2022 Ohio Crop Tour summary

In 2021, we had great success combining a Virtual Tour with tremendous response from participants and our in-person tour in fields around the state. With this in mind, the 2022 Ohio Crop Tour included both in-person and a virtual option to let everyone in on the yield estimating fun. The 2022 Ohio Crop Tour is made possible by Ohio Field Leader — a project of the Ohio Soybean Council and soybean checkoff. Also, thanks to Ohio State University Extension educators around the state for working with us on the Virtual Crop Tour.

The in-person tour was held Aug. 8 and Aug. 9 with one group heading north and one group heading south. Each group sampled a representative corn and soybean field in 14 counties. 

This year’s in-person participants in the north were:

• Mike Hannewald, Beck’s agronomist

• Nathan Birkemeier, Putnam County farmer

• Samantha Funkhouser, Luckey Farmer Co-Op

•  Mark Worner, Agoro Carbon Alliance, Richland County farmer

• Dusty Sonnenberg, Ohio Field Leader/Ohio Ag Net.

This year’s in-person participants in the south were:

• Greg LaBarge, Ohio State University Extension

• Joe Everett, Shelby County farmer

• Ryan Hiser, Fayette County farmer

• Ross Black, Pickaway County farmer

• Matt Reese, Ohio’s Country Journal.

The in-person tour, after taking corn and soybean samples in 28 counties came up with a set of common themes. Most places had adequate moisture, with the exception of parts of southern Darke County and Preble County where it was very dry. The average corn yield from the Northern in-person tour was 185 bushels. The average from the Southern in-person tour was 183 bushels. The average corn yield from the virtual tour was 185 bushels. The average yield of all corn fields sampled was 184.3 as of Aug. 11. The average soybean yield from the in-person tour and the virtual tour from 37 samples of soybean fields around the state was 53.3 bushels.

Here are some other general themes from the 28 counties from the in-person tour.

A lack of disease pressure

“One of the most surprising things to me was seeing the lack of disease pressure. We know from last year with the high disease pressure we had we have the inoculum present, we’ve had favorable weather for disease development and of course we are growing corn and soybeans so we have susceptible crops. We have all 3 of the key components for disease to happen but we’re not seeing a lot of that disease out there,” Hannewald said. “We saw gray leaf spot (GLS) across a lot of the fields, but not often severe, a little northern corn leaf blight (NCLB) and no tar spot. In soybeans we saw Septoria brown spot in almost every field we looked at, but just on the very lower leaves and no frogeye. Some of these crops still have a long way to go so the disease could play a factor, but as of now we have healthy crops out there.”

“With the hot humid weather, I am most impressed by how these hybrids and varieties did against GLS and frogeye,” Black said. “It has been a very rare occurrence and we were pleasantly surprised.”

In-field variability

“In a year with such variability from row to row and ear to ear, but from county to county our yield numbers were fairly consistent,” Worner said. “We are maybe not looking at as good of a crop as we had a year ago, but it is a fairly consistent crop from county to county with a lot of variability in the fields.”

High corn populations yield better

“The differences in populations is showing up — what was planted and what came out of the ground based on the soil conditions at the beginning of the year,” Birkemeier said. “We are finding those higher corn yields are definitely coming from those higher populations.” 

Resilient crops

“We have all been impressed with how good the crops look after the conditions this year,” Everett said. “A lot of that has to do with the quality of these hybrids and varieties.”

“I have been impressed with what we have seen with regard to yields we have been seeing considering the drought we had in June,” Funkhouser said. “We have not seen anything drastically low.”

“It is amazing to see how resilient farmers are in terms of how they have reacted to the weather and the practices they have used to make sure these crops are as good as they can be,” Hiser said.

Many late crops

“We have a real range out there in terms of maturities with some corn not being pollinated and soybeans with a long way to go,” LaBarge said. “Weather is still going to be a great dictator for what we end up with at the end of the year.”

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