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Plant & Pest Advisory > Field & Forage Crops

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, September 23, 2011

Pest Management Network Subscriptions

Only 100 Plant Management Network Subscriptions Left Courtesy of the Soybean Checkoff. 
Sign up before Sept. 30th.

Recently, the United Soybean Board (USB) and soybean checkoff purchased 500 one-year subscriptions of the Plant Management Network, a suite of 13 applied crop science resources. There are now only 100 subscriptions left--first come, first serve--for soybean growers, as well as crop consultants and CCAs who work with soybean crops.
To get this full one-year subscription, which includes access to all 13 of PMN's resources, click on the shortlink below or paste it into your browser. It will lead to a signup page on the Plant Management Network website, where you can fill in the pertinent information to register for your subscription…

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Kernels Sprouting on the Ear

One of the problems I have been coming across in some corn fields due to the wet weather we have been experiencing is sprouting of kernels on the ear. I have been finding sprouting mostly on the lower portion of the ear. The ears are upright with open husks, which have allowed for water to accumulate at the base of the ear. The kernels have been at blacklayer, and the water causes the seed to imbibe and then germinate. The sprouting kernels themselves are not a threat to livestock (after all it is just a corn seedling). However, the sprouting kernels are often associated with molds that could potentially produce harmful mycotoxins. When being used for livestock feed it is a good idea to have the grain checked for mycotoxins.

Bill Bamka

Weed Control and Your Reputation in the Hay business

Many of us who produce hay have horse owners and small livestock owners as our primary clientele. One of my fellow county agents shared a recent experience with me about having curly dock present within a load of hay he received. There was enough curly dock to make a wreath. This served as a good reminder that it is important to pay attention to weed control within our hay fields. It does not take too many loads of bad hay, before your customers will disappear and seek hay elsewhere. You don't want the reputation of producing poor quality hay or worse yet being responsible for someone's livestock dieing. Broadleaf weed control in hay fields is not that difficult -- 2,4-D and dicamba are old standards that still work.  The University of Delaware Pasture and Hay Weed Management Guide is a good resource for weed control recommendations. If you spray for weed control just remember to follow any grazing and haying restrictions on the label.

Bill Bamka

Curly dock removed from hay bales

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Crop Insurance Sales Closing Date for Fall-planted Crops

A quick reminder:
USDA Risk Management Agency reminds us that September 30, 2011 is the sales closing date for many fall-planted crops. Crops that may need to be insured by this date include: 
Alfalfa Seed; Apiculture; Barley; Canola; Cultivated Wild Rice; Dry Peas; Forage
Production; Grass Seed; Mint; Oats;  Pasture, Rangeland, Forage; Potatoes; Rye; and
September 30 Sales Closing Dates Near

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Corn Silage Harvesting

While many fields are too wet to even think about harvesting corn for silage, some early planted corn may be past the ideal stage for harvest. The hotter than normal summer coupled with the excessive rains in August have set up a mixed set of signals in the corn plant relative to harvest for silage. Typically we recommend watching the progression of the milk line and formation of the black layer in kernals which normally coincides with desired whole plant moisture in the 60-70% range. With some early planted corn, we are actually past black layer but, because of the rains, stalks and leaves have remained very green and plants are loaded with water. Hopefully as fields dry out enough for harvest so will plants. If not, and for later planted corn, there is a good discussion of kernal maturity versus plant moisture and other related corn silage tips in the National Corn Handbook Drought stress followed by heavy rains has also set up the potential for problems like Nitrate toxicity(although extended periods since drought should reduce this problem) and toxin buildup(aflatoxin and others). The National Corn Handbook is also a resource for these potential problems.;

Zane R. Helsel