Ohio Field Leader

The work of the United Soybean Board

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

From teaching high school agriculture to serving in the Ohio House of Representatives, to providing leadership on the Ohio Soybean Council, Steve Reinhard, a farmer and seed dealer from Bucyrus, understands the value of serving. Reinhard currently serves as Vice Chair of the United Soybean Board (USB). Simply put, the USB is the equivalent to the Ohio Soybean Council on a national level.

The soy checkoff is supported entirely by soybean farmers with individual contributions of 0.5% of the market price per bushel sold each season. The efforts of the checkoff are directed by the United Soybean Board, composed of 77 volunteer farmer-leaders often nominated by their state-level checkoff organizations, called Qualified State Soybean Boards. The nominees are appointed to the board by the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture. Reinhard is serving in his third and final, three-year term on USB.… Continue reading

Read More »

Ohio Field Leader Podcast 6 1 2023 Episode 32 Steve Reinhard

On this episode, the Ohio Feild Leader Roadshow makes a stop in Crawford County at the farm of Steve Reinhard.  Steve is a soybean farmer and seed dealer, and also serves as Vice Chair of the United Soybean Board. Dusty and Steve discuss the spring planting season of 2023 and also the important work of the United Soybean Board leaveraging check-off dollars for farmers in Ohio and all across the country.… Continue reading

Read More »

Reminders about residual herbicides

By Dr. Mark Loux, adapted from C.O.R.N. 2023-15

It’s always fun when rainfall is feast or famine.  Dry periods such as the coming week are great for about everything except weed management.  From the perspective of making sure residual herbicides work, we like to see a decent rain about once a week.  Residual herbicide treatments need to be applied and receive a half to one inch of rain within a week or so after tillage or an effective burndown treatment, to control weeds that will start to emerge at that time.  More time than this allows for weeds to emerge before herbicide can be moved down into the soil, reducing the degree of control that residual herbicides are capable of providing.  This is especially important for shoot uptake herbicides, such as group 15 – acetochlor, metolachlor, pyroxasulfone, and dimethenamid.  Weeds are germinating and emerging more rapidly now compared with a month ago, so timeliness of the rain is more important. … Continue reading

Read More »

Plant identification, There’s an App for that.

By Erin Hill, Michigan State University Extension, Department of Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences

Plant identification apps for smart phones have seen significant improvements over the past several years, offering the opportunity to take a photo and get an instant identification in many cases.

We are driven to identify plants for many reasons; sometimes it is a curiosity about the world around us, other times it is out of the desire or need to manage areas like gardens, agricultural fields, restored habitats, and/or natural preserves. Plants are the foundation of food webs and they are tied to our understanding of how ecosystems function. Plant identification has been and continues to be a matter of familiarity, knowledge passed down through mentorship by family or friends, or perhaps something learned in school.

There are now several smartphone apps available to assist with plant identification.

Since 2018, a faculty member and several students at Michigan State University have evaluated a total of 14 apps thus far.… Continue reading

Read More »

Soybean planting depth considerations when planting into dry soil conditions

By Michael Staton, Michigan State University Extension, edited for Ohio.

Soybean planting progress is slightly ahead of the 2018-2022 average this spring. According to the May 22, 2023, USDA Crop Progress and Condition report, 63% of the soybean acres in Ohio have been planted. However, dry soil conditions and a warmer and drier than normal 6-to-10 day weather outlook increase the potential for inadequate soil moisture to adversely affect soybean germination and emergence. Because of this, planting depth will be an even more important management decision this season.

Adequate soil moisture is the most important factor affecting soybean germination. The seed must imbibe (take in) 50% of its weight in moisture for the germination process to begin and remain above 20% moisture after the seed swells and the seed coat splits. This is why agronomists recommend planting soybeans into at least 0.5 inch of moist soil to ensure adequate moisture is available to complete the germination process.… Continue reading

Read More »

Decades of over reliance on PI 88788: Key lessons learned

By the SCN Coalition

The farm sector is keenly aware of the dangers of dependence on a single tool, PI 88788, having endured the unintended consequences of narrow reliance on one herbicide active ingredient for 20-plus years. Why, then, after more than two decades does the soybean industry still lean heavily on PI 88788, a source of genetic resistance that soybean cyst nematode (SCN) populations are increasingly able to skirt? It’s complicated.

A lot has been invested into PI 88788, a previously highly effective tool.

Brian Diers, who recently retired from the University of Illinois and led groundbreaking research on SCN resistance, has a simple explanation for the industry’s prolonged use of PI 88788: “It’s been so darn good.” He says the successful and high-yielding germplasm has been tough to beat, despite efforts to find alternatives.

There were numerous breeding lines with SCN resistance available for variety development in the late 1980s, but none had the agronomic or maturity characteristics needed for soybean production in the Midwest, explains Greg Tylka, Iowa State University (ISU) nematologist and a leader of The SCN Coalition.… Continue reading

Read More »

The use of seed treatments for early season insect and disease management

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

Planting progress continues across Ohio going into the fourth week of May. As crops are emerging, stand evaluation is taking place. It is also the time to be on the lookout for early season insect and disease pressure.

The environment a crop is planted into can contribute to both insect and disease pressure on the newly established crop. “When it comes to seed corn maggot, the biggest risk factor for having a seed corn maggot problem in the first place is for farmers who disk in any type of organic matter into the soil before planting. That would include a cover crop, or previous alfalfa field, or disking in manure,” said Dr. Kelley Tilmon, OSU Extension Entomologist. “If planting occurs within a week to 10 days after that organic matter is incorporated into the soil, flies that lay the eggs for seed corn maggots are attracted to the rotting smell and that is where they will lay their eggs.”… Continue reading

Read More »

Early season disease management

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

Scouting for symptoms of early season diseases in a field is similar to scouting for early season insect problems. “Symptoms are representative of problems in the field,” said Dr. Horacio Lopez-Nicora, OSU Extension Soybean Pathologist and Nematologist.  “The symptoms will be in pockets and clustered together or aggregated together. The pockets will be delayed in emergence or have stand reduction. Those pockets may be insects or very wet areas that have abiotic physiological damage or disease, or they may be a combination.”

A disease will only impact the plants if all three parts of the disease triangle occur. Those parts include the disease being present, having the correct environmental conditions, and having a susceptible host.

“Most of the time, a farmer will know historically that the field has been affected by certain disease organisms,” said Lopez-Nicora.… Continue reading

Read More »

Ohio Field Leader Roadshow | Steve Reinhard

Join Dusty Sonnenberg, Ohio Field Leader, as he interviews Steve Reinhard, a respected farmer from Crawford County. Gain valuable insights into Reinhard’s experiences and challenges tis spring on his family’s diversified operation.

Ohio Field Leader is a production of the Ohio Soybean Council and soybean checkoff.… Continue reading

Read More »

Seed treatments and early season insect pressure

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

Many farmers view seed treatments as a form of insurance. This is especially true in early planted crops. Seed treatments are chemicals applied to the outside of a seed coat. They are designed to be taken up by the plant as it germinates. The chemical is distributed in the plant tissue to provide protection against certain insects and diseases.  “Seed treatments are very water soluble. They need to be water soluble to be taken up through the plant and the vascular system of the plant,” said Dr. Kelley Tilmon, Professor and Entomologist specializing in Field Crop Insects with The Ohio State University. “That water solubility can prove to be a problem when the seed sits in the soil too long. There is an opportunity for the seed treatment to wash off the seed if there is enough exposure to rain percolating through the soil.… Continue reading

Read More »

Diagnosing early soybean stand losses

By Stephanie Karhoff, Ohio State University Extension Field Specialist
Early season scouting sets the stage for a successful crop but determining the culprit(s) behind stand losses can be difficult. Cool temperatures, planting issues, soil crusting, seed, and seedling disease, herbicide damage, and insect injury can all cause delayed emergence and thin stands. The key is to scout early and identify the issue before replanting or making other management decisions.

When scouting fields, first ask yourself if the problem is occurring in a pattern or scattered randomly through the field. For example, do thin stands correspond to low-lying or poorly drained areas? This may indicate flooding injury or damping off from fungal-like pathogens like Pythium and Phytophthora spp. that thrive in wet conditions. Next, consider recent weather and soil conditions. A heavy rainfall event followed by a warm, dry period can cause soil crusting, reducing stands and plant vigor. Next, assess individual plants throughout the entire field.… Continue reading

Read More »

Natural cover crop termination

By James Hoorman, Hoorman Soil Health Services

As the planting season progresses, many cover crops and weeds continue to grow. Letting cover crops grow may reduce soil moisture, improve soil structure, reduce dust storms, and add soil carbon.  Crop rollers naturally kill cover crops by mechanically terminating (crimping) them.  Crimpers are used to kill grass cover crops (cereal rye, oats, barley, whet, millets, sorghum species), vetches (hairy, common), annual clovers (crimson and balansa), brassicas (kale, rape), buckwheat, sunflowers, and multi-species cover crops. Crimpers do not work well with perennial cover crops like red clover, alfalfa, or annual ryegrass.  Best results when the heads or flowers are in the “boot” or head stage, when mechanically crushing cover crop stems kills them.

Crimping advantages include suppression of weeds by forming a natural mulch, reduced summer soil temperatures, it conserves soil moisture, decreases soil erosion, adds organic matter, and reduces blowing soil.  Crimping cover crops works well on corn and soybeans but not on small seeded crops like hay.… Continue reading

Read More »

Early Soybean Planting and Stand Evaluation

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

Planters were rolling early across the state during the second full week of April.  Now in the second full week of May, not much is occurring.  Rainfall and cooler temperatures since April have slowed planting progress. The Ohio Ag Statistics Service reports planting progress as of May 7th at 11% complete in Ohio for soybeans with 2% emerged.

Dr. Laura Lindsey, OSU Extension State Soybean Specialist is conducting an early planting date study in 2023 (along with a corn planting date study). “Two of the three planting dates have been completed with the first planting occurring from April 12-14,” said Lindsey. “The farm managers at the three locations the study is being conducted reported good planting conditions in early April. The field conditions at the Western Research Center were a little damp.  The second planting occurred April 26-27.… Continue reading

Read More »

Improving herbicide performance

By James Hoorman, Hoorman Soil Health Services

Farmers (even gardeners) use herbicides to kill weeds.  There are many factors that affect herbicide performance.  Water quality; water pH; water, air, and soil temperature, type and volume of water; size of weeds; and even time of day can impact herbicide effectiveness.

Purdue University has several good publications on improving herbicide performance.  PPP-86: The impact of water quality on pesticide performance.  PPP-107 Adjuvants and the power of the spray droplets. PPP-112 Water temperature and herbicide performance.  PPP-115 Compendium of herbicide adjuvants. This last publication explains how to prevent water minerals from tying up herbicides.  Here are some tips from these publications:     

Check your water quality.  Water makes up at least 95-99% of the spray volume, so water minerals affect herbicide performance.  Water quality is measured by water hardness.  The more minerals there are, the higher the hardness.  Hard water can reduce not only the herbicide solubility but also how well it is absorbed.… Continue reading

Read More »

Soybean Planting Considerations

Adapted from C.O.R.N. 2023-12

May is here, and the planting season will speed up with better weather in the coming days/weeks. According to the USDA-NASS report for the week ending 04/23/23, 6% of Ohio’s soybean were planted. Relative to the 5-year average (2% planted), that suggests a quicker start for the same period before.

Early planting dates can bring advantages and disadvantages for both crops. Following the OSU Agronomy Guide recommendations, below is a list of key reminders/considerations for planting season this year:

Soil Temperatures:

Planting soybeans after soil temperatures reach the 50°F mark is recommended. We recommend measuring ½ – 2 inches below the soil surface in the early morning.

Generally, early planting comes with the risk of late spring frost, insect/disease losses, and slug damage. However, timely planting is important to maximize yield. In Ohio, we have measured a 0.5 bu/acre reduction in yield for each day soybeans were planted after the end of April.… Continue reading

Read More »

Ohio Field Leader Podcast Episode 31: Land Use Issues

The Ohio Field Leader Roadshow is back for another year, and takes center stage for the podcast as Dusty visits with Jed Bower, a fifth generation farmer from Fayette County. Dusty and Jed discuss the past year as well as the early spring and upcoming planting season. They discuss the multiple markets available to corn and soybean farmers in Southwest Ohio. They also talk about some of the land use challenges faced all across the State of Ohio with industrial development taking prime farmland out of production, and what that means for rural communities and to farmers in the future.… Continue reading

Read More »

Selecting cover crops and cover crop mixes

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

When selecting a cover crop, or species mix, the Midwest Cover Crops Council (MCCC) has a decision-making tool to assist farmers in selecting the best species or mix based on the time of year in order to accomplish the goals. This resource can be found at www.mccc.msu.edu. The period from the end of July to the beginning of September allows for most all the available species of cover crops to have a reliable establishment. The time period varies by species. Some will do better if planted earlier, and some will establish better if planted later.

There are various reasons to select a cover crop mixture over a single species. “Your soil will derive more ecosystem services form multiple species,” said Dean Baas, Cover Crop Specialist with Michigan State University Extension. “Planting multiple species of cover crops will increase rotational diversity, and have an opportunity to get more plants and different types of plants in the rotation.”… Continue reading

Read More »

Fast crop emergence

By James Hoorman, Hoorman Soil Health Services, adapted from an article in Acres and an article by John Kempf

Fast seed germination is critical for getting crops off to a good start and to achieving higher crop yields.  Cold wet weather often causes early crop stress that can be difficult for the plant to overcome and may cause yield losses long-term. Fast seed emergence has many advantages. 

First, the seed generally has enough energy to get the roots established and a leaf growing to capture the sun’s energy.  When seed roots emerge quickly though, there is less time for seed damage by insects, especially seed corn maggots, wireworms, and root worm larva.  Fast growing plants can outrun most slug damage or flea beetle which feast on sickly plants that are struggling to grow quickly.  New growing roots supplement seed nutrient reserves to improve plant growth, especially from micro-nutrients needed to speed up plant growth. … Continue reading

Read More »

Five Tips To Keep In Mind During Planting

By The United Soybean Board, The Soy Hopper

As planters begin to roll across the country’s warmer regions, many farmers are finding themselves with excess cab time or weather delays, perfect for top-of-mind research or topical refreshers conducive to creating a career-best growing season. The checkoff has rounded up the following five topics to help inform your 2023 growing season.

1. Weed Management

Successful weed management is knowing when weeds grow and pollinate and stopping them before they go to seed. Recognizing weed strengths and exploiting their weaknesses will help mitigation efforts.

Identifying weeds can be difficult. Knowing how to control them is equally challenging. USB and its Take Action resources have simplified weed identification and control. Farmers can reference Take Action as they plan and implement weed management programs.

2. Nutrient Management

Optimizing a fertility management program begins with regular soil testing. Soil testing is a valuable and inexpensive tool for determining the nutrient and phosphorus status of a particular field.… Continue reading

Read More »