I am receiving numerous reports of wheat and barley fields that were severely injured by cold temperatures. The symptoms are completely or mostly blank/absent kernels on entire heads. What I had seen prior to this week manifested as a few missing kernels on the head, or scattered white heads that were obvious freeze injury. These newly symptomatic fields either seem normal or just slightly ‘off’ from the road but on investigation many heads have no grain. In some cases, the stems are beginning to turn brown and die. At this point I think this is in a few local areas and not widespread. It was obviously a combination of low temps and particular fields that were at a very susceptible stage.
I encourage you to assess small grain fields. Any damage is much less severe near edges, roads or lanes, so scout well out into fields. Those with severe damage should contact their crop insurance adjuster or VCE agent ASAP to assess the yield potential in the field.
The dicamba products Xtendimax, Engenia, and FeXapan had their registrations vacated June 3, 2020 by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. The EPA announced June 8, 2020 a final cancellation order for these products.
Existing stocks, in possession on June 3, 2020 (the date of the court’s decision), can be used by farmers and commercial applicators by July 31. Use of these products must be consistent with the previously approved label.
Tavium (dicamba + S-metolachlor) is also still legal to use. Tavium was not mentioned in the lawsuit making Tavium the only way to legally apply dicamba to Roundup Ready 2 Xtend soybeans or Xtendflex cotton. This product is already in short supply and may be difficult to acquire. Tavium cannot be used on double crop soybean.
There are effective alternatives to dicamba. In RR2 Xtend soybean, I recommend Flexstar GT in place of dicamba. This product is not currently in short supply, but there is potential for that to occur. So I encourage farmers that plan to use Flexstar GT to go ahead and acquire it. Other alternative products can be found in Table 5.54 on page 5-182 of the Pest Management Guide. Additionally, information on controlling Palmer amaranth in soybean is here: https://www.pubs.ext.vt.edu/2808/2808-1006/2808-1006.html and common ragweed is here: https://www.pubs.ext.vt.edu/content/dam/pubs_ext_vt_edu/spes/spes-143/SPES-143.pdf. In cotton, most varieties have the option of using Liberty, which is my recommendation in place of dicamba. But other alternative products can be found in Tables 5.112 and 5.113, starting on page 5-344.
Farmers should consider changing soybean herbicide traits for double crop acres or any soybean ground that has not yet been planted. LibertyLink, LLGT27, and Enlist are all good options in place of RR2 Xtend. Farmers may also consider a Roundup Ready variety as well, to potentially save tech fees compared to RR2 Xtend, but there are very few of these even before this announcement. I realize changing this late in the year may not be feasible and the best performing varieties may not be available. If farmers choose to change varieties, make sure that the variety has both strong yield potential and the herbicide trait of choice.
This ruling does not apply to dicamba products such as Clarity and Banvel, that are not labeled for use in Xtend traited crops, so these can continue to be used in pastures, corn, and other labeled uses. Dicamba products that are not labeled for use in dicamba-tolerant crops have been and continue to be illegal to use over-the-top of RR2 Xtend soybean and Xtendflex cotton.
This ruling comes at the absolute worst time during the season. There may be temptation to use dicamba illegally, but I strongly encourage us all to think about the implications of such actions on agriculture. These products have been and will continue to be under scrutiny from the non-ag public.
The cool and wetter weather earlier in the month has delayed some soybean planting into June. In addition, some cotton growers have switched to soybean due to the same reason. The question that came to me often this week was “Should I increase my seeding rate?”
In general, our research has not found a dramatic yield response to more seed per acre until mid-June. This largely reflects the lack of decrease in yield due to late planting dates until about the same time. If planted by the first week of June, the soybean usually has time to build a canopy great enough to capture most of the light by flowering, and does not need the extra plants.
However, I usually recommend that you begin increasing seeding rates by about 20,000 seed per week beginning the first of June.
Therefore, I would suggest the following:
This week (June 1-6): 120,000 – 140,000 seed/acre
June 7-13: 140,000-160,000 seed/acre
June 14-20: 160,000-180,000 seed/acre
June 21-27: 180,000-220,000 seed/acre
On your better soils or with later maturing varieties, use the lower seeding rate. On your less-productive soils or with earlier varieties, use the higher rate. This will insure that you you have enough leaf area to maximize the yield for those planting date.
I’m sure this weekend’s forecast is generating some questions about the potential for frost/freeze injury.
First, let’s deal with corn. I don’t think any parts of our state are forecast to be cold enough to kill any young corn plants. Air temps would have to fall below 28 degrees or so for several hours for there to be a danger of plant death. What’s a lot more likely is that we get 32-35 with no wind and get a significant frost. For corn that is emerged, this may well result in death of those frosted leaves. While this will set the crop back, it should not harm the stand and plants should recover. After about three days, the growing points of plants can be examined for injury. Green, healthy tissue is a sign that plants will recover.
Purdue University has a good, brief summary with photos. https://www.agry.purdue.edu/ext/corn/news/timeless/FrostedCorn.html
Based on the cool weather and rainfall, I have been expecting to see lots of nitrogen, sulfur and zinc deficiency early in this year’s crop anyway. Cold injury may exacerbate this and bring those symptoms on even earlier. If deficiency symptoms do appear, an earlier than normal sidedress application may be needed this year.
Wheat is also a concern. The best resource that I know of on the subject comes from Kansas State. https://www.sunflower.k-state.edu/agronomy/docs/c646_Whole_Wheat_Freeze_Publication.pdf
Table 1 from that publication and shows that temperatures around 30 degrees can definitely cause damage to our crop based on the growth stage of many fields. But note that these expectations for injury are from two hours of exposure to that temperature, not just a few minutes.
Like with corn, it will take 3-5 days after the event to assess the damage so I would encourage you and your growers to scout for injury next week.
FMC Corp. just released a new insecticide Elevest WITH RYNAXYPYR® ACTIVE and BIFENTHRIN. This new insecticide should be available in late season 2020. According to the label, Elevest is registered for use on corn, soybean, edible bean, sweet corn, peanut, cotton, potato and a few other crops. Similar to the product Besiege, Elevest is a mixture of a Group 3A pyrethroid (bifenthrin) with the diamide Group 28 insecticide chlorantraniliprole, which is found in the popular products Coragen or Prevathon. Thus, it will be effective on a wide range of insect pests.
Best Planting Dates & Maturity Groups (MG). If you’ve seen some of my presentations in the past, the best maturity groups will largely depend on location, but also on field productivity. Still, we cannot talk about maturity groups without a discussion on planting date, as they influence each other. Here are some general full-season guidelines:
Planting Date. On average, there is little advantage, although no disadvantage, to planting in April if using adapted varieties. My data indicate that late-MG 4s and early 5’s are generally the best choice at both planting dates. But note my comments below regarding field productivity.
Location and Maturity Group. On average and most consistently, late-MG 4 and early- to mid-MG 5 varieties have yielded more than other relative maturities when planted in May in most of Virginia. Exceptions are the Northern Piedmont and Eastern Shore. In the Northern Piedmont, late-3s through late-4s yield more than 5s. On the Eastern Shore, early- and mid-4s appear to have the advantage.
Note that these comment are based on relative maturity and planting date studies over the last 3 years and from 10 years of variety test data. This does not mean that you will see similar results every year on every field. There are always exceptions, including the following.
Early planting dates and maturity groups work best on the most productive field. By planting early with an earlier-than-adapted relative maturity will place the most critical time of soybean growth and development, the pod and seed stages, earlier in the year. We generally experience more water and heat stress earlier in the summer; therefore, a more productive field/better soil type will better tolerate the stress (and better take advantage of the longer days).
Later planting dates and later maturity groups work best on less productive soils. By planting later (up to the first week of June) and with later maturity groups (mid- to late-5s), we can avoid the most stressful time of the year, placing the critical pod and seed development into a less stressful time of the year.
Full-Season Seeding Rates:In general, 100,000 to 140,000 seed/acre (assuming at least 75% emergence) is enough to maximize soybean yield when planted in April and May. I’ve even maximized yield with less seed when early-season growth is good. All we are trying to do is grow enough leaves to get 90 to 95% light interception by early pod fill (R3).
A more detailed analysis of my data however revealed that under relatively low-yielding conditions (less than 35 bushels/acre), we need the greater seeding rates. And the lower rates sufficed under higher yielding conditions. Others have found the same thing in the Midwest and South America. What does this mean as far as adjusting your seeding rates?
First, on historically poor-yielding land, use 130,000 to 140,000 seed/acre. On historically better-yielding land, you can reduce that rate down to 100,000 to 110,000.
Note that the later you plant, as you approach June, greater seeding rates will more likely insure maximum yields.
Also note that plant emergence may be less when planted on cold, wet soils; therefore, increase the seeding rate by 10% or so.
Seed Depth.My philosophy on seed depth is plant into moisture at a depth that will give you the best and fastest emergence. Note that the longer the soybean is in the ground, the more likely it will be affected by a seedling disease. I usually recommend 1 inch deep to the bottom of the seed. Under cool and moist soils, plant as shallow as 1/2 to 3/4 inch deep. This will hasten emergence.
Once the soil warms up, you can plant deeper since germination and emergence will take place faster. But, try not to plant over 1.5 inches deep, especially in April or May. Only do so if the soil is very warm and there is little moisture in the top 1 to 1.5 inches.
CANCELLED! Due to Virginia Tech’s response to COVID-19 and out of concern for everyone, we are cancelling all of these workshops. We will reschedule after field season in Nov. or Dec.
Herbicide Resistance- What is it and how did we get here?
Creating Effective Herbicide Plans
Integrated Weed Management of Palmer amaranth, common ragweed, and horseweed/marestail
Local Perspective on Weed Management
Putting It All Together: Creating a Weed Management Plan
CCA credits will be offered
Free lunch to start or end the program!
If you are a person with a disability and desire any assistive devices,
services or other accommodations to participate in this activity, please
contact the Extension office listed above or TDD* during business hours of 8:00
a.m. and 5:00 p.m. to discuss accommodations 5 days prior to the event. *TDD number is (800) 828-1120.
Virginia Cooperative Extension programs and employment are open to all,
regardless of age, color, disability, gender, gender identity, gender
expression, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual
orientation, genetic information, veteran status, or any other basis protected
by law. An equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.
The 2020 Northern Neck Crops Conference will be held Thursday,
Jan. 16 at the Cobham Park Baptist Church, 13829 History Land Hwy Route 3,
Warsaw, VA 22572. This year’s conference will include pesticide certification
training, updates from FSA, NRCS, and SWCD, and several Specialists and Agents from
Virginia Cooperative Extension that will cover a wide variety of topics. We
look forward to seeing your there for a great day of learning and interaction
with the experts. Lunch will be provided. Agenda detail are below.
Full Attendance to the conference has been approved for
Private Pesticide Applicator Recertification in Category 90 & 91, and
Commercial Categories 1A, 10, and 60.
The conference has also been approved for 1.0 Virginia Nutrient
Management CEU and 4.0 CCA-CEU credits.
The 2020 Five County Agricultural Conference will be held Wednesday,
Jan. 15 at the King William Ruritan Club Building, 156 Ruritan Lane, King
William, Virginia 23086. This year’s conference will include pesticide
certification training, updates from FSA, NRCS, and SWCD, several Specialists and
Agents from Virginia Cooperative Extension that will cover a wide variety of
topics, and precision agriculture round-table discussion. In addition, you will
be able to get your dicamba herbicide certification with training being offered
by Don Cline of BASF. We look forward to seeing your there for a great day of
learning and interaction with the experts. Lunch will be provided. Agenda
detail are below.
Full Attendance to the conference has been approved for
Private Pesticide Applicator Recertification in Category 90 and Commercial
Categories 1A, 10, and 60. The
conference has also been approved for 1.5 Virginia Nutrient Management CEU, 2.5
Integrated Pest Management and 1.5 Crop Management CCA-CEU credits.
7:45 a.m. Registration
8:15 a.m. Grain Market
Update, Robert Harper, Manager, Virginia
Farm Bureau Grain Division
8:45 a.m. Corn Update
and Hybrid Selection – Dr. Wade Thomason
9:15 a.m. Break
9:30 am. Soybean
basics and Soybean Variety Selection- Dr.
David Holshouser, Extension Soybean Agronomist
10:00 a.m. Crop
Fertility and Fertilizers – Dr. Hunter
10:30 a.m. Precision Ag
11:45 a.m. Cooperating
Agencies (FSA, NRCS, and SWCD)
12:30 p.m. Sponsored
Lunch (Participants not seeking pesticide applicator recertification or Dicamba
Certification are welcome
to adjourn following lunch)
1:15 p.m. Dicamba
Certification – Don Cline, BASF Crop
1:45 p.m. Legal Update
– Robert Christian, VDACS Pesticide Investigator
The 2020 Tri-County Crop Production Conference will be held Tuesday, Jan. 14 at the Carson Volunteer Fire Department on 19806 Halifax Rd in Carson, VA. This year’s conference will host several Specialists from Virginia Tech that will cover a wide variety of topics. In addition, you will be able to get your dicamba herbicide certification with training being offered by Don Cline of BASF. We look forward to seeing your there for a great day of learning and interaction with the experts. Lunch will be provided. Agenda detail are below.
9:00 – 9:05 Welcome and Announcements
9:05 – 9:40 Positioning
Your Full-Season Soybean for Maximum Yields– Dr. David Holshouser
There are many things we can do to increase full-season soybean yield,
but decisions made before planting are the most important. This presentation will focus on
site-specifically positioning your crop to best take advantage of the limiting
resources of water, light, and nutrients.
disease management – Dr. David Langston
Nematode and disease interaction issues in soybeans. Update on fungicide and seed treatments
available for corn and soybeans. Common
diseases occurring in 2019.
10:40 – 11:10 Update
on insect pest management – Dr. Sally Taylor
Review of major insect pests in 2019.
Recommendations for preparing for 2020, scouting tips to use throughout
the season, and updates on insecticides available for use.
11:10 – 11:40 Small
Grain and Corn Update – Dr. Wade Thomason
Review of the latest research in corn and small grain production in
11:40 – 12:00 Getting Started with Irrigation and
Irrigation Survey – Dr. Julie Shortridge
Irrigation is not used on a wide scale in Virginia. This presentation will introduce our new
water specialist and a irrigation survey for growers.
12:00 -12:45 Lunch
12:45 – 1:15 Pesticides
in VA update – Robert Christian, VDACS
Update on federal record keeping and worker protection standard.
Additional information on changes in pesticide labeling for VA. PPE review for commonly used pesticides. Changes to paraquat labeling, handling, and
1:15 – 1:35 Weed
control update – Scott Reiter
Roundup resistant common ragweed is common in our soybean cropping
systems. There are also 4 different herbicide
technology systems in play for the 2020 season.
We will cover the options available and the stewardship needed to keep
the herbicides on the target crops.
1:35 – 1:55 Cover crops – Mike Parrish
Cover crops have many uses in our production systems. Soil erosion control, soil health properties,
weed control, and moisture retention.
Presentation will cover results from local cover crop plots and impact
on these properties.
1:55 – 3:00 On Target Academy – Don Cline, BASF
This session will cover the required training for using dicamba herbicide in post-emerge applications to Xtend soybeans and cotton. Applicator & recordkeeping requirements, nozzle selection and technology, buffer requirements, weather conditions, and tank mix additives will be explained in detail
Full Attendance to the conference has been approved for Private Pesticide Applicator Recertification in Commercial Categories 1A, 10, and 60.