Report Seedcorn Maggot and Wireworm Damage: WE NEED YOUR INPUT

Given the recent controversy surrounding the proposed legislative bans on some pesticides in NY, Cornell researchers and extension specialists are working to provide necessary data on the efficacy, usefulness and perceived need for these products in our agricultural systems.  To do this, we need your help with identifying, documenting and quantifying losses to early season pests, such as seedcorn maggot and wireworm in your corn and soybean fields.

pest in soybeanA collaborative effort between the NYS Integrated Pest Management program and Cornell Cooperative Extension field crop specialists will begin in 2020 with the goal of monitoring for and documenting losses to pests that the neonic seed treatments are intended to protect against.  Given the sporadic distribution of damage caused by seedcorn maggot and wireworm, it can be challenging to quantify losses to these pests in research plots alone.  Therefore, we need assistance from farmers, crop consultants, agribusiness associates, and crop insurance claim adjusters to report fields with damage from these pests across NY State.

Your valuable input would require nothing more than a phone call or email to your local field crops extension specialist to report the specific location of damage soon after planting, while pests are still active and can be confirmed (by V2 stage).  The extension specialist will then visit the field to confirm pest activity, and may conduct plant stand counts to estimate potential yield losses.  Location and farm identity will remain anonymous, as we are only interested in quantifying losses across NYS, not where they occur.

Claims on the value (or lack thereof) of these insecticide seed treatments in NY field crop production cannot be validated or quantified without this sort of data, and we can’t obtain this statewide data without your assistance.  Therefore, whether you grow corn for silage or grain (or even sweet corn), soybean or dry beans, conventionally or organically, we need to hear from you!  Please refer to the following list of specialists to contact in your region to report damage from seedcorn maggot or wireworm in your fields this spring:

Mike Stanyard (NWNY CCE) – mjs88@cornell.edu, 585-764-8452

Jodi Putman (NWNY CCE) – jll347@cornell.edu, 585-991-5437

Jaime Cummings (statewide, NYS IPM) – jc2246@cornell.edu, 607-255-1747

Josh Putman (SWNY CCE) – jap473@cornell.edu, 716-490-5572

Janice Degni (SCNY CCE) – jgd3@cornell.edu, 607-391-2660, x414

Ron Kuck (Cayuga Co. CCE) – rak76@cornell.edu, 315-255-1183, x242

Jeff Miller (Oneida Co. CCE) – jjm14@cornell.edu, 315-736-3394, x120

Kevin Ganoe (CNY CCE) – khg2@cornell.edu, 315-866-7920, x230

Aaron Gabriel (ENY CCE) – adg12@cornell.edu, 518-380-1496

Ken Wise (ENY, NYS IPM) – klw24@cornell.edu, 845-677-8223

Christian Malsatzki (SENY CCE) – cpm78@cornell.edu, 845-340-3990

Joe Lawrence (statewide, PRO Dairy) – jrl65@cornell.edu, 315-778-4814

Mike Hunter (NNY CCE) – meh27@cornell.edu, 315-788-8450, x266

Kitty O’Neil (NNY CCE) – kao32@cornell.edu, 315-854-1218

Elson Shields (Cornell Field Crops Entomologist) – es28@cornell.edu, 607-255-8428

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Pricing Corn Silage — Fall 2019

John J. Hanchar, Cornell University/College of Agriculture & Life Sciences, <jjh6@cornell.edu>

Summary

    • Analysis suggests corn silage price depends on corn silage quantities, alfalfa hay price, the price received by farmers for milk, and corn grain price.
    • Analysis for NY suggests that estimated corn silage price is most sensitive to corn silage quantities, alfalfa hay price and corn grain price.
    • Price estimates combined with understanding of relevant supply and demand factors from an individual farm business owner’s perspective can aid decision making regarding corn silage price. Given recently available alfalfa hay and corn grain prices (May through July, 2019, and August 27, 2019, respectively), price analysis for NY suggests an estimated corn silage price of about $45 per ton.  The Fall 2018 estimate was about $41 per ton.

Determining Corn Silage Price

A farm business owner can examine how much corn silage he/she would be willing to supply to a market at a given price.  Analysis of the farm business’ cost structure for corn silage production combined with consideration of other factors help to define the supply relationship.  A seller can develop a target based upon the above, but actual market conditions provide no guarantee that a buyer will purchase quantities desired at a price that achieves the producer’s target.

Some farm business owners might approach the problem of determining corn silage price from a value in production, or input demand perspective.  Amounts of corn grain and corn stover in a ton of corn silage, relevant prices, and corn silage’s place in the milk production process are key factors.  A buyer can develop a price target based upon the above, but actual market conditions provide no guarantee that a producer will sell the quantity desired at a price that matches the buyer’s willingness to pay target.

Although factors in price determination, the two approaches described above in isolation, don’t completely determine price and quantity.  Supply and demand relationships work simultaneously in markets to determine price and quantity.  Empirical price analysis brings supply and demand relationships together to determine price.

Corn Silage Price Analysis

Empirical price analysis suggests that corn silage price is a function of corn silage quantities, alfalfa hay price, the price received by farmers for milk sold, and corn grain price.  The ordinary least squares regression model here expresses corn silage price as a linear function of the above variables.  The statistical analysis used here is fairly basic.  However, readers of the original August 2012 Ag Focus article describing this work, and readers of annual update articles note that the analysis and estimates help farm business owners price corn silage.

Corn Silage Price Estimates – Fall 2019

The ordinary least squares regression model reported in August 2012, updated here to reflect additional data available to date and changes in other underlying factors, produced corn silage price estimates for NY.  Below, estimated corn silage price is a function of alfalfa hay price and corn grain price with other factors (corn silage production and milk price) fixed at expected levels.  Expected corn silage quantity is set at 8,365 tons, the average for the period 2007 through 2017.

    • estimated corn silage price ($/ton) = -3.1431 + (0.1845 x price of alfalfa hay ($/ton)) + (3.5138 x price of corn for grain ($/bushel))

Suppose

    • NY alfalfa hay price is $186 per ton, the three month average of the period May, June, July 2019. (USDA/NASS.  Agricultural Prices. Washington, DC:  National Agricultural Statistics Service.  July 31 and August 30, 2019 releases), and
    • corn grain price is $3.94 per bushel (Western NY Energy.  “Corn Bids.” August 27, 2019.  Approximate value based upon reported bids for fall 2019.)

Using the estimating equation and the above prices for alfalfa hay and corn grain as expected prices, estimated corn silage price is about $45 per ton.  Compare this to last fall’s estimate of about $41 per ton.  Suppose alfalfa hay price is $179 per ton, the annual average for the period 2007 through 2017, and expected corn grain price is 3.94 dollars per bushel, then estimated corn silage price would be about $44 per ton.  Buyers and sellers use an estimate as a base, typically, adjusting for quality and, or costs for harvest, hauling and storage based upon the situation, for example, when pricing standing corn for silage.

Corn silage price estimates combined with understanding of relevant supply and demand factors from the individual farm business owner’s perspective, including local conditions, for example, growing conditions, can aid decision making regarding corn silage price.

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