Johnston County Ag Report
November 15, 2013
The Johnston County Ag Report is edited weekly by Agricultural Extension Agents at the Johnston County Extension Center. If you have any questions about the content, please call the Extension Center at 919-989-5380.
Tim Britton, Extension Agent – Field Crops
Dan Wells, Extension Agent – Livestock
Amie Newsome, Extension Agent – Horticulture
Shawn Banks, Extension Agent – Horticulture
Bryant Spivey, County Extension Director
USDA Designates 13 Counties in North Carolina as Primary Natural Disaster Areas With Assistance to Producers in Surrounding Areas
WASHINGTON, Sept. 18, 2013 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has designated 13 counties in North Carolina as primary natural disaster areas due to damages and losses caused by excessive rain and flooding that began May 1, 2013, and continues. Those Counties are:
Farmers and ranchers in the following counties in North Carolina also qualify for natural disaster assistance because their counties are contiguous. Those counties are:
Kudzu Bugs-Please don’t blame the farmers
We have had several phone calls about kudzu bugs congregating on houses and vehicles in the past few weeks. Kudzu bugs tend to gather on white or light colored structures and vehicles in the fall and can be a nuisance to homeowners. However, we should not be blaming the local farmers for this problem.
The kudzu bug was introduced to the U.S. in 2009 and is now found in most North Carolina counties. A true bug roughly the size of a lady beetle, it uses its piercing sucking mouthparts to rob plants of water and nutrients and can cause significant yield loss.
The kudzu bug is primarily a pest of legumes such as kudzu, wisteria, beans, and soybeans. Some growers have observed them feeding on sunflowers and they may be observed congregating on many different plants. They also seem to like congregating on figs and grapes but as far as we can tell they don’t seem to be feeding on these crops. However, this is a new pest so we don’t yet know all its hosts, and it may acquire new hosts here in the U.S.
Due to the potential reduction in yields from kudzu bug, North Carolina Cooperative Extension have been educating farmers on scouting techniques and economic thresholds for kudzu bug. For the most part, farmers are doing an excellent job in Johnston County of scouting and controlling kudzu bugs when these economic thresholds are reached.
So, why do I have so many on my house? When Kudzu bugs leave their food source for overwintering, they look for habitats in nature to spend the winter. Unfortunately, kudzu bugs release a congregating pheromone that attracts other kudzu bugs to the same area. This pheromone can attract kudzu bugs for miles to an area like the side of your house or your front porch, which appears to be an excellent overwintering site. The soybean fields around you can have very few kudzu bug in them, but a few kudzu bugs from several fields congregating in one area can be nuisance.
Just a few tips to help with Kudzu bug
• Cut back any kudzu or wisteria you can.
• Seal cracks and crevices in your home.
Place screening over possible routes of insect entry into the house
Check to make sure screens on windows are well-seated and without holes
Check to make sure soffit, ridge, and gable vents are properly screened
Stuff steel wool into openings where screening cannot be used, such as around pipe penetrations
Make sure doors establish a tight seal when closed
• Clean the area inside the house where bugs have appeared with soap and water.
• Large numbers of bugs should be vacuumed, not sprayed.
Use a shop vac with soap and water inside to clean up the bugs since the odor will linger in a conventional vacuum cleaner.
• Conventional bug sprays will kill the bugs, but make sure you use one that is safe for plants.
• Avoid squashing the bugs since their residue will leave a stain.
Grazing or feeding Late Planted Grain Sorghum
A late planted milo (grain sorghum) crop that failed to produce a head can be used for livestock forage. Similarly, milo stalks can be grazed or baled after the grain is combined. It is important to note that sorghums contain cyanogenic glycosides which can cause paralysis or urinary disorders in horses. So horses should not graze any species of sorghum. This is not a problem for ruminants.
The feed quality of milo fodder can be quite variable, so testing is recommended. Milo stalks baled after combining typically range from 4-7% Crude Protein and around 50-52% TDN (Total Digestible Nutrients) so they would likely require supplementation, especially for growing or lactating animals.
Prussic acid poisoning is a possibility with standing sorghum forage, particularly after a frost. Unlike nitrates, Prussic acid deteriorates with time. If forage containing high levels of Prussic acid is ensiled, it will usually be safe to feed within three weeks after silo fill. Hay that has dried down to 18% moisture or less will not contain toxic levels of Prussic acid. Standing plants killed by frost are usually safe to graze after about a week. However, in some instances only plants in certain portions of a field are initially killed, and subsequent frosts create danger spots in other areas. Grazing should be avoided when frost is possible, and for at least a week after the last green material is killed by frost. Never turn hungry cattle onto a potentially toxic field.
Johnston County Agribusiness banquet –December 12th
We would like to invite you to attend our Agri-business council banquet on December 12th, 2013 at 6:30 PM. The banquet will be held at the Johnston County Ag Center at 2736 NC 210 Hwy, Smithfield, NC, 27577. The speaker will be Dr. Bill Collins. Bill is the co-author of a book on Flue-Cured Tobacco production published in five languages including Chinese. During his career, he has visited the tobacco production areas of 44 countries. Bill has been a leader or co-director of nine Agricultural Leadership Development programs including the current 2012-14 program. Your attendance and support of the Johnston County Agribusiness Council in greatly appreciated. The cost for the banquet will be $10.00 per person. Also, be prepared to pay membership dues for 2014. Dues for 2013 are $10.00. Please pre register by Wednesday, December 11th by calling the extension office at 989-5380.
Tobacco Day-December 5, 2013-Johnston County Ag Center
Tobacco Day is an annual educational event offered by the faculty of North Carolina State University in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Growers, extension personnel, researchers, all agricultural industry personnel, media representatives, and all others interested in tobacco are invited to attend. Activities will include the latest information presented by NCSU Extension Tobacco Specialists from various departments in our college, pesticide and CCA credits, a flue-cured variety display, and tobacco great recognition. The meeting will be held at the Johnston County Ag Center on Thursday, December 5th. Pre-registration is required by clicking more information below.
Youth Livestock Festival Meal-November 22
The Johnston County Youth Livestock Festival Meal will be held November 22, 2013 from 5-8 PM at the Johnston County Livestock Arena, 520 County Home Rd, Smithfield. This is an all-you-can eat buffet style meal featuring pork and beef barbecue, chicken pastry, chitterlings, baked sweet potatoes, hush puppies, collards and more. Musical entertainment will also be provided. Both eat in and take out will be available. Tickets are available from Johnston County Youth Livestock Program participants or may be purchased at the door. Tickets are $12. For questions contact the Johnston County Extension Office at (919) 989-5380.
As wet weather delays the harvest over much of North Carolina, Extension crops experts encourage soybean growers to combine as early as possible to prevent yield losses due splitting, lodging or poor threshing of the plant. However, they caution, if soybeans are harvested at greater than 14 percent moisture, artificial drying is necessary. Growers should manage their options for storing higher-moisture soybeans according to the following recommendations.
Soybeans with greater than 14 percent moisture are likely to mold under warm conditions. However, if the storage temperature is kept below about 60 degrees, soybeans can usually be stored for at least six months at <14 percent moisture) without mold problems. For storage in temperatures higher than 60 degrees or for periods of time lasting longer than six months, the recommended moisture content is 11 percent. Soybeans harvested at 11 to 13 percent moisture can be placed directly into ordinary storage bins equipped with simple aeration systems.
In regard to harvest loss, soybeans that don’t make it inside the combine account for roughly 80 percent of harvest loss. To minimize this loss, it is essential to remember that ground speed, combine adjustments, and the location and speed of the pickup reel are important factors. These items should be checked periodically in the field and combine may need adjusting for the crop conditions. To estimate soybean harvest loss: Extension specialist suggest, check an area of 10 square feet. Approximately 40 soybeans lost in this area will add up to one bushel per acre. Make loss determinations at several locations and calculate an average.
It is time to make the change from late and medium varieties to early heading varieties. By now you should have increased seeding rate by 5% a week for three weeks. Next week another 5% increase is needed to get enough seed in the ground to have the tillers needed to create the potential for a high yielding crop.
Proper seeding rate is important. If planting on-time with 90% or better germination seed, the recommended target seeding rate is 1.3-1.5 million seeds per acre. Considering the timing, that should be 1.6-1.8 million seeds per acre. The above rates should be increased 20% for no-till plantings. Increase the above rates 13% if using 80% germination seed.
Planting saved Wheat Seed
We are strongly recommending that growers do not used saved wheat seed this fall due to the amount of smut and disease in this past crop. However, if you are going to use it anyway, do not wait until the last minute to get your seed checked for germination. I would wait no later than August first to send your samples in.
Planting Wheat After Sorghum
If you plan to plant 2013-14 wheat on 2013 grain sorghum land, please read the following information sent by Dr. Randy Weisz, NCSU Extension Small Grain Specialist. Please call if you would like to discuss this further.
Sorghum has a chemical in the soil that can hurt wheat. Little is known about it, and tests have never been done in this part of the county. So, we have little data to go on. The problem is most severe in no-till wheat following sorghum. Some reports have shown up to a 25% yield reduction when no-till wheat follows sorghum. Some reports have shown less. Tillage helps. Yield reductions in tilled wheat following sorghum have ranged up to 10%.
Growers who want to plant wheat following sorghum should know that this might be a problem for them. Because very little research has been done in this area, it is difficult to make recommendations to assist folks who want to do this. But, here are several suggestions that may help.
1) Use glyphosate to kill the sorghum. If the sorghum is left alive and starts to regrow after harvest, the new roots will continue to exude the toxic compound.
2) Use tillage to incorporate sorghum residues and hasten their decomposition.
3) Delay wheat planting. This is tricky. Delaying wheat planting can in-and-of-itself reduce wheat yield, but it may also help to allow the toxic compounds to decompose.
4) Make sure the wheat is treated to high pre-plant fertility levels. Make sure pre-plant N, P, K, and S are at or above recommended levels.
5) If planting wheat after tillage check stand establishment and watch early tillering. The problems are most likely to show up early in the season and look like either a poor stand, or a good stand that starts to go backwards. Early N in February may help.
6) If planting wheat no-till, watch the wheat plants both early for stand establishment, tillering (and need for February N), and also in the spring!!! Research has shown that the problem may not start in no-till wheat until the spring when plants may begin to turn yellow and abort tillers.
We are learning as we go on this one! Hopefully by next year we will have a lot more concrete information about this.
Pesticide Container Rinse and Recycle Program
The pesticide container rinse and recycle program has expanded to two new locations, giving Johnston County more room to properly dispose of pesticide containers.
These sites are located at 820 Stewart Road in Four Oaks, 1096 Scout Road in the Bentonville area, 9349 NC Hwy 96 S in the Meadow area, 5677 US Hwy 301 in Kenly, 15031 Buffalo Road in Clayton, and at the Johnston County Landfill site on County Home Road in Smithfield.
Properly rinsed containers can be taken to these sites during normal operating hours. You do not need a county solid waste sticker to dispose of containers. Remember, to remove the label and lid, on buckets, remove the label and large lid, and on 35 and 55 gallon drums, drill holes in bottom and do not crush.
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