Friday, December 16, 2016

2017 University of Kentucky Winter Wheat Meeting

Colette Laurent, Grain Crops Group Coordinator, University of Kentucky

The 2017 University of Kentucky Winter Wheat Meeting is slated for Thursday, January 5, 2017 at the James R. Bruce Convention Center in Hopkinsville, KY. Registration begins at 8:30am (CST). The meeting will run from 9am - 3pm. Lunch is sponsored by the Kentucky Small Grains Growers Association.

• Weed Problems in Winter Wheat - Garrett Montgomery
• Management of Stripe Rust and Fusarium Head Blight of Wheat - Carl Bradley
• Economic Tools for Improved Decision Making in Wheat Production - Jordan Shockley

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Fall Corn Planting

Chad Lee, Extension Agronomist, Director: Grain and Forage Center of Excellence, University of Kentucky

Volunteer corn after harvest in 2016.
Drive just about anywhere in the state and you can find old corn fields that have a tremendous amount of young corn plants in them. The amount of plants in fields and the number of fields with volunteer corn plants seems much higher than normal. The extent of ground cover by the young plants makes the fields look as if someone intentionally planted them to corn this fall. There may be a few reasons for this.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Corn Hybrid Trials Online

Chad Lee, Extension Agronomist, University of Kentucky

The University of Kentucky corn for grain hybrid trials and corn for silage hybrid trials are online.

The corn for grain trials were planted at seven locations around the state, two of which are irrigated. Hybrids were divided into early, medium, late and white corn tests. The early hybrids were rated to mature by 111 days or earlier. The medium hybrids were rated to mature in 112 to 115 days and the late hybrids were rated to mature at 116 days or later. The report includes yields, test weight, moisture, final stand and lodging. All of these parameters help assess hybrid quality. When possible, yields are averaged across two and three years. The three-year averages across all locations provide the best predictor for hybrid performance next season.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Late Dry Weather is Hurting Corn and Soybean Yields

Chad Lee, Extension Agronomist, University of Kentucky

The USDA NASS lowered their estimates for Kentucky corn yields by 10 bushels per acre and soybean yields by 2 percent in their latest report. The negative numbers reflect calls and comments we are receiving from producers across the state.

In August, most of our corn and soybean fields looked great. The foliage was lush, canopies were closed and the crop looked to be in excellent condition. Now, farmers are getting surprised about low yields in some fields. Just to clarify, these reports do not reflect all fields. There are some really good yields being reported. But, there are some really bad yields as well and these fields were the surprise. I think the biggest contributor to these bad surprises is the weather. Most of Kentucky was wet early and dry late. The wet weather encouraged shallow root systems. The dry weather late penalized crops with shallow roots.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

2016 Early Bird Meetings

Colette Laurent, Grain Crops Coordinator, University of Kentucky

The University of Kentucky Grain Crops Team and Cooperative Extension Service are happy to offer the Early Bird meetings for 2016. The primary goal of these meetings is to bring  research and information to help producers discuss options for next season. The three meetings are scheduled for December 6th, 7th and 8th and will occur in Sedalia, Henderson and Hopkinsville, respectively,  The session will begin at 8:00 am (CST) and end with lunch.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Decision Tools for Hauling Grain to Market

Jordan Shockley, Farm Management Specialist, University of Kentucky

Harvest season is upon us and while transporting grain to the market may be the last input cost in the production of grain it is a critical decision a producer has to make, especially when margins are thin. Determining which market to sell your grain (if you have options) can be a complex decision. Most producers, especially in Western Kentucky, have multiple potential markets to deliver their grain. This leads to the question of, “Should I sell my grain to the closest elevator or should I transport it a further distance to an elevator offering a higher price?” What market you choose not only will determine the price you receive but will also determine the cost associated with transportation. The market that provides the highest price is not always the most profitable price. The trade-off between maximizing price per bushel received from the buyer and minimizing transportation costs could be the difference between making a profit that year or being in the red. 

Monday, August 29, 2016

Preparing for the Winter Wheat Planting Season

Carrie Knott, Extension Agronomist-Princeton, University of Kentucky
The optimal planting window for winter wheat in Kentucky is quickly approaching: October 10-30. Prior to the physical planting of wheat, farmers must make several critical decisions to maximize wheat grain yield and profitability the following June.  

Friday, August 19, 2016

Pay Close Attention to Moisture of Corn for Silage

Chad Lee, Donna Amaral-Phillips and Nick Roy
Extension Agronomist, Extension Dairy Nutritionist and County Extension Agent, University of Kentucky

Milkine is a poor indicator of
whole plant moisture.
The wet August and healthy corn crop are great for tonnage, but will present challenges for determining when to harvest the corn crop for silage. Whole plant moisture is the most important factor for deciding when to harvest corn. Ideal whole plant moistures are 65 to 70% for bunker silos, 62 to 65% for uprights and 62 to 68% for silo bags. Moisture at harvest determines how well the chopped crop will pack which directly impacts the quality of silage when fed-out. Silage harvested too wet will undergo an unwanted fermentation and could limit feed intake and hurt the health of dairy cattle. Plant growth stage is another consideration, but it secondary to whole plant moisture.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Soybean Yield Expectations when Planting in July (and possibly August) in Kentucky

Carrie Knott, Extension Agronomist-Princeton, University of Kentucky

The 2016 soybean season has quickly become a challenge for much of the state. For soybean fields planted in June, stands were reduced because of the extremely dry conditions across much of the state. Some regions received less than 2” for the entire month of June. These struggling soybean stands were then inundated with significant rain starting over the Fourth of July weekend and not ending until last week. The official precipitation recorded by University of Kentucky Agricultural Weather Center was as much as 10” for parts of the state. However, localized reports of more than 16” occurred. This led to considerable flooding in the state or at a minimum extended periods of saturated soil conditions. As such, many producers are considering replanting soybean fields.

The first question on most minds is “How much yield should I expect from late-planted soybeans?”.

Monday, July 18, 2016

The sugarcane aphid arrived to KY a month earlier in 2016 than in 2015

Raul Villanueva, University of Kentucky Extension Entomologist

Insect description and damage
The invasive sugarcane aphid (SCA) Melanaphis sacchari has arrived to Kentucky almost a month ahead in 2016 compared to 2015 ( Sugarcane aphids have caused yield losses going from 30% to
Figure 1.  An adult SCA (pink arrow) and first 
instar nymphs (blue arrow) detected on a sweet 
sorghum  field in Trigg County, KY on 07/15/16. 
(Photo credit Raul T. Villanueva)
100% to sorghum grower since 2013 on many states of the US. Sugarcane aphids affected severely grain and sweet sorghum fields last year in GA, SC, MO, and TN and KY. Last Friday (7/15/16), a small numbers of sugarcane aphids were detected in a field of sweet sorghum in Trigg County (Fig. 1). Although the numbers are still low in this field, populations may pick up sooner. So far in the U.S all SCA populations are composed by female individuals. Each female can produce 6 to 12 nymphs per day, and in less than one week they can complete its life cycle. This rapid life cycle can cause quick outbreak of SCA populations.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Corn Disease Update

Dr. Carl A. Bradley, UK Extension Plant Pathologist

Figure 1.  Lesions of northern leaf
blight on a corn leaf
(Photo: Carl Bradley, UK).
With the recent rainfall received in the state, conditions have become more favorable for some foliar corn diseases that are now being observed. UK Plant Pathology interns have been scouting corn fields in western Kentucky for the past few weeks, and they have been observing northern leaf blight, gray leaf spot, common rust, and Diplodia leaf streak. As of July 12, southern rust has not yet been identified by UK Plant Pathology personnel in the state. Below are my thoughts about these diseases and the use of foliar fungicides to manage these diseases.

For more information on Corn Disease in KY see the article on Kentucky Pest New

Precision Ag Data Management Workshop: VI

A Precision Ag Data Management Workshop is scheduled for July 28 and July 29, 2016 at the UK Research and Education Center in Princeton, Kentucky. Dr. Joe Luck at Nebraska is coordinating the workshop. Other speakers include Dr. Mike Sama and Dr. Josh McGrath (both at the University of Kentucky
Topics include crop canopy sensor technologies, converting soil test algorithms to prescriptions, UAV applications in agriculture, setting up on farm research using SMS software, analyzing yield data with as-applied planter data and on-farm research for soil nutrients (P & K)
The workshop is sponsored by the Kentucky Corn Growers, Kentucky Soybean Board and the Kentucky Small Grain Growers Association.
The workshop is scheduled to begin in the afternoon following the Corn, Soybean and Tobacco Field Day.

RSVP to Adam Andrews ( or 502-974-1121

Friday, July 8, 2016

Flooded Corn and Chance for Survival

Chad Lee, Extension Agronomist, University of Kentucky

Flooded corn, Butler County, KY.
Image taken July 8, 2016
by Greg Drake,
ANR Extension Agent
Reports of flooded corn are coming in from around Kentucky. Corn survival is dependent on the crop stage, the depth of flooding, the duration of flooding and the soil type in the field as well as other factors. The following are some key points to corn survival after flooding.

Complete Submersion: A Short Window

Much of the corn flooded in Kentucky is between tasseling and blister stage (VT to R2). If temperatures were greater than 77 degrees F the likely will not survive 24 hours of complete submersion.  The Kentucky Mesonet reported the July 5, 6 and 7 daily average temperatures near 77 degrees for Butler, Caldwell, Christian Counties and Henderson counties. You still want to inspect the fields, but you may want to call the insurance adjuster as well. Normally, submerged corn is a bad option for silage because of the increased risk for Clostridium bacteria which hurts the fermentation process and increases the risk of botulism toxins.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

2016 UK Corn, Soybean & Tobacco Field Day

The 2016 UK Corn, Soybean & Tobacco Field Day will be held Thursday, July 28th at the UK Research and Education Center in Princeton, (1205 Hopkinsville St., Princeton, KY 42445). Registration will begin at 7:00 am (CDT) and the tours will begin at 7:50 am (CDT). The field day will conclude with lunch provided by the Kentucky Soybean Board & the Kentucky Corn Growers Association.

Field Day Topics Will Include:

• Soil Water, Crop & Remote Sensing Measurements for Irrigation Management

Friday, July 1, 2016

How to monitor and when to control the early abundance of thrips on soybeans fields?

Raul Villanueva, Extension Entomologist, University of Kentucky

Insect Description and Damage 
While monitoring an experimental soybean field in Princeton, I have not noticed major insect pest problems during the earlier stages of soybean growth, with the exception of thrips. Thrips are tiny, slender insects (less than 1/16 inch) with characteristic fringed or bristled wings; they have rasping and sucking mouth parts. During feeding, mouth parts scrape the epidermis of the soybean leaf (it can damage flower, bud, or fruit on other plant species) and then suck plant fluids. In addition to these plant feeding thrips, there are beneficial thrip species that prey upon small insects and spider mites. 

Friday, June 17, 2016

Corn Blown Down in Western Kentucky

Chad Lee, Extension Agronomist, University of Kentucky

Corn broken at the nodes. These plants will not recover.
Photo credit: Nikki Bell.
Corn in western Kentucky was blown down from strong winds and storms the past few days. Corn that is broken at a node is not going to recover. If the roots are attached to the soil and the nodes are not broken, then the corn has a very good chance to recover. The following images are from Nikki Bell, Agriculture and Natural Resources Extension Agent in Marshall County, Kentucky.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Corn Diseases to Watch for in 2016: Southern Rust and Tar Spot

Dr. Carl A. Bradley, UK Extension Plant Pathologist

Orange pustules of the southern rust pathogen
covering a corn leaf (Photo: Carl Bradley, UK)
Two corn diseases are already making some news this season. Southern rust and tar spot have been detected in southern states and could potentially make their way to Kentucky this season. So, keeping a lookout for these two diseases is a good idea.

For more information on Southern Rust and Tar Spot see the article on Kentucky Pest News .

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

2016 UK Wheat Field Day Talks Available Online

If you were not able to attend the 2016 UK Wheat Field Day and would like to see what you missed click on the following you tube links:

Preemergence and Postemergence Control of Italian Ryegrass in Wheat
UKREC Extension Weed Science Specialist Jim "Chip" discusses preemergence and post emergence control of Italian rye grass in wheat. Chip's final presentation at Princeton Wheat Field Day before his retirement this summer! 

Friday, May 13, 2016

Corn Planting Dates and Blacklayer

Chad Lee, Extension Agronomist, University of Kentucky

Farmers are considering replanting some corn fields. If replanting occurs, there are questions about maturity groups and when to expect harvest.

Later Plantings Reach Blacklayer Faster
As corn planting is delayed, heat units or growing degree days (GDD's) accumulate more rapidly. This more rapid accumulation of GDD's essentially speeds up the growth and development of hybrids. For example, a hybrid that requires 2700 GGD's to reach blacklayer needs about 130 days when planted on April 1 in Mayfield, KY. That same hybrid planted May 15 requires about 109 days, a 21-day difference.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Corn Replanting - Disease Risks

Replanting and delayed planting of corn puts the crop at higher risks for certain diseases. The following is updated excerpt from AGR-195 Replanting Options for Corn.

Diseases and Replanted Corn
Delayed planting or late replanting, could result in increased outbreaks of several diseases.
The "virus complex": Infections of Maize dwarf mosaic virus and Maize chlorotic dwarf virus, viruses which survive in johnsongrass rhizomes and are spread (vectored) by aphids and leafhoppers, respectively, cause the virus complex. Compared to corn planted on time, late-planted corn is at an earlier stage of crop development during periods of peak vector activity, and earlier growth stage infection usually results in more severe disease symptoms.

Corn Replanting - Herbicide Replant Restrictions

As farmers consider replanting corn, the herbicides already applied may limit the options for replant. The following table is an updated version of the table 8 in AGR-195 Replanting Options for Corn. The table below lists corn herbicides and the potential risk associated with replanting corn, grain sorghum or soybean. This table is not exhaustive, and the herbicide label should be consulted for more details on crop rotation limitations.

Corn Replanting - Removing a Poor Stand

As farmers debate about destroying poor stands of corn and replanting, there are several herbicide guidelines to consider. There are several options to remove a poor stand, but those options depend on the type of hybrid currently growing in the field.
The following is an excerpt from AGR-6 2016 Weed Control Recommendations for Field Crops.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Check out the latest "Wheat Science News"

The UK Wheat Science Group would like to invite you to check out the latest issue of the "Wheat Science News".

Included in this issue: Importance of Wheat Growth Stages • 2016 Kentucky Wheat Vomitoxin Survey Form • Wheat Outlook and Profitability Potential • Fungicide Efficacy Table for Wheat Diseases • Introduction of Dr. Raul Villanueva & Dr. John Grove • Upcoming Events for 2016

Visit the UK Wheat Science Group webpage for past issues of the newsletter and other wheat related information.


Colette Laurent, UK Grain Crops Coordinator

The annual UK WHEAT FIELD DAY is slated for Tuesday May 10, 2016 at the UK Research and Education Center in Princeton, KY.
Registration will begin at 8:00 am (CDT).  The tours will end at noon and field day will conclude with a lunch sponsored by the Kentucky Small Grain Growers Association.

Field Day Topics Include:

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Be on the Lookout for Wheat Rust Diseases

Carl A. Bradley, Extension Plant Pathologist, University of Kentucky

Stripe rust (Fig. 1) was diagnosed by the Plant Disease Diagnostic Laboratory at the UKREC this week in a wheat sample that came from Lyon County.  In addition, leaf rust (Fig. 2) of wheat has been observed in states south of Kentucky (Arkansas and Mississippi), and appears to be moving northward.  Some wheat varieties have high levels of resistance to these diseases; therefore, it is important to know the susceptibility of the varieties planted. Resistant varieties likely will not require any additional management for rust disease control; however, a foliar fungicide application may need to be considered for susceptible varieties. The 2016 multi-state university foliar fungicide efficacy table for wheat diseases can be found here:

Monday, March 21, 2016

Canola Freeze Injury

Flowering canola plant. Princeton, KY. 21 Mar 2016.
Carrie Knott, Extension Agronomist-Princeton, University of Kentucky

Quite a bit of information for winter canola freeze injury exists (see the end of the blog for links).

This past weekend, most of the state remained in the low-30s°F. Weather data can be found at: or  At these temperatures significant damage, even to flowering canola is not expected.  The critical temperature for winter canola is mid- to low- 20s°F. 

Friday, March 18, 2016

Potential for Winter Wheat Freeze Injury

Wheat Head Freeze Damage, 2015. 
A freeze event (24°F or less for more than 2 hours)
occurred at Feekes 6 (jointing).
Carrie Knott, Extension Agronomist-Princeton, University of Kentucky

Much of Kentucky’s winter wheat crop is still tillering (Feekes 4-5; Figure 1) or just beginning to joint (Feekes 6; Figures 2 and 3). The weather forecast for this weekend is predicting that some areas of Kentucky will dip to 32°F or less. Given that most of our wheat is at Feekes 4 or 5, with some at Feekes 6, these temperatures are not cause for concern.  

Temperatures must be 12°F or less for 2 or more hours to injure wheat that is at the Feekes 4 or 5 growth stages, which much of our state is now.  For the more advanced wheat that is jointing, Feekes 6, temperatures must fall to 24°F or less for 2 or more hours.  Although the weather forecasts do not project conditions that we would expect wheat injury, examine weather data and scout your fields to determine is freeze injury occurred. 

Freeze injury can occur in small areas of fields, which are associated to low areas of fields where cold air settles.  Be sure and check for wheat stems damage close to the soil surface; characteristic symptoms of freeze damage are listed in Table 1.  It typically takes about 10 days of warm temperatures before injury can be seen.  Weather data can be accessed by clicking on the link of your county at or

Figure 1. Wheat field at Feekes 4 growth stage 

Figure 2. Wheat at Feekes 6 growth stage.
"Joints" are indicated with orange arrows.
Figure 3. Wheat at late Feekes 5/early Feekes 6 growth stage.
The "joint" (growing point; around the 1-3/8" mark) is right at
or slightly above the soil surface.  This 'joint' is visible
after the top few leaf sheaths were removed.   

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Agronomic Considerations to Maximize 2016 Wheat Profitability

Carrie Knott, Extension Agronomist-Princeton, University of Kentucky

Despite the blanket of snow many of us woke up to this morning it is the time of year to be considering nitrogen applications and other input decisions for this year’s wheat crop.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Register for UK Small Grain Disease Workshop – February 5, 2016

Carl A. Bradley, University of Kentucky Extension Plant Pathologist

Fusarium head blight (head scab)
A small grain disease workshop will be held at the University of Kentucky Research & Education Center in Princeton, KY (1205 Hopkinsville Street) on February 5, 2016. This is an all-day event with pre-meeting coffee and snacks beginning at 8:00 AM and presentations beginning at 8:30 AM. The meeting includes a lunch sponsored by the Kentucky Small Grain Growers Association and will adjourn at 4:00 PM. In addition to speakers from the University of Kentucky, the meeting will also feature speakers from Kansas State University, Purdue University, and Ontario, Canada.

There is no charge for this meeting, but PRE-REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED. The meeting is limited to the first 150 people that register.