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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.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Crop Nutrient Removal Rates for Hay

I was out visiting a grower yesterday who was raking alfalfa for baling today. Pretty amazing given the amount of rain we have had this month. That is one benefit of the sandy soils in the southern portion of the state. The grower was making his fifth cutting and estimated that this cutting would produce as much as his first and second cutting combined. As the grower was getting ready to apply potassium fertilizer in the near future, the question came up as to how much potassium he should be applying. Keep in mind that forages can remove quite a bit of potassium. With the extra cuttings and yield boosts some growers are experiencing there may be a need to supply extra potassium fertilizer. Alfalfa and cool season grasses can remove 50 lbs of potash per ton of yield. NJAES Cooperative Extension Fact Sheet 014 "Nutrient Removal Values for Field and Forage Crops" may be useful in determing fertilizer application rates this fall.

Bill Bamka

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Reporting Crop Losses Due to Irene

[Excerpt from Jersey Vegetable Crops Ag Updates 8/29/11]
Wes Kline and I just participated in a conference call initiated by Secretary Fisher with NJ State Board of Agriculture members, USDA representatives and NJ Farm Bureau Executive Director Pete Fury to get a preliminary assessment of damage caused by Hurricane Irene as it passed over the state. By all accounts, it could have been a lot worse, and certainly the flooding in the northern counties is still posing significant threats to people and businesses. The hurricane was one more blow in what has already been a challenging season weather-wise, and some crops will still not show damage for several weeks. However, the consensus was that there are important steps to take in its aftermath.
  • First, farmers with crop, livestock or building damage from the hurricane should contact their local USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) office to report it. DO NOT DESTROY damaged crops until local reps can assess and document the damage. To locate your local FSA office, see
  • Anything covered by crop insurance should be reported to your insurance agent.
  • Crops that have been damaged by wind or excessive rains likely need some protective fungicide treatments to avoid disease spread.
  • Make note of any areas of crop fields that are flooded as water from overflowing ponds or streams, or even from field run-off, may contaminate produce with pathogens and create a food safety hazard. Avoid harvesting from these areas if possible, or be ready to take extra precautions to wash/treat this produce to reduce potential contamination.
Rick VanVranken

Storm Damage Recovery

The recent rains, flooding and wind from Hurricane Irene have caused some signifcant damage throughout the state. While attention to human needs(health, living and communications) are of utmost importance, once those are attended to, dealing with the after effects on livestock, crops, and structures will be important to farm viability. Having clean water and clean feed for livestock is a necessity(have any questionable sources tested if possible). Check structures to be sure they have not been compromised. Dont go inside them if at all questionable(leaning, sinking, etc). Try to secure from the outside first and have a second person with you(with a cell phone) if you do need to go in a compromised building. Be careful in dealing with electrical issues within the structure or in using generators. With crops, the best advice, if flodded, is to get the water off the field ASAP, then watch for diseases and other problems as the days go by. And of course, dont forget to call your insurance agent before doing anything significant to the affected livestock, buildings and crops. Many more tips and suggestions in dealing with these and numerous other issues can be found at the following Extension website:

Zane R. Helsel 

Friday, August 19, 2011

2011 Penn State Winter Wheat Preformance Trials

Before long we will be moving into small grain planting season. If you are looking for winter wheat variety preformance information Penn State has recently posted the results of their 2011 trials. Also available for review are the results of the 2011 University of Maryland wheat variety trials . The University of Maryland also has trials with scab resistance ratings available for review.

Bill Bamka

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

September is National Preparedness Month - Are you Ready Ag?

Fire, flood, feed contamination, foot-and-mouth disease. Farm and ranch disasters can come without warning. Is your crop, livestock or poultry operation secure? Is it biosecure?

A team of Extension professionals from across the US came together to develop an educational tool to assist farm and ranch managers become better prepared for any disaster The tool is called ReadyAG—Disaster and Defense Preparedness for Production Agriculture.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Brown Marmorated Stink Bug in Field Corn

We are beginning to get reports of brown marmorated stink bugs in field corn in South Jersey. So far populations have mainly been confined to field edges near wooded areas. Counts have been as high as 3 to 5 per plant. I have heard of some fields with significantly higher counts. Populations in the interior of the fields were light. I have seen some isolated kernel damage. Stink bugs have not yet been encountered on adjacent soybean fields. Though we would expect to see movement into soybean fields eventually.  In Maryland, there are currently evaluations of edge treatments to see how effective they are when kernel damage is occurring. As we have mentioned before we are still in the learning curve in trying to deal with this relatively new pest.

Bill Bamka