Survey from Cornell University Sustainable Cropping Systems Lab
Posted Feb 25, 15 in WNYCMA News
Dear Researchers, Coordinators, and Farmers,
We have created an online survey to learn about cover cropping practices and preferences of farmers. The survey is multiple-choice and should take between 5 and 10 minutes to complete. This is an excellent opportunity to hear directly from farmers about their needs and desires for improving cover crops.
If you have connections with networks of farmers, we ask that you distribute the below survey link. If you are a farmer yourself, we enthusiastically invite you to take our survey.
Please take a moment and fill this out.
Posted Jan 29, 15 in WNYCMA News
2014 Updated Grain Trials
Posted Jan 16, 15 in WNYCMA News
Dave DeGolyer Corn Congress Presentations
Posted Jan 15, 15 in WNYCMA News
Here are the slides from Dave’s presentation at the 2015 Corn Congress
Posted Jul 14, 14 in WNYCMA News
We are proud to announce the release of our new web mapping platform.
Click Here to Try It out
This site should work in all browsers on all devices including ios and windows phone, but it tends to perform best in Google Chrome.
You can also access our web mapping platform by going to http://wnycma.azurewebsites.net. Or by clicking on webmaps in the services tab in the upper right hand corner of our site.
2012 Corn Trial Results
Posted Feb 3, 14 in Trial Results
2013 Corn Grain Trial Plots
Posted Jan 22, 14 in Trial Results
Here you will find the results of the first ever Grain Plot Trial.
NEW GRANT INFORMATION from Governor Cuomo
Posted Jan 16, 14 in Grants
Andrew M. Cuomo - Governor
Governor Cuomo Announces $21 Million to Create Economic Opportunity for Dairy Farmers Statewide
Funding Helps Agriculture Industry Improve Business Operations; Encourages Use of Technology that Benefits the Environment for Cleaner Communities
Albany, NY (January 14, 2014)
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced nearly $21 million will be available to create new economic opportunities for New York’s dairy farmers by helping them to produce renewable energy and improve their business operations. The funding will help dairy farmers convert farm waste to energy and develop individualized business and environmental plans to reduce operating costs and increase profitability. The funding for these efforts stem from recommendations made at Governor Cuomo’s Yogurt Summit in 2012 to ensure that the industry continues to grow and create jobs in New York State. In his 2014 State of the State Address, Governor Cuomo pledged a second Yogurt Summit to identify additional economic growth opportunities within this growing sector of the economy.
“The State is committed to creating new economic opportunities for our dairy farmers, who have helped make New York the Yogurt Capital of the nation,” Governor Cuomo said. “With this funding, we are providing significant financial assistance to farmers so they can cut their energy costs, increase efficiencies in their operations, and develop plans to expand their businesses and contribute to cleaner communities. This year, we are also launching a second Yogurt Summit to ensure the state’s dairy industry continues to thrive and grow the Upstate economy.”
John B. Rhodes, President and CEO, New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), said, “The anaerobic digester funding coupled with the Dairy Acceleration Program funding is another step the State is taking, under Governor Cuomo, to assist farmers in reducing their operating costs and in generating clean energy. Farmers that utilize anaerobic digester technology are able to produce renewable energy and lower their costs while providing a number of environmental benefits to their local communities.”
Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Joe Martens said, “Governor Cuomo’s continued support has achieved environmentally responsible growth in the dairy industry throughout the state. This collaboration with our partners, including Cornell University, provides farms with the technical expertise they need to help protect New York’s natural resources and open spaces.”
Waste-to-Energy Anaerobic Digesters
Starting on January 17, $20 million will be available through NYSERDA to install anaerobic digester technology that produces renewable biogas used to produce electricity and heat from organic wastes. Farms, food processing manufacturers or municipal wastewater sites would be eligible for up to $2 million per project.
Biogas-to-power technology has several steps. Dairy manure and other organic wastes are pumped into digestion tanks where bacteria break down the waste, creating a methane-rich gas called biogas and a nutrient-rich effluent that can be applied to crops as fertilizer. The biogas is burned in engines to produce electricity and heat. Through this process, farmers can often eliminate a significant portion of the electricity they would otherwise purchase from the utility grid, and periodically export surplus electricity onto the electrical grid in exchange for credits. Furthermore, farmers can realize operational savings in other areas as well.
Over the past 10 years, NYSERDA and the New York Power Authority have awarded nearly $30 million toward anaerobic digestion projects and related technology, resulting in significant energy savings to New York-based businesses while reducing the use of fossil fuel. Currently, this funding supports 20 operational digester projects. The digester technology funding will be available on a first-come, first-served basis for eligible projects.
Dairy Acceleration Program
Funding for the Dairy Acceleration Program (DAP) will be increased by $850,000, which is in addition to the $1 million announced by the Governor this past August. DAP is jointly funded by the Department of Agriculture and Markets and DEC. DAP is resonating very positively with dairy farmers across the state, most with herds under 300 cows. Combined with some funding still available under the current program, this new funding will serve at least 100 more dairy farms across New York.
Payments under DAP may include: up to $5,000 per farm to write a business plan or develop a combination of a business and facility growth plan; and up to $4,500 to update an existing Comprehensive Nutrient Management Plan (CNMP) or $6,000 to develop a new one. Additional funds also will be available to design farm practices described in CNMPs. CNMPs are a conservation system for animal feeding operations designed to address soil erosion and water quality concerns. The CNMP encompasses the storage and handling of manure as well as using and applying manure nutrients on farm land. Through DAP, the state awarded dozens of projects already for farms with an average herd of about 140 cows.
Business planning may include financial analysis, farmstead development planning, facility planning and capital investment planning for increased milk production per cow. Environmental planning includes CNMP development and updates. Farms without an existing CNMP can hire a certified Nutrient Management planner to develop a new CNMP.
To be eligible for DAP, a dairy cattle farm must have complete financial records. Preference will be given to farms with under 300 cows. DAP funding will cover up to 80 percent of a project’s cost.
Modern milk production requires expertise from a number of disciplines, ranging from agronomics, environmental science, animal husbandry, crop science, human resource management, and financial and strategic planning. Through DAP, farmers will be able to tap into the expertise of the Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) network, Cornell PRO-DAIRY, certified Agricultural Environmental Management planners and other agricultural programs to facilitate and grow their business and in turn increase production on their farms.
Tom Overton, Professor of Dairy Management at Cornell University and Director of PRO-DAIRY, said, “We have been very pleased with the excellent response of New York dairy farmers to this program to date. The awarded projects have been of high quality and will help these farms both meet the increased demand for milk and be successful as businesses. These new funds will be directed entirely toward funding additional projects under this program. We thank Governor Cuomo and New York State for their vision in recognizing that success at the farm-level is imperative for long-term support of our growing dairy manufacturing industry.”
Gary and Connie Menard, Owners of Happy Haven Dairy, a 60-cow dairy farm in Clinton County, said, “Our dairy farm has begun our very first generational transfer. This brings us to a crossroads that offers many options and possibilities. The Dairy Acceleration Program has allowed us to hire independent consultants to crunch our numbers and evaluate our business with the goal of offering profitable suggestions as we move forward. These types of professional people are always impractical to hire at our farm size because the cost was always prohibitive with the cash flow that smaller farms work with. Our farm has a very exciting future and the Dairy Acceleration Program came at a perfect time for us. We strongly suggest any progressive farm willing to make changes for a better future to look into this program.”
To apply for DAP, visit http://ansci.cornell.edu/prodairy/dairy_acceleration/.
Posted Jan 13, 14 in WNYCMA News
This link will take you to an instruction sheet for use with the WNYCMA app.
**YOU MUST HAVE AN ANDROID DEVICE AND GET YOUR FARM CODE from the office (Request via email or phone call) in order to access the information on the app.**
Other operating devices will be supported at a later date.
Our own Eric Nixon in the Buffalo News
Posted Dec 16, 13 in Fun Facts
Great article on soil heath in the Buffalo News. Eric Nixon gives some great tips on how to help as well.
2013 Corn Plot Trial Results
Posted Nov 8, 13 in Trial Results
Here are the 2013 Corn Plot Trial results.
Posted Oct 16, 13 in WNYCMA News
Dairy Acceleration Program
Posted Sep 9, 13 in WNYCMA News
The link below will take you to the application for the Dairy Acceleration Program.
Great article on Frost Damaged Corn
Posted May 28, 13 in WNYCMA News
Alfalfa Weevil Spotted
Posted May 1, 13 in WNYCMA News
This is coming from our very own Niagara County Consultant, Nate Herendeen:
Just an FYI - today I found my first Alfalfa Weevil adults in quantity and a single larvae. I was picking up 3 to 4 AW adults per 10 sweeps. It was an old alfalfa stand so I was also finding Clover Root Curculio - like AW, but smaller body size.
Rapid growth on alfalfa and grasses!!! Everybody is planting corn or starting. Many new seedings still being planted. Wheat is in GS 6. N should be on.
Also, a little note on Nate’s observation of wheat:
Looked at more wheat fields this morning. All September planted fields are at or close to Growth Stage 6, stems starting to elongate. It is time for second N application if an early one was applied to boost tiller development. It is past time or time for total N application if none was applied earlier.
If weed control was not applied earlier, it is time. The weed control I looked at that was applied 1 to 2 weeks ago is working beautifully.
Late planted wheat is still vegetative, but that will change in a couple of days with the 70+ temps coming at us. Weed control (if needed, some of the late fields have almost no weeds) needs to be on ASAP. If there is any sign of wild garlic, control it ASAP. It has been prolific in this sort of cool, moderately wet spring.
Corn planting is going full speed as it should be. Don’t wait for soil temp, start when it is dry enough for tillage.
NY Times Article on Immigration
Posted Apr 15, 13 in WNYCMA News
Check out this article that our own “Jeff True” is interviewed in. This effects many of our local farmers.
RECORD KEEPING SOFTWARE
Posted Feb 27, 13 in WNYCMA News
The new record keeping software for our growers is now available for us. If you click on Record Keeping Software under the services tab to the right it will bring up the information you need to download and install the proper software for your system. There is also informational videos to guide you through the process and program.
2012 Corn Plot Trial
Posted Oct 18, 12 in WNYCMA News
Here are the results of the 2012 Corn Plot Trial
Blog from Summer Scout Derek Zerkowski
Posted Aug 2, 12 in WNYCMA News
Derek is a summer scout that has been working with us since May this year. He has blogged a few articles about his time with us. Check out what he has to say.
Agriculture Promotional Parody video
Posted Jun 28, 12 in WNYCMA News
Cutworm and Armyworm Pests
Posted Jun 8, 12 in WNYCMA News
Just a little addition to Nate’s article below. I know the WNY Crop Management crew working in Wyoming County have also seen a lot of Armyworm damaged corn fields. Anywhere from 40% - 70% of fields have been covered in armyworm. There have also been some cutworm sightings. Not as many as the armyworm but they are definitely there.
IMPORTANT CAW Information from Nate Herendeen, Crop Consultant
Posted Jun 8, 12 in WNYCMA News
Just a little follow-up to all the CAW buzz….
We have two clients who also happen to be in the greenhouse business - bedding plants, flowers, etc., suppliers to all sorts of retail markets. One is in Rush, south of Rochester. The other is in Amherst, north of Buffalo.
Both reported they came into their greenhouses a couple of mornings the week before Memorial Day (Memorial Day weekend was May 26 - 28) and their houses were full of butterflies (moths). My guess is that the nights were cooling, the GH vents were a source of warm air and the CAW moths came into the GHs for the night and had trouble finding the way out at daylight. That would have been the peak flight time for CAW egg laying. I wish they had kept some of the butterflies so we could confirm they were CAW. Is this feasible?
In my 45+ years working with farmers, I have never seem as much CAW as this year. Just in our WNYCMA group, we had thousands of acres sprayed. I was in one field of wheat in Lockport area today that was sprayed and still had damage to the point of there being no flag leaves left on much of the field. Adjacent oats were decapitated in some areas of the field. However, NO CAW WERE TO BE FOUND TODAY!?!?!?
In grass hay fields, about 1/4 mile away, I visited 4 p.m. and called the farmer - cut or spray tomorrow. The road was covered with squashed CAW. I went back at sundown and there were CAW on nearly every plant. Other fields about 1/2 mile from these showed a few CAW on the heads/flag leaves, but not nearly every plant. We scouted many fields this morning (June 7) and found varying populations, but all had a least 1 or 2 per sq ft.
Tuesday afternoon we were in a field that was being chopped and CAW were moving across the bare soil into adjacent 2 to 3 leaf stage corn - by the thousands. Everyone in the chopping crew was impressed. The farmer was going to spray 60 ft on the hay field and 60 ft on the corn field. He was so busy chopping and spraying hay fields for a neighbor, it did not get sprayed. This morning, Thursday, there was none to be found in the corn and very few in the hay stubble. What happened to them? Birds?
I have been dive bombed by red wing blackbirds when I went into grass hay fields. It seems they don’t want me in their picnic grounds. This morning I watched red wings BBs in a hay field, flying away with CAW in their beak. I also found th e first parasitized CAW this morning - dead and slimy gray. Also, normal appearing CAW, but lethargic. Pick ten and drop them on a bare surface - 6 or 7 will sqirm and be active, 3 o4 four will be dormant. I am guessing these are parasitized??? Also, this afternoon, I found my first trachinid fly parasites on 1/2 to 3/4 inch CAW so I could show them to Dave Shearing. I have been looking for that for two weeks.
Will they crash with the heat this weekend??? I sure hope so. As one of my farm cooperators said, “I have had enough of this bug!!!” Me too!!!!
So far, I have seen very few in corn and also few cutworm in corn. I have only seen that one oat field with big numbers (from the damage) and now none to be found. Lots of grass hay fields damaged. Lots of wheat damaged.
Wheat is maturing rapidly. Winter barley is turning.
Weekly Field Crops Pest Report
Posted Apr 26, 12 in Crop Management
This article from Cornell University was brought to our attention by our own consultant Nate Herendeen.
Winter Manure Spreading
Posted Apr 12, 12 in WNYCMA News
The following link is a document prepared by Karl J. Czymmek, Senior Extension Associate for the PRO-DAIRY Program at Cornell University, on the Federal Guidelines for manure spreading in New York. We hope that this information will help clear up any confusion you may have had.
Posted Apr 11, 12 in CAFO
This document is an informational sheet on the EQIP program for farms.
What to do with Frosted Alfalfa
Posted Apr 11, 12 in WNYCMA News
We received this information from Jerry H. Cherney, E.V. Baker Professor of Agriculture, Dept. of Crop & Soil Sciences @ Cornell University, via e-mail this morning. With the weather we have had this month and in March we felt that it would be helpful to share with you all. There is also a PDF document attached from the Mid-West.
Since the questions keep coming, here is some general info I have sent out to some, about frosted alfalfa. I have heard everything from frozen to the ground, to once flat but now recovered, to slightly singed alfalfa.
Quite a few people nervous about whether to do anything with damaged alfalfa stands. While there are some in the Midwest that suggest mowing now if there is significant damage, more suggestions are like the two in the attached document. If alfalfa was less than 10” tall, do nothing. I would be surprised if any was more than 10” tall. If any stands were somehow completely frozen (killed plants), then an assessment would have to be made regarding the future of the stand. Dead stands would seem unlikely. Grazing off damaged growth is questionable, as they could have nitrate issues.
Whether it is mowed or not, damaged alfalfa stands may be running behind schedule. This is difficult to say conclusively, because before the frost, alfalfa was way ahead of schedule. Frost damage probably will reduce first cut yields, but mowing now may reduce them more.
Stands will need to be watched more closely than usual, some delay in spring harvest may be helpful for the alfalfa. One issue that has come up several times this week is whether or not alfalfa is now out of sync with grass, and if so, how should mixtures be managed. If grass is more advanced than normal, this could indicate an earlier harvest than normal, which could be detrimental to the weakened alfalfa. Delaying harvest at all could make for a crappy first cut. We have no data on this. It is quite possible that alfalfa max height will have a different relationship with grass quality, compared to “normal” years, making a mess of our NDF prediction equations.
So my guess is that mowing will not improve the situation. This is probably a good year for some “scissors cut” sampling, to assess current quality.
2011 WNYCMA Annual Meeting
Posted Feb 25, 10 in WNYCMA News
The WNYCMA annual meeting was held at The Lodge at Hidden Valley in Varysburg, NY. Once again we had a great lineup of speakers. From Dr. Elson Shields and Dr. Bianca Moebius-Clune of Cornell University to Dr. Tracy Blackmer, of Iowa Soybean Association and On-Farm Network, Klaus Martin, an Organic Farmer form Penn Yan and WNY Crop Management’s own, Don Mitzel for Pesticide Review and Advisory.
We also welcomed John Reynolds, owner of Reyncrest Farms in Corfu, NY, as a new board member. And congratulated Donn Branton owner of Branton Farms, for being voted to keep his position on the board.
If you would like to know more about their presentations you can click on the link for the agenda and get the descriptions.
2009 WNYCMA Corn Silage Trial Results
Posted Nov 12, 09 in Trial Results
The 2009 corn silage trial results are now available. The following files contain two different methods for viewing them.
The first is a copy of our newsletter containing summary information and a comparison between yields on well-drained and marginally-drained soils.
Corn Trial Newsletter
The second contains a more detailed breakdown of all information we recorded, including plot specific analysis and more specific information about variety performance in various drainage conditions. If you are having trouble viewing this file be sure to set the display size in your pdf reader to 100%
Corn Trial Results
Posted Sep 15, 09 in Crop Management
By David DeGolyer
This past year, at the urging of one of our directors, Donn Branton, I had the pleasure of sitting in an intensive wheat seminar presented by Phil Needham. His research work and experience has crushed my preconceived ideas about raising wheat. Too often we look at wheat as minor when compared to other crops grown on the farm. With higher management, we can raise the yield without additional expense. Before sowing your wheat, spend time with your consultant talking about ways to improve your production.
Sowing the Wheat
Like any other crop, well planted seed means higher production. Wheat should be planted through a grain drill that controls the proper rate, placement, and seed treatment. Seed depth should be one inch. The seed needs to be treated with fungicides to control early plant diseases. Some producers are also using Cruiser for early planted wheat to control the spread of viruses by aphids. The rate of seeding is based on live seeds per lb., not the old adage of bushel per acre. Seed bag labels should have the information, but it can also be obtained by sending the seed to Geneva experiment station to measure live seed per pound. The range will be from 9,500 to 14,000 seeds per pound, with an average of approximately 11,750.
(Poor conditions include heavy residue and/or lumpy and crusty soils. If seed is 90% germ test, increase the rate by 10 percent.)
When it comes to wheat, more is not always better. Too thick of a stand with higher tiller counts and early spring application of N will be more likely to cause lodging next summer. Thick stands (weaker stalks) may be a bigger culprit of lodging than N.
What we’re seeing in the fields…
Posted Aug 15, 09 in Scouting
Rootworm levels are variable some fields have very high numbers and other fields have nothing.
Leafhopper levels are variable as well all areas have some but not enough to treat. A few farms have had to spray seedings and some established stands. Most of the farms are at the point where they will be or have just recently harvested third cutting.
Soybean aphid populations were high enough to spray early on but have leveled off recently. Counts have been ranging from 50-125 per plant.
Immature Corn Challenges
Posted Aug 15, 09 in Crop Management
by Nate Herendeen, Crop Consultant
The May through July Growing Degree Days (GDD) for corn were about 250 below the long term average for the Rochester weather station. This is typical for all of western NY. Add to that the delayed planting due to excess rainfall and the conditions are right for a dry corn disaster. Heat has improved in August, but it will take two exceptionally warm months to catch up. That puts us into late September for corn silage and who knows when for 56 lb test weight dry grain. GDDs determine corn growth, not calendar days. We are into shorter days and cooler nights.
GDD to Make Maturity: On an August day when the high temp is 85 and the low temp is 55, we accumulate 30 corn GDDs. It takes 900 GDDs to go from blister stage to physiological maturity. That means you need 30 of those days to finish the corn!!
It takes 700 GDD to make it from milk stage and 475 GDD to make it from early dent stage. At that stage, whole plant moisture is barely at 70 %, generally too wet to make the best silage and still at 80 % of maximum yield. But, this year it looks like that will be the time to start. Don’t even think about the possibility of an early frost. That would be a catastrophe! At full dent stage, the plant has reached maximum yield and whole plant moisture is about 65%.
Once corn grain reaches physiological maturity (black layer formation), it is all a matter of dry down whether for HMC or dry grain harvest. On a good fall drying day, corn grain will lose about 3/4 to 1 point of moisture per day. On a rainy day, it may regain a little moisture. On a cloudy, cool day it won’t change much at all. for optimum HMC, grain needs to be less than 30% moisture. To harvest for dry shelled grain, anything below 32 % will harvest OK, but it will cost a lot for fuel to dry it to 14 %. Some years the grain will get down to 20% in the field, but that is not likely this year.
What are your options? Many fields were still at blister stage in mid-August. Have fields scouted now and record growth stage or stage of maturity. If you have the option of making late maturing fields into silage, plan accordingly now. The problem is that they may not be dry enough to make silage until after a frost and then they will all be dry enough at once. Save the most mature fields for grain, if possible. Perhaps you need to select some early fields for silage to get started and also some of the latest ones. Work with your consultant and nutritionist when considering alternatives.
Know What’s in Your CAFO Plan
Posted Jun 15, 09 in CAFO
By Robert Hatrick
Whether you’re a large or medium size CAFO operation, your CAFO plan developed for your farm includes both an ) & M (Operations and Maintenance) plan and an emergency action plan.
Operation and Maintenance - Scheduled Inspections
Most farms have invested thousands of dollars in the installation of BMP’s (Best Management Practice), which are required in your CAFO plan. However, as the Farmstead Consultant conducts at least an Annual Review of the Farmstead or come during DEC Inspections, more often than not, little or no maintenance has been accomplished.
Your CAFO plan does include an “operation and maintenance” schedule outlining what items should be inspected and when those items need to be looked at and fixed, or repaired.
Some of the most common items we see that need attention are:
1. Bunk Silo - high/low flow collections systems. Pipes, tanks, spreader devices and screens cleaned.
2. Vegetated treatment strip vegetation and splitter devices in need of reseeding or repair.
3. Manure and waste transfer systems including pipes, pumps, etc.
4. Fence and warning signs either lacking or in need of repair.
5. Earthen manure pond dikes-reseed bare areas on dikes, repair or woodchuck or burrowing animal holes that need filling. Mowing of dikes often to prevent burrowing animal from digging dens.
6. Gutters, downspouts and tile outlets should be inspected and perform any necessary repairs.
7. Pastures and loafings and abuse area - seedings should be inspected and reseeded as needed. Cattle should be rotated or removed to rest these areas and allow for re-growth of vegetation.
These are just a few reminders so as to insure proper and regular operation and maintenance is occurring. If you are unsure of what items may need attention or need advice on fixing practices feel free to contact your CAFO planners for assistance.
Emergency Action Plan
The purpose of the emergency action plan is to provide for a plan of action should an emergency occur on the farm. These could be emergencies that involve personal injuries, chemical or manure spills, manure pond/pit failures, accidents involving tractor/spreaders, etc.
Should an emergency happen that threatens a persons’ life, obviously 911 should be called first for fire/rescue to respond.
If it involved a chemical/manure spill and contaminants could enter a water body such as a stream, lake, water supply, reservoir, or ground water aquifer, the farms first response should be to contain the spill to prevent the contaminant from entering the water source. If it is a small spill the best recommendation is to clean it up. However, if it is a large spill, after containment is achieved, the farm should immediately contact the DEC Spill Hot line and your WNY Crop Management Farmstead Planner. If entry to a stream is imminent contact your earth-moving contractor to get dozer/backhoe equipment there to divert or contain the spill. The plan should be reviewed with all staff and yourself and provide adequate training and direction so everyone knows their responsibilities and where emergency equipment is located.
WNY Crop Management staff is currently in the process of updating Emergency Action Plans for all farms we services as our time permits. The new plans will no include updated information regarding emergency contact numbers, locations of emergency equipment lists of contractors and engineers and now a listing of emergency spreading fields. This will e a separate documents, which should be kept in a fully accessible location for all farm staff.
Posted Jun 15, 09 in Fun Facts
‘A dry March and a wet May
Fill barns and bays with corn and hay.’
What we are Seeing in the Fields
Posted Jun 15, 09 in Scouting
By Nate Herendeen and Tom Frederes
Very good populations in both seeding and corn fields. Higher than average number of fields with bird damage. Lots of wild turkey and deer.
Corn - Very few cutworm. Many weeds - annual broadleaf and annual grass seedlings, nutsedge and perennial broadleaf weeds in spots. Stands generally excellent except in “lumpy” or compacted areas. There was a lot of compaction from wet harvest last fall and early wet conditions this spring followed by long stretch of dry conditions most of May.
Alfalfa - Too many alfalfa weevil. Fortunately, hay crop silage harvest when well and most dairy farmers were ahead of the damage. Dry hay makers and late HCS harvesters suffered losses from AW feeding. First cuttings on well and moderately well drained soils had excellent alfalfa-grass yields. Somewhat poorly drained soils had winter injury on alfalfa and slower regrowth this spring as root reserves had to be rebuilt before maximum top growth could resume.
Wheat - Winter wheat planted on a timely bases (before about Oct.5) last fall is excellent. Later planted wheat had tough conditions after planting - cold and wet - and did not get a good start this spring. The straw ill be short on the later planted wheat. It was additionally stunted from the extremely dry May, the month it normally makes maximum stem elongation. Grain yields should be good, in general. Most wheat is pollinated and now is in maturation phase. We had generally dry weather for pollination so cab or Fusarium head blight should not be a major problem. We could still have bad conditions near harvest time that will create problems, but the initial infection period (bloom - pollination) was not favorable to infection. It needs wet and warm.
Cereal leaf beetle (CLB) are plentiful in wheat, but I have not seen enough to recommend insecticide. Visually, there will be some poor looking areas.
Oats - look good, very few CLB at this point. Not enough to justify insecticide, although some are putting it in with herbicide hoping it will be preventive (not a recommended practice). Oats will also be short straw in general due to prolonged dry May in this area (Niagara-Orleans).
Soybeans - generally just emerged and early stands look good. No pest problems so far, except weeds and 95+ % will be.
Scouting Your Fields For:
Posted Jun 8, 09 in Scouting
Weed populations, rescue treatment time if the dry weather caused herbicide failures.
Weed escapes in fields that were sprayed early pre-emergence in particular, have been a problem on some farms.
Corn - populations, cutworm, especially in no-till, zone-till or fields that were weedy before tillage or heavy manure.
Alfalfa - potato leaf hopper in regrowth and new seedlings. Weed control in new seedlings. Alfalfa weevils are on decline now.
Wheat - Common Armyworm (CAW), foliar diseases-rust and septoria problems, but the one of concern is scab or Fusarium head blight as it can lead to mycotoxins in the grain. Other causes are Cercospella foot rot, eyespot disease and European corn borer (ECB). ECB is usually not economic, but can cause visual concerns. With all the early corn around, I doubt if ECB will be laying many eggs in wheat. With CAW, look for ragged leaf chewing and frass on the ground. They hind under debris and rocks or in cracks during the day and come up to feed when it is cool and dark or heavy cloudy.
Oats - CLB and weeds.
Soybeans - seed corn maggot an weeds. Crusting can be a problem on compacted, high clay content soils.
Refuge Requirements for Transgenic Corn - John Tooker, Penn State Entomology Specialist
Posted May 15, 09 in Crop Management
As growers plan to plant their corn fields, it is good to remind folks of the refuge requirements that accompany transgenic (Bt) corn. When using Bt lines that are active against rootworms and/or European corn borer (and other caterpillar pests), Insect Resistance Management strategies require that growers plant 20% of their acreage as non-Bt corn. This is a contractual obligation that growers accept when purchasing the Bt corn. For rootworm traits, this 20% refuge has to be within the same field or in an adjacent field. For corn borer traits, this non-Bt refuge needs to be within half a mile of the Bt field. For stacked traits, it is best to follow the rootworm requirements because they are more restrictive.
Relying on a refuge planted on a neighboring farm in not allowed. Seed companies check refuge compliance on a couple thousand farms each year and a county educator in southeastern PA recently learned of a compliance check in that part of the state. So be sure to plant those refuges, which are vital parts of preventing insects from developing resistance to Bt toxins and ensuring the effectiveness of this powerful transgenic technology.
Corn Silage Yield and Digestibility Trial 2008
Posted Nov 4, 08 in Trial Results
Every dairy farmer knows the importance of maximizing milk production while controlling input costs. One method of achieving these goals is to increase the amount of forage fed in the ration. In order to make this change high quality forages and high forage yields are necessary. With this in mind we performed a corn silage yield and digestibility trial to provide a non-biased evaluation of leading available corn varieties.
Corn Trial 2007
Posted Dec 31, 07 in Trial Results
Corn Trial 2006
Posted Dec 31, 06 in Trial Results
Plot Cooperator Letter 2005
Posted Jan 5, 05 in Trial Results
Western New York Crop Management Association will be conducting our annual hybrid research trial in Western NY. We would like involvement from leading seed companies that our customers currently buy from. The protocol listed below was put together in a fashion that would ensure reliable, valuable and useful information to our clients and our cooperating seed companies.
Plot Cooperator Letter
Posted Jan 5, 05 in Trial Results
Western New York Crop Management Association will be conducting our annual hybrid research trial in Western NY. We would like involvement from leading seed companies that our customers currently buy from. The protocol listed in the pdf below was put together in a fashion that would ensure reliable, valuable and useful information to our clients and our cooperating seed companies.
2004 - WNYCMA Silage Variety Trial Results
Posted Dec 31, 04 in Trial Results
Corn Silage Yield and Digestibility Trial 2004
Posted Oct 14, 04 in Trial Results
Selecting proper varieties for your corn silage needs is complex. There are many different choices. The right corn variety harvested at the proper stage cannot only produce higher yields, but can also have an impact on milk performance. To help our membership in selecting varieties we conducted our fifth annual corn silage trial.
How To Make Western Quality Haylage Despite Northeast “Quality” Weather & Making The Transition
Posted Aug 25, 04 in Crop Management
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to mow hay in the morning and chop it that same afternoon? Some farmers around western New York no longer wonder about it because they are doing it. Lawnel Farms in York, New York has a good handle on how to make hay in one day. Generally the mowers start around 11 am. The windrows are then tedded out into a thin layer of hay, once the ground between the windrows has dried. This operation alone removes approximately 4% of the moisture. In most cases this field is then ready to be merged and chopped by 2:30 or 3:00 pm. Lawnel uses the Miller Pro merger that picks up roughly 30 ft. of width. This merger can pick up that thin layer of hay left by the tedder. Once the hay is merged, the chopper finishes the job. Through the adoption of this system, very little hay was rained on during 1st cutting. Lawnel Farms will usually only mow what they can handle in a day. Therefore, hay is not left on the ground when those “scattered showers” pop up. But as the old saying goes, “You have to see it to believe it.”
That is why Western New York Crop Management Association is hosting a Hay Mowing and Conditioning Demonstration Day on August 25, 2004. This event is geared toward making high quality haylage during challenging weather patterns. We will demonstrate the equipment described above, as well as a number of other less expensive pieces of equipment for smaller sized operations, including smaller mowers, rotary rakes, and mergers. Tom Kilcer of Cornell Cooperative Extension in Rensselaer County will speak about research he has done comparing spread swath windrow hay making versus narrow windrow haymaking. The event will be held at one of Lawnel Farms’ fields on the corner of River Rd, and Mt. Pleasant Rd., just east of State Rte. 36, in the Town Of York. Registration for the event will begin promptly at 9am. Lunch will also be provided at no charge.
After lunch we will also visit Thornapple Farms before heading back to the hay field for the final merging and chopping demonstrations. At Thornapple Farms we will view the results of Zone-Building on root development and growth, by view root pits in fields that were vertically tilled with a Zone-Builder. The only way to truly assess the benefits of a practice such as Zone-Building is to dig a root pit, and see just how deep the roots grew. We will also see how Thornapple Farms uses BMR Corn in combination with conventional varieties to improve the overall quality of their corn silage.
So if either of these topics pique your interest, please RSVP to Lori or Bonnie in the WNYCMA office at 585-237-5831, because we need a tentative head count for lunch.
***Please note that plans are subject to change due to the “fabulous” weather of Western New York. We may stay in the hay field for lunch, depending on how fast the hay dries.***
Please see the enclosed map and agenda for more detailed information about the locations and timing of each event. In the event of rain we will look at the equipment, and then head to our lunch location where Mr. Kilcer will give his presentation. We will then serve lunch, and head to Thornapple Farms to view the root pits.
Once the days events are finished, David DeGolyer and David Shearing will be leading an optional tour to Dueppengiesser Dairy Co. to view some more root pits comparing conventional tillage with Zone-Tillage, with an Aerway attachment. Let us know if you are interested when you RSVP.
Overall, we are trying to demonstrate several innovative practices that dairy producers can utilize to reduce costs and improve forage quality and yield, in the challenging climate of Western New York. With narrow margins in today’s dairy economy, every dollar saved goes directly to your bottom line. So please don’t hesitate to call with any questions or comments, and we look forward to seeing you on August 25th.
The picture above is an example of Lawnel Farms’ Tedding operation. The tedder was used at a neighbors’ farm where second cutting had been rained on. Instead of waiting a few days for the windrow to dry out, and taking the chance on another shower, the hay was almost dry that day, and was actually chopped the very next morning.
The picture above is an example of the OxBo/Miller Pro Merger. You can see its full width pickup head. It will pick up a 30 ft. swath of hay.
2003 - WNYCMA Silage Variety Trial Results
Posted Dec 31, 03 in Trial Results
2002 - WNYCMA Silage Variety Trial Results
Posted Dec 31, 02 in Trial Results
Corn Silage Yield and Digestibility Trial 2002
Posted Nov 16, 02 in Trial Results
Selecting proper varieties for your corn silage needs is complex. There are many different choices. The right corn variety harvested at the proper stage cannot only produce higher yields, but can also have an impact on milk performance. To help our membership in selecting varieties we conducted our fourth annual corn silage trial.
Wet Weather and PSNTs
Posted Jun 17, 02 in Crop Management
I answered the phone in the office today with, “Western New York Crop Management, can I help you?” The grower on the other line said, “Yeah Ryan, if you can make the rain stop.” That statement seemed to echo the sentiment of every grower in Western New York this spring. It is no secret that this spring has been unusually rainy, making it difficult to plant corn, and chop first cutting haylage. So what does this wet weather mean for the rest of the growing season? The main concern for the upcoming weeks is the loss of nitrogen. Whether nitrogen was applied in the band, or supplied through manure applications, the excessive rainfall after planting has certainly caused a loss of nitrogen.
It will be crucial to take many PSNTs (Pre-Sidedress Nitrate Tests) in the coming weeks, to assess the need for additional nitrogen fertilizer. Although it won’t be necessary to test every field, it is important to test a variety of fields, involving many different situations. A typical sampling plan should include a number of fields where nitrogen was supplied by manure applications, a few fields where nitrogen was placed in the band, or preplant broadcast applied, and a few fields coming from sod. As in most years, the most critical fields to sample will be those fields relying on nitrogen from manure applications. Manure nitrogen can be variable under the best of conditions. Wet conditions in particular have a profound effect on nitrogen fertilizer availability. So by taking a good cross section of fields we can better assess the nitrogen needs to keep the corn crop healthy, and maximize yield despite these adverse conditions this spring. Please contact your CMA consultant to discuss a sampling plan.
Alternative Crops to Corn Silage
Posted Jun 15, 02 in Crop Management
Across western New York, approximately 30 percent of the planned corn acres have not been planted. The question that arises is ‘what is the best strategy for dealing with the remaining acreage?’ A short season variety could still be planted this week, and, with favorable weather conditions, it will mature for corn silage harvest. After this week, especially in the southern tier and western Wyoming County, alternatives should be sought. If your farm is in one of the warmer regions, for example Ontario County or northern Livingston County, you have another two weeks to plant an 80-90 day corn variety.
If conditions remain wet and there is no possible way to plant the corn within the recommended time frame, a new plan will need to be developed. To determine the best plan of action, you must first take inventory of the existing corn silage in the bunk and compare it to the feeding rate to gauge the number of days’ supply on hand. Next, conservatively estimate the corn yield of the planted acreage. If the remaining inventory and the anticipated corn yield will meet the needs for the coming year, that is fall 2002 through late fall 2003, the remaining acres should be summer seeded in late July. If the calculation comes up short, an alternative crop to corn silage should be considered.
A crop that has been getting some press is BMR sorghum sudangrass. Under university research, BMR sorghum sundangrass has shown high quality fiber digestibility (dndf approximately 75 percent, ivtd 85 percent and crude protein 18 %, when harvested at 34 inches tall). In other words, this crop has nearly the same NEL as corn silage and a higher protein if managed right. The yield, if soil conditions are relatively dry, is 3.5 – 4.5 tons DM/acre (about 10 to 13 tons at 35 % DM) for the year. However, if we continue to stay wet, the crop suffers. In 2000, our most recent wet year, several members tried BMR sorghum sudangrass, most of which was planted on marginal fields. With the subsequent wet summer, the BMR yield was very poor, but, within the gravel areas of the field, the yield was excellent.
After discussions within our staff and consulting other experts, we are recommending a combination of BMR sorghum sudangrass and annual Italian rye grass. Italian Ryegrass is a winter annual grass. When seeded at this time of year, it acts as a biennial. In other words, it will stay vegetative this summer and fall and the plants that survive the winter will head out next spring. The theory is the same as planting an alfalfa and grass mixture. In a wet year, the grass will yield well while the alfalfa, especially in wet spots, will die. During a dry year, the grass will go dormant and alfalfa will grow. With the seed mix of BMR sorghum sudangrass and Italian ryegrass, we will hedge the bet. If it stays wet, Italian ryegrass will aggressively grow, but, if conditions change and we have a dryer summer, BMR will do well. If you are interested in this approach, the following excerpts from “Successfully Growing Brown Mid-Rib Sorghum-Sudan for Dairy Cows in the North East” by Tom Kilcer, Cornell Cooperative Extension in Renesselar County, may be helpful:
Seeding Rate: 50-60 lbs/acre of BMR Sorghum Sudangrass if clear seeded, 15-20 lbs/acre of Italian Ryegrass if clear seeded. Our recommendation for the combination is 45 lbs BMR and 12 lbs Italian rye grass.
Seeding Depth: Shallow for both crops. Treat it like a seeding.
Planting Method: Cultipack seeders do an excellent job. Airflow requires a firm seedbed and rolling the field after seeding. Rolling with the teeth down or light disking incorporation has resulted in stand failure.
Chemicals: No chemicals are needed. With the high rate of seeding, rapid growth will crowd out the weeds.
Fertilizer: P & K similar to corn silage. 100 lbs either through manure or chemicals will grow the first crop. The second cutting will require another 100 lbs of N. Manure can be top dressed for the N needs, providing a good place to apply manure during the summer.
Harvest: For energy similar to corn silage, harvest the BMR at 36 inches tall. (The rye grass will not head out this year.) At this stage, the BMR crude protein is at 15 –16 %. If the feed is properly fermented, the prussic acid from any harvest is not a problem. A simple forage test will indicate if there is a problem. When cut, the crop is 85% percent water. It must be dried to 70 % moisture for proper fermentation. Wet slop will continue to ferment until the energy drops from .72 to .35 NEL (about equal to sawdust). Harvesting at 36 inches will speed drying. Cut it high (4-6 inches) to avoid rocks and speed the drying process. Wide swathing and then double raking will greatly speed drying and harvest. The quicker it can dry from 85 percent to 70 percent and be harvested, the higher the forage quality.
As you are considering planting corn on heavy ground, keep one thing in mind: even though it feels like May 17, it is June 17. Realistically, unless we receive a lot of heat you will likely be harvesting this corn in October. You will also likely be counting on a killing frost to get this corn dry enough for a good fermentation. The input cost for this corn silage will be the same as what they were a month ago and the yield potential might be two-thirds of what it would have been. With an alternative crop you have less input per acre, a better chance of getting good quality under the dry conditions of August, and nearly the same yield potential.
If you are seriously considering alternative crops, which you should be, please contact your CMA consultant for additional information.
2001 - WNYCMA Silage Variety Trial Results
Posted Dec 31, 01 in Trial Results
Corn Silage Yield and Digestibility Trial 2001
Posted Nov 16, 01 in Trial Results
Selecting proper varieties for your corn silage needs is complex. There are many different choices. The right corn variety harvested at the proper stage cannot only produce higher yields, but can also have an impact on milk performance. To help our membership in selecting varieties we conducted our third annual corn silage trial.
2000 - WNYCMA Silage Variety Trial Results
Posted Dec 31, 00 in Trial Results
1999 - WNYCMA Silage Variety Trial Results
Posted Dec 31, 99 in Trial Results