2015 New and Beginning Farmer Training Program

January 28, 2015 in Uncategorized

The new and beginning farmer training program is for new and beginning farmers working in small-scale vegetable and/or fruit production. Through hands-on training, demonstrations, workshops, field trips and farm tours, as well as self–study, growers will spend an entire growing season learning and growing with Delaware Cooperative Extension, and other, invited agriculture industry professionals. Although not limited to the following topics, this training will explore the fundamentals of soil fertility and health, basic crop production, integrated pest management, food safety, marketing, business planning and development, and provide an excellent networking opportunity.

This training program is scheduled for the entirety of the growing season.

In New Castle County, meetings are scheduled for the third Monday evening of the month, 6-8 pm, February– May and September-November on February 16, March 16, April 20, May 18, June-July-August (dates to be determined at the start of the training program based on participants’ availability), September 21, October 19, and November 16. Sessions will be held at the Extension Office, and on the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources campus and cooperating farms. There will be additional evening and occasional Saturday sessions to accommodate field trips, hands-on activities and farm tours.

In Sussex County, meetings are scheduled for the fourth Monday evenings of the month, 6-8 pm on February 23, March 23, April 27, May 19 (due to the Memorial Day holiday), June-July-August (dates to be determined at the start of the training program based on participants’ availability), September 28, October 26 and November 23. Sessions will be held at the Extension Office, Carvel Research and Education Center and cooperating farms. There will be additional evening and occasional Saturday sessions to accommodate field trips, hands-on activities and farm tours.

For registration information and any additional questions/concerns contact:
Carrie Murphy, Extension Educator, cjmurphy@udel.edu or (302) 831-COOP, New Castle
Tracy Wootten, Extension Educator, wootten@udel.edu or (302) 856-7303, Sussex

2015 Kent County Crop Masters: Session 1

January 23, 2015 in Uncategorized

Kent County Crop Masters: Nutrient Management Session

Date: Wednesday, February 4, 2015
Time: 6-9 pm
Location: Paradee Building, 69 Transportation Circle, Dover, DE
Registration: Please call (302) 730-4000 by February 2
Credits: (3) DE Nutrient Management & CCA

This session will focus on current nutrient management projects in Delaware. Topics include nitrogen management for soybeans, timing nitrogen applications for irrigated corn, conservation tillage survey results, and potassium fertilization recommendations for irrigated corn. Don’t miss this opportunity to ask questions and learn about ongoing UD projects. DE Nutrient Management and CCA credits will be offered. Refreshments will be served.

6:00-6:30 pm: Nitrogen Management for Soybeans, Dr. Amy Shober, Extension Nutrient Management Specialist, UD

6:30-7:00 pm: Nitrogen Management for Irrigated Corn: Research Overview Dr. Amy Shober, Extension Nutrient Management Specialist, UD

7:00-8:00 pm: Potassium Fertilization Recommendations for Irrigated Corn Dr. Richard Taylor, Extension Agronomist, UD

8:00-9:00 pm: Conservation Tillage Survey Results, Jenn Volk, Extension Environmental Quality & Management Specialist, UD

Visit the UD Field Crops Disease Management Blog Now!

January 5, 2015 in Uncategorized

Have you heard about the UD Field Crops Disease Management Blog? Dr. Nathan Kleczewski, UD Extension Plant Pathologist, frequently posts researched based, unbiased information that can be used in your operation. If you are making decisions regarding seed treatments, fungicides, planting resistant varieties and pesticide applications and/or want to know more about field crop diseases that are actually of concern in Delaware and Maryland, visit the UD Field Crops Disease Management Blog now:


The most recent post is about a new seed treatment for soybeans called iLeVO. Recent topics include soybean rust and spray strategies for small grain head coverage.

Delaware Agriculture Week-2015

December 19, 2014 in Uncategorized

Delaware Agriculture Week will be held January 12-15, 2015 at the Delaware State Fair grounds in Harrington, Delaware. A PDF of the 2015 Ag Week Booklet is available online and contains the schedule of events. Please visit the Delaware Agriculture Week webpage for more information: http://sites.udel.edu/delawareagweek/




Dectes Stem Borer in Soybeans

November 17, 2014 in Uncategorized

Joanne Whalen, Extension IPM Specialist
Phillip Sylvester, Kent County Agricultural Extension Agent

With the delayed harvest conditions this fall, we have received a number of calls regarding lodged soybean plants that are not being picked up by the combine. Although it is most common and severe in full season soybeans, we are also seeing a recent increase in lodging in double crop soybeans. As everyone knows, lodging can be caused by many agronomic and weather related factors. However, if you are seeing plants laying on the ground after harvest or lodging in your field before harvest, you should consider the Dectes Stem Borer as a potential cause of this damage. In Delaware, this insect has been a pest of soybeans since the early 1980s. Although some have asked if we are seeing an expansion in the range of infestation in Delaware, it may be more related to the increase in full season soybean acres planted in 2013 and 2014. In many cases, low levels are probably present in many fields but in certain years, especially under delayed fall harvest, we tend to see and hear about more lodging losses. We do know that this insect is more of a problem in areas and fields that are not rotated i.e. continuous soybean production.

Insecticide applications have generally not been successful in significantly reducing the damage caused by this insect pest. The only developmental stage that can be targeted for control is the adult beetle because the larvae never leave the host plant. Temporary reductions in beetle populations have been achieved with an insecticide application; however, because adult emergence occurs over a large window, fields can be quickly re-infested. There has also been mixed results with multiple insecticide applications. In addition, the research from other areas of the US indicates that adult control is not highly correlated with levels of larval infestation at the end of the season. So that leaves cultural control options as you make plans for the 2015 season.

Although cultural control practices will not provide 100% control, research results from Delaware and other regions have indicated that with the adoption of a combination of the following cultural control strategies, the risk of yield loss from the DSB can be reduced.

  • Early/Timely Harvest: Early or timely harvest has been shown to significantly reduce lodging losses. Sampling techniques and field history can be used to identify fields with high infestations of DSB that should be harvested in a timely manner.
  • Crop Rotation: Adult DSB are not considered “strong” fliers so crop rotation can help in reducing populations. However, unless a field is isolated or this approach is adopted area wide, this strategy may not be effective in reducing DSB populations in regions with significant acreage planted in soybeans.
  • Fall Plowing: Research has indicated that plowing stubble lead to a reduction of adult beetle emergence in the summer.
  • Weed Control: Giant ragweed, common cocklebur and wild sunflowers are alternative host plants for DSB. Therefore, weed control within and around the perimeter of fields is important.
  • Row Spacing: In general, the severity of an infestation or number of lodged plants does not appear to be affected by row spacing. However, in fields planted in narrow rows, lodging losses may be reduced because the lodged plants are held up to some degree by the surrounding plants.
  • Variety Selection: Experience in Delaware has indicated that lodging loss is typically more severe in shorter season varieties (Group II, III and early Group IV’s). Soybean Cyst Nematode (SCN) resistant varieties may have fewer lodged plants compared to SCN susceptible varieties. Field sampling has confirmed that the larvae will infest most varieties; however, some are more prone to lodging, especially in drought situations.

For more information on the identification and biology of Dectes Stem Borer, please see the following link: http://extension.udel.edu/ag/2012/05/22/dectes-stem-borer-management-in-soybeans/

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Dectes Stem Borer larva in soybean stem. Photo by P. Sylvester, UD.

2014 Delaware Hybrid Field Corn Performance Trials

November 17, 2014 in Uncategorized

The 2014 Delaware Hybrid Field Corn Performance Trials are now available online: http://extension.udel.edu/ag/field-crop-resources/variety-trials-corn-hybrids-small-grains-soybeans/

Upcoming Meetings: 2014 Farm Bill Training

November 7, 2014 in Uncategorized

Farm Bill Training page 4

Farm Bill Training page 3

Farm Bill Training page 2

Farm Bill Training page 1

2014 Mid-Atlantic Crop Mangaement School: Register Now!

October 13, 2014 in Uncategorized

The 2014 Mid-Atlantic Crop Management School will be held November 18-20 in Ocean City, Maryland. The program and registration can be found on the following website: https://www.psla.umd.edu/extension/md-crops

The early-bird registration fee is due by October 31, 2014.

This school is designed for anyone interested in crop management issues, including

  • agronomists
  • crop consultants
  • extension educators
  • farmers and farm managers
  • pesticide dealers, distributors
  • seed and agrichemical company representatives
  • soil conservationists
  • state department of agriculture personnel

The 2014 Mid-Atlantic Crop Management School will offer CCA continuing education units (CEU’s) approved by the Certified Crop Adviser Program in the following categories:

  • Crop Management
  • Nutrient Management
  • Pest Management
  • Professional
  • Soil & Water Management Development

Total CEU’s earned will depend on course selection. This school also provides Pesticide Recertification Credits for DE, MD, NJ, PA, WV, and VA and continuing education for Nutrient Management Consultants in DE, MD, VA and WV.




Nematode Assay Changes Effective September 1, 2014

August 19, 2014 in Uncategorized

Please visit the UD Field Crops Disease Management blog to read about important changes to the UD Nematode Assay Service: http://extension.udel.edu/fieldcropdisease/2014/08/16/nematode-assay-changes-effective-as-of-september-1-2014/

2014 Small Grain Variety Trial Results Now Available

August 13, 2014 in Uncategorized

The University of Delaware’s 2014 Small Grain Variety Trial reports are now online: http://extension.udel.edu/ag/field-crop-resources/variety-trials-corn-hybrids-small-grains-soybeans/