0713 NowTime

7/13/2013 7:00 AM

To Attend a No-Till Field Day

The Pennsylvania No-Till Alliance is holding a series of field days across the state on July 16, 17 and 18.

Dave Brandt, a noted Ohio no-till farmer, will share his knowledge and experience in using cover crops to improve soil health and boost productivity.

Jim Hoorman, an Extension educator for Ohio State University who specializes in cover crops, no-till, manure management and water quality, will discuss “ECO Farming.”

Joel Myers, a retired state agronomist who operates a farm in continuous no-till for 30 years, will give a soil pit demonstration.

Leroy Bupp, a founding member of the alliance who has been farming for 50 years, will give a demonstration on soil structure.

The July 16 event will be held at Future View Farm (Jeff Frey, host), 13 Radcliff Road, Willow Street, Pa. On July 17, Lucas Criswell will host the field day at Criswell Acres, 6229 Col. John Kelly Road, Lewisburg, Pa. On July 18, a morning session will be held at Majestic Farms (Scott Reinhart, host), 37105 Route 66, Crown, Pa., and it will be followed by an afternoon session at Cedar Crest Farms 523 Kahle Drive, Marienville, Pa.

Registration begins at 8 a.m., and the program starts at 9 a.m. each day with wrap-up at 2:30 p.m. An RSVP will be appreciated but is not required. For more information, check the website PANoTill.org or call 717-635-2320.

To Manage Storm-Damaged Corn

Storms that passed through central Pennsylvania last week brought strong wind and rain to corn that was growing on already saturated soils.

This caused some wind damage in corn and some root lodging and green snap in some fields. The question is, what effect this will have on yields and what can be done to minimize losses.

Extension agronomist Greg Roth tells us corn has some capacity to recover through goosenecking and the extent of recovery is related to the stage of growth.

Most corn in the area was likely pre-tassel, so it should have some good recovery potential compared with corn that would be in the post-reproductive stages.

Yield loss from root lodging is often less than it appears immediately after the event, but often there will be some yield loss due to the disruption of the corn canopy. Also, fields with stalk lodging will be more difficult to harvest and could have more ear drop at or before harvest.

At this point for most fields, management options are limited. Fields with severe wind damage that are flattened may have limited potential to recover and may experience the worst losses. Silage harvest is an option, but the material is wet and difficult to handle.

Yield loss from green snap is proportional to the number of stalks damaged. Green snap is not that unusual and often occurs when lush, fast-growing corn is hit by high wind. Some hybrids are affected more than others.

To Be on the Lookout <\n>for the Kudzu Bug

For the past four or five years, farmers and homeowners in Pennsylvania and the rest of the Mid-Atlantic region have gotten to know the brown marmorated stink bug.

Extension agronomist John Tooker alerts us that the region is about to get to know another invasive stink bug species. The new beast is known as bean platasipid (Megacopta cribraria) but is commonly referred to as the kudzu bug for its tendency to feed upon kudzu, an invasive weed in the southern U.S.

When the it feeds upon kudzu, it can be considered a beneficial species, but the kudzu bug has also become a serious pest of soybeans.

This stink bug species is much smaller than the brown marmorated stink bug, but like it, the kudzu bug can overwinter in homes and other buildings.

The kudzu bug was discovered in Georgia in 2009 and has since spread throughout the Southeast and is heading north. Most recently, it has been discovered in Sussex County, Del., and four counties in Maryland — Anne Arundel, Calvert, Charles and Prince George.

We fear it will be discovered in Pennsylvania soon and are asking folks to keep a watchful eye and let us know if you find something that looks like it.

We need to document its presence and let the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture confirm its identity. More information and images can be found at http://www.kudzubug.org/index.html.

To Participate in a Grain Marketing Discussion

Extension farm management specialist John Berry will be holding several grain marketing discussion groups — Aug. 15 at Hoss’s Restaurant, Carlisle; Aug. 20 at the Dutch Way Restaurant, Christiana; and Aug. 22 at the Manheim Grill, Manheim, all beginning at 6 p.m.

The recent USDA Crops Progress Report gives us some insights for how we might expect the 2013 U.S. harvest to look.

Corn silking looks to be ahead of the five-year average. In Pennsylvania on July 7 we had 33 percent silking compared with a five-year average of 13 percent.

The 18 states with 92 percent of the national production have 42 percent silking compared with 20 percent for the five-year average. Corn condition shows an improvement over the 2012 drought year

Soybeans appear to be at least average or somewhat better as far as emergence and bloom compared with this crop’s condition in 2012.

As we monitor world markets, let’s keep in mind our own costs to plant, grow, harvest, store and market a crop. Missed opportunities and opportunities yet to arrive are impossible to predict. We can only react to what is in front of us today.

Quote of the Week

“A sense of humor is part of the art of leadership, of getting along with people, of getting things done.”

— Dwight D. Eisenhower

Leon Ressler is district director of Penn State Cooperative Extension for Chester, Lancaster and Lebanon counties.


Is the EPA being unrealistic in its timeline to reduce farm runoff into the Chesapeake Bay?

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11/23/2014 | Last Updated: 3:15 PM