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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.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Wheat Harvest and Storage

 Wheat is being or is ready to be harvested in a good portion of the state, but high temperatures, high humidity and predicted rain showers daily for the next week have the potential to cause problems. Where large amounts of rain fall, getting combines into the field may be difficult. Where fields are passable, grain may be mature but high in moisture. It is important to get wheat out of the field quickly after the kernals have matured to avoid loss of yield, reduced quality and ultimately sprouting in the heads. Combines operate most efficiently and with less kernal damage when grain moisture is between 13-20%. If wheat is harvested much above 14% it needs to be dried relatively quickly to prevent sprouting in storage.  Wheat is harder to dry than corn because of the high humidity this time of the year and because it packs tighter than corn thus grain depths in the bin need to shallower or fan speeds/volumes greater. The following links to publications from Purdue University and the University of Missouri may be useful if the current weather conditions persist and problems are encountered.

Zane R. Helsel

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Cereal Leaf Beetle in Corn

We spent a fair amount of time scouting wheat fields for cereal leaf beetles earlier in the season. Now it is time to focus attention on adjacent corn fields. The adult cereal leaf beetles can now be found in adjacent corn fields. They are primarily found on the perimeter of the corn fields. Though I have encountered them throughout some corn fields. Adult cereal leaf beetle damage appears as longitudinal slits between the leaf veins. Corn plants usually outgrow the injury. Unlike larval damage in wheat, there are no firm thresholds for adult damage in corn. One threshold suggests treatment when 10 or more adults are found per plant and 50% of plants show feeding damage.

Cereal Leaf Beetle Adult
Courtesy Virginia Tech Cooperative Extension
Bill Bamka

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Soybean Replanting Decisions

I have received several calls about soybean replanting. Making a replanting decision is never an easy task. When evaluating reduced or uneven stands there are a few things to take into consideration. First, do you know what caused the problem in the first place? Planting too deep? Improper planter settings? Herbicide injury? Insect feeding? Possibly planting too early, followed by slow growing conditions? If you do not know what happened the first time, you could be setting yourself up for failure again if you do not address the problem. Second, before deciding to replant you need to determine the density of your current stand. The Hula Hoop method or counting plants in 1/1000 of an acre can be used to do this. Once you know your stand count you can estimate the yield potential of your field. Making the decision to replant can be agonizing, however there are resources to help growers. Purdue University has published a good Soybean Production System fact sheet that clearly guides growers through the replant decision.

Bill Bamka

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Keep Alert for Slugs in Soybeans

The recent wet weather can create the opportunity for slug damage in newly planted soybean fields. Occasionally, we have had fields that required replanting due to slug damage. No till fields can be at greater risk for slug problems. Be sure to scout low lying fields and fields with heavy residue. More information on life cycle and pest management options are available in Penn State's fact sheet "Slugs as Pests of Field Crops." 

Bill Bamka

Monday, June 17, 2013

Soybean Double Cropping

While some growers are still trying to plant or replant first crop beans, double crop opportunities will likely be occurring in about 2-3 weeks. Courtesy of your soybean checkoff dollars, a webcast is availble to view with tips on various management practices. Although originating out of Virginia, many of the tips are helpful here in NJ.
This 20-minute webcast is open access. Viewers can also opt to see a 5-minute executive summary version. This shorter executive summary version is permanently open access courtesy of the United Soybean Board.
Other Focus on Soybean presentations can be viewed at
Focus on Soybean is a publication of the Plant Management Network. To get the most out of the Plant Management Network’s full line of resources, please sign up for PMN’s free electronic newsletter, PMN Update.

PMN Update:

Zane Helsel

Calibration of Spray Equipment

-Stephen Komar and Bill Bamka

We have been getting calls related to proper spray calibration.

A simple way to perform a calibration is the 1/128th method. This method is based on spraying 1/128th of an acre per nozzle and simply collecting the spray released during the time it takes to travel over that area. Since there are 128 fluid ounces in 1 gallon, the number of ounces collected equals the application rate in gallons per acre. This method works well for broadcast applications, banded applications and directed applications. The 1/128th method is described in NJAES Fact Sheet 1085, Sprayer Calibration.

Proper calibration can ensure the best possible control and can save you $.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Wet Weather, Yellow Corn, N losses

Many corn fields have been repeatedly saturated by recent successive rainfalls. Numerous fields, particularly no-till fields, are yellowing. While this could be due to several factors, one may be the lack or loss of Nitrogen. On sandy soils, N has probably leached below the root zone and on heavier textured soils some may have also leached but more than likely some denitrification has occurred where N is lost to the atmosphere. Regardless, some supplemental N applications may be necessary. Sidedressing N is the best option but soils are so wet that it may be a week or so before growers can get in. In other cases, growers may not have such equipment. Fertilizer suppliers may have equipment to apply such products as UAN solutions or Urea(preferably with a urease inhibitor if not incorporated). If surface applied, N losses can occur if rain doesnot follow application within a day or two. How much N to apply is also a question. If a good amount of N was applied before or at planting then 50 lbs/A of actual N is probably appropriate. If growers put little or no N down in hopes of sidedressing, then a good portion of their planned amounts will be needed. The ideal time to apply sidedress N is between corn stage V6 and V8 (12-18 inches tall). If the growers have early and late planted corn that is yellow, then the early planted, taller fields should be fertilized first.