Get your waterhemp populations screened for herbicide resistance

By Dr. Mark Loux, OSU Extension State Weed Specialist, Adapted from C.O.R.N. 2021-24

We have been screening a random sample of waterhemp populations for herbicide resistance over the past two years.  Herbicides used in the screen include mesotrione, atrazine, 2,4-D, fomesafen, and metolachlor.

Mark Loux OSU Extension Weed Scientist
Dr. Mark Loux, OSU Extension Weed Scientist

Results of our research show that it’s possible for Ohio waterhemp populations to have some level of resistance to one, several, or all of these herbicides.  Glyphosate is not included because we assume almost all populations are already resistant to this.  We are also part of a regional project that has been screening for dicamba and glufosinate resistance with populations that we supply, although none has been identified to date.  Our sample size has been small so far, so at this point we are looking to expand our screening to include waterhemp populations submitted by anyone in Ohio looking for more information about their response to herbicides. 

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Inter-seeding cover crops research

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

There are many benefits cover crops offer when they are properly established. These benefits range from protecting soil, to reducing run-off of soil particles in an effort to retain nutrients, to increasing soil productivity and overall farm profitability. In some crop rotations, establishment is a challenge. Often, depending on the maturity of the cash crop, the establishment window is too late in the season to be successful for many of the species.

“Especially in a corn-soybean system, after the cash crop has been harvested for grain, it is often difficult to drill the cover crops and get sufficient growth,” said Sjoerd Duiker, Professor of Soil Management and Applied Soil Physics with Penn State University.  “Many have tried to establish a cover crop while the main crop is still growing in the field. Many times, the seeding applications are very inconsistent.

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OCTA Summer meeting

It’s time to register for the Ohio Christmas Tree Association (OCTA) Summer Meeting to be held at Advent Christmas Tree Farm in Englewood, Ohio. The meeting will be September 10 and 11. 

The host of the meeting will showcase their business as a Christmas tree farm. Some of the highlighted presentations at the event will include Christmas tree entertainment options, Agritourism: Maximizing the potential on your farm, a newgrowers series and classes to receive recertification credits. Anyone interested in the summer meeting should contact theOCTA office by emailing Valerie Graham, Executive Director at

 or visit… Continue reading

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Building yield all the way to black layer

By John Brien, Eastern Agronomy Manager for AgriGold

Raising corn is a complex and challenging endeavor no matter the year or the environment, but one of the most challenging parts of raising corn is ensuring the corn crop is producing yield all the way to black layer. Why is this so important? Because at dent stage, also known as R5, 65% of the dry weight of the kernel still needs to be accumulated. That 65% could easily equate to 20% to 25% of the final yield or 40 to 60 bushels of grain.

John Brien

The adage that once the corn reaches dent the yield is made and nothing can hurt it is a false statement. In corn production, agronomists talk about the length of grain fill and the longer a corn plant can accumulate dry matter, the higher the yield (not potential, actual yield). The extra time correlates directly to the importance of the R5 stage.… Continue reading

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How to distinguish flooding injury from Phytophthora or Pythium root rot in soybeans

By Dr. Anne Dorrance, adapted from C.O.R.N. 23-2021

Soybean roots and watermolds. Photo Credit – Dr. Anne Dorrance, O.S.U.

Flooding injury occurs when soils are saturated for several days and anoxia develops.  The roots are killed, as are the nodules that are home to the nitrogen fixing bacteria. The field has an “interesting’ smell but the key symptoms of this injury are on the roots. Dig up a few plants – if it is flooding injury the outside of the root – the epidermis will be easily pulled off the root leaving the white center – looks like rat tails. In addition, the nodules will be gray and easily crushed.

For Phytophthora stem rot – for those cultivars with low to moderate partial resistance ratings we will begin to see stem rot 5 to 10 days after the heaviest rains. On soybeans, a chocolate brown canker will develop, the plants will turn yellow, wilt and die.

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Soil microbes and hybrid vigor

The tiny organisms living in soil may have a greater effect on the yield and pest and disease resistance of crop plants grown in that soil than previously known.

Researchers at North Carolina State University and the University of Kansas have shown that soil microbes — microscopic organisms like viruses, bacteria and fungi found throughout nature — play a role in the phenomenon of heterosis or “hybrid vigor,” the superior performance of crossed plant lines, or hybrids, over inbred plant lines. Hybrids are often used by farmers for agricultural production due their superior crop yields.

Research into hybrid vigor has generally highlighted the roles of genetic and abiotic environmental factors behind the phenomenon. So finding that the biotic soil environment impacts heterosis was a bit surprising and serendipitous, the researchers say. 

“This work moves us toward a better understanding of what’s driving heterosis,” said Manuel Kleiner, an assistant professor of plant and microbial biology at NC State and a co-corresponding author of a paper describing the research.… Continue reading

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New bill seeks to eliminate ethanol RFS requirements

The National Corn Growers Association strongly opposes a bill that was introduced in the U.S. Senate in July, referred to as the “Corn Ethanol Mandate Elimination Act,” which would remove the implied conventional biofuel blending requirement from the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), increasing harmful emissions and use of fossil fuels.

“This bill is ill conceived and would have a devastating impact on air quality, the diversity of our energy supply, fuel prices and rural economies,” said John Linder, NCGA president. “Blending ethanol into the fuel supply is one of the most effective ways to lower carbon emissions to combat climate change and replace the most toxic components of gasoline.”

Today’s corn growers sustainably produce more corn on less land with fewer resources than when the RFS was enacted and are committed to further improvements in sustainability. These extraordinary results have been accomplished as food price inflation has decreased as ethanol production has grown.… Continue reading

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Wet weather hurt wheat straw quality and set stage for disease

By Pierce Paul and Laura Lindsey, Ohio State University Extension

This July has been one of the wettest on record for the state of Ohio, and with the extra moisture, comes concerns about diseases in corn and soybeans and harvest and potential quality challenges with wheat.

Late harvest coupled with excessive rainfall means more time for late-season mold growth, mycotoxin accumulation, test weight reduction, and sprouting; all of which could result in poor overall grain quality.  

Test weight (grain weight per unit volume or grain density) is one of the grain quality traits most likely to be affected by harvest delay and wet conditions. Low test weights usually occur if grain is prevented from filling completely or maturing and drying naturally in the field. Rewetting of grain in the field after maturity but prior to harvest is one of the main causes of reduced test weight. When grain is rewetted, the germination process begins, causing photosynthates (i.e.,… Continue reading

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CORN Live talks cover crops

By Mary Griffith, Ohio State University Extension

The next three sessions of CORN Live webinars will focus on managing cover crop systems. Sessions will be on Thursday mornings from 8:00-9:00am with 1 hour of nutrient management CCA CEUs offered for attending each session. Topics include:

  • July 22: Interseeding Cover Crops, Sjoerd Duiker, Penn State University, and Jason Hartschuh, OSU Extension
  • July 29: Next Generation Cover Crops: Shalamar Armstrong, Purdue University
  • August 5: Cover Crop Roundtable: Panel discussion with Ohio farmers

Each session is free to attend, but registration is required to get log-in information. Register at… Continue reading

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Foliar diseases and fungicide decisions in corn

By Pierce Paul, Ohio State University Extension

This July has been one of the wettest on record, and with the extra moisture, comes concerns about diseases. Gray Leaf Spot (GLS) and, to a lesser extent, northern corn leaf blight (NCLB), have already been reported in some fields, well before tasseling in some cases. Such early disease development could impact grain yield, especially if it continues to be wet and the hybrid is susceptible. GLS is favored by warm temperatures (70 and 90 F) and high relative humidity. NCLB is also favored by wet, but slightly cooler (64 and 80 F) conditions, than GLS. Over the last several days, we have had temperatures within the favorable range for both diseases, and if they continue to spread and damage the ear leaf before grain fill is complete, yield losses could be high.

GLS and NCLB are not the only diseases on the minds of growers this year.… Continue reading

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Soybean defoliation: It takes a lot to really matter!

By Curtis Young, CCAKelley Tilmon, Ohio State University Extension

The mid-season defoliators are beginning to show up in soybean fields across Ohio. These defoliators include first generation bean leaf beetles, Japanese beetles, grasshopper nymphs and several different caterpillars such as silver-spotted skippers, painted-lady butterflies and green cloverworms. Since all of these insects collectively add to the defoliation of soybeans, their collective feeding is used in the threshold to determine the need for an insecticide treatment, but it takes a lot of feeding to add up to significant damage. It often looks worse than what it truly is.

When scouting soybean fields to assess levels of damage, it is important not to let one’s eye and mind over estimate what is truly there. Japanese beetles and grasshoppers tend to hit edges of fields first before they start moving farther into the centers of the fields. And Japanese beetles tend to feed in aggregations and at the tops of plants producing a startling appearance that easily catches one’s eye standing at the edge of a field looking in.… Continue reading

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Variable rate sidedressing and inter-seeding cover crops

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

Time is one of the most precious commodities on a farm. There are windows of opportunity to accomplish certain tasks in production agriculture, and with the adoption of new practices, such as cover crops, sometimes those windows become limited. One example is the seeding of cover crops after corn that soybeans will be planted into the following spring. Depending on the corn maturity, often the window following corn harvest is too late to successfully establish a cover crop and meet the requirements of many government programs.

In an effort to mitigate the timing issue of late seeding after harvest, some farmers have attempted to “fly-on” the cover crop just prior to leaf drop. In some cases, farmers have seeded with a “hi-boy” type machine. Siebeneck Farms in Putnam County is inter-seeding cover crops at the same time they sidedress their corn with a modified sidedress applicator.

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Tri-State Precision Agriculture Conference Aug. 11

Join Ohio State University Extension Henry County for the inaugural Tri-State Precision Agriculture Conference on Aug. 11, 2021. Speakers will discuss current trends in tillage equipment, and equipment demonstrations will feature high speed tillage, vertical tillage, strip tillage, and cover crop seeding systems. Fertilizer re-certification and CCA credits are available. 

The event is Wednesday, August 11, 8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Northwest State Community College, 22600 OH-34, Archbold, OH 43502. The cost is $20 by Aug. 2, $30 after August 2 including at the door. It is free to all FFA and 4-H members. 

Registration includes catered lunch. RSVP is REQUIRED at For more information, please contact Alan Leininger at 419-592-0806 or… Continue reading

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Application of manure to double-crop soybeans to encourage emergence

By Glen Arnold, OSU Extension Field Specialist, Adapted from C.O.R.N. 21-2021

Wheat harvest will soon be wrapped up in Ohio and some farmers are planting double-crop soybeans. The summer manure application window following wheat harvest is typically the second largest application window each year. In recent years there has been more interest from livestock producers in applying manure to newly planted soybeans to provide moisture to help get the crop to emerge.

Glen Arnold, OSU Extension Field Specialist. Photo Credit OSU

Both swine and dairy manure can be used to add moisture to newly planted soybean fields. It’s important that the soybeans were properly covered with soil when planted to keep a barrier between the salt and nitrogen in the manure and the germinating soybean seed. It is also important that livestock producers know their soil phosphorus levels, and the phosphorus in the manure being applied, so soil phosphorus levels are kept in an acceptable range.… Continue reading

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After a slow start, weeds are roaring now

By Harold Watters and Greg LaBarge, Ohio State University Extension

With the crappy spring we missed proper burndown timing, pre-emergent herbicide application, and now are working on missing the proper timing for post applications. In 2020 we lost the soybean dicamba products after June 30, and now that is permanent with the new labels. In most years and most scenarios we should be done with soybean spraying by July 1, right.

The Ohio, Indiana & Illinois Weed Control Guide is a great resource for getting management tips on how best to apply herbicides. See the recommendation tables to choose products for these post applications. The Guide is available from our now reopened county Extension offices, or look for more information on-line from Mark Loux on his Weed Management website:

Our OSU Weed Scientists tell us to rotate our technologies. If you have Enlist beans this year, then next year LibertyLink genetics, and the year after Extend — and with the stacked herbicide tolerant technologies you could almost choose a rotating herbicide application scheme with any of these — BUT do read the seed tag and the label to make sure what is safe. … Continue reading

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Poor stands? — Maybe some reasons why

By Harold Watters and Greg LaBarge, Ohio State University Extension

The two most common seedling diseases this year were compaction and Pythium. We overworked the soil, this spring and last spring both, and maybe even last fall. Poor soil structure leads to soil compaction and crusting. I often quote Sjoerd Duiker, agronomist at PennState University, this time I’ll just give you his link:

Pythium is another problem — our seed treatments only work for so long and this year with cool soils, crusting and excessive rains at the wrong time created a great opportunity for this disease. See Anne Dorrance’s article in a recent C.O.R.N. newsletter for some thoughts on seedling disease: I like to give you all some advice with this column, this time I’ll quote a co-worker, “We should have left the seed in the bag until conditions were right.”… Continue reading

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Don’t wait till the planes are flying to decide on a fungicide strategy

By Harold Watters, Ohio State University Extension

Nothing creates a buzz in the coffee shop like an aerial applicator flying across corn and soybean fields in the county. The questions of, “What are they spraying?” “Why are they spraying?” will quickly turn into, “Did I miss something?” and “Should they be spraying for me?” Oh, yes that last question starts the mind rolling and makes for sleepless nights. Doing a little preparation now, by reviewing disease packages of hybrids/varieties planted on your farm plus knowing a little about common disease is the best way to avoid a panic buy as crops move toward reproductive growth stages. 

There is no doubt disease can cost yield in susceptible varieties/hybrids and fungicides are very effective at controlling target diseases. You will be glad you sprayed a susceptible variety/hybrid at the threshold level of disease. Did you notice the key word in those last two sentences “susceptible” variety or hybrid. … Continue reading

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Crop condition strong, rain needed

Increased precipitation occurred across the State, but some areas were still in need of as hot, muggy conditions prevailed, according to Cheryl Turner, State Statistician, USDA NASS, Ohio Field Office. Topsoil moisture conditions were rated 74 percent adequate to surplus, up 2 percentage points from the previous week. Temperatures for the week ending July 4 were 2.2 degrees higher than historical normals, while the entire State averaged 1.49 inches of precipitation. There were 4.6 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending July 4.

Farmers harvested wheat, made straw, baled hay, and applied herbicides. Oats headed was 95 percent complete and oats condition was rated 71 percent good to excellent. Corn silking progress was 3 percent complete while corn condition was rated 80 percent good to excellent. Soybeans blooming was 24 percent and soybeans condition was rated 77 percent good to excellent. Winter wheat mature was rated 85 percent complete and the winter wheat crop was rated 75 percent good to excellent condition.… Continue reading

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Scouting and management leads to top wheat yield in Ohio

By Dusty Sonnenberg, CCA, Ohio Field Leader: a project of the Ohio Soybean Council and soybean checkoff

When New Vision Farms started planting wheat in the fall of 2019, they had no expectation of winning a state yield contest a year later.

“We started planting wheat the first week of October,” said Mark Hoorman, agronomy production manager for New Vision Farms. “We planted the wheat and managed it just like we would any of our other crops.” 

Mark Hoorman with New Vision Farms won the 2020 National Wheat Yield Contest category of Winter Wheat – Dryland for the State of Ohio, with a yield of 118.27 bushels per acre.

New Vision Farms is located in Henry County, and grows wheat, corn, popcorn, soybeans, and green beans. According to the National Ag Statistics Service, four of the top five wheat producing counties in the state, (based on acres planted), are located in Northwest Ohio.… Continue reading

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Managing crop stress to maximize yields

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

Matt Hutcheson

The 2021 growing season has already provided growers with several challenges. Learning from these challenges and making sound management decisions throughout the remainder of the growing season will be critical to achieving top-end yield potential. 

One important management practice that was highlighted this spring was timing of crop planting in relationship to weather. Agronomists and university experts occasionally discuss the timing of planting and the importance of the first 36 to 48 hours a seed is in the ground. The first 36 to 48 hours a seed is in the ground is a critical period of water uptake where the seed is sensitive to temperature extremes. In many areas we saw fields planted immediately before a cold rain even and seed/seedlings that exhibited imbibitional injury.

In areas where cold rain/snow events occurred this spring, observed soil temperatures dropped from the mid 50s to the lower 40s overnight.… Continue reading

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