Spring 2020 Crop Notes

Manure truck spreading manure

And they’re off! Wow this is a record spring! It’s the earliest plowing that I’ve ever seen. It’s nice to have workable fields early, but I just want to remind you to not get too far ahead. We are very likely to have a cold snap or two. During the last early spring, which started about the 3rd week of March, people put in alfalfa seedings at the end of March-early April. We started off dry, then we had a pretty good snow and cold after the seedlings emerged and it ended up thinning our stands. Establishing alfalfa mid to late April is still early and possibly a bit safer to avoid freeze and dehydration kill of small seedlings.

I have heard that some oats are in the ground. They should be fine and since oat acreage has dropped dramatically in the last several years, they might have some value. Things are greening up already which is crazy since it was almost May when things greened up last year. Don’t delay applications of early nitrogen for small grains or grassy hay stands and pastures to boost yields. Consider adding a sulfur containing N source in the fertilizer mix.

I included the article about corn chilling damage. I know it’s sometimes hard to predict what change we’ll see in the day to day weather, but I recommend erring on the side of caution. Some hybrids can handle colder temps better. Check with your seed rep about yours. We all know corn can recover if its frozen off when the growing point is below the ground and we saw that several years ago, but it does require additional energy from the plant and some farmer’s observed that the fields that recovered did not do as well as those planted later and were not injured.

Beginning in 2020, a screening effort to describe the distribution of herbicide resistance in the state will be begun. This coming summer and fall, growers, crop consultants and allied industry personnel who suspect they have herbicide resistance are encouraged to contact Dr. Lynn Sosnoskie (lms438@cornell.edu, 315-787-2231) to arrange for weed seed collection. Please visit the What’s Cropping Up? Blog to find out more.

Number of unique herbicide resistant cases has increased over time
Current status of herbicide resistance, globally, over time according to the International Survey of Herbicide Resistant Weeds (weedscience.org)

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