June 21, 2013

NYS IPM Weekly Field Crops Pest Report, June 21, 2013

Follow us on Twitter: @NYSFieldCropIPM

In this issue:

  1. View from the Field
  2. Weather Outlook
  3. Western Bean Cutworm Monitoring Begins
  4. Not too Early to think about Stored Grain Pests
  5. Growing Degree Days Models
  6. Clipboard Checklist

View from the Field

Water, water everywhere … recent rains have made it difficult to plant and harvest. Ponded fields also pose concerns for emerging crops and possible need for replant …

In addition to field issues, livestock operations face an increased risk of a house fly and stable fly population build up as the result of conditions favorable to fly breeding habitat, i.e. moist organic matter such as animal bedding, spilled silage, round bale feed bunks, wet compost areas, etc. Paying close attention to cultural practices and sanitation issues will minimize risk of developing an on-farm source of these nuisance and biting flies.

Any possible good news with all this rain?

From Elson Shields (Cornell Field Crops Entomologist)– “field capacity soils with water drowns newly hatched CRW larvae (late may-early June) otherwise, no impact.”

Potato leafhopper (PLH) is being found statewide in alfalfa this week. Overall, PLH populations have been at low so far this season. Patty Ristow (ASC) reports PLH increasing in new alfalfa seedings with some fields reaching economic threshold. Patty Ristow and Mike hunter (CCE Lewis and Jefferson County) are finding an unusual alfalfa weevil issue. There are several fields in Jefferson county over threshold for alfalfa weevil in second cutting. If you look in the degree day model below; Watertown is at 662 alfalfa weevil degree days which mean cocooning should have started and feeding stopped. This is not the case in several fields. This is not the case in several fields. The warm weather approaching should speed them up and start cocooning.   Jeff Miller (CCE Oneida) reporting finding Fusarium head blight in winter wheat. There were reports of black cutworm in corn in areas of Western NY. There was also report of slug issues in soybeans in no-till fields. Joe Lawrence (McClelland’s Agronomics) reports a lot of bird damage in corn in Lewis County. Joe suggests the soil was wet enough to allow the birds to get deeper into the soil than normal.

Bird Damage in Corn. Photo: Joe Lawrence.


Ashley Pierce (CCE Rensselaer County) reports a lot of damping off in seedling corn. In some cases there was a lot of ponded water in the field.

Damping Off in Field Corn.


Ponding in Field Corn.

return to top

Weather Outlook

June 20, 2013
Jessica Rennells, NOAA Northeast Climate Center, Cornell University

Last week temperatures ranged from normal to 3 degrees below normal.  Precipitation ranged from trace amounts up to 3 inches.  The base 50 growing degree-days ranged from 50-100 for most of the state, less than 50 in parts of the Adirondacks.

Today high pressure brings sunny skies with temperatures in the mid 70’s to low 80’s.  Overnight temperatures will be in the upper 40’s to upper 50’s.

Friday will be mostly sunny with highs in the upper 70’s to mid 80’s.  Lows will be in the mid 50’s to low 60’s.

Saturday will be partly sunny with afternoon showers and thunderstorms possible.  Highs will be in the upper 70’s to upper 80’s.  Saturday night will be in the low to mid 60’s.

Sunday will be partly sunny with highs in the low to mid 80’s and a chance of showers and thunderstorms.  Overnight lows will be in the mid 60’s.

Monday will be mostly sunny with temperatures in the low to mid 80’s with a chance of showers and thunderstorms.  Lows will be in the mid to upper 60’s.

Tuesday will be mostly sunny with highs in the mid to upper 80’s.  Continued chance for showers and thunderstorms.  Lows will be in the mid to upper 60’s.

Wednesday temperatures will be in the low to mid 80’s with rain and thunderstorms possible.  Lows will be in the mid to upper 60’s.

The five-day precipitation amounts will range from .1” to 1”.

The 8-14 day outlook (June 27 – July 3) is showing above normal temperatures and above normal precipitation

return to top

Western Bean Cutworm Monitoring Begins

Keith Waldron, Cornell University, NYS IPM

Western bean cutworm (WBC) monitoring has begun. WBC is an emerging pest in NY, with the potential to cause substantial damage to corn, Zea mays and beans, Phaseolus vulgaris. WBC is native to North America and has historically been a pest of corn and dry beans in the high plains region of the western US.  WBC larvae feed on developing corn kernels, bean pods and seeds. Larval feeding damage causes direct yield losses and can increase subsequent risk of ear mold issues including infection by mycotoxin producing fungi.

In 2008, WBC moths were found in Ontario, Canada and confirmed in Pennsylvania and western New York in 2009.  Extensive monitoring during 2010 –  2012 has determined that WBC moths are well distributed across these areas and have expanded their range into Quebec and parts of Vermont. WBC populations have fortunately, to date, been below economically damaging levels in NY with no reported economic damage reported by sweet corn, field corn or dry bean producers. Midwestern research suggest close inspection of susceptible crops as accumulated WBC trap catches reach ~100 per trap and beyond. Last summer the majority of NY’s WBC traps caught < 50 moths each, median 22 per trap. Over the past three years WBC numbers per trap have continued to increase nearly 2X per year, with somewhat higher numbers in captured western and northeastern NY counties. Last season > 100 WBC moths were caught in Malone (140, Franklin Cty), Kennedy (143, Chautauqua Cty), Ellisburg (193, Jefferson Cty), Attica (276, Wyoming Cty) Madrid (302, St. Lawrence Cty), Martinsburg (323, Lewis Cty) and Sacketts Harbor (344, Jefferson Cty). The physical appearance of captured WBC moths suggest they are overwintering locally and could be expected to increase risk of economic impact to NY dry bean and corn production in the future.
This summer WBC pheromone traps are again being deployed to continue acquiring information about this insect and it’s potential risk to NY producers. The pheromone traps attract male moths and provide an indication of WBC presence and activity. The trap data does not equate to a threshold for damage but will provide important information regarding when to begin monitoring fields for presence of egg masses and the larvae that can damage corn ears and dry bean pods. Pre-tassel corn is the preferred egg laying site for this insect. Based on observations over the past 3 years we expect WBC flights to pick up later this month thru July with peak flight occurring towards the end of July and the first of August.

WBC trap deployment began last week with additional sites coming “on-line” soon. Of the 21 traps reporting this week – 0 moths were caught in Riverhead (Suffolk Cty), Martinsburg (Lewis Cty), Millbrook (Dutchess Cty), Clinton (Oneida Cty), Geneva (Ontario Cty), Belmont and Fillmore (both Allegany Cty). In addition, no WBC moths were captured in the 14 sweet corn pheromone network traps reporting (See: NYS IPM Sweet Corn Pheromone Trap Network Report)

Western bean cutworm updates will be available at this blog as well:

Stay tuned for more information.

return to top

Not too Early to think about Stored Grain Pests

Keith Waldron, NYS IPM

It won’t be long before wheat heads begin to lighten in color indicating harvest time is near. This year’s strong commodity prices prompt much anticipation for a profitable harvest. With that in mind, it is not too early to begin preparing for harvest and checking the readiness of your on-farm storage bins. To maintain the profits a good yield can bring, make and follow a plan to protect the grain while in storage. Remember: Grain storage will not improve grain quality. However, proper management of grain during storage will protect the quality present at harvest.

The IPM approach for stored grain protection includes a combination of sanitation, well-sealed bins, frequent monitoring for temperature and insect populations, aeration to cool grain in the fall, and pest management treatments as needed. Stored grain management begins with “an ounce of prevention”. This article will highlight some steps one can take now to protect stored grain before it is harvested. The following pre-harvest information was “gleaned” whole or in part from Stored Grain IPM information from Oklahoma State University Stored Products Research & Education Center and Purdue University. Source URL’s are provided at end of this article.

Insect infestations are the more common stored grain pest issues one might encounter. Insect infested grain can be docked at time of sale. Most common grain bin insect problems can be traced back to infestations in previously stored material, cracked grain and grain fines and trash. The key to prevention is SANITATION – clean out the bin every time it is emptied. How clean? If you can tell what was stored in the bin the last time it was used, it needs more cleaning. In addition to insects, birds and rodents are also attracted to left over and spilled grain. Lights mounted on or in close proximity to grain bins may attract unwanted stored grain insects.

Who might the likely insect pests be? This could be the subject for a future article. In the meantime the following extension factsheets provide information to help identify the insects you may find as you clean out your storage bins: Management of Stored Grain Insects, Part II. Identification and Sampling of Stored Grain Insects and Principal Stored Grain Insect Pests of Indiana

The following sanitation practices are recommended for managing empty storage bins.
* Clean harvest and transportation machines before harvest.
* Repair all grain handling equipment before harvest and keep it in good condition.
* Seal unloading auger, auger tube opening, and side door openings before harvest
* Empty storage structures of old grain. The new crop should never be stored on top of old grain.
* Remove and destroy any grain from beneath, around or near the bin area. Sweep and vacuum the floors, false floors, and walls inside empty bins to remove old grain and debris. This debris usually contains insect eggs, larvae, pupae, and/or adults, all ready to infest the new grain. A shop vacuum, broom and scoop are very useful in a cleanup job, and all collected material should be discarded properly.
* Check fan boxes for possible grain pests.
* Remove any spilled grain outside the storage structure.
* Mow / remove weeds at least 10 feet around the bins.
* Check and clean or replace rodent traps.
* Check the integrity of screens and porcupine wires to limit bird entry and roosting.
* For additional protection against infestation, the inside and outside surfaces, foundations and floor of a storage facility can be sprayed with residual insecticide, four to six weeks prior to harvest, to kill any insects that were not removed during cleaning and those that migrate into the bin.
* Establish a written sanitation schedule, keep appropriate records

Bin Sealing

Roof leaks commonly lead to columns of spoiled grain. Check for these leaks by looking for light coming into the bin. Moisture coming into the bin through the seal between the bin and concrete will cause spoilage around the perimeter of the bin at the base. Check the seal since sealants do deteriorate. Water will run away from the seal at the base of the bin wall if the concrete is sloped away from the bin. Also check the seals around the doors and hatches.

Besides keeping grain dry, grain storages should be well sealed for two other basic reasons: (1) to minimize grain insect entry problems into base and sidewall grain, and
(2) to minimize leakage should fumigants be used.

In addition, improved insect kill (efficacy), tighter sealed structures require lower dosage rates, which reduce the cost of future fumigations and cover the cost for the sealing materials and labor.
When clean grain is transferred into a clean, sanitized structure with base and sidewalls well sealed, the main insect infestation and population growth should be on the grain surface in the structure headspace. Permanently sealing all non-functional base, sidewall and roof openings is the first priority of sealing storages. The second sealing priority is to seal functional openings at all times during the year when the component is not being used. More information on bin sealing is available on the SPREC Website.

Source of the above stored grain pest management information:
Oklahoma State University Stored Products Research & Education Center Newsletter – Spring 2004  and
Purdue’s Stored Product Pest factsheets:

An excellent Stored Product resource “Stored Product Protection” has recently been published by authors from Kansas State University. Practical guide to protecting grains and other raw commodities, food processing facilities, finished food, and durable plant and animal products from insects, molds, and vertebrate pests. Illustrated, 350 p.

return to top

Growing Degree Days Models

Ken Wise, NYS IPM

You can predict what stage of development black cutworm (BCW) is in locally if you happen to know (trap) when the moths arrive with growing degree days with a base temperature of 500F degrees. For example, if we use the BCW trap catch information from Pennsylvania as a place to begin we could use May 14 as a starting point to begin tracking degree days and estimate when to expect signs of feeding activity.

Table 1: Black Cutworm Degree Days

Degree Days Stage Feeding Activity
0 Moth Capture Egg Laying
90 Eggs Hatch
91-311 1st to 3rd Instar Leaf Feeding
312-364 4th Instar Cutting Begins
365-430 5th Instar Cutting Begins
431-640 6th Instar Cutting Slows
641-989 Pupa No feeding
Source: 2013 University of Minnesota Black Cutworm Trapping Network (downloadable pdf)


Table 2: Current Growing Degree Days in NYS, March 1 – June 19, 2013

Location Base 48°F Base 50°F Black Cutworm GDD
Chazy 687 582 392
Geneva 771 657 468
Highland 870 742 534
Ithaca 746 628 452
Versailles 815 693 463
Watertown 662 551 384
NEWA Growing Degree Days
Using May 14 as our starting date for calculating the degree days using the NEWA Growing Degree Days website.


Table 3: Growing degree Days for peak (50%) Occurrence of Alfalfa Weevil growth stage

Stage or Event Accumulated growing degree days (48F base temperature)
Eggs hatch


Instar 1


Instar 2


Instar 3


Instar 4






Adult Emergence


return to top

Clipboard Checklist

Keith Waldron, NYS IPM

*Walk fields to check general field condition, weed issues, areas of soil erosion, ponding
*Watch for early season annual and perennial weeds

*Evaluate established legume stands for approximate days till harvest
*Monitor alfalfa regrowth for alfalfa weevil, potato leafhopper (PLH)
*Monitor new seedings for PLH, Pythium blight and Phytopthora Rot.
*Note any areas with extended duration ponding

Small Grains:
*Monitor winter grain fields for growth stage, disease issues, cereal leaf beetle
*Check stands for foliar and head diseases, cereal leaf beetle, weed escapes, goose damage

Conduct plant population assessments, early season corn pests including seed corn maggot, white grub, wireworm, cutworm, armyworm, slugs, diseases, weed issues, vertebrate damage
*Monitor corn for weed escapes
*Note any areas with extended duration ponding

Conduct plant population assessments, early season soybean pests including seed corn maggot, soybean aphid, slugs, diseases, weed issues, vertebrate damage
*Note any areas with extended duration ponding

Check and mend fences as needed.
*Check crop growth
*Monitor for invasive species, plants harmful to livestock
*Review/Plan rotation system

*Remove / clean soil and crop debris from equipment
Arrange for custom weed control or check your own application or cultivator equipment for repairs.
*Carry appropriate / necessary NYS DEC and EPA required documents: (pesticide applicators license, pesticide labels, MSDS sheets, etc.) with application equipment

  • planting equipment – maintain records on planting rate per field
  • manure spreaders – maintain records on amount spread per field
  • pesticide application equipment – Check nozzles, pumps, etc., recalibrate pesticide application equipment before use. Maintain pesticide use records

* Clean and prepare grain storage bins to be filled with incoming small grain harvest
* Check filled stored grain bins for temperature, moisture and signs of mold and insects. Aerate, core, transfer grain or treat as necessary
Check forage allocation and anticipate feed program adjustments as forages from previous year are used up
*Plan where forages should be stored for optimum allocation next feeding season
*Mow around storage bins and facility to minimize harborage and pest hiding places

Dairy Cattle Barn Fly Management:
*Monitor animals and barn area for house fly, stable fly and other pest management needs including presence of rodents and birds.
*Check facilities for favorable fly breeding conditions: (organic matter + moisture): leaks in watering systems, roof gutters for leaks and potential overspill, drainage,
*Sanitation, sanitation, sanitation – clean animal resting areas, feed troughs, minimize source of moist organic matter i.e. fly breeding areas in barn and in adjacent animal loafing yard
* Continue fly monitoring: install “3X5” index card fly speck monitoring cards throughout barn
*Use, replenish, replace fly management materials: sticky fly tapes/ribbons, insecticide baits, natural enemies (parasitoids), fly population monitoring (3 x 5) spot cards
*Consider purchase and release of Muscidifurax raptor and/or M. raptorellus natural enemies of house and stable fly pupae.

Dairy Cattle on Pasture:
*Monitor animals for presence of face flies, horn flies and stable flies. Action guidelines: face flies (average 10 per animal face), horn flies (average 50 / dairy per animal side, 200 / beef cattle per animal side), stable flies average 10 per animal  (all four legs)
*Check feed bunk / water source locations for signs of stable fly breeding (moist undisturbed organic matter – spilled feed, round bales, etc.), minimize source of moist organic matter i.e. fly breeding areas in barn and in adjacent animal exercise yard.
*Check pasture for forage quality / quantity, rotate as appropriate
*Check pasture for vegetation poisonous to livestock
*Consider use of pasture fly traps to help reduce deer, horse and stable fly populations

return to top