Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Some Resources for Grain Storage Bags

Sam McNeill, PE and Extension Agricultural Engineer, University of Kentucky

With the expected high yields, low prices, weak basis and clogged traffic at elevators, many producers are looking for temporary storage options. Grain storage bags or "silage bags" are one possible options. Below is a list of resources on grain storage bags. It is not intended to include all available resources, but contains information from a mix in public and private sectors to provide a balanced view. Field studies on these systems are not available for all locations but has been conducted in Arkansas, Mississippi and Texas, as noted. Numerous other items of interest were found by searching for “grain storage bags”, including popular press articles and You tube videos, but these were not included to keep the list manageable. Exclusion of companies who manufacturer, service and/or market similar handling equipment or systems was not intended.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Fall 2014 Wheat Planting Decision

Greg Halich, Extension Ag Economist, University of Kentucky

Kentucky grain farmers have just started harvesting corn and are getting to the point where they will decide how much wheat they will plant this fall. In Kentucky, wheat is almost always planted in the fall following the harvest on corn ground, and then double-cropped with soybeans in early summer after the wheat harvest. This allows for two crops in one year. However, soybeans planted after the wheat harvest are more susceptible to summer drought, which means on average yields are lower for these double-cropped soybeans. In Kentucky, this yield reduction typically averages around 20%. As a consequence, the majority of soybeans planted in KY are full-season plantings rather then double-cropped.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Getting a lot of questions about these bugs.

Doug Johnson, Extension Plant Pathologist, University of Kentucky

Figure 1. Immature green stink bugs on soybean.
I have been getting lots of questions about the bugs shown in this photo. Can you identify them? Folks are seeing lots of them in soybean fields. This photo by Patty Lucas shows a nice assortment
of the nymph stage (immature) green stink bugs. It is quite common to see aggregates of these near the end of the season. They are generally noticed because they are near the tops of plants, and leaves are beginning to drop.

Deadline to Enroll 2015 Wheat in SCO is September 30, 2014

Todd Davis, Assistant Extension Professor, University of Kentucky

Even as farmers are learning the details of the 2014 Farm Bill, an important Farm Bill deadline is quickly approaching for wheat producers. The new crop insurance add-on, Supplemental Coverage Option (SCO), has an enrollment deadline of September 30. Since SCO is administered by the Risk Management Agency (RMA), SCO has the same deadline for making any changes as your other crop insurance policies for wheat.

SCO is a county-level revenue risk management insurance product that works in conjunction with your underlying farm-level insurance product. SCO can be used with either revenue protection (RP) or yield protection (YP) insurance products. SCO is designed to cover some of the loss, at an area basis, not covered by the underlying policy. Think of it as insurance on the deductible of the underlying insurance product.

New Soil Extension Specialist Excited to be in Kentucky

Figure 1. Dr. McGrath demonstrating variable rate
nitrogen application in corn using
GreenSeeker Sensors to Lynne Hoot, executive director
of the Maryland Grain Producers Utilization Board.
On July 1, 2014 Dr. Josh McGrath started with the Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, College of Agriculture, Food, and the Environment, University of Kentucky as an Associate Professor and Extension Specialist in soil management. Prior to joining the faculty at University of Kentucky, Dr. McGrath was an Associate Professor and Extension Specialist at University of Maryland and was heavily involved in Chesapeake Bay water quality issues.

Dr. McGrath’s research and Extension program in Maryland focused on agricultural productivity and environmental quality as they relate to soil fertility, nutrient management, and water quality. He has conducted research and Extension programming on enhanced efficiency fertilizers, phosphorus management to protect water quality, sulfur fertility, in-situ treatment of agricultural drainage to remove phosphorus and nitrogen; precision agriculture and variable rate nutrient management; and manure management in no-till.

Wheat Disease Management for 2015 Starts Now

Don Hershman, Extension Plant Pathologist, University of Kentucky

Wheat diseases reduce grain yield and/or quality in most years. Many wheat producers rely on foliar fungicides as their primary disease management weapon. Foliar fungicides are certainly an important disease management tool. However, pre-plant decisions made – that is, decisions being made right now for the 2015 wheat crop - have the greatest impact on which diseases develop during the season and to what extent. Thus, it is critical to make as many of the “right” decisions as possible to reduce the potential for diseases to reduce both grain yield and quality next spring.

For more on how pre-plant decisions impact disease potential, go to this link:

Monday, September 15, 2014

Soybean Sudden Death Syndrome Update

Don Hershman, Extension Plant Pathologist

Symptoms of sudden death syndrome.
There have been numerous reports across the state of soybean sudden death syndrome (SDS) showing up in certain fields since August. SDS, which can be a devastating disease, is caused by the soil fungus Fusarium virguliforme (Fv).  Fv is actually a soilborne fungus that attacks roots early in the season and later causes a root rot. Infection is favored by cool soils with good moisture; thus, this spring was perfect for infection in most full-season fields. As plants go into the reproductive stages, the causal fungus produces a plant toxin that causes above ground foliar symptoms of yellowing and tissue death between the veins (see below picture), and later defoliation. If the disease comes into the field during the early pod development stages, and enough of the field is impacted, SDS can result in almost total yield loss. This is, however, an extremely rare event in KY. More typically, the disease causes significant yield losses in spots in a field - usually the lowest portions where soil moisture is greatest - but the majority of the field has little to know yield impact.  That is, most plants either escape disease altogether or symptoms come in after mid to late -pod fill. Plants showing late symptoms will generally yield very well. Thus, the appearance of symptoms is not necessarily a good indicator of yield loss potential. Timing of symptoms is everything when it comes to SDS.