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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, November 28, 2012

Winter Manure Management

With approaching winter, there are several things to remember related to manure management.

  1. Make sure that you have enough winter manure storage.  It is probably not too late to spread manure, but soon we will have frozen ground and you will not be able to spread.
  2. If spreading at this late date, avoid spreading in any sensitive areas such as near water or wetlands, or on sloping or highly erodible soil.   It may be too late to incorporate by disking, chisel plowing etc.   Manure remaining on the soil over the winter will be a runoff risk during storms.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Mid-Atlantic Crop Management School

Date: November 13‐15, 2012
Location: Princess Royale Hotel and Conference Center, Ocean City, MD

The Mid-Atlantic Crop Management School offers a 2 ½‐day format with a variety of breakout sessions. Individuals needing training in soil and water, nutrient, crop, and pest management can create their own schedule by choosing from 5 session options. Emphasis is placed on new and advanced information with group discussion and interaction encouraged.

This school is designed for anyone interested in crop management issues, including: agronomists; crop consultants; extension educators; farmers and farm managers; pesticide dealers, distributors, and applicators; seed and agrichemical company representatives; soil conservationists; and state department of agriculture personnel.
- Jack Rabin

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Fall Soil Testing

- Dan Kluchinski
Fall is a good time of year to evaluate the past season’s successes and failures and plan strategies for the season ahead. 

Give special consideration to determining soil nutrient levels and examining weed problems and infestations. Through proper record keeping, planning, and evaluation, you can better handle some of the effects of the previous growing season. 

Monday, October 8, 2012

Webinar on Corn Drought Problems and on Storage

Although we were not hit as hard by the drought as other states, there is some evidence of diseases coming in on some ear tips from those fields that were significantly effected by the drought and are still awaiting harvest . The Plant Management Network, publisher of the Focus on Corn webcast resource, is re-opening two webcasts through December 31, 2012: “Ear and Kernel Mold Biology and Management” by Dr. Charles Woloshuk at Purdue University and “Corn Storage” by Dr. Ken Hellevang at North Dakota State University.
“Ear and Kernel Mold Biology and Management” ( ) helps corn growers and crop consultants learn how to recognize the important ear rot diseases of corn; grasp the relationship between ear rot diseases and mycotoxin contamination; learn the basic principles of ear rot disease management; and understand how to reduce the risk of spoilage.
The “Corn Storage” webcast ( ) helps guide the user through proper corn storage management practices, including preparation, monitoring, and aeration.

Submitted by Zane Helsel

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Horsenettle in pasture and hayfields

I have seen a marked increase in the number of pastures and hay fields infested with Horsenettle this season.  This weed is a major concern since it can limit the marketability of hay due to the sharp prickles found on the stem and can quickly take over a field due to the large number of seeds produced and spreading rhizomes.  Fall herbicide applications can be effective in managing this weed.  for more information, please visit the Mid-Atlantic Pasture Management Guide.

Stephen Komar

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Corn Population-Check Now for Next Spring

As we approach corn harvest, now is a good time to check each of your fields and hybrids to see how they look following the mid-summer drought many experienced. Because breeders have been breeding for increased yields by, among other things, increased population tolerance, many farmers have been increasing seeding rates over the years. I have seen several fields where ear size and fill suffered from too high a population. Here are some signs of stressed corn. Small ear length and girth(aka barrel size/circumference) is a sign of drought before tasseling; missing kernals randomly over the cob means stress at pollination; and barren tips( 1-2 inches or more) indicates stress at the end of pollination and shortly thereafter. All of these are likely a result of too high a population with insufficient rainfall. Another symptom this year is where some cob tips are poking through the husk which is a result of the recent rains following the earlier dry period. If you planted several hybrids in a field this will be a good check to see which might be the more tolerant of higher populations. If you saw only random spots of the above symptoms throughout your fields you can probably keep planting at the same seeding rate, but if you saw substantial amounts of the stress indicators you may want to reduce seeding rate next year by 2000 seeds/A. Such a small drop probably wont effect yields even in a good rainfall year and will save you a few dollars in seed costs. You also should check potash levels, because low levels can accentuate drought stress. Other factors such as planting date, compaction, etc. could have affected your corn’s tolerance to drought so think about your planting and management practices differences before concluding it was population alone.  
Zane R. Helsel 

Estimating Soybean Yields Before Harvest

Early planted(before mid-May)soybeans likely have sizable beans in the pod so you can begin estimating yields now for marketing and other purposes. First determine the length of a “one row acre”. For example, beans in 30 inch rows have 17,424 feet in a row acre, in 15” rows that length is 34,848 and with 7.5” rows its 69,696. Walk around several (10 or more)places in a field and count the number of plants per foot of row(6 might be normal for 30”rows, 2.5 for 7.5” rows). Determine the average and multiply by your “one row acre” feet. At each spot you stop, break off a plant at the soil surface and carry it with you. When you get back to your farmstead, find a table under a shade tree, pour your favorite beverage and start counting the number of pods per plant and determine the average number that have at least one seed in the pod. Now strip off 2 pods near the top, 2 pods in the middle and 2 near the bottom of each plant and count the seeds per pod and get an average. Now you can multiply the average number of plants per acre times the average number of pods per plant times the average number of seeds per pod. Do not round off numbers on any of these! Now you have arrived at the number of seeds per acre and you need an estimate of the weight of the seed(seeds per pound). If you saved seed tags from planting seed, this is a good place to start. This year’s planting seed was in general smaller than normal and if we continue to have adequate rains, seed size should be larger. So if your tag says 3000 seeds per pound, use 2800. If you have no tags use 2800 as an estimate. Divide 2800 into the number of seeds per acre that you calculated above. This will give you pounds per acre which you can divide by 60 to get bushels per acre. As an example, a field of 30 inch row soybeans has 6.5 plants per foot of row, 32 pods per plant and 2.4 seeds per pod and a seed size of 2700 would have an estimated yield of about 54 bushel per acre (17424 x 6.5 x 32x 2.4 = 8,698,061 seeds/A divided by 2700 = 3221 lbs/A divided by 60 = 54 bushel/A). Remember all this is predicated on you making good and repeated estimates and no severe storms or other problems before harvest.
Zane R. Helsel

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Harvesting/Feeding/Pricing Drought Stressed Corn for Silage

Some farmers have or are considering harvesting drought stessed corn for silage in some parts of NJ. Nitrate toxicity and feeding value are of particular concern. If being sold between farmers, pricing is a question. The following publications give some useful information from other drought stressed states on how to evaluate and deal with these various aspects.Where possible, silage should be considered over haying because of the diffculty in drying the stalks/ears and the fact that nitrates decrease very little in hay in storage as compared to silage in storage. Be aware of poisonous silo gases should high Nitrate corn be ensiled and that nitrate toxicity can also occur in other forages

Zane R. Helsel

Estimating Corn Yield Before Harvest

With recent rains in some areas of NJ along with surging corn prices some farmers are axiously trying to estimate their potential yields for marketing and other purposes while those who are less fortunate need to plan for the consequences of lower yields. There are numerous ways to estimate yields but some of the basics follow. First you need to get a good estimate of plant populations with ears on the stalk. Most everyone uses 30 inch rows thus 17.5 feet of row equals 1/1000th of an acre. So walking and measuring at random thru the field or sampling specific good and bad patterns in the field will give you a good estimate of plants per acre with ears. As you go you can randomly pull off ears at the different spots you sample for plant population. If you got an average of 30 (ie 30,000 plants/acre) then select 30 random ears and husk and count the number of kernals. In really good corn with well filled kernals there are about 75-80,000 kernals/ bushel, in average corn about 85-90K and in poor corn(large popcorn size kernals) about 95-105K. If for example you had a stalk population with ears of 30,000/A, and average kernal count per ear of 400 and assumed a kernal size of 85,000/bu then you would have a yield of about 141 bu/A. Remember, the more areas of the field and the more samples you take, the better the estimates. Please see the following article for more details for estimating yields:
What about soybeans? Its too early yet to estimate those.

Zane R. Helsel

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Drought/Heat Stressed Crops?

While some have had too much rain recently, many others are suffering throught various levels of drought and/or heat stress. Field corn is particularly vulnerable from 2 weeks before tasseling to 2 weeks after pollination, a stage which most of our corn is in now. We are already seeing "protandry" in a few fields, a condition where tassels emerge and shed pollen but there are no silks to pollinate. Soybeans and alfalfa based hays are not suffering as much so those with irrigation should be giving full attention to corn. If irrigation is limited and you have crop insurance, consult your agent before deciding to irrigate certain fields or parts thereof and abandon others. For those without irrigation about all you can do is plan to manage economic consequences. Research suggests that for every 4 hours of leaf rolling at pollination time 1% yield is lost and if 4 or more consecutive days at 93F temperatures or above (even with water) a 1% yield loss occurs and doubles for a time thereafter with more consecutive days. About 2 weeks from now strip back some husks and see if you have any seed set. If ears are somewhat to mostly barren, consult your crop insurance agent before doing anything. We will offer "salvaging" information, should those conditions occur, as well as suggestions regarding crop rotation.
Zane Helsel 

Monday, July 9, 2012

Spider mites in Soybeans

With the recent run of hot and dry weather it is no surprise that we are beginning to see spider mites in soybeans. During hot and dry conditions spider mites can multiply quickly and become a problem on soybeans. Field perimeters and corners tend to show the earliest symptoms of an infestation. That is why if they are caught early enough only field perimeters may have to be treated. Plants that are infested with spider mites will have a speckled appearance. The foilage of the plant will turn yellow and then bronze under heavy infestations. Research in Ohio has shown yield losses of almost 50% when plants are under severe infestation. Scouting and treatment information is available in the Mid-Atlantic Field Crop Pest Management Recommendation Guide

Bill Bamka

PMN Webinar-300 bushel corn!!!

The Plant Management Network is offering a 2-part webinar series on the potential of 300 bushel corn by 2030.
This presentation is open access through October 31, 2012, and can be viewed at

You can learn more about PMN and their other resources by going to:

Posted by Zane Helsel  

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Thrips in Soybeans

I was out looking at some young soybeans in the second trifoliate stage and noticed some thrip injury. Thrip injury appears as a puckering of the leaves. Sometimes it is confused with 2,4-D herbicide injury. Thrips are generally not an issue in non drought stressed fields as the plants can generally tolerate the feeding injury. Thrips can be a concern to newly planted double crop soybeans particularly if spider mites and leafhoppers are present, especially during drought periods. Information on scouting and treatment is in the Mid-Atlantic Field Crop Pest Management Guide.

Bill Bamka

Thrip damage on soybean


I was out scouting some alfalfa in Burlington County and was finding pretty significant leafhopper numbers. Some plants were showing yellowing, which translates into yield loss. Remember to continue scouting for leafhopper. Treatment is generally recommended when the number of leafhoppers in 100 sweeps is 10 times greater than the average stem height. For example in 6 inch alfalfa you would need more than 60 leafhoppers in 100 sweeps. Complete scouting and treatment information can be found in the Mid-Atlantic Field Crop Pest Management Recommendations.

Bill Bamka

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Manganese Deficiency showing in Soybean

It is that time of year again when we are beginning to see manganese deficiency in soybeans. Manganese defiiciency is a common and recurring deficiency on the sandy soils of southern New Jersey. Left untreated manganese deficiency can reduce yields. Deficiency results in reduced leaf chlorophyll content. This commonly appears as interveinal chlorosis (the tissue between the veins turns yellow while the veins in the leaf remain green). Extensive research by RCE soil fertility specialist Dr. Joe Heckman has demonstrated the economic benefit of applying manganese fertilizer to deficient soybeans. Information about manganese deficiency can be found in the RCE publication "Soil Fertility Recommendations for Soybeans".

Bill Bamka

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Free Plant Management Subscriptions Courtesy of the Soybean Checkoff

The United Soybean Board(checkoff) and the Plant Management Network (PMN) are providing soybean growers and the consultants who work for them free subscriptions (only 50 left on a first-come, first-serve basis). Sign up now before they are taken. You can sign up for a free 1-year subscription to all the Plant Management Network's content through a signup form at the following short link:
This subscription includes access to PMN's entire collection of 50-plus “Focus on Soybeans” webcasts, featuring actionable crop management information from experts who work in the field. PMN subscriptions also include access to thousands of pest control trials. crop images, Extension fact sheets and other information.  A listing of PMN's soybean-inclusive resources can be found at:

Zane R. Helsel

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Grasshoppers in Soybeans

While out scouting some soybean fields across Burlington County I was starting to see young grasshoppers, particularly in no-till fields. This is a good reminder to scout fields for grasshoppers the next few weeks. When we begin to plant double crop fields after wheat, growers should pay attention to grasshoppers. It is possible to have stand reductions from early grasshopper feeding. There are no good economic thresholds for grasshoppers. Treatments may be required if 30 to 40% defoliation occurs up to the pre-bloom stage.

Bill Bamka

Wednesday, May 30, 2012


We are getting reports of true armyworms in Burlington County in small grain fields. As small grains begin to dry down watch for armyworms moving into adjacent corn fields. Also, scout corn fields that were planted into rye cover. Effective control is achieved when armyworm larvae are less than one inch. This late in the season we need to keep an eye on the heads in wheat fields. In wheat, armyworms tend to nibble on the tips of kernels rather than to clip heads, populations around 2 to 3 worms per linear foot between rows are generally required to justify control. When wheat is close to harvest and armyworms are longer than 1.5 inches and no head clipping has occurred control may not be needed. Also remember that we are approaching harvest, so pre harvest intervals will come into play when choosing insecticides Complete scouting and threshold information for small grains can be found in the mid-atlantic pest management recommendations for field crops. Information on dealing with armyworms in corn is also available in the recommendation guide.

Bill Bamka

Monday, May 21, 2012

Postemergence Corn Products to Provide Residual Weed Control

-Mark VanGessel, University of Delaware Extension Weed Specialist
Weekly Crop Update

Some corn fields need to be sprayed for weeds, but the corn is only 3 to 4 collars. In many ways this is good because the corn leaves will not interfere with herbicide spray pattern and will allow for maximum control. However, that means it may be two to three weeks until the corn canopies over. So relying on glyphosate or Liberty for postemergence weed control, could run into situations of weeds emerging between the postemergence sprays and the time corn canopies over. You should consider a residual herbicide in this scenario. Be sure to read individual labels for information on maximum corn size and recommended adjuvants. The following table of products will help with your selection:

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Herbicide Resistance Management Webcast Featured in Focus on Soybean

The threat of herbicide-resistant weeds to crop production makes sustainable weed and herbicide management a high-priority issue for growers, consultants, and researchers involved with soybeans and other field crops.Herbicide Resistance Management in Soybean, a webcast authored by Dr. Wes Everman, Assistant Professor and Extension Weed Specialist at North Carolina State University, shows soybean growers and consultants in the Southeast and Southern regions of the U.S
- The current state of herbicide resistance in weeds
- The current practices available to combat herbicide resistance
- Factors that should be considered when developing a weed management program
- Future management options
This 24-minute presentation is open access through August 31, 2012. Viewers can also opt to see a 5-minute executive summary version of this presentation.
This shorter executive summary version is permanently open access courtesy of the United Soybean Board.
View this presentation at

View other presentations in the Focus on Soybean resource at

Focus on Soybean is a publication of the Plant Management Network(PMN) (,

Above forwarded  from PMN. Posted by Zane R. Helsel

Friday, May 11, 2012

Harvest Aids for Small Grains???

With the early spring,wheat and other small grains have headed about 2 weeks early, are shorter in stature, and in some cases the canopy has not closed. In several of these fields I have noticed a large population of weeds threatning to overgrow the canopy in the next few weeks. While our newer combines are pretty efficient in handling some weed pressure, this year may be a time when some farmers need to consider Harvest Aids.The following is a summary from Dr Mark VanGessel,Extension Weed Specialist at the University of Delaware about some choices. "A number of glyphosate products such as Roundup and Touchdown are labeled as harvest aids in winter wheat and barley. Check the label for other formulations of glyphosate. Applications must be made after the hard dough stage and atleast 7 days prior to harvest. Aim is labeled as well, but the spectrum of control is limited to velvetleaf, morningglory,pigweeds, and a few other weeds. Apply atleast 3 days before harvest. Use of 2,4-D (or products containing 2,4-D) is generally not recommended as a harvest aid due to its volatility, and potential damage to the crop during application."
Remember to scout your fields and read the label for rates and other restrictions. With potentially earlier harvest there is a great potential for increased yields from double crop soybeans so consider your total weed control and management program in your decision to use or not use harvest aids.
Zane R. Helsel                                                                                                            

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Scout for Black Cutworms

I just received a phone call about black cutworm damage in a recently planted corn field. Growers should check their fields for cutworm damage.  Loss of corn plants from above ground cutting  injury is an indicator of black cutworm. Damage is often encountered in low lying, damp areas of fields. Adult black cut worm moths over winter in the south and migrate north with spring weather fronts. The migrating moths are 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

Bill Bamka

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Slugs in Field Crops

The occurence of slugs in no-till fields has been increasing over the years. I have dealt with several growers over the years who have had to replant soybean and corn fields due to slugs. The topic was again brought to my attention again today. While running an ipm training class last week I was easily able to find several slugs under some chickweed in a field. Though slug problems continue to increase, there really has been no movement in the development of any new molluscicides. The treatment options generally consist of the use of metaldehyde baits. The use of concentrated liquid fertilizers and salt sprays are sometimes also reported. However, at concentrations to be highly effective they can be potentially highly phytotoxic to the plant. There are two good publications that address scouting and treatment options for slugs in field crops. One is an Ohio State Fact sheet on slugs, and the other is a extension publication produced by the University of Maryland on the Biology and Management of slugs in reduced tillage corn.  Both publications provide good information that could be useful when dealing with slugs.

Bill Bamka

Friday, April 27, 2012

Random Field Observations

I was out looking at a few fields in Burlington County yesterday and came across some observations worth mentioning. The first being that growers should continue to scout alfalfa for alfalfa weevil. I am still encountering fields where weevils are above threshold. As stated in an earlier post, threshold for alfalfa weevil takes into account the height of the crop, number of weevils per stem and how long till harvest. We are now entering the time frame for some fields where the best strategy may be to harvest early. Scouting and threshold information is available in the Mid Atlantic Pest Control Recommendations for Field Crops.

Also, I was a bit surprised to see some powdery mildew in wheat. Given the weather pattern we have experienced this year I did not expect to see powdery mildew. The mildew encountered was not near the upper or flag leaves. We all know that protecting the flag leaf is important to protect grain yield and test weight. This should just be a heads up to keep an eye on your wheat fields as we enter the grain fill period of the crop.

Bill Bamka   

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Pesticide Inventories Due to Local Fire Company by May 1

From Pat Hastings, 
Rutgers NJAES Pesticide Safety Education Program Coordinator

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.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Spray Equipment Calibration

As we get ready to start the 2012 growing season, remember the importance of properly calibrating your sprayers.  See the fact sheet for a simple and effective method to calibrate your spray equipment.  If you need assistance, contact your Extension office or equipment supplier. Sprayer Calibration FS1085

Stephen Komar

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Early Season Corn Fertility

Many folks are getting ready to start planting corn.  In fact yesterday I visited with one grower who just could not wait any longer and started planting already in northern NJ.  Early planted corn can get off to a slow start due to poor early season growing conditions and cool soil temperatures.  "Pop-up" fertilizers are often used to maximize early season fertility.  See the attached Penn State Agronomy Guide for more information. Basic Fertility Management

Stephen Komar

Monday, April 9, 2012

2012 Weed Control Guides

It is that time of year when we need information about weed control chemicals, tank mixes, etc. Mark Van Gessel the University of Delaware Extension Weed Specialist, who also serves as our Field Crop Weed Specialist in NJ has posted the 2012 Weed Control Guides on the University of Delaware Weed Science Page. On the site you will find the control recommendations for corn, soybeans and forages. There is also a link to the Mid-Atlantic Field Crop Recommendations. These useful resources can all be found in one place.

Bill Bamka

Alfalfa Weevil

I have been getting reports of alfalfa weevil in alfalfa fields. Alfalfa Weevil levels above threshold have begun to be reported throughout the region. Alfalfa growers should monitor their fields closely. Alfalfa weevils are primarily a first cutting pest that can result in reduced yield and quality. Thresholds consider the height of the crop and number of weevils per stem. In some cases it is recommended to harvest early rather than apply insecticide. Spray recommendations also recommend leaving an unsprayed strip to maintain beneficial insects for subsequent cuttings. Complete scouting and threshold information is available in the Mid-Atlantic Pest Management Recommendations for Field Crops.

Bill Bamka

Friday, April 6, 2012

Cereal Leaf Beetle

I was out scouting some wheat in Burlington County yesterday and found cereal leaf beetles, both adults and larvae. We need to keep an eye on fields for larval damage, especially when we get closer to the flag leaf stage. Most growers are familiar with walking through a wheat field and getting little black dots across their pants. Those little black dots are from the larvae of the cereal leaf beetle. The larvae will eat long strips of green tissue between the leaf veins and give the plant a skeletonized appearance. Yield reductions of 10 to 20 % are not uncommon in infested fields. Scouting and control information can be found in the Mid Atlantic Pest Management Recommendation Guide for Field Crops.

Bill Bamka

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Focus on Soybeans-Web Resources

        As part of its tech transfer efforts, the United Soybean Board (National Checkoff Program) purchased 500 one-year subscriptions to the Plant Management Network (PMN) for soybean growers and the consultants who work for them.  These subscriptions are available on a first-come, first-serve basis, and they are intended for individuals who did not subscribe during USB’s 500-subscription promotion last fall.  This subscription includes access to PMN’s entire collection of “Focus on Soybeans” webcasts and thousands of pest control trial results and Extension publications. 

         A listing of PMN’s soybean-inclusive resources can be found at:  

You can sign up for a free one-year subscription to all the Plant Management  Networks content through the signup form at the following short link:   
Just enter the required contact information, scroll down toward the bottom of the page,    
             enter your preferred username and password, and click “submit”.  Make sure to record your username and password on paper for safekeeping.

Zane R. Helsel

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Soybean Seeding Rates for 2012

With the high price of soybeans (and seed), it is important to choose the proper planting rate this spring.

Thanks to the NJ Soybean Board (Checkoff program), a seeding rate recommendation sticker - appropriate for attaching under your planter box cover - is available for your use. You can pick up these stickers at some County Cooperative Extension offices or by contacting the NJ Soybean Board (
To see the sticker full view, click below - then right click on the image to download or print.
When reviewing the recommendation rates be sure to look at the footnotes for adjustments for such things as planting early or late. The rates provided are basic rates and can be adjusted upward for some "insurance" particularly if planting at higher speeds on somewhat rough seedbeds where planter bounce can result in varying depths and coverage.
-Zane Helsel

Focus on soybeans

Educational information including webcasts are available on various soybean topics relevant to the upcoming growing season. The Plant Management Network offers "Focus on Soybeans" which is sponsored by your national United Soybean Board (checkoff program) and various agribusinesses. Go to the following site and take a look at the menu of items available 

Zane R. Helsel

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Cereal Rust Mite

Over the past day or so I have begun receiving reports of cereal rust mite in timothy hay fields in the southern portion of the state. Keep in mind that cereal rust mite can reduce yields from 30 to 70 percent. Also, it can result in discolored brown hay which reduces the visual quality of the hay, which in turn can make buyers reluctant to purchase your hay. Growers should be scouting timothy fields now for juvenile mites and eggs. Information about cereal rust mite and its control is available in a Rutgers Fact Sheet.

Bill Bamka

Friday, March 16, 2012

March 16 - Deadline Date for AWMP/BMP Compliance

Deadline is Here:  Are you in compliance?
The New Jersey Department of Agriculture adopted regulations in March 2009 that require all livestock farm owners to responsibly manage the manure generated on their operations--including those with horses, dairy cows, cattle, swine, goats, sheep, poultry and all other domesticated species defined as livestock. All New Jersey farmers with livestock are required to be in compliance with these regulations by March 16, 2012.
The Animal Waste Management regulations require all farms with any livestock to comply with the following General Requirements of the rule:

  1. Agricultural animal operations shall not allow animals in confined areas to have uncontrolled access to waters of the state.
  2. Manure storage areas shall be located at least 100 linear feet from waters of the state.
  3. Land application of animal waste shall be performed in accordance with the principles of the NJDA Best Management Practices (BMP) Manual.
  4. Dead animals and related animal waste resulting from a reportable contagious disease or an act of bio-terrorism shall not be disposed of without first contacting the State Veterinarian.
  5. Any person entering a farm to conduct official business related to these rules shall follow bio-security protocols.
In addition to the General Requirements listed above, all livestock operations with 8 to 299 "Animal Units" (one Animal Unit = 1,000 pounds) are required to implement an Animal Waste Management Plan by March 16, 2012. This plan must be in accordance with the New Jersey Department of Agriculture manual (On Farm Strategies to Protect Water Quality). Exact requirements will vary with size and density of operation. Check with one of the Extension offices listed below for details.

 The Department of Agriculture will investigate alleged violations of the rules and take appropriate action, which may include fines of up to $ 1,000 per day for each violation as determined. The Department may allow the owner or operator up to 60 days to address or correct the non-compliance before imposing penalties.

According to New Jersey Statute (N.J.S.A. 4:1C) farmers must comply with all relevant federal and state statutes and regulations in order to maintain "Right to Farm Protection." New Jersey's Right to Farm Act protects responsible commercial farmers from public and private nuisance actions and unduly restrictive municipal regulations. Failure to comply with the Animal Waste Management Rule may result in loss of these protections.

It is not too late to complete your AWMP plans or begin work on any needed BMP's.  Rutgers Cooperative Extension has provided training for livestock farmers since the initiation of the rule back in March of 2009. Extension offices will be available for assistance with compliance questions and will schedule individual meetings as needed.  Please follow this link for more information Rutgers Animal Waste Management Resources.

You may also contact the following Extension offices for additional information.

Burlington County Extension Office 609-265-5050
Hunterdon County Extension Office 908-788-1338
Salem County Extension Office 856-769-0090
Sussex County Extension Office 973-948-3040
A list of Extension offices and contact information may be found at:


Thursday, March 15, 2012

Small Grain Weed Control: Osprey and Nitrogen

With the mild weather we have had, weed growth is active in small grain fields. Keep in mind that herbicide applications should be made before the weeds get too large. When using a herbicide read the label concerning tank mixing with nitrogen. Remember some products have limitations on the percentage of nitrogen in the spray solution. Also, I just received a call from a grower who was interested in spraying Osprey on his wheat. Remember that Osprey can not be applied within 14 days of nitrogen application. Remember to read the label to avoid a potential costly mistake.

Bill Bamka

Stain/Molded Seed last fall? Tillage/Rotation may be the remedy

Following all the late summer rains last year many soybean growers experienced problems with moldy and purple stained seed at harvest.This disease complex is weather related and we may not see such conditions again this fall. However, because the pathogens can carryover in the residue, farmers should consider rotating to corn or another crop in the problem fields. If soybeans will be grown again this year, tilling under the residue can be helpful in reducing the incidence of the disease. While varietal development has improved tolerance to this disease over the years, there doesnt seem to be clear and specific ratings such that we could recommend certain varieties over others. If you saw varieties that appeared to have less problems than others last year you could consider those if yield and other characteristics were favorable.

Zane R. Helsel

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Saving Energy Around the Farm

With rapidly rising energy prices, conserving energy around the farm could go along way to help keep your fuel bills in check. In field operations, reducing the number of tillages and the depth can save significant amounts of fuel. The following publication has lots of other useful tips on reducing fuel costs in the field.
Overall, there are other opportunities around the farmstead to conserve energy. The following website addresses both conservation and use of renewable energy sources that may fit your operation.

Zane R. Helsel

Farmer's Grain Marketing Primer

I came across a great resource if you are interested in learning about grain marketing or want to sharpen your grain marketing skills. The Farmer's Grain Marketing Primer developed by Carl German (University of Delaware Extension Crop Marketing Specialist) in collaboration with the Delaware Department of Agriculture and USDA RMA is an online tool that is comparable to an introductory grain marketing course. The information is both useful and easily understandable. It covers a wide range of topics including: basis, options, futures markets, crop insurance, profitability, market planning and many more useful topics. There is a wealth of information and resources on the site that is worth checking out.

Bill Bamka

Wheat growth stages

I have been out in the last few days scouting some wheat fields in the southern portion of the state. With the mild winter we have had there is no shortage of winter annual weeds in the fields. In conversations with my extension colleagues in the surrounding states it appears that this year's wheat crop is probably at least 10 -12 days ahead of schedule from a "normal" year. Therefore it won't be long before we are making herbicide and possibly fungicide applications to wheat. Many of the fungicide and herbicides have maximum growth stage restrictions. With that in mind, the table below from the University of Illinois has both the Zadoks' and Feekes' wheat growth stages. This should help in determing the stage of your wheat crop when making spray decisions.

Bill Bamka

Friday, February 24, 2012

Cereal Rust Mite in Timothy

I have been getting several calls questioning if Cereal Rust Mite (CRM) infestations will be high this season in response to the relatively warm winter this year.  Since CRM overwinter in the field it is possible that infestations may occur earlier this season.  Typically we see peak infestations in Timothy during March and April depending on the field location.See the Rutgers fact sheet related to this pest and suggestions for scouting and treatment.

Stephen Komar

Monday, February 6, 2012

NJ Soybean Growers Meeting-Feb 9

On Thursday, February 9 the NJ Soybean Board will be hosting an all day seminar on "Producing and Marketing 100 Bu/A Soybeans" and related topics It will begin at 9am with registration. The meeting is being held at the Rutgers Ecocomplex located 1 mile east off exit 52B of I-295. CCA and Pesticide credits(pending) will be available. Useful educational handouts and door prizes along with a complimentary hot lunch will be provided. Call 609-581-8244 to register or for further information.

Zane R. Helsel

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Small Grain Scouting

Even though the calendar indicates that we are in the middle of winter, the temperatures that we are seeing so far seem to indicate that it is going to be a mild winter. While reading an article on wheat diseases it was pointed out in the article that we may not see the level of disease organisms killed that would normally occur if we were experiencing typical winter temperatures. The same can be said for insects as well. Our winter annual weeds are also taking advantage of the balmy temperatures. What does this mean to those of us with a small grain crop in the field? The answer is to keep an eye on your fields as we might need to start scouting a little earlier. You do not want to be caught off guard by the occurrence of a disease or insect that you would normally expect later in your fields rather than earlier. Remember we are not the only ones experiencing a mild winter, the same is true south of NJ. So there is the potential for disease organisms and insect levels to be increased or move into the area earlier.

Bill Bamka

Monday, January 30, 2012

Mid-Atlantic Regional Agronomist Quarterly Newsletter 12/2011

Dr. Richard W. Taylor's Mid-Atlantic Regional Agronomist Quarterly Newsletter is available for download. 

Please note in the calendar of events that a number of meetings are coming up both this week and next week so check the calendar over carefully. Also feel free to forward the newsletter on to anyone else you think might be interested in the information. 
- R. Taylor

To subscribe, send request to:


Friday, January 20, 2012

Solutions for a Nitrogen-Soaked World - From Ag Professional Online

... strategies to help farmers maximize efficient use of fertilizer, rather than just maximize crop yield, including buffer strips and wetlands, manure management, and ideal patterns of fertilizer application. ...considers the cost of implementing them, and programs for buffering farmers against losses in bad years.
Please click for Ag Professional: Nitrogen is both an essential nutrient and a pollutant, a byproduct of fossil fuel combustion and a fertilizer that feeds billions, a benefit and a hazard, depending on form, location, and quantity. Agriculture, industry and transportation have spread nitrogen liberally around the planet, say 16 scientists in the latest edition of ESA's Issues in Ecology series, "Excess Nitrogen in the U.S. Environment: Trends, Risks, and Solutions," with complex and interrelated consequences for ecological communities and our dependence upon the resources they provide, as well as human health.

Producing and Marketing 100 Bushel Soybeans-Feb 9

The NJ Soybean Board will host this statewide meeting for soybean growers on February 9 at the Rutgers Ecocomplex located south of Bordentown east off Exit 52 of I-295. The meeting will run from 9-3 with a lunch included. Topics will include producing and marketing 100 B/A soybeans, new developments in research and marketing and timely management tips for 2012. Pesticide and CCA credits have been applied for.

Zane R. Helsel

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Deadline Approaching!

NJ's Animal Waste Management Rule:
Are you in compliance?

The New Jersey Department of Agriculture adopted regulations in March 2009 that require all livestock farm owners to responsibly manage the manure generated on their operations--including those with horses, dairy cows, cattle, swine, goats, sheep, poultry and all other domesticated species defined as livestock. All New Jersey farmers with livestock are required to be in compliance with the regulations are by March 16, 2012.

See Rutgers Animal Waste Management pages for more information:

The Animal Waste Management regulations require all farms with any livestock to comply with the following General Requirements of the rule:

USDA Revises National Nutrient Management Standards

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently announced it has revised its national conservation practice standard on nutrient management in order to help producers better manage the application of nutrients on agricultural land. The inclusion of a “4R” Nutrient Stewardship plan calling for the right nutrient source at the right rate, the right time, and in the right place was applauded by organizations such as the Fertilizer Institute (TFI).