Volume 8, Issue 28                                                                                             September 29, 2000

Last Issue for the 2000 Season…


This is the last issue of Weekly Crop Update for the 2000 cropping season.  We hope that the information provided has been helpful and informative.  A special thank you goes out to those who contributed to the newsletter each week.  Thank you for your input throughout the season when problems or questions have arisen.  As I have stated in the past, please do not hesitate to call or e-mail me if you experience problems.   Attached to the newsletter this week is a survey to help us evaluate the effectiveness of the newsletter.  We will use this information to improve the newsletter, but it also helps us document how important this information is to you.  We hope you will be frank and let us know what you like and don’t like about it.  We have provided a self-addressed, stamped return envelope for your convenience.  For those accessing the newsletter via the Internet and do not receive an e-mail reminder, please take a moment to access the survey on-line.  Thank you in advance for you input.


Best wishes for a successful harvest.






Vegetable Diseases - Bob Mulrooney, Extension Vegetable Pathologist, University of Delaware; bobmul@udel.edu


Nematodes in Veggies.

Fall is the best time to soil sample for nematode pests such as root knot, lesion, and other plant parasitic nematodes. After fall harvest but before any fall tillage is done, take soil cores six inches deep between plants in the row. Samples should be taken in the root zone of the old crop. Twenty cores/sample should be taken from random spots in the field and placed in a plastic bucket gently mixed, and a pint of soil submitted for analysis. Nematode test bags and instructions are available for purchase from the county Extension offices. Samples cost $10.00. Fall sampling for root knot nematodes is strongly recommended for fields that will be planted in cucumbers, watermelons, cantaloupes, lima beans or other high value vegetables where root knot could reduce production.


Fall Sanitation.

In vegetable production it is not a good idea to leave old crop residue in the field any longer than necessary. If the crop is allowed to survive after harvest, fungi that cause many diseases continue to increase on the surviving plants. This allows higher numbers of the fungus to potentially survive until next season. Sanitation (plowing or disking the old crop) will help prevent pathogen carry-over.



I have seen several samples this week of fruit rots caused by Fusarium that produces round, rough, sunken spots on the sides and the bottom of the fruit. Fusarium fruit rot is more likely to occur during wet seasons. Little is known about how these Fusarium fungi (11 different Fusaria have been reported to cause fruit rot) infect cucurbit fruit. Fungicides have not provided much control of these because of the difficulty to cover the fruit effectively. Infection is thought to take place in the field and causes decay both in the field and post-harvest as well. Since many of the fruit rot Fusarium occur on corn as well, there maybe some correlation with increased incidence of fruit rot following corn in wet seasons.


Fusarium Fruit Rot

Fusarium sp.



Fusarium graminum


Field Crops


Field Crop Insects - Joanne Whalen, Extension  IPM Specialist;   jwhalen@udel.edu



Growers planning to plant no-till wheat should be aware that slugs could be a significant problem this year. Although slugs are always a potential problem in no-till wheat, higher than normal slug populations are now present in many corn and soybean fields throughout the state. As many remember, slugs were a significant problem in many corn and soybean fields this past spring. These slugs have been present in fields all season due to the wet growing season. Slugs tend to cause more problems when wheat is planted no-till into corn stubble; however, this season we may see problems regardless of the type of no-till cover/stubble present at planting. DEADLINES MP’s are labeled for wheat (10-40 lbs. per acre); however, there is very little data available for fall applications and its use on wheat. If high numbers of slugs are present in fields before planting, the best management option would be tillage.  


Last season, a number of wheat fields were sprayed in the fall for aphids. Populations were higher than normal last fall due to early planting and fall weather conditions. We established 3 large scale replicated plots in commercial fields in the fall of 1999. The varieties planted were all considered susceptible to barley yellow dwarf virus. Although aphid populations were significantly lower in the treated plots (Warrior was used at 2 oz/acre), we found no significant yield difference between treated and untreated plots. Very low levels of barley yellow dwarf virus were detected in 2 of the 3 locations. It still appears that the economic value of fall spraying for aphids in wheat is dependent on the aphid population level and the amount of barley yellow dwarf present in an area. When making a treatment decision, the following factors can increase the potential of a return from a fall application of an insecticide to control aphids and to reduce barley yellow dwarf (BYD) infection:

·        Normal summer temperatures with adequate rainfall

·        Intensive wheat management, high fertility, etc.

·        Use of BYD susceptible varieties.

·        Planting before Hessian fly free date

·        Late, warm fall

·        Aphid numbers greater than treatment guidelines – It should be noted that fields in the 1999 Delaware trials had aphid levels considered economic in Kentucky (3-7 per foot of row) and no economic losses were encountered. Therefore, our threshold for fall treatment for aphids still remains at 15-25 per foot of row in combination with a known history of BYDV.

·        Mild winter or snow cover.

·        Early warm following spring.

[Note: These factors were identified by entomologists and plant pathologists from the University of Kentucky]



Field Corn.

We have received a number of reports from Sussex County regarding field corn that has lodged right before or after the recent rains. In many cases, root and/or stalk diseases were suspected. Field inspections have revealed that perennial white grubs have caused the damage in a number of fields. We have not seen this occur in the last 13-15 years but this is not a new problem for the area. In comparison to our typical annual white grub species (Japanese beetles and Asiatic garden beetles), the perennial white grub species (no common name) can spend 3-4 years in the soil in the larval (grub) stage.  Due to the wet growing season, these grubs may not have feed much early in the season so no stand loss was observed. As the season progressed, feeding on the root zone increased, especially late in the season. Since this species spends multiple years in the soil as a “grub/larva”, it can pose a potential problem if you plan to plant field corn in the same field in 2001. If you are experiencing lodging problems, be sure to examine the root zone area for grubs. If you would like to confirm the species, collect a few and bring them to your County Extension office or call and we can help identify the species. If the perennial white grub is present, you will need to plan on a soil insecticide in 2001 or rotate out of corn. Although we have seen grub problems in small sections in soybean fields, it is generally not a problem in soybeans.


Field Crop Diseases - Bob Mulrooney, Extension Plant Pathologist; bobmul@udel.edu


Small grains.

Be sure that you plant wheat varieties with high levels of disease resistance. Seed should be treated to protect them from loose smut and common bunt. Varieties that are susceptible to powdery mildew should be treated with Baytan or other seed treatment that will protect them from early infection.



Do not ignore soybean cyst nematode. It is still present and in spite of the wet season and good growth of soybeans this season, SCN can be present in high numbers as well. The wet season has helped plants compensate for nematode damage, which lulls growers into thinking that everything is fine because they see no severe stunting. During wet seasons SCN numbers can increase dramatically on susceptible varieties. Some late season troubleshooting samples have shown that SCN was responsible for poor growth (short plants) in some fields. Soil sampling after harvest before any fall tillage is recommended for fields to be planted next season to soybeans following this year’s crop. Soil sample bags are available from the county Extension offices for $10/ sample bag.



Grain Marketing Highlights - Carl German, Extension Crops Marketing Specialist; clgerman@udel.edu


USDA's September Stocks Report Viewed Positive for Corn and Wheat Prices

U.S.wheat stocks on September 1, 2000 were reported at 2.366 billion bushels, well below the year ago level of 2.445 billion bushels. This level of stocks could mean that wheat has seen its lows.


Corn stocks were pegged at 1.715 billion bushels, as compared to 1.787 billion bushels this time last year. This too is viewed by commodity traders as price positive and because it is on the low end of pre report analyst's estimates. This stocks level is well below the 1.764 billion bushel carry out that USDA projected in the September 12th crop report.


Soybean stocks were estimated at 288 million bushels, 23 million bushels above the 265 million bushel carry out that USDA estimated in the September crop report. Although traders viewed this number as slightly bearish, anticipation of further reductions in the U.S. production estimate in the October crop report will keep price reaction to a minimum.


Subscribe to the Grain Marketing Discussion Group

Anyone interested in getting periodic grain marketing updates, questions answered, and timely marketing information, etc. is invited to subscribe to the Grain Marketing Discussion Group on the Internet. To subscribe send a message to:
majordomo@udel.edu with the only message in the text that reads subscribe grn-mktdg@udel.edu


Watch for and Plan to Attend

A late fall "Grain Marketing Strategies Conference" is being planned to be held at the Kent County Extension office. It will be held on Wednesday, December 13th, at the Paradee Center in Dover. Details to follow.



Considerations For Weed Control in Small Grains -Mark VanGessel, Extension Weed Specialist ; mjv@udel.edu


As wheat and barley season quickly approaches just a few reminders for weed control.  For no-till small grains be sure to use a burndown herbicide.  Winter annuals like chickweed have begun to emerge and a non-selective herbicide will control them and reduce weed competition.  Do not apply Banvel or 2,4-D in the fall prior to planting small grains.  Banvel has a 20 days/pint/A planting restriction and 2,4-D label says do not use pre-plant on coarse-textured and sandy soils.


After the crop is planted, the earliest labeled treatment is Buctril, which can be applied at emergence, then Harmony Extra at the 2 leaf stage of the small grains.  Fall treatments in small grains may not be adequate for full-season control and a second application in the spring is often necessary.  However, many no-tilled small grain fields do require a fall treatment.


Ryegrass is one winter annual that needs to be treated in the fall.  Applications of Hoelon by mid-November have had the most consistent results in the Mid-Atlantic region.  Hoelon-resistant ryegrass has been identified on the southern region of the Delmarva Peninsula, in which case, Hoelon will not provide control.


Currently we do not have effective chemical control strategies for annual bluegrass, bulbous oatgrass, bromegrass, or Hoelon-resistant ryegrass.


Finesse has a label for both preemergence and postemergence applications in winter wheat and only postemergence applications in winter barley.  Postemergence applications need to be made in the late fall.  Finesse does not have a good fit in our area because it is erratic on annual ryegrass control and has very long residual which severely limits rotations and increases the risk of developing herbicide-resistant weed populations.  Other than annual ryegrass, it does not improve control of most weed species compared to other herbicides.  Vegetables can not be planted after Finesse and soybeans must be an STS variety.


Fall Herbicide Applications in No-Till -Mark VanGessel, Extension Weed Specialist ; mjv@udel.edu


There is some interest in using a fall herbicide treatment for winter annual weed control in no-tillage fields.  The idea is that there is less weed biomass at planting, can eliminate or use reduced rates of burndown herbicides and remove alternate hosts for some pests (although this may not be an issue).  We have had a few studies with fall Roundup treatments in no-till fields sprayed in early October, that had very few weeds present at planting.  We did not follow these plots to determine if an herbicide prior to planting soybeans was necessary.  The benefit of using a residual herbicide I suspect would be minimal over an application of Roundup or Touchdown.  Fall applications can reduce weed biomass the following spring but more work is needed to examine the best approach to incorporate this into an overall program. 


Upcoming Events…


Southeast Strawberry Expo

Date:  November 8-10, 2000

Location:  McKimmon Center, Raleigh, North Carolina

Subject:  This should be a great learning opportunity for strawberry plasticulture. 

More Information:  Contact Debby Wechsler,  ncstrawberry@mindspring.com,  919-542-3687


Mid-Atlantic Crop Management School

Date:  November 14-16, 2000

Location:  Princess Royale Hotel and Conference Center, Ocean City, MD

Registration:  Limited - $160 if received before October 6 and $180 if received after October 6.

For Directions and More Information:  Contact Joanne Whalen at, Department of Entomology, University of Delaware, Newark, DE 19717-1303 or 302-831-1303 or jwhalen@udel.edu



Agriculture in the New Century - Site Specific Agriculture in 2000



Date:  Thursday, December 7, 2000

Location:  Tidewater Inn & Conference Center, Easton, MD

Registration:  Limited - $40, Make Checks Payable to the University of Maryland

For Directions and More Information:  Contact Ted Haas, 410-827-8056, e-mail: th1@umail.umd.edu



8:00 –9:00 a.m. Registration


9:00 a.m.   Welcome

Dr. Thomas A. Fretz, Dean, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of Maryland


9:15 a.m.   University of Maryland Site Specific Demonstration Farm‑ A Four Year Review

Mr. Ted Haas, Extension Regional Agronomy Specialist, University of Maryland

Mr. Scott Quinn, Regional Agronomist, Royster Clark

Mr. Jonathan Quinn, Farmer, Wicks Farm


9:45 a.m.   Making Use of the "Gold Mine" in Your Fields

Mr. Nathan Watermeier, Systems Developer Engineer, Ohio State University


10:45 a.m.   Break


11:00 a.m.   Remote Sensing for Crops Production

Mr. Kenneth Hood, Farmer, Perthshire Farms, Gunnison, Mississippi


Noon:   Lunch


1:00 p.m.   Using Remote Sensing to Help Explain Variability in a Field

Mr. Paul Carter, Remote Sensing Specialist, Purdue University


1:45 p.m.   Using Site Specific Tools for Soil Fertility Management

Dr. Sylvie Brouder, Extension Agronomist, Plant Nutrition and Cropping Systems, Purdue University


2:30 p.m.   Managing Manure on an N or P Basis Using Site Specific Techniques

Dr. Douglas Beetle,Extension State Specialist,

Agronomy, Pennsylvania State University


3:15 p.m.   Adjourn


For more information about site specific farming and the conference,  check out our website at: http://farmsite.com



Pesticide Applicator Training

Date:  December 12th & 13th

Location:  Kent County Extension Office

Training:  8:15 to 4:00 on day 1,  8:15 to noon on day 2,  Exam is at 1:00 on day 2

More Information:  Contact Susan Whitney, swhitney@udel.edu, 302-831-8886



Mid-Atlantic Direct Marketing Conference

Date:  February 21-24, 2001

Location:  Cavalier Hotel, Virginia Beach, Virginia

Host:  Virginia Farmer Direct Marketing Association

More Information:  http://www.ext.vt.edu/madmc/input.html



                                 Weather Summary

Week of September 20 to September 28


0.11 inches : September 23

0.06 inches : September 24

1.66 inches : September 25

0.77 inches : September 26

Readings taken for the previous 24 hours at 8 a.m.

Air Temperature:

Highs Ranged from 87°F on September 20 to 60° F on September 26.

Lows Ranged from 67°F on September 24 to 45° F on September 28.

Soil Temperature:

67°F average for the week.

(Soil temperature taken at a 2 inch depth, under sod)


Web Address for the U of D Research & Education Center:




Compiled and Edited By:

Tracy Wootten

Extension Associate - Vegetable Crops

Cooperative Extension Education in Agriculture and Home Economics, University of Delaware, Delaware State University and the United States Department of Agriculture cooperating, John C. Nye, Dean and Director.  Distributed in furtherance of the Acts of Congress of May 8 and June 30, 1914.  It is the policy of the Delaware Cooperative Extension System that no person shall be subjected to discrimination on the grounds of race, sex, disability, age or national origin.

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