2016 Soybean Yield Contest

The Virginia Soybean Association in cooperation with Virginia Cooperative Extension would like to announce the 2016 Virginia Soybean Yield Contest. The purpose of the Virginia Soybean Yield Contest is to emphasize and demonstrate the practices necessary to produce maximum economic yields, to recognize those producers who grow high-yielding soybeans, and to gather data on the practices utilized by these outstanding producers. With the help of various seed companies, we reward and promote the achievements of Virginia’s most productive soybean farmers.

There are four Soybean Yield Contest categories: 1) Full-Season, Non-irrigated; 2) Double-Crop, Non-irrigated; and 3) Irrigated (Full-Season or Double-Crop; and 4) Most Efficient Yield (MEY). First, second, and third place winners of the full-season, double-crop, and irrigated contest will be recognized with appropriate trophies or plaques. In addition, cash awards of $200, $100, and $50 will be presented to the first, second, and third place winners in each of these categories. The winner of the MEY contest will receive a plaque declaring him or her the most efficient soybean producer in Virginia for that year.

Printable entry forms and contest details can be obtained from your County Agent or on the Soybean Extension and Research website.


Timely harvest will minimize seed quality problems

The map below shows the amount of rainfall received in Virginia over the last 14 days.  And the weather forecast is calling for more.  While this rain may still help our double-crop soybean, early-planted early-maturing varieties will run the risk of seed quality problems if they are not harvested soon after maturity.Precip Analysis 092716For details of the main diseases that cause these problems, I refer to you to a blog from last fall (Oct 16) when seed quality problems were horrendous –  Soybean Seed Quality Continues to Deteriorate. 

But to review, the seed decaying diseases are worse when wet weather is combined with relatively warm conditions, like we are having now.  Early-maturing varieties, especially those planted in April and early-May will have the worst seed quality because they are maturing during a warmer time of the year.  I’m most concerned about maturity group (MG) III and IV soybeans; MG V’s are not yet mature.  Last year, later-maturing varieties fared better than early varieties, as shown in the 2015 variety test data below.  We rate seed on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 being a perfect seed and 5 being an unsaleable product.  Usually, anything averaging 2.5 or less is pretty good seed.  Double-crop soybean seed quality is always better since they are maturing during a cooler time of the year.Seed Quality 2015

What can you do to minimize these disease?  Harvest as soon as possible.  Phomopsis seed decay will only get worse the longer that you leave mature plants in the field.  And pray for cooler and dryer conditions in October and November.

Insect update for Sep. 29, 2016

The 2016 survey of Virginia soybean for brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) and kudzu bug is now finished.  We would like to acknowledge the Virginia Soybean Board and the USDA/NIFA Extension Implementation Project for their funding support.  Since mid-July, scouts Ed Seymore, Jamie Hogue, and the Tidewater AREC entomology crew made 867 soybean field visits to 68 counties for this project.  Ed and Jamie traveled a combined 22,600 miles.  BMSB were found in 42 counties, with the highest populations coming from Bedford, Shenandoah, Rappahannock, and Orange Counties.  Please see the map for the BMSB densities.


Large numbers of green stink bug were reported in soybean in King George (11 greens per sample), Nelson (12), New Kent (10), Rappahannock (11), and Lunenburg (9); these beans were all in the R6 growth stage.  The threshold for R3-4 to R7 stages is 5 stink bugs per 15 sweeps.  Moderate green stink bug populations (approximately 3-5) were reported in most of the other counties surveyed this past week.  After R7 (beginning maturity),  the stink bug threshold is doubled.

Scouts reported less than one kudzu bug nymph per 15 sweeps this week.  Over the course of the season, kudzu bugs were found in soybean in 32 counties.  Here is the final kudzu bug map:

KB_map_29_Sep_2016We conducted 77 cypermethrin vial tests this week with 61% survival by corn earworm moths.  We plan to finish out the season with what we collect and test next week.  The seasonal average now stands at 43.1% survival.

AVT_29_Sep_2016Finally, our black light traps have been shut down for 2016.  The assistance of the participating Virginia Cooperative Extension Agents, growers, and Virginia Tech faculty and staff in this study is greatly appreciated.  Here are the final tables for this season:  BLT_29_Sep_2016

Registration is open for the Mid-Atlantic Crop Management School.


November 15-17, 2016
Princess Royale Hotel in Ocean City, MD

Registration is open for the 22nd annual Mid-Atlantic Crop Management School. This year’s school will feature 2 ½ days of timely presentations in the areas of crop management, nutrient management, pest management, soil and water management, and climate. This year, the school will also feature the popular Crop School on Wheels field tour (limited to 50 participants). Nutrient management (VA, MD, DE, PA), pesticide, and certified crop adviser (CCA) credits will be available. Register early for the best selection of sessions.

The session schedule is online at: https://cdn.extension.udel.edu/wp-content/uploads/sites/12/2016/09/23151701/2016_CMS_Program_Final.pdf

Registration information is posted at: http://www.cvent.com/events/2016-crop-management-school/event-summary-bbd4a7d2717545af9770626ef761a930.aspx?tw=E3-C1-0B-14-32-A0-CB-AB-1C-D6-9A-06-46-74-20-5F.

Contact Amy Shober (ashober@udel.edu) or Jarrod Miller (jarrod@umd.edu) with questions about the school. We look forward to seeing you there.

The Mid-Atlantic Crop Management School is organized by Extension Specialists from Virginia, West Virginia, Delaware, and Maryland featuring speakers from across the nation.

BMSB and kudzu bug survey of soybean: Sep. 22, 2016 update

Our soybean scouts detected brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) in three new Virginia counties this week (Halifax, Greensville, and Brunswick).  They found soybean fields in the following counties at BMSB threshold (3-5 adults + medium to large nymphs per 2-minute visual count or per 15 sweeps):  Albemarle, Bedford, Fluvanna, Goochland, Greene, Orange, Rappahannock, and Shenandoah.  Please see the map for more details.

When monitoring, don’t forget about our native stink bug species–we have been seeing moderate to high numbers of green stink bugs in some fields.  The threshold for a normal mix of stink bug species (green, brown, and BMSB) is 5 in 15 sweeps.

BMSB_map_22_Sep_2016Kudzu bug numbers in soybean remain below threshold.


Insect pest update for Sep. 15, 2016

Soybean–brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB):  Our scouts detected BMSB in two new counties this week–Charles City and Stafford.  Eight counties were at threshold (3-5 per 2-minute visual count along the field edge)–these are listed at the bottom of the map.

BMSB_map_15_Sep_2016Soybean–kudzu bug:  A range of zero to 5 kudzu bugs per 15 sweeps was reported this week.  While no counties were at threshold levels (15 kudzu bugs per 15 sweeps), the highest numbers were reported in Campbell (5), Appomattox (4), and Amelia (3 per 15 sweeps).


Sorghum–white sugarcane aphid, Melanaphis sacchari:  No new counties reported for this pest this week.  So far this season, it has been confirmed in the following Virginia counties:  Amelia, Bedford, Charles City, Dinwiddie, Franklin, Greensville, Hanover, Isle of Wight, New Kent, Nottoway, Prince George, Southampton, Suffolk, Surry, and Sussex.

Corn earworm/bollworm resistance monitoring:  Survival of moths in the vial tests remains high.  We evaluated 297 moths this week, with 40.5% survival to the 5 microgram/vial rate of cypermethrin.  Our seasonal average stands at 42.8% survival (n = 1,552  moths evaluated).

Black light trap report:  Some reporting stations had a small bump upwards in the number of corn earworm moths captured (Warsaw, Prince George, Essex); declines occurred in Suffolk and Southampton.  Very few BMSB were caught.  Please refer to the tables for more information.  BLT_15_Sep_2016

Peanut maturity progress in Suffolk, VA

The peanut maturity progress from Sep 2nd and until now seems to be optimal. Images taken on Sep 2nd and Sep 12 for ‘Bailey’ (Bailey peanut maturity progress in Suffolk), and ‘Sullivan’ and ‘Wynne’ (Sullivan and Wynne peanut maturity progress in Suffolk) peanut cultivars are presented here. Bailey, regardless when was planted May 2nd or June 4th, seems to be ready to dig in 10 to 15 more days. In the past 10 days, Sullivan shows a substantial increase of black and brown pod content, however the pod color spread is highest for this cultivar. This suggests that Sullivan may have two main crops this year, which is not surprising given the drought stress experienced for most part of August. This situation always makes digging decisions difficult, but we will continue to watch the maturity progress for this cultivar and extend the search to other locations than Suffolk. None the less, location and individual field conditions have significant effects on maturity. Under the conditions of 2016, Wynne is behind Bailey and Sullivan maturity wise. The images of podblasted pods suggest that digging for Wynne is expected in 20 to 25 days from Sep 12.  Again,  determining maturity in each field individually is the best method for farmers to determine the optimum digging time. Podblasting clinics, such as the one on Sep 19 planned by the new Extension Agent in Southampton County VA, Ms. Livvy Preisser <livvy16@vt.edu>, should be attended rigorously by peanut growing farmers.

Update on Boxwood Blight in Virginia

English boxwood defoliated by the boxwood blight pathogen following introduction of infected container plants on the patio. (Photo by A. Bordas)

English boxwood defoliated by the boxwood blight pathogen following introduction of infected container plants on the patio. (Photo by A. Bordas)

Recent outbreaks of boxwood blight, caused by the fungus Calonectria pseudonaviculata, are causing concern in Virginia. Boxwood blight can cause severe defoliation of susceptible boxwood, including English and American boxwood, and is of serious consequence to nursery growers, landscapers and homeowners. All diagnoses of boxwood blight in home landscapes made by the Virginia Tech Plant Disease Clinic since last fall are linked to new boxwood purchased from several Virginia locations of one national retailer, and new cases are likely to emerge. (See news article at: http://www.newsadvance.com/news/local/boxwood-blight-hits-lynchburg/article_a2860e97-438c-523a-9c63-202902eaf42b.html).

We strongly recommend that growers purchase boxwood from a nursery or retail outlet that has purchased boxwood exclusively from a boxwood producer in the Boxwood Blight Cleanliness Program (http://www.vdacs.virginia.gov/plant-industry-services-boxwood-blight.shtml). These producers follow stringent practices to avoid the introduction of this disease to their nurseries and are subject to followup inspections by the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

Black streaking on green stems of boxwood plant with boxwood blight.

Black streaking on green stems of boxwood plant with boxwood blight. (Photo by A. Bordas)

Symptoms of boxwood blight include leaf spots, black streaking on stems and severe defoliation. Other diseases of boxwood, such as Volutella blight and root diseases, can be confused with boxwood blight; therefore, laboratory confirmation is necessary. Learn to recognize symptoms of boxwood blight by viewing the image gallery on the Virginia Boxwood Blight Task Force web site (http://www.ext.vt.edu/topics/agriculture/commercial-horticulture/boxwood-blight/). Information on best management practices, resistant boxwood cultivars, and sanitizers for cleaning tools is also available on the web site.

In all the cases of boxwood blight diagnosed by the VT Plant Disease Clinic in home landscapes, the disease was introduced on infected boxwood plants. The fungus has sticky spores and is not adapted for movement on air currents; however, spores may stick to and be transported by spray hoses, tools, clothing, shoes, and vehicles. The fungus can also be transported in soil and likely by animals moving through infected plants, e.g. deer, dogs. Infected boxwood may also be present in holiday greenery.

If you suspect boxwood blight, collect symptomatic branch samples with at least a few green leaves still attached. Double bag the samples in sealable bags and take them to your local Virginia Cooperative Extension office (http://www.ext.vt.edu/offices/index.html). Samples will be forwarded to the Virginia Tech Plant Clinic for diagnosis.