Category Archives: Small Grains

Calibrate your yield monitor – a checklist

While this post is likely too late for corn, it does apply to other crops.  If you have yet harvested all of your corn, it’s never too late to calibrate your yield monitor.

First, I am no expert in calibrating yield monitors.  My experience with the process only involves showing up to the farm with an accurate weigh wagon (or we use their grain cart), riding with the combine operator as he harvests a known area of the field, weighing the load and obtaining a moisture from the load (with a calibrated moisture tester), then watch him do the calibration.

Still, I understand the need for calibration although it takes time and may mean looking in the manual to learn or refresh one’s memory on the process.

John Barker, Knox County Extension Educator (Ohio State Extension) wrote an excellent article, “It’s almost that time of year … Don’t forget to calibrate your yield monitor!”, which is a step-by-step checklist of how to do this.  I highly encourage all to read it.

We do have several weigh wagons located around the state that Virginia Cooperative Extension uses for our on-farm research.  If you want me or one of your County Agents to help with this process, let us know.

2017 Virginia On-Farm Wheat Test Plots

The 2017 Virginia On-Farm Wheat Test Plots have been published and are now available on the Virginia Cooperative Extension website.  For more information or a hard copy, contact Mike Broaddus, Extension Agent, at the Caroline County office.

he demonstration and research plot results discussed in this publication are a cooperative effort by seven Virginia Cooperative Extension agents, extension specialists from Virginia Tech, and a VCE summer intern. We are proud to present this year’s on-farm small grain plot work to you. We hope the information in this publication will help farmers produce a profitable crop in 2018.

Small Grain Yield Contests Show High Yields Across the Commonwealth

The Virginia Grain Producers Association is proud to announce the 2018 Virginia Wheat and Hard Wheat Yield Contest Winners.

This year’s winners come from counties across the Commonwealth and have once again proven that Virginia producers are capable of achieving exceptional yields. Yield contests, such as this, are an important element in our mission to highlight and communicate the accomplishments of Virginia agriculture to our industry partners and the general public. The top-ranked growers will be given cash prizes donated by the providers of their winning seed, and will be fully recognized with a plaque presented by one of our industry leaders at the Virginia Grains and Soybean Annual Conference next February.

At 108.6 bushels per acre, Alan Welch’s wheat took first place. Katie Myer’s hard wheat yield of 85.7 bushels per acre claimed first prize.

The hard wheat portion of the contest is sponsored by Mennel Milling to highlight the planting of hard wheat in the Commonwealth. Hard wheat is primarily used as a bread wheat. The majority of the wheat grown in Virginia is soft red winter wheat, which is used in bakery products such as flat breads, cakes, pastries and crackers.

 2018 Virginia Wheat Yield Contest Winners

 1st Place $700: Alan Welch, Welch Farms, Inc., Northumberland County

108.6 Bu/Acre, Pioneer 26R59

2nd Place $500: Justin Welch, Welch Farms, Inc., Northumberland County

105.5 Bu/Acre, Pioneer 26R59

3rd Place $300: Paul Davis, Davis Produce, New Kent County

89.6 Bu/Acre, AgriMaxx 463

 2018 Virginia Hard Wheat Yield Contest Winners

 1st Place $700: Katie Myer, Richmond County

85.7 Bu/Acre, Vision 45

2nd Place $500: Paul Davis, Davis Produce, New Kent County

78.5 Bu/Acre, Vision 45

Many thanks go out to The Mennel Milling Company of Virginia, Pioneer, AgriMaxx, and UniSouth Genetics (USG) for sponsoring the Small Grain Yield Contests.

New Crop Disease Management Resources

Though it has been around for several years, the Crop Protection Network (CPN) has recently added several publications on disease management in corn, soybean, and small grains that are relevant to growers, crop consultants, and extension personnel in Virginia and the surrounding region. These can be accessed at the CPN website cropprotectionnetwork.org. As stated on the website:

“The Crop Protection Network (CPN) is a multi-state and international partnership of university and provincial Extension specialists, and public and private professionals that provides unbiased, research-based information. Our goal is to communicate relevant information to farmers and agricultural personnel to help with decisions related to protecting field crops.

Extension specialists throughout the country (including myself) contribute to the publications and other resources posted on the website. An example of a recent publication on optimizing fungicide use for control of Fusarium head blight can be downloaded below. The CPN library includes over 30 publications on crop management, and additional publications are in development.

CPN-3001-Optimizing Fungicide Use for FHB

Wheat Disease Update – May 24, 2018

Fusarium head blight (FHB) risk for Virginia continues to be to high throughout the state due to recent wet, warm weather (http://www.wheatscab.psu.edu/). Most of the wheat is past the flowering stage and no longer at risk, but later flowering wheat may still need a fungicide application. Triazole fungicides including Prosaro, Caramba, and Proline are recommended. Do not apply fungicides containing a strobilurin since this can increase DON. For wheat that is past flowering, a fungicide application will not reduce FHB or DON contamination of the grain. Grain harvested from fields with signs and symptoms of FHB should be kept separate from non-infested grain.

For assistance with disease identification or management recommendations, contact Dr. Hillary L. Mehl, Extension Plant Pathologist (hlmehl@vt.edu).

armyworm in VA small grains

I have received several reports from Virginia Beach and Chesapeake of armyworms infesting wheat and hay in large numbers. Neighboring regions of NC are experiencing similar outbreaks.

Overall, these infestations are rare in our state, but scouting is recommended. Fields treated previously with pyrethroids may be at higher risk because they contain fewer natural enemies to combat pest outbreaks. Armyworms feed at night and may be found under residue and at the base of plants during the day. Oftentimes, they can be seen curled into a c-shape (see photos below). Thresholds are one larvae (0.75 in or longer) per linear foot in barley and 2-3 per foot in wheat. Refer to Chapter 4 of Virginia Tech’s “Pest Management guide: Field Crops” for products and rates labeled for armyworm control in our state. Pay attention to PHI before making an application. Pyrethroids can be effective against armyworm. Good coverage is critical, especially in high residue fields.

Photos courtesy of JB Rigg, Helena Chemical.

Wheat Disease Update – May 15, 2018

Three-day forecast for Fusarium head blight (FHB) risk on susceptible wheat varieties.

FHB risk is increasing in Virginia and will continue to increase over the next several days. Risk is highest on the Eastern Shore, but susceptible varieties such as Shirley that are flowering over the next week will be at moderate to high risk in many portions of the state. Growers should monitor the FHB risk tool (www.wheatscab.psu.edu) as their wheat crop begins to flower. Consider applying a fungicide if risk is moderate to high, especially on susceptible or moderately susceptible varieties. Wheat that has completed flowering is no longer at risk. Fungicides should be applied at early flowering or up to one week later. Do not apply a strobilurin-containing fungicide since this can increase DON contamination. Recommended fungicides include Prosaro, Caramba, and Proline.

Steve Rideout, Extension Plant Pathologist at the Eastern Shore AREC, confirmed stripe rust on research plots of Shirley on Monday. FHB risk continues to be high on the Eastern Shore, so growers in this part of the state with varieties that are susceptible to stripe rust should consider an application of Prosaro, Caramba, or Proline since these will control both FHB and rust.

Stripe rust on wheat.

For assistance with disease identification or management recommendations, contact Dr. Hillary L. Mehl, Extension Plant Pathologist (hlmehl@vt.edu).

 

Wheat Disease Update – April 30, 2018

As wheat starts flowering in the region, it is time to consider whether or not to make a fungicide application for Fusarium head blight (FHB). Currently, risk is low in most parts of Virginia. There are a few exceptions, including portions of the Eastern Shore, where risk is moderate to high.

The most effective fungicides for control of FHB and DON are Caramba (metconazole), Prosaro (prothioconazole + tebuconazole), and Proline (prothioconazole). Less expensive triazoles such as Tilt (propiconazole) and Folicur (tebuconazole) will provide some control, but if FHB risk is high these fungicides are unlikely to prevent unacceptable levels of DON contamination. Keep in mind that fungicides containing a strobilurin should not be applied after the flag leaf stage since they can increase DON contamination.

Current FHB risk in Virginia and the surrounding region. Green, yellow, and red indicate low, moderate, and high risk, respectively. FHB risk can be monitored using the Fusarium Risk Assessment Tool (http://www.wheatscab.psu.edu/).

To maximize their effectiveness, fungicides for FHB and DON control should be applied at early flowering or up to one week later. Fungicides that control FHB and DON will also control foliar diseases including powdery mildew, leaf rust, stripe rust, and leaf blotch. Stripe rust has been found in NC and was recently reported from a single field in Warsaw, VA so be sure to scout susceptible varieties for this disease. For specific wheat disease management recommendations or assistance with disease identification, contact Dr. Hillary L. Mehl (hlmehl@vt.edu).