June 2012 archive

Cooperative Extension Weed Science Field Day 2012

Cliff Blessing

Cliff Blessing has been coming to Weed Science Field Days since 1989, back when they were a component of the larger Farm Home Field Day held on the University of Delaware’s Carvel Research and Education Center in Georgetown. Blessing joined the  Delaware Department of Agriculture that same  year “when they drafted me to work  two days a week,” he recalls. Blessing’s farm in Harrington grows corn, soybean, lima beans, peas, sweet corn, wheat and barley. Since working for the DDA, Blessing has left the general operation of the 2500 acre family farm to his grandson Dale while he works with DDA’s noxious weed program.

“This is the coolest day I can remember,” said Blessing, who recalls a tradition of much hotter field tours. Blessing was one of more than 60 growers, pesticide applicators, crop advisers and agricultural professionals from Maryland and Delaware who attended the June 27 session to obtain new information on various trial results and best practices in crop and weed management.In addition, attendees could receive continuing education credits for Delaware and Maryland  for pesticide applicators and Certified Crop Advisers. are  conveyed to those who attend the day’s tours. The weather cooperated with a perfect day to examine trial results, take resource photographs and exchange information with others in the ag community.

Weed Science Field Day is organized by Mark VanGessel, University of Delaware extension specialist and professor in the Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, and his team of weed science researchers, Barbara Scott and Quintin Johnson and summer students and interns.

Throughout the year UD Extension and research staff conducts unbiased studies on more than 70 trials (which amount to more than 700 comparisons) most are devoted to key agronomic crops, and evaluate their effectiveness of weed management. Chemical, mechanical and cultural practices are evaluated. Their findings are published in an annual guide of trial results that is made available to attendees and the results serve as the basis for educational programs throughout the year and provide the experience to answer questions from farmers and the agricultural industry.

This year, two new weeds, Palmer Amaranth, Amaranthus palmeri and Texas panicum, Panicum texanum, have been added to Delaware’s noxious weed list along with johnsongrass, Sorghum halepense, Canada thistle, Cirsium arvense, bucurmber, Sicyos angulatus and giant ragweed, Ambrosia trifida.

The goal of Weed Science Field Day is to deliver the latest research to the agricultural community. Communication to the industry is a key component in Delaware’s continued agronomic success and is part of Cooperative Extension’s outreach mission. Many of the plots are identified by signage indicating the particular study and methodology.

At the Thurman G. Adams Research Farm,  trials are conducted with the preemergence and post emergence herbicides to carefully evaluate their effectiveness and their usefulness in Delaware crops. “We have to determine if it has a fit for us in Delaware,” says VanGessel on the application of new products.

Mark VanGessel provides a brief overview of corn trials before growers and CCAs take a closer look

Timing of applications is crucial. VanGessel toured no-till soybean trials and introduced system trials using reduced tillage organic grain production with a three- year rotation of field corn, soybeans & winter wheat. Tilling only once a year, the trials relies on cover crops with high- residue cultivation for weed control. It is  a  joint project with Penn State , USDA,  and NC State.

Also featured was a processing vegetable trial with a range of management strategies  including conventional tillage growing many- on one extreme  placing reliance on legume crops such as, lima beans, snap beans, soybeans in the rotation and in the other extreme using little or no tillage with range of grain crops. Soil health, crop growth and weed control is evaluated in this  trial. The tour then moved onto corn trials.

Blessing enjoyed the information and the camaraderie of Weed Field Day.  As the self-described oldest employee at DDA, Blessing, age 87, plans to retire this year from government service, but not from farming. He intends to return to the family business, Water Way Farms and keep an eye on things from an air conditioned office. No doubt, future participation at events like Weed Science Field Day will be on his active calendar. ” Cooperative Extension does a lot to help keep us in the know. They show us what to do.” Blessing says. “It gives us a lot to go by.”

Additional photos of the 2012 Weed Science Field Day can be found below.



A beautiful day for “You Just Have to Look”

It couldn’t have been a nicer day for 59 registrants who attended You Just Have To Look, a family friendly Master Gardener workshop!  Before outside explorations, Master Gardener Brent Marsh provided workshop attendees with an orientation of the wonders of insect life in the garden.  One of the highlights was how different mature insects look from baby insects, how insects change and transform, and what is the difference between a good or “beneficial” insect and pest insects that eat crops!

With 10X triplet loupes in hand (children got to take theirs home) everyone went out to the Sussex County Master Garden Demonstration Garden for an afternoon of family, learning, color and exploration.

“You Just Have to Take a Look” at these photos!

Subsurface irrigation is researched at Warrington Farms

The benefits and efficacy of subsurface irrigation, an alternative to the more common Center Pivot system, is being evaluated by researchers and scientists at the University of Delaware. At the 18-acre Warrington Farm in Harbeson, James Adkins, UD irrigation scientist, has overseen the installation of 44 different zones of irrigation tape placed under the soil 16 inches deep and 30 inches apart on the farm. One row of subsurface irrigation tape will irrigate two rows of crops. The irregular shape and different soil compositions at the farm make it an ideal subject for subsurface irrigation research. Corn and soybean are grown on the farm.

View our slideshow to watch as this innovative system is put in place. Note, opening and playing the slideshow in Flickr and selecting Show Options, will provide captions.

UD Extension short course on Pest and Beneficial Insects – June 26, 2012

June 26      6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.    Cost:  $10
Sussex County Extension Office, 16483 County Seat Hwy., Georgetown, DE 19947
Using Integrated Pest Management (IPM )in your business?  Correct I.D. is key to control of pests in the landscape.
Enhance your skills at identifying both beneficial insects and pests in the landscape.

Instructors: Brian Kunkel and Tracy Wootten


To Register: Any County Extension Office

         302-831-2506; cjmurphy@udel.edu


         302-856-7303; wootten@udel.edu   


                     Hope you can join us!


  2 Pesticide, (Categ. 03,02, 06), and 1 CNP Credits

Cooperative Extension to hold Weed Science Field Day on Wed. June 27

Anyone with an interest in weed management is invited to  this year’s Weed Field Day at UD.  A variety of herbicide programs for conventional tillage and no-till production are being evaluated.  Many of the registered corn and soybean herbicides are being tested, herbicide evaluation for watermelons, weed control programs for snap and lima beans, and a number of studies with traditional soybean herbicide programs are included.  We have been fortunate with the weather to have all of the postemergence treatments applied to our corn and most soybean trials.  We will have more to view this year than we have had in the recent past.


The 2012 Weed Science Field Day will be held Wednesday, June 27, at the University of Delaware Research and Education Center, Route 9 (16483 County Seat Highway), Georgetown,.  The day will begin with registration at 8:15 at the Grove near the farm buildings and new office building on the north side of the road.  We will start to view the plots at 8:45 a.m.  Coffee, juices, and donuts will be provided.  We will also provide sandwiches for lunch.

Continuing education credits for Pesticide Applicators and Certified Crop Advisors will be available.

Here are some images from 2011 Weed Science Field Day


“You just have to look” – Sussex Master Gardeners offer an insect workshop June 26. 2012

The Sussex County Master Gardeners are pleased to invite the public to a presentation titled “You Just Have to Look” to be held on Tuesday, June 26, 2012 at 1 p.m.

The insects in our backyard are just as exciting as the wild animals in the jungle, but because they are so mall, you just have to look. Grownups, kids and grandkids will enjoy this lively presentation. We’ll end up with a safari outside to our Demonstration Garden. Bring the kids and grandkids or come by yourself.

Brent Marsh will be presenting this workshop at the Carvel Research and Education Center – Sussex County Cooperative Extension in Meeting Room 3. The workshop is free. Please pre-register by contacting Tammy Schirmer at (302) 856-2585 x 544 or by email: tammys@udel.edu.

Master Gardeners are working volunteers and are supported by the Delaware Cooperative Extension through the University of Delaware and the Delaware State University Extension offices. It is the Delaware Cooperative Extension’s policy that no person shall be subjected to discrimination on the grounds of race, creed, color, sex, age, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, veteran or handicap status. If you have special needs that need to be accommodated, please contact the office two weeks prior to the event.

Sussex Master Gardener to hold garden photography workshop

Tuesday, June 19, 2012, 2:00 p.m., Carvel Research and Education Center
16483 County Seat Highway
Georgetown, Del. 19947

(Route 9, one quarter mile past Sussex Tech High Schol)
Meeting Room 3

Presented by Bobbie Ranney, Master Gardener

The Demonstration Garden designed and maintained by Sussex County Master Gardeners provides many vignettes of color to capture the beauty of flora and fauna

Whether you want to document development of your own garden, capture the essence of gardens you visit in your travels, or take close-up pictures of your favorite flowers, this workshop will help you will gain insights that will enable you to take garden photos that look like they were taken by a professional. Bring your camera and we will go out to the Demonstration Garden to practice.

To register contact Tammy Schirmer at (302) 856-2585 ext 544.