Stands in some of the corn fields we are walking are a little spotty, with emergence problems and delays due to our very wet then very dry weather conditions. Ochs Consulting's Sion Williams and Eric Nixon, Pioneer Agronomist for the Western and Central New York region tested out Pioneer's Drone Deploy technology to do stand counts in some local fields this week. The drone gives a bird's eye view of the field, and the technology is able to look for gaps in plant emergence. Based on the photos it captures, it gives an average plant population at multiple points in the field, allowing for good decision making based on accurate information. If you'd like to learn more about how this technology works, check out this video from Pioneer.
In many of the local fields we are walking, the wheat is heading out. As the heads begin pollinating it is time to spray for Fusarium head blight. Earlier we were seeing heavy pressure from powdery mildew, but applications of fungicide have stopped the disease, preventing further yellowing of the leaves. We are also seeing cereal leaf beetles in some fields but not all. The photos below were taken locally, showing all of these issues cropping up. Unfortunately, with the dry, hot weather of a few weeks ago, many crop treatments have been compressed into a short window, with wheat, corn and hay fields all needing attention at the same time! Give us a call if you’d like us to scout some of your fields to help prioritize your fungicide applications with other crop needs.