SGD Wheat Yield Contest

Seed Genetics Direct, the Eastern Corn Belt’s fastest-growing independent seed company, recently announced the winners of their annual Wheat Yield Contest. Cunningham and Foor LLC out of Washington Court House, Ohio earned top bragging rights with a first-place finish of 144.11 bushels per acre yield. Placing second was Jacob Cates of Williamsburg, In. with a yield of 93.78 bushels per acre. Gary Fritz of Modoc, In. earned third-place with a yield of 90.5 bushels per acre.

“We are beyond impressed with the entries we received and the winning yields!” said Todd Jeffries, vice president of Seed Genetics Direct. “The results reflect the hard work and tenacity of farmers. Our growers access top-of-the-line genetics and consistently adopt new practices to improve their wheat quality and yields.”

Cunningham and Foor planted AGI 217B, which also has the top four-year yield average in Ohio Wheat Performance Trials, on Sept. 29 at 1.5 million seeds per acre.… Continue reading

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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.… Continue reading

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Crops consistently inconsistent

The 2022 Ohio Crop Tour is made possible by Ohio Field Leader — a project of the Ohio Soybean Council and soybean checkoff.

By Matt Reese and Dave Russell

Variability is a consistent statewide issue for corn and soybeans due to a wide planting (and re-planting) window, along with plenty of weather ups and downs. 

“I have been in corn fields in the dough stage almost to dent, so R4. I was in one field not quite blistered yet. Silks were out but not in the brown silk stage. It makes it hard to estimate yield when pollination is not done. One benefit, though, is we just had some really nice rains and cooler, less humid weather so it may be a benefit for pollination on this later corn,” said Clint Schroeder, Ohio State University Extension Educator, Agriculture and Natural Resources in Allen County. “We have a lot of soybeans that weren’t planted until June.… Continue reading

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Statewide disease levels low (so far)

The 2022 Ohio Crop Tour is made possible by Ohio Field Leader — a project of the Ohio Soybean Council and soybean checkoff.

By Matt Reese and Dave Russell

While there was plenty of concern heading into 2022, tar spot has not been showing up on any large scale in Ohio’s corn fields.

“Tar spot is the big concern but I have not been able to verify that in any field I have been in yet this year. Last year is the first year we had it in Allen County and it didn’t come in until mid- or later-August,” said Clint Schroeder, Ohio State University Extension Educator, Agriculture and Natural Resources in Allen County. “Then we had the fall armyworm. That all came in county fair week last year. We do not have a ton of experience with tar spot. It is a relatively new foliar disease for us. We have to understand how to identify it and manage it if you do have it.… Continue reading

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Was planting beans first the right call in 2022?

The 2022 Ohio Crop Tour is made possible by Ohio Field Leader — a project of the Ohio Soybean Council and soybean checkoff.

By Matt Reese and Dave Russell

At least on some farms, there has been a strategy shift in recent years prioritizing planting soybeans first. Will 2022’s statewide narrow planting windows showcase the value of this plan?

“The early planted beans look good and the later beans are just so-so. There has been more of a push lately to plant your soybeans first, or at least earlier. This year may be an example of that working out,” said Grant Davis, Agriculture and Natural Resources Educator with Ohio State University Extension in Champaign County. “A lot of this later planted corn looks pretty good where the later planted beans don’t necessarily. I think there may be greater upside potential for planting beans earlier if you get the opportunity and maybe, if it comes down to it, push the corn back if you have to.… Continue reading

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2022 Virtual Crop Tour

The 2022 Ohio Crop Tour is made possible by Ohio Field Leader — a project of the Ohio Soybean Council and soybean checkoff.

For guidelines on how to submit your own entries in the 2022 Virtual Crop Tour (and a chance to win a $250 VISA gift card), CLICK HERE. All yield checks must be submitted by 6 p.m. Aug 11. Thanks also to cooperators from Ohio State University Extension for your submissions.

Virtual Crop Tour: Soybeans

Adams County 

These beans were planted May 10. They are in very good condition with little signs of weather-related stress or disease. There is some grass hopper feeding along the edge of the field. The canopy height is 36 to 45 inches with nodes spaced 3.5 to 4 inches in these 60+-bushel beans.

Adams County soybeans are variable due to a wide planting window, but looking good in the south.

Allen County

These soybeans were planted May 23.… Continue reading

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Late crops need rains to keep coming

The 2022 Ohio Crop Tour is made possible by Ohio Field Leader — a project of the Ohio Soybean Council and soybean checkoff.

By Matt Reese and Dave Russell

After a tough start to the growing season — from way too wet to too hot and dry — Ohio’s corn and soybeans seem to be holding their own. Genetics, good management and dedicated farmers have led to better-than-expected yield estimates considering the challenges of 2022.

In the far south, crops have fared pretty well amid the rolling hills and hollows of Adams County.

“There are a lot of late crops and variability, but the corn and soybeans look really good. I have been in corn fields almost starting to dent all the way to some that have not even tasseled yet. Some producers were actually planting double-crop soybeans and first-crop soybeans at the same time. But, for the most part we have been blessed with sufficient rainfall and heat to help the crops catch up and mature.… Continue reading

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More practical soil health tips

By James Hoorman, Hoorman Soil Health Services

After being on the road teaching (Iowa, Pennsylvania), I am home recovering from COVID.  Here are the last 15 tips from my factsheet: “25 Tips to Growing and Managing Cover Crops”.

Tip 11: Soil Microbes (especially bacteria) are like soluble bags of fertilizer and directly feed plant.  There is about 1000-2000X more soil microbes associated with live roots than bare soil.  Plants supply 25-45% of their total carbohydrate root reserves to feed soil microbes which retrieve soil nutrients more efficiently than plant roots hairs. Bonus: Beneficial microbes love sugar in small amounts, so add 1# sugar/Acre to nutrient, herbicide, fungicide spray applications.

Jim Hoorman, Hoorman Soil Health Services

Tip 12:  Use grasses with fibrous roots (cereal rye, oats, barley) before soybeans to maximize phosphorous uptake. Cereal rye controls weeds through competition for light and nutrients, allelopathy (natural herbicides in stem and leaves), and reduces diseases by keeping the soil drier due to transpiration (loss of water to the atmosphere).… Continue reading

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2022 Ohio Crop Tour (South)

Fayette County

Corn: It was a thin stand of corn and the soil type did not help. We saw more GLS than we have seen in other fields. The yield was 140 bushels.

Fayette Co. corn
Fayette Co. corn

Soybeans: The beans looked good but they had a long way to go. There were a lot of blooms but no pods. Nodes were about 2.5 inches apart. With more rains these beans will make 45 bushels. 

Fayette Co. beans

Greene County

Corn: This was thick 20-inch corn with a population of 38,000. The yield was 236 in the best corn on this leg of the trip. It was planted in mid-May. There were discolored, aborted kernels on a couple of ears, otherwise no disease or insect problems.

Greene Co. corn
Greene Co. corn

Soybeans: The canopy was nearly 40 inches. There were some pods aborting with nodes 2.5 to 3 inches apart.… Continue reading

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2022 Ohio Crop Tour (North)

Delaware County

The 10th stop of the North Leg of the Ohio Crop Tour, Sponsored by Ohio Field Leader, A project of the Ohio Soybean Council and Soybean Checkoff was in Delaware County.


This was a great high population stand of corn at 34,000 plants per acre. The stand was uniform, but there was variability in the ear size.

There was little to no insect or disease pressure.

It had an estimated yield of 207 bushels per acre.


The soybeans we evaluated were a 3.1 bean. They were planted on May 25th in 15 inch rows.

There was some inconsistency in height and holes in some spots as well as pale in color due to excess water.

The canopy was 36″ with moderately spaced nodes.

There were mild symptoms of septoria and 5% defoliation from bean leaf beetle.

The beans were at R4 with a population of 126,000.

The average pod count was 34 with 2 -3 beans per pod and 16 nodes per plant.… Continue reading

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Rains keeping crops progressing

Kurt Wyler

The past few weeks have been pretty muggy and we have been getting a lot of small showers scattered out every few days. It has made making dry hay pretty challenging. We have been wanting to make it dry, but we have been having to roll it up and wet wrap a lot of it. We’d like to do square bales but it has been hazy and the dew didn’t really get dried off until noon and that doesn’t give you a very big window. We thought getting it off now was better than letting it stand. The dry weather last month definitely did affect our orchardgrass tonnage. It was stunted and has not really bounced back. The alfalfa did not really get affected any.  

The crops are looking a lot better now. With the rains, corn is looking great. A lot of fungicide is starting to go on in this area.… Continue reading

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Active Soybean Cyst Nematode management: SCN root check

By Dr. Horacio Lopez-Nicora and Greg LaBarge, CPAg/CCA, Adapted from C.O.R.N. 2022-25

Soybean cyst nematode is silently gaining territory in Ohio and SCN numbers are rising. While soybean fields infested with SCN may not show above ground symptoms or look sick, the presence of SCN females attached to soybean roots can be detected six to eight weeks after planting. We encourage Ohio soybean growers to actively manage SCN by checking roots for the presence of SCN. If you do not know if you have SCN in your field, you can dig out roots (walk your fields with a shovel and dig out plants every 30 to 50 paces), gently remove the soil without breaking the roots (a bucket with water may help separate soil from roots), and check for the presence of SCN females on the roots. The SCN females attached to roots are initially white to cream, turning yellow and eventually brown in color.… Continue reading

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Dicamba drift reminders

By Alyssa Essman, Weed Scientist, Adapted from C.O.R.N. 2022-25

As in years past, we are hearing reports of soybean damage caused by off-target movement of plant growth regulator (PGR) herbicides. Off-target movement can be classified as primary or secondary. Primary herbicide movement takes place at the time of application, also referred to as particle drift. Nozzle type, droplet size, sprayer speed and other management factors affect particle drift, along with wind speed. Particle drift is not influenced by herbicide formulation. Plant injury from primary movement typically has a distinct pattern, often occurring along field edges closest to the treated field and becoming less noticeable farther from the source. Secondary herbicide movement occurs after the time of application and is often used in reference to vapor drift (volatility) or wind erosion. This source of off-target spread is extremely problematic and can be very difficult to predict. There is not always a tell-tale pattern of injury.… Continue reading

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Encouraging new campaign from Beck’s

Beck’s, founded on honoring God and helping farmers succeed, unveils a new marketing campaign, “Just Believe,” with messaging driven from Bible verse Mark 5:36, “Don’t be afraid. Just believe.” 

“Our purpose of honoring God and helping farmers succeed is the heart and soul of Beck’s,” said Scott Beck, president of Beck’s. “Like many of our customers, faith, family, and farming are at the forefront of everything we do. And it’s what keeps this unwavering industry moving forward.” 

Driven by weather and fluctuating commodity prices, farming is one of the most dangerous and unpredictable professions in our country. The campaign “Just Believe” reflects on the emotional roller-coaster of farming. From the highs of a record harvest to weeks of no rain. As inflation and interest rates increase, and input costs rise, this faith filled message encourages farmers to keep going and remember that God made them with purpose. 

“Beck’s is bigger than seed, bigger than all the buildings, and bigger than being the third-largest retail seed brand in the United States,” said Ashley Fischer, marketing communications manager at Beck’s.… Continue reading

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Ohio Corn & Wheat hosts Colombian trade team

Ohio Corn & Wheat (OCW) hosted an international trade team from Colombia in partnership with U.S. Wheat Associateson July 27, 2022. The team studied soft red winter wheat and evaluated milling quality during their visit.

The Agricultural Research Service United States Department of Agriculture’s Soft Red Wheat Lab in Wooster, staffed by Byung-Kee Baik, hosted the team to discuss milling characteristics and Ohio wheat quality. The visit also featured stops at Farquhar Farms near Jeromesville and Schroeder Family Farms near Crestline. At the latter stop, a Wheat Farmer Roundtable featured a tour of the grain facility, sharing wheat samples and discussing Ohio wheat operations.

“This is now the second trade team we’ve hosted this summer, and it fully reaffirms the value of the in-person visit,” said Tadd Nicholson, OCW Executive Director. “We’ve demonstrated what Ohio and the U.S. have to offer in terms of our commodities. For engaging potential buyers with our commodity organizations, that face-to-face experience is irreplaceable to help drive exports.”… Continue reading

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Stink bugs in soybeans

By Dr. Kelley Tillman and Andy Michael, OSU Extension Entomologist, Adapted from C.O.R.N. 2022-25

There are many species of stink bugs that feed on soybean including brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB), green, red shouldered, and brown stink bugs. Stink bugs injure soybean in the latter half of the season after flowering by feeding on pods and seeds, resulting in lower yields and reductions in seed quality, the latter being a major concern when soybean is grown for seed or food grade purposes.

Begin scouting for stink bugs when the soybean plant reaches the R2 stage (full bloom, when the plant has an open flower at one of the two upper-most nodes on the main stem). Stink bug feeding can cause economic loss from the R3 stage (pod set) to the R6 stage (full seed set).  Using a sweep net, sample in at least 5 locations in smaller fields, more in larger fields.… Continue reading

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A look at Right of First Refusal

By Robert Moore, Ohio State University Agricultural and Resource Law Program

A Right of First Refusal (ROFR) is a contract between the owner of the real estate and the person who is receiving the right to purchase (Holder). If the owner wishes to sell or transfer the property, the Holder has a legal right to purchase the property subject to the terms and conditions of the ROFR. If the Holder does not exercise their right to purchase the property, the owner can transfer the property to the third-party buyer. A ROFR can be an effective way to help keep land ownership in the family.

A ROFR can be established in a number of ways including on a deed. However, in most situations the best method of creating a ROFR is a stand-alone document that is recorded with the county recorder. By using a separate document, the terms and conditions of the ROFR can be clearly expressed to avoid future confusion or conflict.… Continue reading

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Ohio farm custom rates for 2022

By Barry Ward, Leader, Production Business Management, Ohio State University Extension, Agriculture and Natural Resources; John Barker, Extension Educator Agriculture/Amos Program, Ohio State University Extension Knox County and Eric Richer, Extension Educator Agriculture & Natural Resources, Ohio State University Extension Fulton County

Farming is a complex business and many Ohio farmers utilize outside assistance for specific farm-related work. This option is appealing for tasks requiring specialized equipment or technical expertise. Often, having someone else with specialized tools perform tasks is more cost effective and saves time. Farm work completed by others is often referred to as “custom farm work” or more simply, “custom work.” A “custom rate” is the amount agreed upon by both parties to be paid by the custom work customer to the custom work provider.

Ohio farm custom rates

The “Ohio Farm Custom Rates 2022” publication reports custom rates based on a statewide survey of 223 farmers, custom operators, farm managers, and landowners conducted in 2022.… Continue reading

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Nitrogen price outlook

By Gary SchnitkeyKrista SwansonNick PaulsonJonathan Coppess and Jim Baltz, Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics, University of Illinois, and Carl Zulauf, Department of Agricultural, Environmental and Development Economics, The Ohio State University

Farmers will face much higher fertilizer prices to begin the 2023 planning season. For 2022, farmers who purchased fertilizer early had much lower fertilizer costs than those who purchased later as prices increased. The same increasing trajectory may not occur this year, and prices could be lower next spring. Farmers purchasing fertilizer early may wish to price a portion of corn production to cover costs. Splitting nitrogen fertilizer applications also is a risk management strategy. Farmers planning on any post-planting nitrogen application may wish to mitigate risks by purchasing Post Application Coverage Endorsement (PACE), a crop insurance product that compensates for losses when nitrogen cannot be applied after planting.

Current fertilizer prices

According to the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), fertilizer prices on July 14, 2022, were $1,469 per ton for anhydrous ammonia, $983 per ton for diammonium phosphate (DAP), and $862 per ton for potash.… Continue reading

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Practical soil health tips

By James Hoorman, Hoorman Soil Health Services

Since I am on the road teaching, here are some practical tips from my factsheet: “25 Tips to Growing and Managing Cover Crops”.

Jim Hoorman, Hoorman Soil Health Services

Tip 1: Use cover crop mixtures composed of at least one grass, one legume, and one brassica or other diverse cover crop species to improve diversity.  Mix summer annuals with fall and winter annuals to increase crop diversity.

Tip 2: Select diverse species that maximize both sunlight and moisture interception.  At least 50 percent of cover crop species should be low growing, another 30 percent intermediate, and 20 percent tall growing.  Select cover crops that have a variety of taproots and fibrous root systems that incept moisture from different soil regions. The goal is to utilize 100% of available sunlight and moisture to minimize direct competition for nutrients and water.

Tip 3:  To determine initial seeding rate in cover crop mixtures, divide the full rate of seed needed for each cover crop in a monoculture and divide by the number of cover crop species planted. … Continue reading

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