AG NEWS

Wise County Hay Show entries due

By Todd Vineyard | Published Wednesday, August 9, 2017

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With hay on every corner, and 2016 hay inventory substantially high, producers need to take every opportunity to market their hay to potential customers.

Forages for hay production will continue to rank at the top in terms of agriculture income for crops in Wise County. Therefore, with the high costs of production, it’s more important to put up a high quality bale of hay in order to make each trip across the field count.

The Wise County Hay Show and hay production clinic is Thursday, Sept. 7, at the Wise County Fairgrounds, but entries are due at the Extension office by Aug. 18.

Registration for the event is 9 to 10 a.m. There is no cost to attend, and lunch will be provided by McMaster, Ag Power, Zimmerer Kubota and Hendershot Equipment. Participants will receive two continuing education units for renewal of their pesticide applicator license.

Following lunch, hay entries, provided by hay show participants, will be auctioned to benefit the youth participating in the Wise County Youth Fair.

This year Eddie Funderburg with the Noble Foundation will talk about what it takes to raise quality hay. Funderburg serves as a senior soils and crops consultant in the producer relations program. He joined the Noble Research Institute in 2000.

Funderburg has broad experience in agriculture, including weed control, soil testing, soil fertility, fertilization of forage crops and improved pasture management. He has conducted numerous applied research projects examining herbicides, fertilizer rates, sources, timing and soil test calibration.

Specialists from John Deere and Ford New Holland, Kubota and Case will discuss and demonstrate operator techniques with new equipment and how that affects bale quality of the forage being grown.

HAY SHOW RULES

Official entry forms and hay samples will be accepted at the Wise County Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service Office, 206 S. State St., in Decatur until Friday, Aug. 18. If participants need a core sampler to pull samples, there is one available at the Extension office.

Entry fee is $20 per sample, which includes the lab fee for hay analysis. Producers may enter a maximum of two entries per category.

Categories include: 1. warm season perennial grasses (cuttings), 2. cool season annual grasses, 3. warm season annual grasses, 4. warm or cool legumes.

Hay will be judged and ranked in each category.

It will be judged by chemical score as follows:

% crude protein + (100 – % ADF). EXAMPLE: 20% crude protein hay with 25% ADF = 20 + (100 – 25) = 95

Hay entered in the Wise County Hay Show must have been produced in Wise County or by a producer who lives in Wise County. Hay Show results will be announced at the hay program and lunch Sept. 7.

Each exhibitor is encouraged to deliver a representative sample of each entry Sept. 6 or the morning of Sept. 7 before 9:30. (Call the Extension office at 940-627-3341 to set up a drop-off time.)

By displaying the entries, it will enhance the educational process of the Hay Show and forage program. Each producer is also asked to donate at least one bale (one small square bale or one large round bale) to the Wise County Livestock and Forage Committee to be auctioned during the lunch.

All proceeds from the auction will be donated to the Wise County Youth Fair.

Call the Extension office by noon Tuesday, Sept. 1, to pre-register for an accurate meal count.

FALL ARMYWORMS ARE HERE

There has been an outbreak of armyworms across the county this past week. Scout fields immediately. The following will guide you through the process.

The fall armyworm, Spodoptera frugiperda, is a common pest of bermudagrass, sorghum, corn, wheat and rye grass and many other crops in North and Central Texas. Larvae of fall armyworms are green, brown or black with white to yellowish lines running from head to tail. A distinct white line between the eyes forms an inverted “Y” pattern on the face. Four black spots aligned in a square on the top of the segment near the back end of the caterpillar are also characteristic of fall armyworm.

Armyworms are very small (1/8 inch) at first, cause little plant damage and as a result infestations often go unnoticed. Larvae feed for two to three weeks, and full grown larvae are about 1 to 1-1/2 inches long. Given their immense appetite, great numbers and marching ability, fall armyworms can damage entire fields or pastures in a few days.

Once the armyworm larva completes feeding, it tunnels into the soil to a depth of about an inch and enters the pupal stage. The armyworm moth emerges from the pupa in about 10 days and repeats the life cycle.

The fall armyworm moth has a wingspan of about 1-1/2 inches. The front pair of wings is dark gray with an irregular pattern of light and dark areas. Moths are active at night when they feed on nectar and deposit egg masses. A single female can deposit up to 2,000 eggs, and there are four to five generations per year. The fall armyworm apparently does not overwinter in North Texas but survives the winter in South Texas. Populations increase in South Texas in early spring, and successive generations move northward as the season progresses.

Fall armyworm outbreaks in pastures and hay fields often occur following a rain, which apparently creates favorable conditions for eggs and small larvae to survive in large numbers. Hay fields with a dense canopy and vigorous plant growth are often more susceptible to armyworm infestations than less intensely fertilized and managed fields.

Irrigated fields are also susceptible to fall armyworm infestations, especially during drought conditions. Also monitor volunteer wheat and weedy grasses in ditches and around fields, which may be a source of armyworms that can move into the adjacent crop.

Look for fall armyworm larvae feeding in the crop canopy during the late evening and early morning and during cool, cloudy weather. During hot days, look for armyworms low in the canopy or even on the soil surface where they hide under loose soil and fallen leaves.

A sweep net is very effective for sampling hay fields for fall armyworms. When fields are wet with dew, armyworms can stick on rubber boots worn while walking through the field. Small larvae chew the green layer from the leaves and leave a clearing or “window pane” effect and later notch the edges of leaves.

The key to managing fall armyworms is frequent inspection of fields to detect fall armyworm infestations before they have caused economic damage. Once larvae are greater than 3/4-inch long, the quantity of foliage they eat increases dramatically. During their final two to three days of feeding, armyworms consume 80 percent of the total foliage consumed during their entire development.

The density of armyworms that justifies insecticide treatment depends on the stage of crop growth and value of the crop.

Seedling plants can tolerate fewer armyworms than established plants. Infestations of more than two to three armyworms (1/2-inch or longer) per square foot may justify an insecticide application. If practical, apply insecticides early in the morning or late in the evening when armyworm larvae are most active and therefore, most likely to come into contact with the insecticide spray. If the field is near harvest, an early harvest, rather than an insecticide treatment, is an option.

Parasitic wasps and flies, ground beetles and insect viruses help suppress armyworm numbers. However, these natural enemies can be overwhelmed when large numbers of migrating moths move into an area and weather conditions favor high survival of eggs and larvae.

A list of labeled insecticides for armyworm control in pastures and hayfields are Karate Z, Lambda-Cy, Mustang Max, Tombstone Helios, Warrior II, Baythroid XL, Dimilin 2L, Prevathon, Besiege, Sevin 4F, Sevin XLR, Sevin 80S, Generic Carbaryl, Malathion, Intrepid 2F and Tracer.

For detailed information on each of the herbicides, you can call the Extension office. Always read and follow all label instructions on pesticide use and restrictions.

The information above is provided for educational purposes only. Read the current label before use.

Todd Vineyard is a Wise County Extension agent.

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