Crops



Soybean Cyst Nematodes

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

“Soybean Cyst Nematode (SCN) is the most important nematode in soybeans because it causes the most damage. It is the number one yield robbing soybean pathogen in North America,” said Marisol Quintanilla, Michigan State University Extension Nematologist.

Marisol Quintanilla, Nematologist, Photo Credit, MSU

It is important for a farmer to know if they have SCN in their field, and at what level.

“A key in SCN management is to try to avoid getting it in the field. The first step is to sample and determine if it is present or not. Collect soil samples and know your numbers,” Quintanilla said. “Some labs can also determine the type of SCN present.”

If SCN is not present, then the goal is to keep it out. “SCN cannot spread on its own,” said Quintanilla. “SCN needs to be spread by something that moves soil, (such as tillage or planting equipment).”

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All things working together

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

To be successful in agriculture today folks need to work together, according to Darke County Farmer Greg McGlinch. Greg and his family operate Down Home Farms near Versailles.

“It started at a young age working with my Dad and Grandpa and Great Uncle, learning some of the old school methods and lessons. A lot of those still apply today,” McGlinch said. “This farm was purchased by my great grandfather in 1900, and for over 121 years we have been learning and sharing.”

Down Home Farms has diversified their crop production over the years raising corn, soybeans, wheat, oats, barley, cereal rye, red clover, sorghum Sudan, and hops. They also have an orchard and raise pasture poultry. Recently they have expanded in cover crop seed production and seed cleaning.

“We started with cereal rye,” McGlinch said.… Continue reading

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Farm Science Review opportunities

By Jason Hartschuh, CCA, Amanda Douridas, Mary Griffith, Elizabeth Hawkins, Adapted from C.O.R.N. 2021-31

Farm Science Review will be held September 21st – 23rd with lots of excitement in store for farmers young and old. There will be a lot of new equipment and technology to view as you walk around the show grounds and of course milk shakes and delicious sandwiches from the OSU student organizations. OSU also has some exciting areas for you to stop by and learn more about agricultural practices being studied at OSU and view some of the latest technology in action.

One major yield thief in both corn and soybeans is compaction. We will show how the utilization of tracks and various types of tires can affect your crop, especially in pinch row compaction. Very high flexation tires can decrease field compaction by lowering inflation pressure once in the field. Deflating after road travel will maximize the tire footprint.

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Assessing SDS and SCN

By Grant Collier, MS, Regional Sales Agronomist, Ohio, Stine Seed Company

It’s another growing season in the great state of Ohio, and with that came another exceptionally wet spring. Among the many pathogens present, sudden death syndrome (SDS), is once again reminding us why it is in the top two most destructive soybean diseases in the U.S. The moisture, in combination with the cooler periods of weather, created prime periods for fungal infection. When environmental conditions are favorable, infection can occur early in the growing season. When exposed to these conditions, early planted soybeans are most susceptible to infection due to an extended infection period. Unfortunately, soybean cyst nematode (SCN) is the most destructive soybean disease and is often found in conjunction with SDS. Though a quick cure does not currently exist, growers do not need to hit the panic button. Here are a few tips to help control SDS. 

Grant Collier, MS, Regional Sales Agronomist, Ohio, Stine Seed Company

Growers will want to target soybean varieties with some partial resistance to SDS.… Continue reading

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Weed control in changing weather

Wetter springs and hotter, drier summers, already becoming the norm in the Corn Belt, put stress on corn during key reproductive stages, including silking and grain fill. But those same weather conditions can benefit the scrappy weeds that thrive in tough environments.

“Adverse weather and weeds are two stressors to crop production, but there’s been very little research into how the combination of those two factors influence crop yield. Computer models projecting corn yields into the future are assuming weed-free conditions,” said Marty Williams, USDA-Agricultural Research Service ecologist, affiliate professor in the Department of Crop Sciences at Illinois. “That’s unlikely to be the case without a major transformation in the way we manage weeds.”

Complete weed control is rarely achieved in practice, especially considering herbicides — the single most common tool used to destroy weeds — are losing ground to resistant weeds. Several important weed species, including waterhemp and Palmer amaranth, can shrug off multiple herbicide modes of action.… Continue reading

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Fall SCN sampling

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

Fall is a great opportunity for soil testing. It is also an excellent opportunity to scout and soil test for soybean cyst nematodes (SCN). Soybean Cyst Nematode soil sample collecting can be done after soybean harvest, or in a non-host crop, or anytime during the season in the soybean crop root zone. Soybean Cyst Nematode is the number one contributor to yield loss in soybean crops nationwide, causing an estimated $1.2 billion dollars in damage annually. This pest has been detected in 71 of the 88 counties in Ohio, with the highest concentrations located in the northwestern part of the state.

There are two ways to scout for SCN. The first is to dig the roots and specifically look for the female nematodes. In the late summer and fall they will appear as a “string of pearls” on the roots, which is the female nematode forming the cyst on the root as her body is filled with eggs.

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Improving photosynthetic potential

By James Hoorman, Hoorman Soil Health Services

Farmers do not often think about how their management practices can influence the rate of photosynthesis.  Photosynthesis has always been assumed to be constant, but it is not. Photosynthesis does not occur at a constant rate, it varies each second, depending on light, carbon dioxide (CO2), water availability, temperature, leaf chlorophyll content, microbial impact on plant nutrient availability, and genetics. Some factors can be manipulated directly, others indirectly. Farmers can manage many of these factors, but not all, to improve yields.

Jim Hoorman, Hoorman Soil Health Services

In a given year, water may be either limited or in excess supply while temperatures can also be extreme, either too cold or too hot.  These factors often reduce nutrient cycling, resulting in reduced plant growth and yield.  Soil compaction and poor soil structure can have a direct impact on microbial activity plant nutrition, water availability, soil temperature, and CO2 storage. 

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Cover crop field day

A Cover Crop Demonstration field day be held Thursday, Sept. 16 from 4-6 p.m. at 400-500 Block of CR 37 Bellefontaine, Ohio 43311 (across from Camp Wesley). The program will be hosted by Tim Lyden, Board Supervisor for the Logan Soil and Water Conservation District.  Light refreshments will be provided. Visitors will get to view several plots of cover crops (over 12 species available), ask questions, and learn how cover crops can work on their farms.

For more information email Mark Wilson at mwilson@farmland.org.… Continue reading

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Soybean pests

By James Hoorman, Hoorman Soil Health Services

Many pests and diseases are rearing their ugly head this year.  Fall armyworm, aphids, soybean cyst nematodes (SCN), sudden death syndrome (SDS), and white mold are common problems. Weather and management play a key role in the severity of these pests.

Fall armyworm blow in from the south, most likely on tropical storms.  Each female moth lays 10-20 eggs up t 100 eggs which hatch in 5-7 days and live 7-21 days.  Eggs have been observed on fence posts, lawns, hayfields, corn, soybeans, and vegetable crops.  The eggs hatch and the hungry larvae or caterpillars tend to move in waves, consuming everything in sight, even sometimes their own kind. There are two natural predator wasps that help control fall armyworm.  Other options include bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) which is a natural control, neem oil, and pyrethrin insecticides.

Aphids in soybeans are a problem especially during the reproductive stage (R5-R6) with an aphid threshold of 250 per soybean plant. 

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Nitrogen deficiency in corn

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

Due to heavy rainfall and saturated soils during the growing season, some growers may be seeing some signs of nitrogen deficiency showing up in corn fields across the eastern Corn Belt. Whether applied preplant or sidedress, patterns of heavy rainfall and wet soils increase the likelihood of nitrogen being lost. Because nitrogen is an essential nutrient for corn plant development and ultimately yield, losses will impact final yields this fall.

When saturated conditions persist, nitrogen can be lost though leaching or denitrification. Leaching (more likely to occur in course-textured soils) is the process where nitrogen is moved down through the soil profile and out of the root zone where it is not available to plants. The severity of nitrogen loss due to leaching is impacted the intensity and duration of rainfall. Denitrification is the process where soil nitrogen is biologically converted to gaseous nitrogen and lost to the atmosphere.… Continue reading

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Western Ohio cropland values for 2020-2021

By Barry Ward, Leader, Leader in Production Business Management at The Ohio State University

Ohio cropland varies significantly in its production capabilities and, consequently, cropland values and cash rents vary widely throughout the state. Generally, western Ohio cropland values and cash rents differ from much of southern and eastern Ohio cropland values and cash rents. The primary factors affecting these values and rents are land productivity and potential crop return, and the variability of those crop returns. Soils, fertility and drainage/irrigation capabilities are primary factors that most influence land productivity, crop return and variability of those crop returns.

Other factors impacting land values and cash rents may include field size and shape, field accessibility, market access, local market prices, field perimeter characteristics and potential for wildlife damage, buildings and grain storage, previous tillage system and crops, tolerant/resistant weed populations, USDA Program Yields, population density, and competition for the cropland in a region.… Continue reading

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Using electricity to assess soil health

By James Hoorman, Hoorman Soil Health Services

A new break-through in soil health testing has occurred which may allow researchers and farmers to instantly measure soil health and microbial activity.  A group of Washington State University researchers are using small electrical currents to assess soil microbes and soil health impacts.  Soil microbes process 90% of the soil’s energy and nutrients.  Each microbe is like a soluble bag of fertilizer, supplying plant roots with nutrients, amino acids, proteins, and even whole enzymes.

Measuring soil health has been difficult.  Soil scientist, fertility specialist, and farmers have used soil chemistry and harsh chemicals to make nutrient analysis.  They also measure soil texture and pH to try to understand a soil’s chemical and physical properties. While chemical and physical measurements may be valuable, they do not always measure soil productivity directly.  Soil biology is extremely important  as well. Unfortunately, there has not been many good tests to measure both biological activity and soil productivity together.

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Cover crops after soybean or corn silage is a great opportunity

By Harold Watters, Ohio State University Extension agronomist

Growing cover crops after soybean or silage harvest creates more challenge than after wheat. Benefits of a cover include erosion control, suppress weeds, nutrient retention and adding organic matter. If you are making manure applications after silage harvest, a cover crop to retain nutrients is a must.

Table 1. Species of cover crops to consider in Ohio after soybean or silage harvest.

SpeciesRemarks
Cereal ryeA traditional cover crop. Requires close attention to management in the spring.
Winter triticaleSome use this for spring chop for livestock, then plant full season soybean or silage again. Watch out for Barley yellow dwarf though if planted early.
Winter wheatYou know this crop and it is easy to manage. Seed readily available.
OatsGrazing. Won’t survive winter but will make it to about Christmas. Some graze oats or wet wrap. Often planted with oilseed radish if early.
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Spotted Lanternfly found in Cuyahoga County

A population of the invasive spotted lanternfly (SLF) has been found on the east side of Cleveland. The Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) was notified of the initial discovery by a tree care professional on Aug. 26, 2021.

ODA Plant Pest inspectors confirmed living, adult SLF are in the area. An inspector with the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), an agency of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), also confirmed a population of the SLF has been found at a secondary location, near the initial report. A railroad line connects both locations.

ODA has been working with the United States Department of Agriculture, Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Ohio State University Extension, and the Ohio Grape Industries Committee to do visual surveys, insect trapping, and outreach in the region.

SLF is a great concern to the grape and wine industry. The insect is fond of grapevines, fruit trees, hops, blueberry, oak, pine, poplar, and walnut.… Continue reading

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Making the most of muck

By Brianna Gwirtz, OCJ field reporter

The contrast between the bright, green leaves of a zucchini plant is stark in comparison to the black soil. Heat rises from the field, at least a few degrees warmer than the hot summer air. Rumor has it that the soil itself, when dry enough, can be lit on fire. The ground, known as muck, is dark and rich in nutrients and very valuable for specialty crop production in parts of northern Ohio. 

The area, which has been coined “the muck” by locals, is located just south of Willard, Ohio. The unincorporated area where more than 1,000 acres of the soil is located is called Celeryville, named after the many fields of celery that once dominated the area. 

In the mid-1890s, a gentleman named Henry Johnson realized that the Willard Marsh had soil ideal for growing vegetable crops. However, he needed help to drain the area.… Continue reading

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Fall slug and vole control

By James Hoorman, Hoorman Soil Health Services

Slugs and voles are becoming major problems on some farms.  One farmer lost 80 acres to slugs, and then another 40 acres.  Slugs and voles prefer moist, wet conditions, slow crop growth, and lush vegetation.  Unfortunately, there is no one management practice that reduces either pest.  It requires a coordinated attack which begins in the fall as grain crops are being harvested.

Both slugs and voles have several weaknesses.  First, their populations are cyclical, peaking and crashing about every 2-5 years.  Extremely cold winter weather with little protection, greatly reduces both pests.  Slugs burrow deep into the soil, but when the soil frost line meets the water table during a deep freeze, many slugs perish.  Voles do not hibernate but need 40% more energy in the winter to survive.  Cold weather without snow or heavy vegetation greatly reduces pest numbers.  Mowing a cover crop down to 8 inches or planting species that 50% winter kill helps reduce pest populations.

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NASS to review acreage earlier for certain crops

USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) will review all available data, including survey data, satellite-based data, and the latest information from USDA’s Farm Service Agency and Risk Management Agency, for planted and harvested acreage for corn, cotton, peanuts, rice, sorghum, soybeans, and sugarbeets in preparation for the September Crop Production report. If the data review justifies any changes, NASS will publish updated planted and harvested acreage estimates in the Sept. 10 report.

It is normal practice for NASS to review these data in September for cotton, peanuts, and rice. The review typically takes place in October for corn, sorghum, soybeans, and sugarbeets, however the data are sufficiently complete this year to consider adjustments in September. In October, NASS will again review acreage for corn, sorghum, soybeans, and sugarbeets as well as for canola, dry edible beans, and sunflowers.… Continue reading

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Get out to a field day this fall

By Todd Jeffries, Vice President, Seed Genetics Direct

Todd Jeffries, Seed Genetics Direct

Last year, many companies chose not to host events. This year, many companies are returning to somewhat normal circumstances and holding pre-harvest field days again, which is a welcome change. Field days have a lot of valuable learning opportunities for growers, such as:

  1. What’s new? The turnover for new hybrids is now quicker than ever thanks to double-haploid breeding and CRISPR technology. Some groan at the high turnover rates of new hybrids and genetics, but the yield increases over the past decade or two are real, and that’s what’s driving the new hybrids hitting the market so quickly. Field days provide the opportunity for growers to see and touch many of the new hybrids and varieties that have come out in the past year. Growers can learn about each one individually and compare it with what they are currently growing.
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Unusual fall armyworm outbreaks

By Kelley TilmonAndy MichelMark SulcJames MorrisCurtis Young, CCA, Ohio State University Extension

We have received an unusual number of reports about fall armyworm outbreaks particularly in forage including alfalfa and sorghum sudangrass, and in turf. Certain hard-hit fields have been all but stripped bare. 

True or common armyworm is a different species than the fall armyworm. The true armyworm is the species that causes problems in cereal crops in the spring of the year. Fall armyworm migrates into Ohio during the summer and could cause problems into late summer. It is not or maybe we should say has not typically been a problem in Ohio. Also, unlike the true armyworm that only feeds on grasses (i.e., corn, wheat, forage grasses), the fall armyworm has well over 100 different types of plants upon which it feeds including many grasses but also alfalfa, soybeans, beets, cabbage, peanuts, onion, cotton, pasture grasses, millet, tomato, and potato.… Continue reading

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