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Contact Information

The points of contact between Rutgers Cooperative Extension Service and the grower & business communities are the NJ County Agricultural Agents. The agents are a tremendous source of information for both new and experienced growers.
Visit your local county extension office.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Yellow Flash of Soybean

Dr. Mark Bernards, Extension Weed Specialist at University of Nebraska discusses Yellow Flash of Soybeans.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Pesticide Storage Inventory Due May 1st to Fire Department

The Rutgers NJAES Pest Management office would like to remind growers of the following:

Pesticide Applicator or Dealer Storage Inventory and
Cover Letter Submittal Due May 1st to Fire Department

All licensed pesticide applicators, as well as dealers, who store pesticides are required by law to send a copy of their storage inventor(ies) with an explanatory cover letter to the local fire company by May 1st each year. In New Jersey, all licensed pesticide applicators and dealers who store pesticides are required per N.J.A.C. 7:30-9.5 to maintain a list of the pesticides stored or likely to be stored during the license year. A storage inventory should be kept separate from the actual storage area.

Now is a Great Time to Calibrate your Spray Equipment

Now is a great time to calibrate your spray equipment.  As costs continue to rise, it is even more important that we are applying the proper amount of active ingredient for maximum control.  A simple method to calibrate your spray equipment is the 1/128th acre method.  For more information can be found on the Rutgers Cooperative Extension Sprayer Calibration Fact Sheet.
Stephen Komar

Monday, April 25, 2011

Small Grain Diseases

With the current wet weather pattern that we have been experiencing it is not a surprise that we are starting to get our first reports in the region of powdery mildew on wheat. With the current wet weather outlook we should begin scouting wheat to determine if fungicide applications are warranted. Penn State has a powdery mildew decision guide that can assist in making the call as whether to spray or not.

Bill Bamka

Cold, Wet Soils and Corn Planting

These conditions have delayed much of the early field corn planting in NJ, particularly on the heavier, more northern soils. A conventional rule of thumb has been not to plant corn until soil temps reach 50 degrees at 4" depth at 8 am. Even with a few days of warm temperatures we havent reached that level, especially in untilled heavier soils. One thing farmers can do to jump start corn planting once soils dry out sufficiently is to plant shallower than the conventional 2" depth. Planting 1 1/2" or even 1" where the soils are likely warmer, may be ok if the soil is moist and you can get good seed to soil contact (ie, closing the slot tightly and NOT driving the planter fast over rough seedbeds!). For those who no-till, soils will be slower to warm up but similar principles apply, IF, you can get good slot closure at these shallower depths.

Zane Helsel

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Cereal Rust Mite

Just finished scouting a few more timothy fields in Burlington County. Cereal rust mite was found in all fields scouted. Populations were not extremely high, but remember populations can build fast. Characteristic leaf curling was present in the field. RCE has a fact sheet covering cereal rust mite in timothy.

Bill Bamka

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

More Fuel Saving Tips this Spring

In addition to the previous post on gearing up and throttling down, reducing the number of tillage and other passes and reducing the depth of tillage are two major ways to save fuel.  Primary tillage may require 0.15 to 0.20 gallons more fuel per acre for every extra inch of depth and secondary tillage up to 1/10 more fuel per acre.  Remember the rule of thumb that each successive pass should be ½ the depth of the previous tillage for good seed bed preparation.  More tips like combining two or more field operations in one pass and reducing turn time can be found at:
Fuel Requirements and Energy Savings Tips for Field Operations
Zane Helsel

Monday, April 18, 2011

Small Grain Scouting

Hopefully you have gotten your nitrogen on all of your wheat fields. It has been a bit challenging with the wet spring weather this season. I have been scouting some wheat fields recently, so far I have not seen any problems. Growers need to continue watching for cereal leaf beetle and aphids on small grains. As we move into corn and soybean planting it is important to remember to continue scouting wheat.

Bill Bamka

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Mortality Composting

It is possible to compost animal mortalities or butcher waste in order to dispose of the waste.  The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection has guidelines (N.J.A.C. 7:26A-4.5(c)) which should be followed when composting.  For other information contact the New Jersey Department of Agriculture.

The finished compost material can be used on hay, corn and other field crops, tree plantations and forestland. It should not be added to crops such as fruits or vegetables directly consumed by people.  Neither should it be available for resale.  The process includes layering the dead animals or butcher waste with wood chips and manure.  A deep bed of wood chips should be made and the animal should be placed in the bed with a layer of manure and covered with another deep bed of chips.  The pile should be left alone for at least six months.  At the end of this period the only material remaining should be bones and maybe a little hair/hide.    Below is a picture of how the pile should be made and another pile showing any remaining material after uncovering.

Before Uncovering Pile                     After Uncovering Pile

One of the concerns about disposing of dead animals is the risk from disease.  Any animals dying of a reportable disease should be reported to the New Jersey Division of Animal Health prior to composting. 

For more information please contact the Cornell University Waste Management Institute.  Or see a factsheet produced about mortality composting: Natural Rendering:Composting Livestock Mortality and ButcherWaste. 

Mike Westendorf

Black Cutworms

As we move into corn planting I want to remind everyone about black cutworm damage. We had a few corn fields in the state that experienced considerable damage last year. Loss of corn plants from above ground cutting or below ground tunneling injury is an indicator of black cutworm. Adult black cut worm moths over winter in the south and migrate north with spring weather fronts. The migrating moths seem to be attracted to fields with significant winter annual weed coverage such as chickweed. Increased populations of winter annuals are often found in reduced and no-till fields, so black cutworm tends to be more of a problem in these fields. Rescue treatments are based on the number of plants effected, corn growth stage, and size of the cutworm. Control recommendations can be found in  EB-237 Mid-Atlantic Pest Management Recommendations for Field Crops

Black Cutworm Larva
(Photo courtesy of University of Illinois Extension IPM Program)

Bill Bamka

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Wheat growth stages

Many of the herbicide and fungicide labels for wheat have application times and restrictions based on the growth stage of the wheat. The picture below from the University of Illinois should be useful when trying to figure out what growth stage your wheat is in.

Custom Rates

I have been getting numerous requests for custom rates for our area. The 2011 Pennsylvania Machinery Custom Rates prepared by USDA NASS is available online to use as a guide.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Weed Control Guides

The Delaware and New Jersey Weed Management guides for corn, soybeans and pasture/hay are available online at the University of Delaware Extension Weed Science page. This is a great resource for making herbicide decisions.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Cereal Rust Mite in Timothy

Just scouted a timothy field in Burlington County and found cereal rust mite. If you see leaf rolling in your timothy it is not from drought, look for cereal rust mite. Sevin XLR Plus still has an emergency label.


Alfalfa Weevil

There are reports that alfalfa weevil is active in southeastern Pennsylvania. Keep an eye out for it in our area.
Penn State has a good fact sheet that addresses alfalfa weevil. It can be found at


Cereal Leaf Beetles in Wheat

If you have wheat planted it is time to start scouting for cereal leaf beetle larva. Penn State Extension Entomologist, John Tooker is advising growers to scout for cereal leaf beetle. During 2010 pressure from the cereal leaf beetle was heavy and many fields experienced yield loss. There is potential for cereal leaf beetle populations to be heavy. If populations go unnoticed the flag leaf could be damaged resulting in crop loss or yield loss. The larvae of cereal leaf beetle are recognized by many growers as a shiny black "blob" on the leaf. You know you have walked through a heavily infested field when you have black spots all over your pants.


Saturday, April 2, 2011

Mid-Atlantic Regional Agronomist Quarterly Newsletter March 2011

Dr. Richard W. Taylor's Mid-Atlantic Regional Agronomist Quarterly Newsletter is available for download. 
To subscribe, send request to:

Save Tractor Fuel Spring 2011

Diesel fuel in NJ is over $3.50 per gallon. Iowa State has available a new fact sheet.
Shift Up and Throttle Back to Save Tractor Fuel

New Jersey's Prospective Plantings - USDA NASS

As of March 1, 2011, New Jersey farmers expect more acreage of corn, hay, and winter wheat while soybeans acreage is down slightly and sweet potato acreage remained unchanged from the previous year.
  • Corn planted acreage is expected to total 85,000, up 5,000 acres from last year. 
  • All hay acreage intended for harvest is expected to total 110,000, up 5,000 acres from 2010. 
  • Soybeans planted acreage is expected to total 90,000, down 4,000 acres from a year ago. 
  • Sweet potato acreage is expected to total 1,300 acres, unchanged from last year.
  • Winter wheat seeding for the 2011 season totaled 40,000, up 12,000 acres from last year.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Rutgers Field & Forage Crops, Nutrient Management Ag Updates consists of short, timely packets of information designed to be read quickly for field application. Content may include New Jersey field observations, pests to watch for, planting dates, or short comments about nutrient/waste management, and energy/other inputs. For comments or questions, contact a member of the Field & Forage Crops, Nutrient Management Team.