Agriculture News: Speakers from Novartis at next Cattlemen’s meeting

By Keenan Bishop, Published:

The next Franklin County Cattlemen’s educational meeting is Thursday.  

The association offers quarterly meetings to gather for a meal and listen to a speaker or two on timely topics as well as visiting and catching up with others. 

This month, Novartis will help sponsor the meeting. Anthony Stevenson, territory manager with Novartis and Dr. Mike Moore, professional services veterinarian with Novartis Animal Health, will be speaking. 

This is open to the public and new or potential members are encouraged to attend. Contact the office (502-695-9035) to let us know if you plan to attend so we can have a steak for you.

Those interested in joining or renewing their membership can bring a check for $25 for membership or $40 for couples to join the Franklin County Cattlemen’s Association. Or the check can be mailed to the Extension Office, the Kentucky Cattlemen’s Association (KCA) or bring to the meeting. Twenty dollars goes toward your KCA membership, which gets you a copy of the Cow Country News every month, among other things. 

Corn update

Chad Lee, UK grains specialist, blogs that corn planting is slower across the majority of Kentucky this year. Last year the wet weather created a lot of compaction issues when farmers went to the fields too early before the ground was dry enough, and Chad cautioned that the same thing may happen this year. He goes on to warn that getting into a field one day too early often leads to sidewall compaction, which can severely hurt yields.

Last year he reported that data he reviewed indicated that the best planting dates for Kentucky would be from about the last week of April through the third week in May. Chad recommended we are better off to not look at the calendar and simply look at our soil conditions before planting. 

Doug Johnson, UK extension entomologist, reported that the most recent capture number for armyworm moths in the UK Research and Education Center trap shows a decided decrease, an overall good sign that no large population is in the offing. 

He cautioned that this does not mean that a specific field will not have a problem population, only that there is unlikely to be a widespread problem. 

To take a quick look at your fields, he said to check the edges and especially where wheat may be lodged. Armyworm caterpillars do not like bright sunlight and will tend to occur in low light situations, such as in lodged plants or hidden under plant debris. 

It is a good idea to scout early in the morning or late in the evening, and/or during overcast periods. They feed from the leaf margin in toward the mid rib. In small grains, whole leaves will be consumed, but in corn these caterpillars tend to leave the center portion of the leaf alone. Also in corn, they may feed in the whorl and destroy the bud.

Caterpillars will begin to appear in low numbers as offspring of the earliest moths emerge then increase in size quickly. 

Larvae are greenish-brown with a narrow mid-dorsal stripe and two orange stripes along each side. The yellowish head is honeycombed with dark lines. 

Armyworms tend to do best in cool wet conditions. Warm spring weather favors parasites and disease development in the caterpillars. Armyworms are not hard to control. Losses are usually associated with lack of detection. Insecticides for use against this pest may be found online. 

For small grains visit http://pest.ca.uky.edu/EXT/Recs/ENT47-SmallGrain.pdf, for field corn go to pest.ca.uky.edu/EXT/Recs/ENT16-Field%20corn.pdf.

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