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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 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