Crops



A successful wheat harvest begins at planting time

By Dusty Sonnenberg, Matt Reese and Dale Minyo

It has been said that the greatest yield potential a crop has is when the seed is in the bag. Once a crop is planted, everything that occurs after that point impacts yield. For Doug and Jeremy Goyings of Paulding County, that means intensive management of the winter wheat crop: from a timely planting in the fall immediately after soybean harvest, to the split application of topdress nitrogen in March and April, to the use of fungicides and insecticides to protect the crop in the late spring and early summer. The Goyings had the top yield in Ohio’s 2021 Wheat Yield Contest with an entry of 138.4 bushels.

The Ohio Corn & Wheat Growers Association is pleased to congratulate this year’s Ohio Wheat Yield Contest State and District winners.

“Wheat can be a very profitable crop if you do the little extras and give it the necessary management attention,” said Doug Goyings.… Continue reading

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Lessons learned from the 2021 growing season

By Matt Hutcheson, CCA, Product Manager, Seed Consultants, Inc.

Every new growing season presents its own set of challenges and gives growers an opportunity to learn and improve their management practices, 2021 was no different. From the wet weather and adverse conditions early in the season to diseases and agronomic problems there is a great deal to be learned from this year.

One critical management practice that 2021 highlighted is the timing of planting operations. In many areas of the eastern Corn Belt there were large rain events that included cold temperatures and created adverse growing conditions for seeds and seedlings. The first 24 to 48 hours a seed is in the ground are critical to seedling development. In that time period the seed is taking in moisture and beginning the germination process. When planted directly before a cold/wet weather event, seeds are at risk of imbibitional chilling injury. Agronomists and farmers observed chilling injury in corn and soybean fields that resulted in seedling damage, seedling death, and reduced stands.… Continue reading

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Keep on spraying: Fall herbicide treatments important in 2021

By Mark Loux, Ohio State University Extension herbicide specialist

We don’t usually run articles about fall herbicide application this late in the season, since most everyone is done applying by now. We’ve run several articles on this subject within the past couple months but here’s another one anyway, even if it makes us look pushy and obnoxious. Here’s why. 

The consensus of a bunch of competent field people seems to be that fall herbicide treatments are more important than usual this year, due to the product shortages and price increases that could really mess with spring burndowns.  We are all used to a plentiful supply of cheap glyphosate and 2,4-D, which may not occur again for a while. Fall treatments result in fields that are almost weed-free well into spring, so that an early May burndown has to control primarily a few spring-emerging broadleaf weeds (see photos). Benefits are numerous, but a primary one is that fall treatments create a spring burndown situation requiring a less aggressive burndown mixture. So,… Continue reading

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Tillage is useful for managing tar spot and other diseases

By Pierce Paul, Ohio State University Extension plant pathologist

Tillage to remove and speed-up the decomposition of crop residue will help to reduce the risk of tar spot as well as other diseases such as gray leaf spot and northern corn leaf blight that overwinter in infected stubble. This will be particularly important to reduce disease development in 2022, given that in many fields, most of the stubble that remain after harvest came from a 2021 crop with high levels of disease. Unless this stubble is buried or destroyed, several of the fungi that infected the crop this year will likely be available in fairly high numbers to infect next year’s crop. And under the right set of weather conditions, infections could occur much earlier next year, leading to greater damage to the crop. Remember, yield loss tends to be greatest when infections occur early (before grain fill is complete), especially if the hybrid is susceptible and the field is not treated with a fungicide in a timely manner. … Continue reading

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Transportation issues are affecting harvest completion

By Greg LaBarge, CPAg/CCAAmanda Douridas, Ohio State University Extension

Finding storage for harvested grain in parts of Ohio has become complex due to good corn yields, terminal elevators access to move grain out via rail, and some traditional storage not being available. It is unknown when the ability to accept grain at some terminals will improve. This situation has put some farmers without storage, or storage that is full, in a difficult position to complete the 2021 harvest. Economic decisions will need to be made soon, and none are ideal.

One option may be to haul grain to alternative markets. The availability of trucking and the cost of that trucking will impact this economic decision. A spreadsheet to estimate cost per bushel of trucking is available from the University of Kentucky at https://uky.edu/bae/sites/www.uky.edu.bae/files/Grain_trucking_cost_2010_1.xls  It is recommended to check with these alternative markets before heading their direction.

What losses to expect if the grain is left in the field?… Continue reading

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Managing soil fertility in the midst of record high fertilizer prices

By Dusty Sonnenberg, CCA, Ohio Field Leader, a project of the Ohio Soybean Council and soybean check-off

Record high fall fertilizer prices have everyone’s attention in production agriculture. Fertilizer is one of the key inputs in crop production, and looking ahead to the 2022 crop year, it may be the most expensive input depending on how it is managed. Steven Culman, Associate Professor and State Soil Fertility Specialist at The Ohio State University, said there are some options farmers have looking ahead to 2022 to manage this expense.

Ohio State University Researcher Dr. Steve Culman Soil Scientist, Ohio Field Leader
Dr. Steven Culman, Associate Professor and State Soil Fertility Specialist at The Ohio State University

“We’ve been telling farmers that soils are highly buffered, and they change very slowly, unless they are very sandy,” Culman said. “You can’t correct deficiencies in nutrients overnight. We have long term data that shows that when soils are in the maintenance range, that they are capable of providing crop nutrient needs for several years.”

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The successful switch to organic

By Brianna Gwirtz, OCJ field reporter

The most dangerous phrase to any multigenerational business is, “Well, that’s the way we’ve always done it.” 

Scott Myers is the third generation to farm at Woodlyn Acres Farm in Dalton. While away in college at the Ohio State University, Myers focused all his time on figuring out ways to return to the farm following graduation. In 2000, Myers started a hay business, selling to mainly local dairymen, and was able to return home to the farm. 

When milk prices started a downturn nearly a decade ago, many of his dairy customers transitioned to organic milk production in order to find a niche market. Myers saw an opportunity and his own niche market, so Woodlyn Acres followed suit. 

“Organic dairies are what got us considering switching our own fields,” Myers said. “I wanted to be able to support my customers.”

The transition to being certified organic started very slowly.… Continue reading

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Putting a value on manure: Part 2

By James Hoorman, Hoorman Soil Health Services

Farmers are looking for ways to lower their fertilizer bill as fertilizer prices soar.  While applying manure is more complicated than commercial fertilizer, manure is a valuable source of plant nutrients and improves soil health.  Putting a value on manure is not easy because it depends on many factors including how it is stored, applied, handled, etc. A review of 159 manure research articles found manure fields had an average yield increase of 4.4%. Adding roughly 5% yield increase to a 200 bushel/acre corn crop (10 bushels) adds value. Most of the yield boost did not  compare with the value of the P and K in manure according to Dr. Rick Koelsch from Nebraska.

Manure should always be tested because nutrients values vary. Take a manure sample close to the date of application to get accurate results. Soil testing is also recommended to avoid over application. 

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Ohio ethanol bill moves forward

On Nov. 17, the Ohio House of Representatives voted 89 to zero in favor of a bill that aims to offer qualifying fuel retailers a 5-cent-per-gallon tax credit for sales of fuel containing between 15% and 85% ethanol.

House Bill 165, would cap the total tax credit amount at $10 million and make the credit available for four years after the bill is signed into law.

“We are grateful for the overwhelming support of members of the Ohio House who voted in favor of HB 165, which would create a temporary tax credit for the retail sale of higher-ethanol blend fuel,” said Tadd Nicholson, Executive Director of the Ohio Corn and Wheat Growers Association. “[This] vote puts Ohio one step closer to increasing consumer’s choices and competition at the pump while protecting energy independence and market stability for our state’s grain producers. We look forward to continuing to advocate on behalf of this legislation in the Senate.”… Continue reading

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ODA, Ohio Christmas Tree Association send Ohio Christmas trees to troops overseas

Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) and Ohio Christmas Tree Association (OCTA) are partnering once again to send American troops stationed throughout the world an Ohio-grown Christmas tree. Operation Evergreen is an annual event being held today at ODA’s Reynoldsburg campus and organized by the Ohio Christmas Tree Association.

“Ohio Department of Agriculture is proud to be part of this holiday tradition that helps bring a piece of home to our military troops,” said Director Dorothy Pelanda, Ohio Department of Agriculture. “It is one small way we can help say thank you to those men and women who sacrifice time at home with their families for the greater good of serving our country.”

Trees are donated by various Ohio Christmas tree growers and inspected by ODA nursery inspectors before being sent to soldiers serving in the armed forces overseas. Trees received a phytosanitary certificate for international shipment and will be delivered to troops by UPS.… Continue reading

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Maximizing weed control amidst supply challenges

By Luke Schulte, Beck’s Hybrids

As harvest wraps up, it’s natural to want to take some time to recoup before jumping immediately into decision-making mode for the coming season. However, due to the uncertain availability of several post-emergence herbicides, an increased sense of urgency may be warranted to ensure your supply and formulate a plan to keep your soybean acres weed-free in 2022.

Over the last 18 months, many supply challenges have surfaced across multiple industries. The agricultural industry is currently facing many potential challenges heading into the 2022 planting season. While some herbicide shortages may be speculative, others appear more certain. Due to their broad-spectrum activity, glyphosate and glufosinate-containing (Liberty) herbicides are two of the most widely used herbicides on the market. These reasons, amongst other factors, have led to supply concerns with these herbicides as we look ahead to 2022.

Making the most of the glyphosate and glufosinate supply

Fall Applications (weather permitting)

Where possible, avoid using glyphosate this fall.… Continue reading

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Rotate SCN-resistant seed varieties for optimal protection

Understanding the difference between soybean cyst nematode-resistant varieties may help soybean growers understand the importance of rotating sources of resistance, which is one of the “active SCN management” strategies advised by The SCN Coalition. For combating SCN during the 2022 growing season, The SCN Coalition encourages growers to work with their advisors to select the appropriate SCN-resistant varieties.  

“Most soybean growers are familiar with PI 88788 and Peking, the two most widely used sources of resistance to soybean cyst nematode,” said Melissa Mitchum, University of Georgia molecular nematologist. “What might be news to growers is these different sources of SCN resistance have different resistance genes — also known as different modes of action.” 

Simply speaking, resistance from the PI 88788 line contains one gene, Rhg1. Resistance from Peking contains two resistance genes, Rhg1and Rhg4

“There are also different flavors — aka alleles — of the Rhg1 genes, which is where the A and B designations come into play,” Mitchum said.… Continue reading

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Maximum soybean yield starts with early planting

By Dusty Sonnenberg, CCA, Ohio Field Leader, a project of the Ohio Soybean Council and soybean check-off

Maximizing soybean yield starts with an early planting date and timely rainfall. According to research by Dr. Laura Lindsey, OSU Extension State Soybean and Small Grains Specialist, the best yields in the 2021 variety trials have come from early April planted soybeans that caught timely rains in the R3-R5 growth stage.

“According to the USDA NASS data, 7% of soybeans were planted in April this year, which was more than the past several years,” Lindsey said. “We had some trials that we started planting on April 5th, and the soil temperatures and conditions were nearly perfect.”

Dr. Laura Lindsey, OSU Extension Soybean Specialist

The growing conditions a soybean plant experiences throughout the season impact the yield. There are key times when rainfall is more critical than others. “The weather was pretty good this summer for soybeans.

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Is fall herbicide application part of the plan for 2022?

By Greg LaBarge, Ohio State University Extension Agronomy Field Specialist

The first question in that statement is: are herbicides available for fall burndowns? We hear there are shortages. Fall herbicides do work and can be an excellent start to your marestail management program. This year we let our marestail get too big in many areas and we still had a few out there at harvest.

We are just compiling the Extension fall soybean weed surveys; it is not quite so bad as last year but we still see waterhemp, giant ragweed, and marestail. The number of clean fields has gone up it looks like, likely due to earlier planting and then better timing on that first post application. 

I spoke with Tony Dobbels recently (on Mark Loux’s team) and discussed preliminary results of the fall survey. His response was that we have good technology for dealing with all of these weeds – RRExtend, LibertyLink and now Enlist3.… Continue reading

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Ohio Certified Crop Adviser of the Year nominations for 2022

By Greg LaBarge, Ohio State University Extension Agronomy Field Specialist

Almost every acre of crops in Ohio has a crop advisor working with the owner or operator. These advisors are to a great extent well trained, educated, and continue to learn about new ways of producing crops economically and in an environmentally safe manner. Ohio has approximately 500 Certified Crop Advisers helping manage those crop acres. Please nominate your CCA for Ohio CCA of the Year.

The Ohio Certified Crop Adviser of the Year award was designed to recognize individuals who are highly motivated, deliver exceptional customer service for farmer clients in nutrient management, soil and water management, integrated pest management and crop production and have contributed substantially to the exchange of ideas and the transfer of agronomic knowledge within the agricultural industry in Ohio.

The past 10 years of CCA of the Year:

For 2021, Thomas Puch of Heritage Cooperative was the winner.… Continue reading

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A few more thoughts on soil fertility…

By Greg LaBarge, Ohio State University Extension Agronomy Field Specialist

Our last article covered some things to think about with higher 2021-2022 fertilizer prices. Unfortunately, there was an error with the soybean removal rates in that article. So let’s correct that and give you the current phosphorus and potassium removal rates for our major grain (Table 1) and forage crops or crop residues (Table 2).

Including nutrient removal numbers for crop residue is not something we often do. The most common residue harvested is wheat straw, but the removal of corn stover and occasionally soybean residue are becoming more common. If a field has frequent residue removal, for instance, fields close to livestock facilities, the nutrients removed with residue should be considered in nutrient plans. The nutrient removal values here can help evaluate that need on your farm.

Table 1. Nutrients removed in harvested grain
 Nutrient Removal Rate (pounds/bushel)
CropP2O5K2O
Corn0.350.20
Soybean0.801.15
Wheat0.500.25
Source: Bulletin 974, Tri-State Fertilizer Recommendations for Corn, Soybean, Wheat, and Alfalfa
Table 2.
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Post-harvest field condition considerations

By Mitch Greve, AgriGold agronomist — Ohio

Corn and soybean harvest is in full swing throughout Ohio and as growers race towards completion it is imperative to be simultaneously thinking ahead towards next year. The most important question when exiting a field post-harvest is, what condition did I leave this field in? No-tillage, fall tillage, and cover cropping are the main practices a grower uses to help manage their fields in the fall. Irrespective of a growers management strategy, the importance lies in creating a level seed bed for spring to induce good seed to soil contact which promotes uniform seed emergence. 

No-tillage is when a grower leaves the fallow ground untouched post-harvest. A no-till management practice promotes better soil structure with larger macropores which can beneficially influence water and nutrient availability throughout the heat stress portions of the growing season. However, wetter springtime soil conditions coupled with cooler soil temperatures creates a more conducive environment for early season seedling blights on heavier or untiled ground.… Continue reading

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Fall soil fertility sampling

By Laura Lindsey, Emma Matcham, Steve Culman, Adapted from C.O.R.N. 2021-37

The fall is a great time to collect soil samples to identify any needs for lime, P, and K. Soil sampling either this fall or spring 2022 will be particularly important with the high costs of agricultural inputs. If soil test P and soil test K levels are within the maintenance range it is extremely unlikely that there will be a yield response with additional fertilizer application. For more information on the state soil fertility guidelines, see the newly revised “Tri-State Fertilizer Recommendations for Corn, Soybeans, Wheat, and Alfalfa” available here: https://agcrops.osu.edu/FertilityResources/tri-state_info

Keep in mind, when you collect a soil sample for fertility analysis, you can also collect soil for soybean cyst nematode (SCN) analysis. Please see Dr. Lopez-Nicora’s article on collecting soil samples for SCN in the fall.

When should you soil sample? Consistency is important. Sampling at the same time of the year the field was last sampled is ideal to help track trends.

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Biological buffering of nitrogen

By James Hoorman, Hoorman Soil Health Services

As crop prices increase, generally fertilizer prices increase as well. Farmers who are booking nitrogen (N) for next year are paying at least twice as much. N use efficiency is critical as farmers try to cut back on N usage while attempting to maintain crop yields. Building soil organic matter (SOM) and improving soil health improves N use efficiency.

Soil health and regenerative farming systems develop healthy soils with robust microbial communities that recycle soil nutrients efficiently to meet a crop’s nutritional requirements. In healthy systems, photosynthesis is maximized which produces large volumes of soil carbon as a food source for the soil biology. The soil biology then recycles those soil nutrients to the plant as plant available nutrients. Keeping soils high in SOM or carbon are a key factor in buffering N and keeping it plant available (Larry Phelan).

Inorganic N fertilizers are usually applied as salts which can be damaging to plants.

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2021 Ohio Grain Farmers Symposium

The 2021 Ohio Grain Farmers Symposium will be held Dec. 1, 2021 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Der Dutchman at  445 S Jefferson Ave, Plain City, OH 43064.

 The Ohio Grain Farmers Symposium offers grain farmers from around the state the opportunity to hear about the latest agricultural issues and trends impacting their operations while connecting with fellow farmers and industry experts. 

Ohio Corn & Wheat Growers Association members will also have the opportunity to voice opinions and elect board representatives during the 2021 OSA Annual Meeting. The agenda includes comments from Terry Cosby, Chief of the Natural Resources Conservation Service and presentation topics including: tax policy and American agriculture, nutrient management, renewable diesel, supply chain disruption, farm bill, and agricultural markets.

Register for the event at: ohiograinfarmerssymposium.org.… Continue reading

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