By Jason Hartschuh, Crawford County Extension
Farm Science Review and OSU Agronomy Team have been working hard to bring you an unforgettable show from September 21 to 23. You will have the opportunity see the latest technology and resources for your farm in the agronomy team area at the east of the Review grounds just inside gates B & C and near the general parking area. We have a great set of demonstrations showcasing some of the research we are currently doing around the state both on-farm and at our research stations to help answer your production questions. You can walk through the plots at your own pace or have a private tour anytime during the entire show.
One major yield thief in both corn and soybeans is compaction. One type of compaction is pinch row compaction, here we will show how the utilization of tracks and various types of tires can affect your crop. Very high flex tires can decrease field compaction by lowering inflation pressure once in the field after road travel to maximize the tire footprint. See this demonstrated in the plots with a tractor that has tires on one side inflated to road pressure and the other to field pressure. Knowing the correct inflation pressure to the exact psi is critical. For producers who stop in the morning, we will have a raffle to win a high accuracy tire pressure gauge by guessing the inflation pressures on this tractor both for road travel and field use. The winner of the raffle and the proper inflation pressure will be announced each day at noon.
Our work with producers around that state to maximize corn and soybean yields is demonstrated in a set of high yield demos. The plots are receiving the exact amount of water they need each week utilizing soil moisture sensors to determine the irrigation amount needed. The plots are also being spoon-fed nutrients to make sure nothing limits their ability to maximize yield. These maximum yield plots are much taller and greener this year than the traditional management plots.
Another area we have been focusing on is cover crops and how to help producers implement them into their operation. Cover crop management can be a challenge at times. One of the management challenges we will demonstrate this year is the tough decision of if your agronomic crop should be planted once the cover crop is terminated or while it is still green. Cover crops can be killed utilizing herbicide or a roller-crimper. Crimping these cover crops at the proper growth stage is important for termination. Before we terminate cover crops, we must establish them. One of the challenges with establishment is herbicide carryover. Various herbicides have different effects on our ability to establish the cover crop. Learn more about the interaction of herbicides and cover crops in our plots. We also inter-seeded 11 different species of potential cover crops for you to see how well they can survive under a corn canopy in this year’s plots.
While cover crops can protect the soil during heavy rainfall events and their roots can help improve soil health they can also be utilized as a forage source for livestock. Selecting the best cover crop for both of these needs can increase farm profitability. These cover crop forages can be summer or winter annuals. The incorporation of perennial forages into your farm can have numerous benefits. We have planted many of these perennial forages for you to view and understand why they may be right for your farm.
There is nowhere near enough space in the agronomy plots to show you all the research being done in Ohio to assist growers. To learn about more research we have going on around the state or how to conduct research on your farm pick up your own copy of the eFields on-farm research report. Additionally, you will have the opportunity to learn even more about our research by taking virtual reality tours of our research stations while visiting us at the agronomic plots. Take time to learn more about where wheat in Ohio goes and how it ends up on your neighbor’s plate. You can also interact with our water quality team to learn more about conservation practices for your farm that will improve the quality of water leaving your farm.
While at FSR there are many other great OSU agronomy areas to visit. These include the Farm of the Future to learn more about up and coming precision agricultural technologies. Field demos are a great way to check out new equipment and find some of your favorite Extension educators passing out water to keep you hydrated.
Also take time to stop by the new iFarm Immersive Theatre. It offers a series of experiences where viewers can get a unique perspective on a variety of agricultural and natural resource practices. The iFarm Immersive Theatre is similar to an IMAX theatre, where the viewer is surrounded by the program. Like attending a movie theatre, attendees can choose which virtual experiences they would like to view. Experiences related to agronomy include: planting, input delivery, aerial fungicide application, harvesting, field scouting for pigweed identification, weather, and grain bin entrapment rescue training. In total there will be 18 different immersive experiences.
A few other areas that may catch your interest are the new Carbon Center or the old stand-by places to rest your tired feet and talk with a farm management expert or listening to presenters in the Ask the Expert Area, Small Farms Area or the Gwynne Conservation Area. Lastly, for anyone looking of Certified Crop Adviser credits stop out to the agronomy team area at any time throughout the day for a half hour private tour or select sessions in the other aeras (for a complete CCA schedule visit agcrops.osu.edu).
See you at the Farm Science Review!