Sept. 29, 2015 08:00 AM

Visits to New York, Georgia, California

By Ev Thomas
Oak Point Agronomics, New York

Corn silage harvest is in full swing, with many farms already finished. Conditions have been ideal — warm and sunny, and no rain of consequence for almost two weeks. Some farmers are surprised at how dry the crop is, but they shouldn’t be, given the hot August and early September. One way to estimate yields (on a relative basis) from the pickup seat is to look at how much corn is left standing after the silos are full, many to overflowing. I saw one farmer apparently experimenting with the use of asphalt for his bunker silo floor: His silo faced the road, and he’d so overfilled the silo that the silage extended onto the pavement of the county road. Alfalfa continues to look really good, but cool-season grasses have slowed down considerably because of the warm, dry weather. My lawn is showing a few brown patches for the first time since late May, but we’ve yet to miss a weekly mowing all season. A lot of Northern corn leaf blight in the region, to the extent that one crop consultant is recommending that NCLB resistance be the number one selection criterion in ordering seed corn for 2016.

By Dennis Hancock
Extension Forage Specialist
University of Georgia

The annual fall planting rush is on! Cool and moist conditions in many areas of the state have enabled producers to begin planting their cool season forages. Producers are finding winter annual seed prices are considerably higher than normal. Seed yield of some of the best varieties of annual ryegrass, the most widely planted winter annual in the U.S., was 10 to 30 percent lower than normal in the Pacific Northwest. Similarly, locally produced small grain seed yields were low, as well. This has caused a considerable increase in seed price for all of our winter annuals. Since winter grazing plays a prominent role in minimizing hay feeding in Georgia, many producers will be forced to rely more heavily on hay this winter. Fortunately, most producers report normal to slightly above normal hay stocks after a fairly productive growing season. Additionally, forage quality is tracking about 5 to 8 percent better than the 10-year average.

By Steve Orloff
Farm Advisor/Siskiyou County
University of California-Extension

The season is clearly winding down — temperatures have cooled significantly and growers are finishing up their final cutting of the year. While there has been a little rain, there have been adequate windows to put up quality hay. With the cooler temperatures and lower yield on this late-summer cutting, many fields should produce Premium or Supreme dairy quality alfalfa. Most fields have already been cut and baled, but many fields where a fourth cutting is planned are not yet harvested. Frosts have already occurred in some portions of the intermountain area, but they have not been severe enough to injure the alfalfa. Some growers have forgone a fourth cutting, especially where water is scarce or where alfalfa growth potential is too low to be profitable with the current low prices. Seedling alfalfa fields were planted in late August to early September and stands look strong with favorable growing conditions.

As mentioned in earlier reports, orchardgrass yields have been significantly lower than normal this year, primarily due to the hot temperatures, and large areas of some fields even appeared dead. Fortunately, many of those plants have since recovered; however, armyworms have invaded some of these fields and populations are over 20 larvae per square foot. Adequate control has been difficult.