Northeast Cover Crops Council Virtual Conference – March 4, 2021

Contributed by the Northeast Cover Crop Council


March 4, 2021

Northeast Cover Crops Council’s First Virtual Conference

Mark your calendars to join your fellow cover crop enthusiasts for a day of interactive online presentations, posters, panels, and training sessions.

CCA CEUs will be available. Registration opens soon, $75 per ticket.

Contact for more information.

New this year: submit a cover crop video to our contest!

Get filming this fall! Highlight and show off your latest cover crop planting/project.

Submit an ePoster!

Are you interested in sharing a poster on an ongoing project? Prepare a poster to share during our online poster session.

Are you interested in becoming a Sponsor?

Visit for upcoming details.

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Northeast Cover Crops Council’s 2021 Video Contest

Contributed by the Northeast Cover Crops Council

Show off your latest cover crop planting/project at our first ever Virtual Conference on March 4, 2021. Get filming this fall! Upon submittal, your video will be entered into our Cover Crop Video Contest where Conference attendees will vote on their favorite videos during the event!

Visit for upcoming details on how and when to submit your video.

Details to Include in Your Video:

    • Tell us your name, the farm/site name, and the general location.
    • Highlight a current/ongoing project/planting, or re-purpose an older video you have on cover crops.
    • Explain why you chose that particular cover crop/mix or project, and what the specific goals are, if any, that you hope to meet through planting this cover crop (i.e. nitrogen fixation, improve soil health, reduce erosion, etc.).
    • Describe equipment you are using, and any relevant information about the site (i.e. the history of that field, cash crop, tillage practices, how long it has been cover cropped, etc.).
    • Videos should be no more than 5 minutes in length.

Video Tips & Tricks:

    • Smart Phone videos are great. However always shoot in landscape style, avoid shooting vertical.
    • Consider having someone else hold the camera/phone, and to brace it on a stationary surface to minimize shakiness. A tripod or stabilizing device can be very useful.
    • Be sure you are at FULL battery before recording, and if possible, bring a backup battery/power source.
    • Before recording, make sure you know your video goals—what do you want the audience to know? You may want to write down key points to capture/say before recording so you don’t miss anything.
    • Short, concise videos are generally preferred.
    • Consider the weather—wind can impact the microphones sound by adding background noise. Use a Bluetooth microphone with a wind screen if possible when filming in the field.
    • If you want to take a few shots (or insert pictures/text) there are many different free, intuitive video editing software available to edit those together into one video, such as MiniTool Movie Maker.
    • Files must be saved in MP4 format.
    • Get creative and have fun!

Helpful Resources for Creating Videos:

Additional questions? Please contact Catherine Davidson at or (802) 524-6501 ext. 445.

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Soybean Harvest Aids

Contributed by Mike Stanyard, Cornell Cooperative Extension, NWNY Team

soybean field
Lots of weeds in this soybean field that suffered from drought stress.
Photo: M. Stanyard / CCE NWNY Team

Many of the early maturity soybeans have been harvested and plenty are starting to turn yellow.  One thing that has been really noticeable is the amount of weedy soybean fields.  There are plenty of foxtail, lambsquarters and marestail that are way above the beans and still green.  Much of this was due to the dry conditions around the region and rows that never completely closed canopy.  By the time harvest occurs the weed seeds will probably be mature but how tough will harvest be with all of those weeds still growing?  There are a couple products we can apply as harvest aids but it is usually only for weed burndown not speed up plant maturation.  Many of the herbicide label restrictions do not allow application until plants are fully mature.  Below is a list of labeled herbicide options from Penn State Extension with important restrictions from the label.  Here is the link to the full article,

  • Aim 2EC — Apply 1.5 fl oz/acre as a harvest aid to desiccate certain broadleaf weeds. Application shall be made when the crop is mature and the grain has begun to dry down and at least 3 days before harvest. Apply in 10 gal/A water. Include necessary adjuvants and make sure spray coverage is sufficient otherwise poor control will result. Do not feed treated soybean forage or hay to livestock.
  • Clarity — Apply 8 fl oz to 2 quarts after soybean pods have reached a mature brown color and at least 75% leaf drop has occurred. Wait at least 7 days before harvest. Use a non-ionic surfactant or crop oil concentrate plus nitrogen solution in the spray solution. Do not feed soybean fodder or hay following a preharvest application.
  • Defol 5L — Can be applied to desiccate problem weeds in early maturing soybean. Apply 4.8 qt/acre, 7-10 days before harvest in 20 gallons/acre water. No adjuvant is recommended. Do not graze treated field or feed treated fodder.
  • Glyphosate — For pre-harvest, glyphosate may be applied to Roundup Ready and conventional soybeans after 80% leaf drop (loss of all green color). Apply up to 0.75 lb ae/acre (32 fl oz of a 3 lb ae/gal formulation) in 10-20 gallons of water/acre to control weeds that may interfere with harvest or to control perennials such as quackgrass or Canada thistle but will not control glyphosate-resistant weeds or dry down Roundup Ready varieties. Allow a minimum of 7 days between application and harvest. Use of a non-ionic surfactant plus ammonium sulfate in the spray solution may improve control. Do not graze or harvest the treated crop for livestock feed within 25 days of application. Do not use on soybeans grown for seed.
  • Gramoxone SL — Apply 8 to 16 fl. oz/acre plus nonionic surfactant (1 qt/100 gallons of spray) to soybean plants that are mature (65% or more of the seed pods have reached mature brown color or seed moisture is 30% or less. Do not apply within 15 days of harvest and do not graze or harvest for forage or hay.
  • Sharpen — Apply 1 to 2 fl. oz/acre after physiological maturity when greater than 50% leaf drop has occurred, and remaining leaves are yellow and at least 3 days before harvest. Include MSO plus AMS or UAN to improve performance.
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Drought-Stressed Soybeans: Keep an Eye Out for Spider Mites

Jaime Cummings and Ken Wise (NYS IPM), Mike Stanyard (CCE NWNY), and Elson Shields (Cornell Entomology)

soybean field and leaf
Spider mite damage to edge of soybean field and individual leaf (photos by Mike Stanyard, CCE)

Widespread drought conditions are stressing the crops, and may lead to flare ups of two-spotted spider mites in some soybean fields.  We’ve already heard some reports of low to moderate spider mite infestations in a few fields in western NY, and could expect more in coming weeks if the weather stays hot and dry.  If left unchecked, even a moderate infestation can result in 10-15% yield loss.  As with any pest, it’s best to understand why they are problematic and what the best management practices are.

Magnified photo
Two-spotted spider mites through magnifier (photo by Mike Stanyard, CCE)

Spider mites are tiny, eight-legged critters that can spin webs like spiders.  In fact, they spin little web parachutes to catch the wind and blow into your fields.  They prefer hot, dry conditions, where they can reproduce rapidly with multiple generations completed every 7 – 21 days.  Infestations typically start at field margins, usually in the lower canopy, but can quickly spread throughout a field.  The spider mites are difficult to see individually with the naked eye, but their feeding causes obvious damage.  Feeding injury results in stippling (or speckled-like) appearance of leaves, as the mites colonize and feed on the lower surfaces of soybean leaves.  These speckles start out as almost a silver color, but later can turn yellow or brown.  Severe feeding damage can cause entire leaves to become curled and necrotic, reducing photosynthesis, and potentially even resulting in death of severely affected plants.  Webbing will be obvious on the underside of infested leaves, as may be the small, white shed skins from molting individuals.  You can shake a damaged plant onto a piece of paper or hood of your vehicle to knock the mites off to see them.  Check out this video of spider mite activity on a corn leaf by Mike Stanyard, CCE.

Closeup of soybean leaves
Spider mite damaged leaf with mites on webbing, and mites congregating at tip of leaf (photos by Mike Stanyard, CCE)

The mites have piercing-sucking mouth parts, which penetrate the leaves and consume the plant sap, similar to how aphids feed.  This makes things worse for the already drought-stressed plants.  Damaged plants may be prematurely defoliated or stunted, resulting in fewer pods and fewer beans per pod.  This can all happen very quickly when conditions are ripe for population explosions of this pest.

soybean leaf
Soybean leaf heavily infested with spider mites (photo by Mike Stanyard, CCE)

Spider mites are always present at low levels in crops and surrounding weeds or hedgerows.  They are typically kept in check by natural populations of parasitic fungi and beneficial insects.  Unfortunately, the hot, dry weather that favors spider mite outbreaks isn’t favorable for these naturally occurring biocontrol agents.   Staying ahead of the pest by knowing when to expect them and keeping weedy field margins mowed to minimize reservoir habitats are a good way to start.  The best and easiest way to manage spider mites is with persistent rainfall, but we can’t control the weather!  Pay attention to the forecast, and if moderate moisture is predicted, you may be able to avoid taking other action.  But, if the forecast is for continued hot and dry conditions, then you should scout your soybean fields weekly.  There is no specific economic or action threshold for spider mites.  Scouting to catch damage early and knowing the forecast will help you make the best decision on whether or not to spray.  If you catch them early, you may be able to spray just the affected field margin and approximately the surrounding 100 feet to contain them.  For small fields, you may need to treat the entire field.  It’s important to know that none of the insecticides target the eggs, so there may be a resurgence following the first spray if there are many eggs present and if favorable conditions persist.  Below is a table of registered insecticides labeled for spider mites in NY as of July 2020.  Remember to read and follow all label instructions when using any pesticides.

Table of insecticides registered for use on spider mites in NYS

Disclaimer: Read pesticide labels prior to use. The information contained here is not a substitute for a pesticide label. Trade names used herein are for convenience only; no endorsement of products is intended, nor is criticism of unnamed products implied. Laws and labels change. It is your responsibility to use pesticides legally. Always consult with your local Cooperative Extension office for legal and recommended practices and products.

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New restricted use insecticide registered for aphids on soybean

Contributed by Mike Helms, Pesticide Management Education Program

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) recently approved the registration of three insecticides containing the active ingredient afidopyrofen. These are the first products registered in New York State containing this active ingredient. Products registered include:

  • Sefina Inscalis Insecticide (EPA Reg. No. 7969-391) – registered for use on several agricultural crops including cucurbits, fruiting vegetables, tuberous and corm vegetables and soybean against various aphids and whiteflies.
  • Versys Inscalis Insecticide (EPA Reg. No. 7969-389) – registered for use on brassicas, leaf petiole and leafy vegetables, pome fruit, and stone fruit against various aphids and whiteflies.
  • Ventigra Insecticide (EPA Reg. No. 7969-393) – registered for use on ornamentals and vegetable transplants against aphids, whiteflies, mealybugs, and scale.

Note that all three of these products are restricted-use in New York State and their use in Nassau and Suffolk Counties are prohibited. The labels for these products also have NY-specific buffer zone requirements.

Copies of the approved labels for these products are available from the NYSDEC’s product registration website.

Questions should be directed to Cornell PMEP.

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Hemp Added to NNY Field Crops Health Survey; NNYADP Posts Results

Growers at a field crops meeting on a past August day in Northern New York. Photo: NNYADP

Industrial hemp and alfalfa have been added to the annual crop health survey funded by the farmer-driven Northern New York Agricultural Development Program (NNYADP). Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) field crops specialists scouted fields on 30 regional farms in 2019 for early detection of disease in corn, soybean, alfalfa, and hemp crops. The results of crop surveys from 2013 through 2019 are posted on the NNYADP website at

“This regional survey is a proactive and systematic way to alert growers to respond quickly to limit emerging and re-emerging plant diseases, to document trends, and to develop strategies to maintain crop health, sustainability, and the profit margin that is so narrow for growers,” says project leader and CCE Regional Field Crops Specialist Michael E. Hunter.

This NNYADP field crops survey, restarted in 2013, has traditionally focused on corn and soybean as foundational crops, grown as both livestock feed and cash crops, for the regional farming industry. Hunter says, “Alfalfa has been added to the survey as another essential dairy industry crop, and, with grower interest increasing in industrial hemp, we began scouting those plantings in 2019.”

Hunter and CCE Regional Field Crops and Soils Specialist Kitty O’Neil scout fields and send samples of plant tissue for diagnosis at the Bergstrom Pathology Lab at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y.

In 2019, the NNYADP crop health survey identified 13 crop diseases: 2 in corn, 7 in soybean, 2 in alfalfa, and 2 in industrial hemp.

Northern stem canker was identified in soybean but was not problematic in NNY in 2019. Hunter notes, “While there have been significant yield losses reported to this disease in Midwestern states, to date, no yield loss has yet been documented in New York State crops to northern stem canker.”|

Warm, wet weather conditions during podfill in 2019 fostered development of Cercospora leaf blight,  non-yield limiting disease in soybean. Levels did not result in any rejection of loads shipped to market. Other soybean diseases identified in NNY in 2019 were downy mildew, white mold, frogeye leaf spot, anthracnose, and Septoria brown spot.

The cool, wet spring of 2019 favored growth of Leptosphaerulina leaf spot and Stemphylium leaf spot in alfalfa crops; however, incidences were not severe nor widespread, and neither disease negatively impacted forage quality or overall crop yield.

White mold and Botrytis gray mold, common molds that can cause serious damage in industrial hemp grown in the field and in greenhouses, were seen in plantings of industrial hemp, an emerging crop in Northern New York.

FIrst-time confirmations of emerging diseases are added to state and national crop pathogen databases with field samples archived in the Cornell University Field Crop Pathogen Culture Collection. DNA sequences of any confirmed new pathogens are submitted to the National Institutes of Health Gen Bank genetic sequence database.

“This yearly scouting and diagnosis survey project adds data, distribution mapping, and trending to help growers adapt their strategies for maintaining crop health, preventing disease, and efficiently and cost-effectively treating issues locally, regionally, and statewide,” Hunter adds.

Funding for the Northern New York Agricultural Development Program is supported by the New York State Legislature and administered by the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets.

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Mike Hunter, Regional Field Crop Specialist, North Country Regional Ag Team

I wanted to take this opportunity to share with you timely information regarding the sale of restricted use pesticides to applicators that failed to obtain sufficient continuing education credits necessary for recertification of their NYS pesticide applicator license.

On April 7, 2020 the NYS DEC issued an Enforcement Discretion for Extension of Pesticide Applicator Recertification and Business and Agency Registration during the COVID -19 Emergency notice (found here:

Here are the highlights of this action and how it applies to pesticide applicators with expired licenses:

    • Any applicator, both private and commercial, whose certification lapsed on or after November 1, 2019 is allowed to possess, purchase and apply restricted use pesticides until 60 days from the expiration of Executive Order 202 (issued March 7, 2020 and found here:
    • As of now, the Executive Order 202 expires September 7, 2020. The enforcement discretion will expire 60 days from that date or any extensions issued to it.
    • The pesticide applicator must follow these steps during the period of time outlined:
      • Make sure that their applicator card expiration date is after November 1, 2019
      • Keep the expired applicator card in their possession
      • Have a printed copy of the Enforcement Discretion Letter in their possession
      • Present both the expired license and a copy of the Enforcement Discretion letter to the pesticide dealer when purchasing restricted use pesticides.

It is strongly recommended that the pesticide business that sells restricted use pesticides to a person with an expired applicator license retains a copy of both the expired license and the enforcement discretion letter on file.  This will provide added insurance in case there is any question that may arise in the future.  Again, make certain the person’s license expired after November 1, 2019 prior to making the sale.  This special arrangement DOES NOT apply to applicators whose licenses expired before November 1, 2019.  If a person does not have a copy of the Enforcement Discretion Letter please print a copy for them to carry and one for you to keep on file.

If you have any additional questions regarding this matter please contact your local NYS DEC pesticide control specialist in your region of the state.  The NYS DEC statewide directory can be accessed here:

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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) –, 585-764-8452

Jodi Putman (NWNY CCE) –, 585-991-5437

Jaime Cummings (statewide, NYS IPM) –, 607-255-1747

Josh Putman (SWNY CCE) –, 716-490-5572

Janice Degni (SCNY CCE) –, 607-391-2660, x414

Ron Kuck (Cayuga Co. CCE) –, 315-255-1183, x242

Jeff Miller (Oneida Co. CCE) –, 315-736-3394, x120

Kevin Ganoe (CNY CCE) –, 315-866-7920, x230

Aaron Gabriel (ENY CCE) –, 518-380-1496

Ken Wise (ENY, NYS IPM) –, 845-677-8223

Christian Malsatzki (SENY CCE) –, 845-340-3990

Joe Lawrence (statewide, PRO Dairy) –, 315-778-4814

Mike Hunter (NNY CCE) –, 315-788-8450, x266

Kitty O’Neil (NNY CCE) –, 315-854-1218

Elson Shields (Cornell Field Crops Entomologist) –, 607-255-8428

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2020 Cornell Guide for Integrated Field Crop Management Now Available

2020 Field Crops Guide CoverThe Pesticide Management Education Program (PMEP) at Cornell University is pleased to announce the availability of the 2020 Cornell Guide for Integrated Field Crop Management.

Written by Cornell University specialists, this publication is designed to offer producers, seed and chemical dealers, and crop consultants practical information on growing and managing field corn, forages, small grains, and soybeans. Topics covered include nutrient management, soil health, variety selection, and common field crop pest concerns. A preview of the Field Crops Guide can be seen online at

Highlighted changes in the 2020 Cornell Field Crops Guide include:

    • Revised pesticide options for economically important field crop pests.
    • Updated corn, forage, and small grain variety trial and research data.
    • Pesticides available for stored grain management.

Cornell Crop and Pest Management Guidelines are available as a print copy, online-only access, or a package combining print and online access. The print edition of the 2020 Field Crops Guide costs $31 plus shipping. Online-only access is $31. A combination of print and online access costs $43.50 plus shipping costs for the printed book.

Cornell Guidelines can be obtained through your local Cornell Cooperative Extension office or from the Cornell Store at Cornell University. To order from the Cornell Store, call (844) 688-7620 or order online at

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Pricing Corn Silage — Fall 2019

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


    • 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))


    • 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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