Camden Crop News: April 2020

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N.C. Cooperative Extension of Camden County: We Are Here for You!

The COVID-19 coronavirus has brought many changes to daily life, however something that will not change is that our N.C. Cooperative Extension of Camden County staff are here for you. We will continue to assist the people of Camden County in the areas of agriculture, youth development, and family and consumer science as we always have. We are honoring social distancing guidelines, however please know that I am still conducting field visits and if there is any way I can assist you please do not hesitate to call me. Check out our County Extension website and our Facebook page to stay up to date with all that Extension is doing locally.

Preparing for Stink Bugs in Corn

While scouting wheat fields recently I have noticed a significant number of brown stink bugs present. With corn seed going in the ground, please find our latest stink bug thresholds below.Growth stage chart

Thresholds vary depending on stink bug pressure and are based on a 100 plant sample as described above (see table). These thresholds are not percentages, but numbers. If a single plant has multiple stink bugs, this must be counted into the total. If the number of stink bugs exceeds the number in the “treat” category, treat the field even if 100 plants have not been sampled. If the number per plant falls between the “treat” and “do not treat” category, take more samples until a confident decision can be made.

An excerpt from a 2019 article wrote by Dr. Dominic Reisig, NC State Extension Entomologist, stated: “Corn is susceptible to damage at three stages (roughly): V1 to V6, V14 to VT, and R1 to R4. Note that corn cannot be damaged by stink bugs from V7 until the primary and secondary ears are beginning to push out (just prior to tassel). You will find stink bugs in corn throughout the growing season, but the critical period to prevent ear damage is just prior to tasseling (a one-to-two-week window).” Read more 

Scouting for Wheat Freeze Injury

Dr. Angela Post, NC State Small Grains Extension Specialist, has put together a publication detailing how to scout wheat for freeze injury. The full article can be accessed at: Scouting for Freeze Injury in North Carolina Winter Wheat, and timely excerpts can be found below.

Freeze damage

Winter wheat becomes more and more susceptible to injury the more mature it becomes. It is most susceptible in the flowering stage when it cannot withstand temperatures below 30°F without being injured. Start your scouting efforts 5 to 7 days after a freeze event and begin with varieties that have the most advanced maturity. Sometimes the entire head is not affected. See also Figure 8.

Managing Head Scab in Wheat

Please see a message below in quotations from Dr. Christina Cowger, NC State Extension Small Grains Pathologist regarding head scab risk.

“For wheat flowering around April 17, risk of damage from Fusarium head blight (FHB, or scab) infection is low. The small amount of rain in the 7-day forecast suggests risk will remain low for wheat that is due to flower in that period. The same is true for barley heading now or in the next week. Recent low temperatures further reduce scab risk. An application of fungicide targeting scab is not warranted. The national scab risk map has a new interface (wheatscab.psu.edu). As before, the model shows risk as low, medium, or high for wheat flowering today. Estimated risk is based on relative humidity in the 15 days prior to today. By default, the map shows risk for moderately susceptible varieties, and it behaves very similarly for moderately resistant varieties. In the upper left corner, above the plus/minus symbols, is a square that provides a menu where variety resistance can be adjusted. Currently, risk is low throughout North Carolina for all levels of resistance.”

Unfortunately, the Penn State scab risk website tool has been hit or miss on working lately. Note that the rain in the forecast may certainly impact the map tool and our head scab risk locally. Also, risk had been elevated for wheat flowering April 9, with risk of damaging scab at medium to high for susceptible wheat varieties in our area.

Also, previous correspondence with Dr. Cowger revealed that: Miravis Ace, Prosaro, Caramba, and Proline are about equally effective in reducing scab at early wheat flowering and even several days later. None of those products, including Miravis Ace, is as reliably effective in suppressing scab if applied at 50% heading or another time before flowering. In other words, it is better to be a little late than to be early with scab-targeted fungicide applications.

COVID-19 and PPP: Farmer Resources and Emerging Issues

Robert Branan, NC State Extension Assistant Professor of Agricultural and Environmental Law has recently began an online article that he will continually update regarding COVID-19 legal issues for farmers. This can be accessed at: 

COVID-19 and PPP: Farmer Resources and Emerging Issues

So far The Farmers Legal Action Group’s Farmers Guide to COVID-19 Relief (April 2020), and a COVID-19 Resource Library from the National Agricultural Law Center have been posted here.