UVM Extension - Champlain Valley Crop, Soil & Pasture TeamJUNE 2012 
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Jeff Carter
Extension Agronomist
(802) 388-4969 ext.332

Rico Balzano
Agronomy Outreach Professional
(802) 388-4969 ext.338

Kirsten Workman
Agronomy Outreach Professional
(802) 388-4969 ext.347

Cheryl Cesario
Grazing Outreach Professional 
(802) 388-4969 ext. 346 

Poultney Mettowee NRCD
(802) 558-6470


UVM Extension helps individuals and communities put research-based knowledge to work.

  Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work, Acts of May 8 and June 30, 1914, in cooperation with the United States Department of Agriculture. University of Vermont Extension, Burlington, Vermont. 


University of Vermont Extension, and U.S. Department of Agriculture, cooperating, offer education and employment to everyone without regard to race, color, national origin, gender, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, and marital or familial status.

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Q: ELSIE...I still don't have my corn planted.  How late can we plant corn in Vermont and still harvest for silage?Ask ELSIE

A: As we all know from last year, you don't always get to plant corn as early as you'd like depending on the weather and many other issues.  Although, you may feel pressure to get your corn in the ground as early as possible, UVM research has shown that you can still get good harvests of silage corn that is planted late into June.  How you may ask?  Variety selection is key.  When selecting seed for late season planting, be sure and select hybrid  varieties that require less Growing Degree Days (or GDD) than their longer season cousins. Less than 1900 GDD is a good rule of thumb.  These shorter season hybrids are able to mature to the proper harvest moisture by fall.  In addition to variety selection, other factors will still play a role in determining yields.  Precipitation, fertility, pests, weeds, and the actual number of GDDs of the season will all influence the quality and quantity of your yields. 

er Darby and Dr. Sid Bosworth, UVM Extension Agronomists)

If you would like to Ask ELSIE? a question, please email her by clicking  HERE.

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UVM Extension
Champlain Valley Crop, Soil & Pasture
June has arrived, and with it all the craziness of harvesting crops, planting crops, grazing animals, fighting the weather and MORE.  So on that note we are keeping our June newsletter short and sweet. 

PLEASE READ THE FIRST ARTICLE ABOUT ARMYWORM!!  This pest is not new to Vermont, but some years are worse than others (like 2001 and 2007).  Fields have been hit fairly hard in New York and NW Vermont already.  Go out and scout your grass and corn fields, and read the information below.

We have lots of useful information in our newsletter and hope you take the time to read it.  If you would like to see more or different things included in this newsletter, please let us know.  We want this to be a useful form of communication with information YOU want to know and READ.  Be sure and share it with your friends and neighbors!!

News and Events
For Vermont Farmers in the Lake Champlain Watershed


Armyworm, Black Cutworm in VT 

Last week heavy populations of Armyworm  were reported in western New York and early this week we have observed significant damage to several corn and grass fields in Franklin, Grand Isle, and Chittenden Counties of Vermont. Damage to second cut grass hay, field corn, and sweet corn has been reported in these areas.


Please don't panic, but do go out and scout your corn and grass fields for armyworms. When full grown, the caterpillars can be almost 1.5 inches long. The caterpillars are usually greenish or brownish, but can be almost black. The sides and back of the caterpillar have light colored stripes running along the body. The caterpillars normally feed at night and much damage can occur before they mature. The preferred foods are grasses including corn, small grains, and forage species. They first strip the leaves and then consume midribs, seed heads and finally stems. They will feed on other plants if grasses are unavailable. Feeding will start on the lower leaves and move upwards. A large population can strip an entire field in just a few days. When the field is eaten they "march' to adjacent fields

Click HERE for a publication with information about scouting and control options.
Click HERE for a publication about recovery from armyworm damage

Black Cutworm is also a pest to be aware of.  It is usually an issue in corn, but can also affect wheat, vegetables and other crops.  Like Armyworm, it is a sporadic with occasional major outbreaks.  As their name suggests, Black Cutworm larvae will cut off plants at the stem.  If soil moisture is adequate, this occurs just above the soil surface.  If soil conditions are dry, it will occur below the soil surface manifesting as wilted plants that usually die.
Click HERE for a fact sheet with more information


JUNE 2012
June 10 - RMA: Final planting date for silage corn, grain corn, and soybeans.
               Click HERE for more Crop Insurance deadlines and dates

June 10-30 - RMA: Final Planting Date for Fresh Market Sweet Corn
                    (varies by county)
                  Click HERE for more Crop Insurance deadlines and dates.

June 26 - Diversified High-Quality Forage Production (Randolph, VT)

                11:00 am to 3:00 pm...Beidler Family Farm
See annual forages including oats, BMR sorghum sudangrass, and millet being grown to produce high quality forages. Organic corn silage/grain and perennial forage variety trials will be visited.  Brent and Regina Beidler will share their farm's history, their ongoing research projects and collaborations, and production of small grains for feed and value-added products.
More information, including where to register HERE.

June 27 - Tile Drainage and Reduced Tillage Systems (Franklin, VT)
               10:00 am to 2:00 pm...Windfall Acres Farm
Wayne and Nancy Fiske, will describe reduced tillage systems that have worked best for them.  Learn how to convert a corn planter for no-till, see a variety of reduced tillage equipment available in the area, and observe alternative tillage into alfalfa. 
More information HERE.

June 29 - NW Crops and Soils Grain Research Tour (Alburgh, VT)
              1:00 pm to 3:00 pm...Borderview Research Farm
Come check out all the grain research trials that are usually harvested by the time of their Annual Field Day.  Over 1000 plots of spring and winter wheat, heirloom wheat, spring and winter barley, oats, small grain trials on planting dates, weed control, and organic fertility.

JULY 2012

July 12 - Value-Added Grains  (New Haven)
               11:00 am to 3:00 pm...Olivia's Croutons
Franci Caccavo will describe how she's adapted her love of farming to fit with Vermont's localvore demands by processing farm-grown grains into value-added products.  We will tour the fields and processing facilities.
More Information, including where to register HERE.
July 15 - RMA: Acreage Reporting Deadline for Barley, Corn, Spring Forage
              Seedings, Wheat & Soybeans.
              Click HEREfor more Crop Insurance deadlines and dates.

July 24 - Integrating Oilseeds into Diversified Agriculture (Brandon, VT)

July 12 - Value-Added Grains  (New Haven)
3:00 pm - 6:00 pm...Wood's Market Garden 

Jon Satz will describe how they have integrated oilseed production into their vegetable operation, and the benefits and challenges they have had in doing so.  Satz harvested about 5 acres of sunflowers for oil and meal in 2011, and will  talk about some of the production, management, harvesting, and processing issues that are specific to his operation.

More Information, including where to register HERE. 




by Nate Sands, Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food, & Markets  


Claims for payments for practices implemented between April 1 and July 1, 2012  

are due by July 15.


Applications deadline July 1, 2012*:  

We are accepting applications for the following program practices that will be implemented July 1, 2011 - December 15, 2011. The practices include: conservation crop rotation, summer and nurse crop cover cropping, alternative manure incorporation, aeration tillage, conservation tillage, strip cropping, and cross-slope tillage.  

*Funding is likely available for applications received after the July 1 deadline, but funding levels for these practices may be at reduced rates. Our goal is to receive and review applications prior to the practices being implemented.


Winter Cover Cropping deadline:  

Applications for fall 2012 are due by August 1. Applications received after August 1 will be funded at $15/acre instead of the full $30/acre payment.


Please contact Nate Sands at (802) 224-6850 or nathaniel.sands@state.vt.us prior to implementing any practices to verify whether or not funding is available.  


Applications and information are available online HERE


JUNE 2012

9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m

Hundreds of Northeastern livestock farmers met Kathy through her visits to New England in the last year, becoming excited about teaching their own livestock to become weed managers through her simple, quick process. Live presentations and demonstrations, at multiple Vermont locations to be determined. CONTACT:  www.uvm.edu/pasture | Jenn Colby  | 802-656-0858.

June 19 - Breeding and Genetics: Considerations for Organic Dairy Farms
               (eOrganic Webinar)  2:00 - 3:15 pm  
Dr. Brad Heins (University of Minnesota) will address breeding and genetic considerations on organic dairies, including an evaluation of breeds common to organic dairy farms (calving, production, components, and economic performance), the latest research on cross breeding, and considerations for your farm. To learn about this and other webinars visit this website



  by Cheryl Cesario, Grazing Outreach Professional 


Well-managed pasture can be high quality forage, when the stand is dense, at least 6-8 inches tall, and a mix of grasses, legumes, and herbs. To maintain a pasture-based dairy ration, dry matter intake from pasture must remain high. When this intake is limited, milk production decreases. So what influences how much pasture forage an animal will consume? For starters, a high plant density in the pasture leads to higher intake because the animals don't have to spend time walking around and nibbling for forage. Instead, they can stand in one spot, taking several bites from a diversity of plants before moving on. With each bite, the cow will be grabbing large mouthfuls of pasture plants. This equates to more rapid rumen fill. Why is this important? There is a limit to how much time a cow will spend grazing each day. Cows also need time for rest and rumination. The less energy a cow has to expend finding food, the better. If she can only take so many bites per day, then those bites need to be as full as possible. Ideally, ruminants will be provided with an abundant, nutrient-dense 'salad' each time they go out to graze.  

A: Low Density Pasture = less intake
B: High Density Pasture = faster rumen fill 















Would you like to get from A to B to maximize your pasture potential? With funding from NRCS, resources are available NOW for grazing system planning. If you would like assistance developing a grazing management plan, contact Cheryl Cesario at 388-4969 x 346.

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Jeff Carter,
Extension Agronomist
UVM Extension- Champlain Valley Crop, Soil & Pasture Team