Volume 7, Issue 2                                                                                           April 9, 1999


Vegetables

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

Asparagus.

Begin to check fields for the presence of asparagus beetles. Edge treatments will only work if applied before egg laying increases and beetles move into the field. Ambush, Pounce or Sevin will provide control.

Peas, Snap Beans and Sweet Corn.

Although conditions are not extremely cool and wet, seed corn maggot flies remain active, especially in fields where a green cover crop is plowed under close to planting or where manure is used. In sweet corn, a seed treatment containing diazinon should be used in addition to a soil insecticide. The use of diazinon 50W as a planter box treatment is labeled on peas and snap beans and has provided the best control in recent years. v

 

Sinbar Receives a Section 18 Label for Watermelons - Ed Kee, Extension Vegetable Crops Specialist ; kee@udel.edu

Sinbar received a Section 18 label for use on Watermelons in Delaware. This is the third year for this special label. The rate is 2 to 3 ounces per acre preemergence.

Fruit and Vegetable Market News - Ed Kee, Extension Vegetable Crops Specialist; kee@udel.edu

Fruit and Vegetable Market News Reports from the USDA are available on the Internet. The Website address is http://www.ams.usda.gov./marketnews.htm. This site will then give access to reports from shipping and receiving points around the country. In season, recorded reports are available by phone. Delmarva producers may be interested in these phone recorded numbers:

Bridgeton, NJ Vineland Auction 609-453-3877
Philadelphia, PA Terminal Market 215-597-4429

Further information on accessing other locations is available at the website cited above.

 

Fruit & Vegetable Websites - Ed Kee, Extension Vegetable Crops Specialist, kee@udel.edu

As the season progresses, I will share website addresses related to the vegetable industry. From North Carolina State, their VEG INFO site can be reached at www.ces.ncsu.edu/hil/veg-index.html. The trade association for the pickle industry, Pickle Packers International has a new website at www.ilovepickles.org.

 

Planting Progress - Ed Kee, Extension Vegetable Crops Specialist, kee@udel.edu

Pea planting is 35% completed as of April 8. Higher inventories in warehouses and cold storages across the nation have reduced pea acreage on Delmarva, as has the decision of Draper-King Cole not to run peas this year.

Fresh market sweet corn plantings have begun, with processing plantings scheduled to begin this week. v

 

Vegetable Diseases - Bob Mulrooney, Extension Plant Patholgist ; bobmul@udel.edu

Asparagus.

Be sure to bury last year's brush far in advance of the first harvest to reduce overwintering spores of the pathogen that causes purple spot. If establishing a new production field, use disease-free crowns and select fields that are well drained and have not had asparagus for the past 8 years. This will reduce the chance of seeing Fusarium crown rot. Application of Nemacur 3SC to the bottom of the furrow prior to dropping the crowns increases vigor and reduces the incidence of Fusarium crown rot.

Sweet corn.

To prevent Stewart’s bacterial wilt apply Counter in a 7 in. band over the row to control flea beetles. See Issue 1 for more information.

Cucurbits.

Several weeks ago Quadris Flowable Fungicide received Federal supplemental labeling for use on all cucurbits (cantaloupes, cucumbers, squash, pumpkins and watermelons). Use rates are from 11.0- 15.4 fl. oz/ A. The diseases controlled by Quadris include anthracnose, belly rot, downy mildew, gummy stem blight, leafspots, and powdery mildew. The same strategy for managing resistance that was in effect last season when Quadris was labeled under Section 18 registration is in effect. Alternate between Quadris and Bravo to avoid resistance by the pathogens to this new fungicide. Do not apply Quadris within 1 day of harvest, and there is a 4-hour re-entry interval after application.

Potatoes.

Most Delaware potato growers use mancozeb seed-piece treater. Recent research in Maine and the Pacific Northwest has shown that mancozeb reduces the incidence of late blight that comes from infected seed. This is good news, but it is not a substitute for buying disease-free seed from a reliable source. Where problems with Rhizoctonia stem canker exist try using Topsin 2.5D or Maxim 0.5D as a seed-piece treater.

Quadris Flowable fungicide was also labeled for use on potato to control early blight and late blight. On a 7-day program the recommended rate is 6.2 fl. oz./A for early blight control. On a 14-day interval the 12.4 oz rate is recommended. Quadris is also effective on late blight at the high rate of 12.4-15.4 oz /A. ($29-36/A). Quadris could be used when conditions are very favorable for late blight or when late blight is seen in an area. Otherwise it is very expensive compared to the preventative protectants (EDBC’s and chlorothalonil) that are now being used. v


Field Crops

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

Alfalfa.

Alfalfa weevil larvae can be easily found feeding in the tips of alfalfa plants. At the present time, tip feeding is averaging between 10 and 25% infested plants. Once you see tip feeding, a full field sample should be taken. Randomly collect 30 stems throughout a field, placing them upside down in a bucket, and shaking the stems to dislodge larvae from the tips. Once alfalfa reaches 12-inches tall, the treatment threshold is one per stem. In 13 to 15-inch tall alfalfa, the threshold is 1.5 per stem. Baythroid, Furadan, Imidan or Warrior will provide control under a wide range of environmental conditions.

Field Corn.

At this time, grubs can be found in the top six inches of soil. Mild winter conditions have resulted in grubs overwintering closer to the soil surface. Factors favoring grub populations include: 1.) planting into double crop or full season soybean stubble, and 2.) planting into an old sod or pasture field. Fields can be sampled for grubs before planting but it should be done before a field is tilled. The most accurate results are obtained when soil temperatures at 6-inches deep are at least 45 degrees F. At each site, sample one square foot of soil dug six inches deep. At least one sample, preferably two, should be taken for every 10 acres with no less than 10 samples per field. A treatment is recommended if you find 1-2 grubs per square foot in heavy soil or 0.5 – 1 grub per square foot in sandy soil. Counter, Force or Fortress will provide control. The highest labeled rate should be used if populations are heavy. Black cutworm moths can now be found in pheromone traps in Delaware and Maryland. Trap catches during the month of April can provide an indication of where black cutworm problems will occur. Pheromone trap catches (provided by Terra Inc., Bridgeville, DE) indicate that cutworm moth activity is starting to increase on the shore. Although no precise thresholds are available, 7 to 15 moths per 7 day period has been associated with a moderate to high potential for cutworm outbreaks. Moth catches of 5 per night for at least 2 consecutive nights has also indicated a high potential for problems. At the present time, only 3 traps in the region have reached a level of 7-8 moths over a 7-day period.

Small Grains.

Aphids and cereal leaf beetle adults can be found in wheat and barley. Aphid activity has increased in some barley fields; however, beneficial insects are also active and are helping to prevent population explosions. At this time cereal leaf beetle egg laying is light; however, you can expect to see an increase in the next week as temperatures increase. No controls should be applied for cereal leaf beetle before you find 25 eggs and/or larvae per 100 tillers AND at least 50 – 60% of the eggs have hatched. v

 

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

Quadris Receives Supplemental Label for Wheat; 24c Label for Tilt in Effect for 1999.

Several weeks ago, Zeneca Ag Products was granted a supplemental label for the foliar fungicide Quadris. Novartis was granted a supplemental, special local need (Section 24C) label for Tilt. The supplemental label for Tilt allows producers to apply that fungicide to wheat through Feeke's growth stage 10.5 (full head emergence). You may recall that this use of Tilt was also approved last season, based on the fact that disease control in wheat in Delaware is usually optimized when foliar fungicide applications are made during crop head emergence.

The Quadris Flowable Fungicide supplemental label was for the addition of numerous crops to the existing label, including wheat, plus some post application re-entry and resistance management guidelines. Like Tilt, the wheat label for Quadris allows application through Feeke's growth stage 10.5.

Tilt and Quadris are both excellent products, but there are some minor differences between them. The table below compares the two products. The table and the following comments were adapted from an article written by Don Hershman, Extension Plant Pathologist at the University of Kentucky.

Wheat Disease Controlled

Tilt

Quadris*

Powdery mildew

Good

Fair/good*

Septoria tritici leaf blotch

Excellent

Excellent

Stagonospora (Septoria) Nodorum leaf blotch

Excellent

Excellent

Tan Spot

Very good

Good/very good*

Glume blotch

Excellent

Excellent

Leaf Rust

Very Good

Excellent

*Effectiveness at highest labeled Quadris use rate of 10.8 fl.oz. /A.; other diseases are adequately controlled using the 6.2 fl. oz./A rate.

The most significant difference between Tilt and Quadris is price. Quadris will cost producers anywhere from $3.56 to $14.63 per acre more than Tilt, depending upon the use rate for Quadris. As indicated above, certain diseases will require the highest labeled use rate to achieve maximum disease control. The suggested retail price for Quadris is $300/gal ($2.34/fl. oz.) and the suggested use rates vary from 6.2 fl. oz. product per acre to 10.8 fl. oz./A. In other words, an application of Quadris will cost between $14.50 - $25.27/A for chemical. Costs for application and the recommended addition of 1% v/v crop oil when spraying Quadris are extra. A gallon of Tilt costs approximately $350/gal ($2.73/fl. oz.), but the use rate is 4.0 fl. oz/A ($10.94/A chemical cost). Because of depressed wheat prices, few growers will opt for the automatic use of foliar fungicides in wheat this spring. This is the way it should be since crop yield potential, crop price, cost of fungicide and application, disease incidence and severity, and crop stage should all be taken into consideration when deciding if and when to spray a fungicide in wheat. However, the economic side of the equation may have additional weight this year. A word of caution: don't automatically discount the use of wheat foliar fungicides in wheat this season because of the economic crisis. Although foliar fungicides are a significant crop input, the cost of material(s) and application will be more than offset if certain disease conditions develop which threaten crop yield and test weight. Of course, this is only true for the fungal diseases, listed above, which are impacted by the use of foliar fungicides. v

 

Double Check & Save - Derby Walker, Sussex County Agricultural Agent; derby@udel.edu

Spending a few extra minutes now before planting and spraying can improve yields and save money. Small adjustments in planter depth, plant spacing, chemical application and seeding rate can actually equate into real savings.

Several years ago we conducted a sprayer calibration program. We found that many sprayers were off by 20%. By replacing the tips and making a few minor adjustments, we were able to reduce the error to less then 10%, which means you could reduce your chemical bill by 10% or more.

Go over your planter and drill carefully before planting. Make the necessary repairs or replacement of worn parts before you go to the field. It is also beneficial to calibrate your planter or drill for different soil types and planting conditions. Increased seeding rates does not equate into more bushels per acre, especially for soybeans and milo. Planting rate will vary with cultivar selection, soil type and production practices (ex. irrigated vs. non-irrigated). Contact your local county extension agent for more information. Plant populations that are too high increase lodging problems and can mean increased drought stress in drought prone fields.

Placement of fertilizer and insecticides should also be evaluated. Fertilizer should be 2 inches over and 2 inches below the seed. Fertilizer too close to the row can injure young plants. Too far away, there is no advantage to using the starter. Double check the labels of the insecticides and herbicides that you plan to use for insecticide placement. Certain insecticides have potential to increase crop injury if used banded or placed in-furrow with certain herbicides. Check the labels of both materials to reduce the potential for crop injury. Improve your investment by assuring proper placement of these materials.

A few extra minutes now before planting could be very beneficial during harvest season. v

 

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

Executive Summary
Trade in the futures market for corn, wheat, and soybeans has been choppy this week as the market prepares to receive USDA's April supply and demand report, to be released on Friday, April 9th. Soybean new crop futures have given up nearly 20 cents of recent price gains, currently trading just under $ 5.00 per bushel. The current price trend for nearby corn and soybean futures is down with support at $ 2.15 for May corn and $ 4.70 for May soybeans. The price trend for nearby wheat
futures is sideways, with support for the May future at $ 2.72.

China and the U.S. are in the process of discussing trade issues, with China considering the lifting of import bans on U.S. wheat in a bid to pave the way for Beijing's admission into the World Trade Organization (WTO).

Planting Intentions & Quarterly Grain Stocks Summary
The following highlights were selected from USDA's March 31 Planting Intentions and the March 1 Quarterly Grain Stocks report. U.S. farmers intend to plant 73.105 million acres of soybeans, 730 thousand acres more than last year. Soybean stocks on March 1 in all positions were 21 percent higher than a year ago.

Corn acres were placed at 78.219 million acres, down 1.968 million acres from a year ago. U.S. corn stocks on March 1 were placed at 5.70 billion bushels, 15 percent higher than this time a year ago.

Wheat acres were placed at 63.029 million acres, down 2.842 million acres from last year. Stocks for U.S. wheat on March 1 were 24 percent higher than the stocks level recorded a year ago.

Marketing Strategy
New crop corn, soybean, and wheat futures are currently trading at levels that leave a lot to be desired in terms of making forward cash sales. The only possible exception to that statement is corn, with a basis level of 25 to 30 over in Southern Delaware. An initial sale may well be warranted, particularly for those still unpriced. We are going
to have to consider using any price rallies as possible opportunities for placing hedge positions on intended 1999 crop production. For further information contact Carl German at 302-831-1317 or clgerman@udel.edu.
v

 

Agronomic Tips - Richard W. Taylor, Extension Agronomist ; rtaylor@udel.edu

Have you been wondering how to survive current low commodity prices? The obvious answers of minimizing your costs and maximizing the selling price of the crop are not the complete answer. In some cases, you may have to spend money to either save or make money in the long run. There are some agronomic actions you can take to improve your yield potential and gross income with little to no extra out of pocket cost.

First, did you study the available variety/hybrid performance data and choose a variety or hybrid that is widely adapted or did you limit yourself to only one particular brand? With today’s prices for grain, your selection of seed to plant should be based on performance, not brand loyalty or new variety hype. Variety performance should be evaluated over multiple years and multiple locations in your area. A variety that does well at several different geographical locations for several years should preform well for you. Don’t forget to consider public varieties since some are widely adapted and can compete with any of the commercial varieties. This is true especially if you need resistance to soybean cyst nematode (SCN). It also is true if planting group V soybean varieties.

Do you have soybean fields that just don’t perform as well as you would expect, especially in droughty years? A soil test analyzed for SCN can answer the question of why. SCN often is the cause of declining yields or fields that perform under expectations. With the use of SCN-resistant varieties and crop rotation you can help control this pest and improve yields with little expense.

Plant your most productive fields first. Make sure that those fields with the best chance of good yields will be planted early enough to maximize yield potential. If weather delays, equipment problems, or other unforeseen delays put you off schedule, you can decide at the end of the planting window whether to even plant the less productive fields which often don’t produce enough to break even in good years.

For corn, plant by May 1 for optimum yields. Corn planted after May 10 will have lower yield potential. Plant corn hybrids from several maturity groups to spread your pollination and grain fill periods to reduce the chances that a short dry or hot spell at the wrong time will reduce your yield by a large amount.

For soybeans, early planting is very important. Group IV and V varieties should be planted in early May (use a fungicide seed treatment if the soil is cold and wet) to maximize yields. Group III beans should be planted in mid-May for best yield. For double-crop beans, the earlier they are planted the better the yield potential in all maturity groups.

Don’t forget to spend some time checking your planters, sprayers, spreaders, and other equipment to be sure it all works as designed. Now is the time to solve problems before you go to the field. By the time the crop is in the ground, you have input probably 70 to 80 percent of your management skills into ensuring the best crop possible. Thereafter, the weather and less controllable factors impact yields, unless you can irrigate and fertigate. Since combine losses can be sizeable, spend time before the end of the growing season to adjust your combine for it’s most efficient operation.

Fertilize for realistic yield goals not for wished for yield levels. Use your soil test results as a guide. Look at the trends in soil test results from year to year. Are nutrient levels going up, down, or staying the same? Are they in the high to excessive level now? If nutrient levels are staying the same (and are high or better) or the level is going up, consider reducing the amount of that nutrient you plan to apply this year.

Reports from different laboratories often report different units (parts per million, pounds per acre, or a relative index number) or numerical values. These values differ because the absolute result varies depending on the method used for analyses by the labs. Most of the time, the report will label the results as low, medium, or high and these relative terms will be similar among labs. A low soil test indicates that you should have enough of a yield response from added fertilizer to more than pay for the fertilizer needed. A medium or optimal soil test indicates that the nutrient is likely to be available at a sufficient level that will not limit crop growth. Fertilization with additional units of that nutrient is unlikely to increase yield enough to pay for additional fertilizer. A high, very high, or excessive soil test indicates that the nutrient is found at a level more than adequate for crop growth and NO yield response to additions of that nutrient is likely.

During the season, scout for insect, disease, and nutritional problems. If you have a history of soil insects reducing stands, scout for soil insects and make your treatment decisions based on the appropriate economic threshold. During the season, either scout fields or have your fields scouted by a professional so you can monitor pests levels and use economic threshold levels to determine when it pays to treat.

If you use manure on your fields, the pre-sidedress nitrogen test (PSNT) can help you estimate if there is enough nitrogen available for maximum economic yields or how much more needs to be applied as sidedress nitrogen or by fertigation. For irrigated corn, leaf tissue analysis or the leaf chlorophyll meter can be effective ways to manage nitrogen fertilization. v


Weather Summary

Week of April 1 to April 8

Rainfall:
0.26 inches: April 1, 1999
0.33 inches: April 4, 1999
Readings taken for the previous 24 hours at 8 a.m.
Air Temperature:
Highs Ranged from 79F on April 4 to 54 F on April 5.
Lows Ranged from 55F on April 1 to 30F on April 6.
Soil Temperature:
58 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:  http://www.rec.udel.edu


Compiled and Edited By:

Tracy Wootten

Extension Associate - Vegetable Crops


Cooperative Extension Education in Agriculture and home Economics, University of Delaware, Delaware State College 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. 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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