USDA with reportedly higher digestibility than other meadow fescues.

The plantings and evaluations conducted at the NNY farms produced data on yield and the quality of the alfalfa and of the grass grown in various mixes. The alfalfa and grass were analyzed separately for crude protein, fiber, digestibility and lignin values.

With a 2018 grant from the Northern New York Agricultural Development Program, the Cornell team will evaluate an alfalfa-grass mixed seeding with timothy established in 2017 in Lewis County, along with seven grasses and three alfalfa varieties there.

The regional research in 2018 will also include testing meadow fescue at several seeding rates in plantings with alfalfa, and the addition of a new variety of meadow fescue that looked very promising in 2017.

Throughout the 2018 spring season, Cornell Cooperative Extension Field Crops Specialists provide weekly updates to alert Northern New York farmers for optimal harvest timing for the first cutting of their alfalfa-grass forage crops. Fiber digestibility declines more than one percentage unit per day in spring growth making optimal harvesting of alfalfa-grass crops a key component of good production management.

Funding for the farmer-driven 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.

May 24, 2018
by Cornell Field Crops
Comments Off on Weather Outlook – May 24, 2018

Weather Outlook – May 24, 2018

NOAA Northeast Regional Climate Center, Cornell University

Last week temperatures ranged from 2 degrees below-normal to 8 degrees above-normal. Precipitation has ranged from ½ “ to 3 inches. Base 50 growing degree-days ranged from 10-110.

Dry and warm through Friday, showers and thunderstorms possible over the weekend.

Today will be mostly sunny with temperatures in the mid 60s to near 80. Overnight lows will be in the upper 40s and 50s.

Friday will be mostly sunny with highs in the upper 70s to mid 80s. Overnight temperatures will be in the mid 50s to mid 60s.

Saturday will be warm and humid with temperatures in the mid 70s to upper 80s, near 90 in southeast NY. Scattered showers and thunderstorms are possible, mostly in the afternoon/evening. Overnight temperatures will be in the mid 50s to low 60s.

Sunday will be humid with highs in the 70s to low 80s with showers likely, though not all day, and thunderstorms possible. Overnight temperatures will be in the mid 50s to low 60s.

Monday temperatures will be in the throughout the 70s with scattered showers and thunderstorms. Lows will be in mid 50s to low 60s.

Tuesday will have highs in the 70s and low 80s with high pressure bringing clear skies.  Lows will be in the 50s.

Wednesday, temperatures will be in the 70s to low 80s.  Lows will be in the upper 50s to mid 60s.

The seven-day precipitation amounts will range from ½ inch to near 2 inches.

The 8-14 day outlook (May 31-June 6) favors above-normal temperatures. The precipitation outlook favors near-normal amounts for western to central New York, and slightly favors below-normal amounts for northern, eastern and southeast 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

May 23, 2018
by Cornell Field Crops
Comments Off on Save the Date! New York Soil Health Summit

Save the Date! New York Soil Health Summit

Date: Wednesday, July 18, 2018
Time: TBD
Location: Empire State Plaza, Downtown Albany, NY

Save the date for the first New York Soil Health Summit. This event, organized by the New York Soil Health project, is for farmers, researchers, agriculture service providers, government agencies, non-profits and policy-makers interested in advancing soil health efforts across the state.

Topics include:

  • Local experts/grower panel
  • Research and policies relevant to soil health
  • Soil Health Roadmap breakout sessions

Don’t miss this opportunity to connect with colleagues and contribute critical feedback to the NY Soil Health Roadmap.

Registration, summit agenda, and other details will be coming soon.

For more information at this time, contact David Wolfe (dww5@cornell.edu) or Aaron Ristow (ajr229@cornell.edu).

More information about the project: newyorksoilhealth.org

Summit details will be updated here: summit.newyorksoilhealth.org

New York Soil Health is funded through New York State Department of Agriculture & Markets.

May 23, 2018
by Cornell Field Crops
Comments Off on Fusarium head blight commentary on winter barley and wheat

Fusarium head blight commentary on winter barley and wheat

Gary Bergstrom, Extension Plant Pathologist, Cornell University
This is a critical week for management of Fusarium head blight (FHB) in winter malting barley.  Some winter barley fields in New York are fully headed now and many more will head out this later week.  Even though we have had frequent rains, the Fusarium Risk Assessment Map (http://www.wheatscab.psu.edu/riskTool.html) shows mostly low risk of Fusarium infection in New York because temperatures have been considered too low for spore production in many areas. A moderate to high risk of FHB is indicated for areas of the Southern Tier, southern Hudson Valley, and Long Island.  Maximal suppression of FHB and grain contamination by deoxynivalenol (DON) mycotoxin results when fully emerged heads of winter malting barley are sprayed with full label rates of Caramba or Prosaro fungicides. A heads emerged spray with these triazole fungicides also helps protect upper leaves against fungal leaf blotches, powdery mildew, and rust.  Foliar sprays of Caramba or Prosaro up to seven days after head emergence may still result in significant FHB and DON suppression.   Fungicide products containing strobilurins should not be applied to headed wheat or barley as they may result in increased levels of DON in grain.
Winter wheat is generally a week or more behind in development from winter barley planted on the same fall date.  Winter wheat in New York varies from stem elongation to flag leaf visible stages.  We should reach the critical fungicide application window for winter wheat over the next two weeks.  The triazole products Caramba and Prosaro are the most effective fungicides for suppression of FHB and DON contamination when applied at flowering (emergence of anthers on heads).  A flowering application of triazole fungicide should be based on Fusarium head blight (FHB) risk as well as the risks of powdery mildew, rusts, and fungal leaf blotches in the upper canopy based on scouting of individual fields.  There is an application window of approximately 7 days from the beginning of flowering in which reasonable FHB suppression can be expected.   Check the Fusarium Risk Assessment Tool (http://www.wheatscab.psu.edu/) and your local weather forecast frequently as your winter wheat crop approaches heading and flowering.

May 17, 2018
by Cornell Field Crops
Comments Off on Weather Outlook – May 17, 2018

Weather Outlook – May 17, 2018

NOAA Northeast Regional Climate Center, Cornell University

Last week temperatures ranged from near-normal to 4 degrees above normal. Precipitation has ranged from a trace to over two inches. Base 50 growing degree-days ranged from 20-80.

Dry on Thursday, showers and thunderstorms Friday evening into the weekend with heavy rain possible on Saturday.

Today temperatures will be in the upper 60’s to 70’s with clearing skies and dry conditions thanks to high pressure. Overnight lows will be in the low 40’s to low 50’s.

Friday temperatures will be in the 60’s with scattered showers beginning in the eventing. Overnight temperatures will be in the 40’s to low 50’s with showers continuing to move into the state.

Saturday will be rainy with thunderstorms possible (marginal risk for severe in western southern tier) and temperatures in the mid 50’s to 60’s; locally heavy rainfall is possible. Overnight temperatures will be in the 50’s with scattered showers continuing.

Sunday will have highs in the 70’s with occasional light showers but a mostly dry day. Overnight temperatures will be in the 50’s.

Monday a few showers are possible with highs in the upper 60’s to to mid 70’s. Lows will be in the mid 40’s to mid 50’s.

Tuesday will have highs in the upper 60’s to mid 70’s with scattered showers and thunderstorms.  Lows will be in the upper 40’s to low 50’s.

Wednesday, temperatures will be in the 70’s.  Lows will be in the upper 40’s to low 50’s.

The seven-day precipitation amounts will range from ¾ inch to 2 inches.

The 8-14 day outlook (May 24-30) favors above-normal temperatures and below-normal precipitation for the state.

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

May 10, 2018
by Cornell Field Crops
Comments Off on Weather Outlook – May 10, 2018 (the first weather outlook of the season!)

Weather Outlook – May 10, 2018 (the first weather outlook of the season!)

from NOAA Northeast Regional Climate Center, Cornell University

Last week temperatures ranged from 4 to 10 degrees above normal. Precipitation has ranged from a trace to near two inches. Base 50 growing degree-days ranged from 10-110.

Temperatures will warm to above-normal today before a cold front passes bringing showers and cooler temperatures.

Today temperatures will be in the low to mid 70’s with showers likely and thunderstorms possible as a cold front passes. Overnight lows will be in the 40’s.

Friday temperatures will be much cooler behind the cold front, ranging from the 50’s to low 60’s for most areas, reaching mid- to upper 60’s in southeast NY. Conditions will by sunny and dry before scattered showers return in the evening into Saturday. Overnight temperatures will be in the 40’s, dipping into the 30’s in northern areas.

Saturday temperatures will range from the upper 50’s in northern areas to mid 70’s in central NY. Conditions will be cloudy with light rain possible. Overnight temperatures will be in the mid 40’s to mid 50’s.

Sunday will have highs in the mid 60’s to low 70’s. Light rain is possible early, with drying conditions throughout the day. Overnight temperatures will be in th 40’s.

Monday will be sunny with highs in the low to mid 70’s. Lows will be in the 40’s.

Tuesday will be sunny with highs in the 70’s.  Lows will be in the upper 40’s to  low 50’s.

Wednesday, temperatures will be in the 70’s with showers possible.  Lows will be in the 50’s.

The seven-day precipitation amounts will range from half an inch to near two inches.

The 8-14 day outlook (May 17-23) favors above-normal temperatures for the state. The precipitation outlook slightly favors above-normal precipitation for a majority of the state.

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

May 7, 2018
by Cornell Field Crops
Comments Off on Research Shows How to Boost Spring Hay Harvest in Northern NY

Research Shows How to Boost Spring Hay Harvest in Northern NY

Opportunities to boost spring hay crop silage yield and quality were evaluated in research funded by the farmer-driven Northern New York Agricultural Development Program. The results of regional on-farm trials with winter rye and triticale in 2016 and 2017 by the W.H. Miner Agricultural Research Institute in Chazy, NY, are now posted at www.nnyagdev.org.

Winter forage crops contribute to soil conservation and can improve soil quality when following a corn silage crop.

“Our evaluation showed that winter rye and triticale can be established as winter forage crops planted in a field after corn silage harvest in Northern New York with economical yields and high quality for harvest as hay crop silage, and these winter forages can be successfully double cropped with corn silage, giving farmers another crop production risk management strategy,” said project leader and Miner Institute Research Agronomist Eric Young.

Triticale was successfully established using no-till methods after termination of an alfalfa-grass field. Future research will help determine the best methods for winter forage crop establishment across varying soil conditions.

Growing winter forage crops for spring harvest as hay for dairy cows and livestock is becoming increasingly popular, but weather can challenge yield and successful retention of crop nutrients.

A complete report, including evaluation of the winter forage crops for dry matter yield, crude protein, water soluble carbohydrates, fiber digestibility, and phosphorus, potassium and lignin content, is posted on the Northern New York Agricultural Development Program at www.nnyagdev.org.

Funding for the farmer-driven 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.

May 2, 2018
by Cornell Field Crops
Comments Off on Are you prepared to change your routine this spring?

Are you prepared to change your routine this spring?

By: Joe Lawrence, Cornell CALS PRO-DAIRY and Ron Kuck, Cornell Cooperative Extension North Country Regional Ag Team

While spring tasks vary by farm, there are many “rites of spring,” and they are often completed in a fairly rigid sequence. Depending on the farm, these often include fixing fence, spreading manure, planting new seedings, planting corn and harvesting first cutting, and are often performed in this order.

We are optimistic that the upcoming turn in weather will allow these tasks to be accomplished in a timely manner, but at this point it is time to ask yourself: Are you willing to change your spring routine?

In addition to adverse weather it is no secret that everyone is facing extremely tight economic times, and dealing with forage inventories of poor digestibility forages from 2017. This combination of factors makes it more critical than ever to be ready to tackle the task that will have the most impact on your business at the proper time.

Recent reference articles on dealing with tough times:

First Cutting
The number one focus should be on timely harvest of first cutting.

Corn Planting
The window for planting for silage is generally wider than for grain, which is why first cutting can and should take priority over corn planting. However, in the event of extreme delays in planting corn, performance will diminish with late plantings. If corn planting progresses into late May or early June, begin to consider alternative options for those acres. Previous research from Cornell and Penn State suggest a 0.5 to 1 ton/acre per week decline in silage yield for planting after mid to late May.

Multi-Tasking
First and foremost during a time of year that can be very busy and stressful, taking every precaution to keep your team safe is critical.

The idea of fitting all of this work into a condensed time period, and still getting key tasks completed before critical deadlines can seem impossible, but year after year many find unique ways to get it all done. Consider working with neighbors, custom operators or renting equipment to accomplish these key tasks on time.

If you currently utilize custom operators, now is a good time to set up a time to meet with them and make sure you are on the same page to get tasks accomplished in the time-frame needed. Make sure that your expectations and goals are clearly defined. They will also be under stress to fit their work into a condensed period and meet their customers’ expectations, so defining expectations and pre-planning how to most efficiently get the work accomplished when the custom operator arrives can go a long way to increase the chances for success.

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