Delaware Agriculture Week – Jan. 8 – Jan. 11, 2018

Monday, January 8 – Thursday, January 11, 2018
Delaware State Fairgrounds
Harrington, DE

Detailed session agendas are now available online at: http://sites.udel.edu/delawareagweek/

Delaware Agriculture Week will be held in Harrington at the Delaware State Fairgrounds from January 8-11, 2018. Delaware “Ag Week” is in its 13th year and is an ongoing collaboration between University of Delaware Cooperative Extension, Delaware State University Cooperative Extension and the Delaware Department of Agriculture.

Delaware Ag Week provides useful and timely information to the agricultural community and industry through educational meetings and events. In addition, it is a great time for networking and fellowship with old and new acquaintances.

The associated trade show will take place in the Dover Building from Monday afternoon, January 8 to Thursday January 11.

Delaware and Maryland recertification credits, Nutrient Management credits and CCA credits will be offered.

Countdown to Census: What You Need To Know

Only eight weeks until producers start to receive the 2017 Census of Agriculture

WASHINGTON – Sept. 25, 2017 – In just a couple months, farmers and ranchers across the nation will start receiving the 2017 Census of Agriculture. Producers can mail in their completed census form, or respond online via the improved web questionnaire. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service has extensively revised the online questionnaire to make it more convenient for producers.

“The updated online questionnaire is very user-friendly – it can now be used on any electronic device, and can be saved and revisited as the producer’s schedule allows,” said NASS Census and Survey Division Director Barbara Rater. “Responding online saves time and protects data quality. That’s our mission at NASS – to provide timely, accurate, and useful statistics in service to U.S. agriculture. Better data mean informed decisions, and that’s why it is so important that every producer respond and be represented.”

New time-saving features of the online questionnaire include automatically calculating totals, skipping sections that do not pertain to the operation, and providing drop-down menus of frequent responses. Producers still have one week to try the online questionnaire demo on the census of agriculture website (www.agcensus.usda.gov).

The census website will continue to be updated with new information through the census response deadline of February 5, 2018. One recently added feature is a new video from Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue reminding all producers to respond when they receive their 2017 Census of Agriculture in the mail later this year.

Revisions and additions to the 2017 Census of Agriculture aim to capture a more detailed account of the industry. Producers will see a new question about military veteran status, expanded questions about food marketing practices, and questions about on-farm decision-making to better capture the roles and contributions of beginning farmers, women farmers, and others involved in running the business.

Response to the census of agriculture is required by law under Title 7 USC 2204(g) Public Law 105-113. The same law requires NASS to keep all information confidential, to use the data only for statistical purposes, and only in aggregate form to prevent disclosing the identity of any producer. The time required to complete the questionnaire is estimated at 50 minutes. In October, NASS will make a census preparation checklist available on the census website to help producers gather necessary information in advance.

Conducted once every five years, the census of agriculture is a complete count of all U.S. farms, ranches, and those who operate them; it is the only source of uniform, comprehensive, and impartial agriculture data for every state and county in the country. Farmers and ranchers, trade associations, government, extension educators, researchers, and many others rely on census of agriculture data when making decisions that shape American agriculture – from creating and funding farm programs to boosting services for communities and the industry. The census of agriculture is a producer’s voice, future, and opportunity.

For more information about the 2017 Census of Agriculture, visit www.agcensus.usda.gov or call (800) 727-9540.

USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender.

USDA NASS is the federal statistical agency responsible for producing official data about U.S. agriculture and is committed to providing timely, accurate, and useful statistics in service to U.S. agriculture. We invite you to provide feedback on our products and services. Sign up at http://usda.mannlib.cornell.edu/subscriptions  and look for “NASS Data User Community.”

Guess the Pest!

Bill Cissel, Extension Agent – Integrated Pest Management; bcissel@udel.edu

Congratulations to John Comegys for accurately identifying the insect in Guess the Pest Week #24-25 as green stink bug nymphs. John will not only have his name entered into the end of season raffle for $100 gift card not once but five times, he will also receive a FREE copy of A Farmer’s Guide to Corn Diseases.

http://www.plantmanagementnetwork.org/book/cornfarmersguide/

I would like to thank everyone that participated in Guess the Pest and hope that you found it to be a fun way to challenge yourself and hopefully you learned something along the way that will be of value to you. To see who won the $100 gift card, please click on the Guess the Pest logo to watch the recorded raffle drawing.

If you are one of the weekly winners that received a Free copy of A Farmer’s Guide to Corn Diseases, please pick them up at Kent or Sussex county Extension Office.

To see who won the drawing for the $100 gift card click the Guess the Pest logo below or go to: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfUPYLZnTRsol46hXmgqj8fvt5f8-JI0eEUHb3QJaNDLG_4kg/viewform?c=0&w=1

Guess the Pest! Week #24-25 Answer is Green Stink Bug Nymphs

Bill Cissel, Extension Agent – Integrated Pest Management; bcissel@udel.edu

Congratulations to John Comegys for accurately identifying the insect in Guess the Pest Week #24-25 as green stink bug nymphs. John will not only have his name entered into the end of season raffle for $100 gift card not once but five times, he will also receive a FREE copy of A Farmer’s Guide to Corn Diseases.

http://www.plantmanagementnetwork.org/book/cornfarmersguide/

I would like to thank everyone that participated in Guess the Pest and hope that you found it to be a fun way to challenge yourself and hopefully you learned something along the way that will be of value to you. To see who won the $100 gift card, please click on the Guess the Pest logo to watch the recorded raffle drawing.

If you are one of the weekly winners that received a Free copy of A Farmer’s Guide to Corn Diseases, please pick them up at Kent or Sussex county Extension Office.

Guess the Pest Week #24-25 Answer is Green Stink Bug Nymphs

The insects in the photos are green stink bug nymphs. Green stink bug nymphs often remind me of painted turtles or at least that is the first thought that pops into my head when I see them. Stink bugs are in the order, Hemiptera, often referred to as true bugs. Hemipterans have a simple metamorphosis in that they have three life stages; egg, nymph, and adult compared to complete metamorphosis which has four life stages; egg, larva, pupa, and adult. The nymphal stages of many hemipterans only loosely resemble the adults, having different coloration and are usually smaller in size.

Stink bug nymphs are often confused with beetles because of their body shape. An easy way to determine if you are looking at an immature insect versus an adult is to look for wings. Most adult insects (not all, there is always an exception) are winged. The easiest way to distinguish between beetles and immature stink bugs or other true bugs is to look at the mouthparts. For example, beetles have chewing mouthparts and stink bugs have piercing-sucking mouthparts. This feature can also be used when diagnosing crop injury. If a plant’s leaves are “chewed”, you know the damage wasn’t caused by a stink bug or any other insect with piercing-sucking mouthparts.

Stink bug with piercing-sucking mouthparts.

Example of chewing mouthparts.

 

Here are a few pictures of some of the other common stink bug nymphs that we see:

 

Brown Stink Bug Nymph.

Brown Marmorated Stink Bug Nymph.

Spined Soldier Bug Nymph, one of the GOOD GUYS.

To see who won the drawing for the $100 gift card click the Guess the Pest logo below or go to: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfUPYLZnTRsol46hXmgqj8fvt5f8-JI0eEUHb3QJaNDLG_4kg/viewform?c=0&w=1

Thanks Delaware and Maryland

Nathan Kleczewski, Extension Specialist – Plant Pathology; nkleczew@udel.edu; @Delmarplantdoc

This will be my final WCU, as I will be leaving to start a new position with the faculty at the University of Illinois as their field crop plant pathologist in November. I would like to sincerely thank the agricultural community in Delaware and Maryland for all the help these past 4½ years. I truly enjoyed and valued my time here at the University of Delaware, my interactions with growers and the industry, and hope I can, “pay it forward” to whomever serves you as your pathologist in the future. It means a lot to me to hear all the kind words and statements about my time here and value to the community. Delaware and Maryland are full of great people, wonderful growers and expert ag professionals. I look forward to collaborating with Delaware and Maryland in the future, and hopefully will see you again at events such as Crop School and Ag Week. In the meantime, enjoy your Fall and Winter, make sure to select the right varieties and rotate, and if you don’t know what disease is affecting your crop, have it confirmed by a diagnostic lab!

Cheers,

Nathan

Small vs Large Plot Studies on Fungicides and Yield — Which is Better?

Nathan Kleczewski, Extension Specialist – Plant Pathology; nkleczew@udel.edu; @Delmarplantdoc

Over the last 10-15 years there has been much discussion in the agricultural realm about the utility of fungicide trials conducted on small plots, vs those on larger plots. Small plots typically are 5-10’wide, and 20-50’ long, depending on the crop and study. Large plots typically consist of strips of varieties or treatments, and therefore are as wide as the width of a sprayer or planter and typically span a cross section of the field. Today I’m going to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of both types of studies and go over some new research on the subject.

Small plot research can be conducted on a relatively small area, easily replicated, and allows for multiple treatments to be tested simultaneously (think nitrogen x spacing x fungicide timing for example). Limitations in plot size can result in larger than typical variability, especially with corn research. This is because a small amount of ear loss at harvest can have a fairly large effect on overall plot yield, and the number of plants in the plot is small. Thus, small differences in the absolute number of plants in the plot and ears harvested can result in more variability in yield from plot to plot. In the past, many also discounted small plot research due to perceived edge effects from and alleys influencing results. Edge effects result from the plants on the outside of plots experiencing a slightly different environment than those on the inside. In large plots, the edge effect relative to the overall treatment area is small. However, in small plot research, the edge effect can be large in some instances. However, at least with fungicide work, research indicates that alleys and edge effects do not influence overall results (Vincelli and Lee 2015).

Contrast this with larger scale studies such as strip trials. These studies do not suffer from as many issues with yield-related variability, at least regarding corn, because plots are much larger and therefore grain samples are less influenced by ear loss and limited population. Edge effects are minimized due to large plots, as mentioned previously. The downside is that due to the plot size, strip trials are often limited to a small number of treatments. Consequently, the same trial needs to be conducted across many sites and years before enough observations are made to draw a meaningful conclusion.

That brings me to my last point. Some people, for whatever reason, completely discount small plot research results. Often, many of the aforementioned claims are mentioned in this argument. In the end, is there really any difference in results? Researchers at Iowa State recently published a study that examined small plot and strip plot fungicide trials conducted in Iowa from 2008-2015 (Kandel et. al, 2015). A total of 230 strip plot trials and 49 small plot trials were included in the analysis. Based on their analysis, the researchers found that the yield responses for the various treatments were similar. However, the data from small plot trials were slightly more variable. For example, to detect a given yield response, a split plot trial would need three treatment replications per field and 12 locations, whereas a small plot trial would need seven replications at each site and 12 locations. Their results show that small plot data show the same results as the large plot data, but might need a little more replication to detect a difference when compared to strip trials. Both small plot and large plot data are useful for agriculture, and both have their advantages and disadvantages. However, neither should be discounted when it comes to providing useful information to growers.

Lastly, I will leave you with a link to a great little article from the University of Nebraska called “Field Studies: What do you mean 5 bushels per acre is not significant?” In this article the authors do a great job of discussing research and terms such as significance and variability. This is a good read heading into meeting season and Crop School. Find the article here: http://cropwatch.unl.edu/2017/field-studies-what-do-you-mean-5-bushels-acre-not-significant

References:

  1. Vincelli and C. Lee, 2015. Influence of open alleys in field trials assessing yield effects from fungicides in corn. Plant Disease pp 263-266. http://apsjournals.apsnet.org/doi/abs/10.1094/PDIS-04-14-0415-RE

Kandel Y.R, C.L Kyveryga, P.M., Mueller, T.A. and Mueller, D.S. 2017. Differences in small plot and on farm trials for yield response to foliar fungicides in soybeans Plant Disease https://t.co/2l0KEVyjyS

Agronomic Research Updates

Jarrod O. Miller, Extension Agronomist, jarrod@udel.edu

The Effects of Nitrogen Fertilization on Corn Residue Decomposition
To increase corn residue decomposition, Iowa farmers may apply liquid N following harvest. A study of two fields with three N rates did not observe any effects on corn fodder breakdown with additional N. Lab studies revealed that temperature drove corn fodder breakdown more than applied N. Agronomy Journal (109): 2415-2424.

Can Yield Goals Be Predicted?
Wheat yields averaged over the previous 3-5 years were not correlated with the ensuing yield, mainly due to varying weather conditions. Because optimum N use may change every year, active sensors (e.g. Greenseeker) at mid-season are a viable alternative. Agronomy Journal (109): 2389-2395

Soil Potassium Levels and Depth to a Clay Pan
Soils in Missouri have varying topsoil thickness and depth to claypans. Soils where claypans were deeper in the profile required more K to raise to soil test potassium. Checking soil maps for depth to clay layers may help predict K losses on the Delmarva as well. Agronomy Journal (109): 2291-2301

Starter N and Cover Crops in Organic Corn
Cereal rye and hairy vetch were fall planted and then terminated with a roller crimper in the spring, prior to corn planting. This mixture could produce a high biomass capable of suppressing weeds. Starter fertilizer in the form of poultry litter or feather meal was necessary to maximize organic corn yield in this cover crop system. Agronomy Journal (109): 2214-2222

Variability in Corn Yield Response to Nitrogen
Planting at optimal dates resulted in less variable optimum economic N rates, compared to those that were planted late. On coarse textured soils, more N was needed with wet growing seasons. Agronomy Journal (109): 2231-2342)

Wheat Production and Nitrogen Additives
The combination of urease and nitrification inhibitors was successful at reducing N losses as ammonia or nitrous oxide, compared to urea alone. Higher nitrous oxide losses were observed when pore water was 35-60%, soils were warmer than 50°F and there was adequate soil nitrate. Both inhibitors reduced the nitrate concentrations below the root zone. Agronomy Journal (109): 1825-1835.

Fall is the Best Time to Add Lime

Jarrod O. Miller, Extension Agronomist, jarrod@udel.edu

If you are planning on adding lime to bring your pH up, post-harvest is the best time to do it. Lime can take some time to react with the acidity in your soil, particularly in no-till systems. Following application, your soil pH may be greater than 7 at the surface, only gradually coming down. So if you wait to apply lime in the spring, soil pH may be too high at planting.

Some considerations when liming:

  • Sandy soils are typically lower in micronutrient concentrations and more sensitive to higher pH, so UD recommends a pH 6.0 for these soils. However, the target pH for clay (finer) soils is 6.5. Watch your fields for nutrient deficiencies so you can pinpoint an ideal pH range in the future.
  • Tillage usually mixes lime well, but no-till should definitely be applied in the fall.
  • Does your soil have plenty of magnesium? Find a lime with more calcium this time.
  • Get a cheap pH test kit and monitor your soil pH over the winter.

Allium Leafminer Active in Maryland

Jerry Brust, IPM Vegetable Specialist, University of Maryland; jbrust@umd.edu

The new pest of onion, leek and garlic, the Allium leafminer, is active now in our area. This new pest was first found in Lancaster County Pennsylvania in December 2015. It has since been found in Maryland in only a few northeastern counties, but my guess is that the pest is probably in many northern/central areas of Maryland. New transplants or seedings of onions or leeks should be watched closely for the tell-tale signs of the fly’s damage which are several very small dots in a row along the leaf of an allium plant (Fig. 1). Figure 1 is an excellent picture by Sarah May of Penn State, that not only shows what and where the feeding is observed on a plant but also the relative size of the oviposition/feeding damage and what you should look for. Penn State has a great deal of good information about the new pest which can be found at: Penn State Allium Leafminer Pest Alert page. Figure 2 shows the adult female as she is making the incisions into the allium leaf causing the white spots. Growers should look for these tell-tale signs or the fly itself on any newly planted allium species. You can cover any new allium plantings with row cover to keep the flies off or treat with insecticides.

Figure 1. Oviposition/feeding spots (red circles) on onion transplants from Allium leafminer

Figure 2. Allium leafminer female adult on onion leaf