Ohio Field Leader

Soybean aphid populations rising around Ohio

By Andy MichelKelley Tilmon, Ohio State University Extension

Soybean aphids have always been around Ohio, but it has been a while since we have had many fields with high populations. Based on recent scouting, we have noticed increasing populations of soybean aphids. As we go into the critical growth stage of soybean, this is also the most important time to check your fields for soybean aphids and see if you have exceeded the threshold of an increasing population of 250 aphids per plant.

To scout for soybean aphid, walk at least 100 feet from the field edge and count the number of aphids from 5 plants in 10 different locations. If your average is greater than 250 per plant, you’ll need to come back and re-scout 3 to 4 days later. If the aphid population increased in that time, an insecticide application is recommended. Keep in mind that to accurately determine the threshold, scouting should be performed at least weekly and multiple times a week if aphids are active in fields. … Continue reading

Read More »

Management is key to a successful conservation farming operation

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

It is no surprise that effective management is a key to running a successful farming operation. The more enterprises the farm has, the more important the management becomes. The is especially the case when the farm is comprised of 4,200 acres of cropland (corn and soybeans), a 4,500 head dairy partnership, a grain elevator, seed dealership, an agronomy retail operation with full-service chemical and fertilizer application, along with poultry litter, and an excavating company. VanTilburg Farms, located in Mercer County, is a family farm that values good stewardship of their resources and utilizes cover crops and no-till on the vast majority of their acres.

VanTilburg Farms manages the water in their fields with systematic tile drainage systems that have water control structures on the outlets. On some acres they also have center pivot irrigation systems.

Continue reading

Read More »

2021 Ohio Crop Tour recap

We have been crop touring all week and the final results are in! For the in-person leg of the 2021 Ohio Crop Tour we had one group collect samples in 12 counties in northern Ohio and another group collect samples in southern Ohio. In addition, we had nearly 60 entries from around the state in our Virtual Crop Tour for corn and soybeans. Many of these samples were provided with cooperation from Ohio State University Extension educators.

The tour totals (multiplied by an agronomic fudge factor of .9 for corn yield estimates) generated a final yield of 181.83 bushels per acre for a statewide average yield. Our soybean estimate for the state came in right at 55 bushels. 

The tour certainly found some big yields, particularly in the northern part of the state, but also revealed some surprisingly dry and challenging growing conditions in other places. The lack of water in recent weeks for many parts of the state is likely going to knock the top end off of some of those bigger yields for corn and could be a significant detriment to the state’s soybean crop if they persist. … Continue reading

Read More »

Virtual crop tour by county: 2021 corn

Adams County

Conditions of the corn were very good. Corn was very healthy and had little signs of stress due to lack of nitrogen. It was planted May 23. Disease pressure was very low and insect pressure was little to none. Pollination looked to be very complete. Yield came in at 230 bushels.

Adams Co. corn

Allen County

This field looked very impressive from the road. Unfortunately, it seemed to be seeing significant tip back and kernel abortion. There was also a small amount of gray leaf spot present. This field also looked to have a higher planted population than several others in the area. I would expect there to be 33,000 harvestable ears per acre. It was planted May 18. The yield estimate was 186 bushels per acre.

Allen Co.

This field was planted May 19 with multiple hybrids and there was significant variability between hybrids. Disease pressure was very low and there was no pest pressure.… Continue reading

Read More »

Virtual Crop Tour by county: 2021 soybeans

Adams County

Adams county soybeans resulted in very good condition overall with little signs of weather-related stress. Disease pressure was low. There were some Japanese beetles feeding on foliage. The estimated yield was around 60+ bushels per acre.

Adams county bean field.
Adams county bean plant.

Ashtabula County

This field of soybeans were some of the earliest planted in Astabula county. The field was noted as very tall and having strong color. There was no disease pressure noted, but there were some aphids feeding. The yield esitmation of 60+ bushels per acre.

Ashtubula county soybeans

Champaign County

These Champaign county soybeans were planted April 10, and are a consistent field. There were signs of Sudden Death Syndrome and low Japanese Beetle feeding. The yield estimation for this field is 60+ bushels per acre.

Soybeans in Champaign county.
Japanese beetle feeding in Champaign county.

Delaware County

The soybean field surveyed in Delaware county was tall and further along in maturity when compared to others around it.… Continue reading

Read More »

Rain is making grain in Wood County

By Matt Reese and Dave Russell

Many parts of northern Ohio have had a solid growing season in 2021 and that is showing up in crop yield checks this week.

Amid rain showers, Wood County Extension educator Nick Eckel has been out scouting fields and, for the most part, has been pleased with what he has seen, especially with the corn crop in the county.

“This is a really nice corn crop out here in Wood County. Most guys got some fungicide sprayed and we have pretty clean fields. I’ve been finding anywhere from 175 bushels to upwards of 225 bushels. The kernel counts are there and we are getting a little rain today and hopefully that can help fill the rest of this crop out and we can have a good corn crop here in Wood County,” Eckel said. “I did a tour of the entire county. I started in the northeast corner and drove a horseshoe around the county and looked at about 10 different corn fields.… Continue reading

Read More »

Federal Legislation and Carbon Markets (Part 3)

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

Carbon Credits are a concept that most in agriculture have now heard about.  All the major agriculture publications have featured articles about the new revenue opportunities carbon markets can present to landowners and farmers. While the big picture of a carbon market system is simple to understand, the details are more complicated.

There are several legal issues that can surround carbon market agreements. “In the legal world right now, we are asking the question: What are they? Are they real property? Are they tangible, are they intangible? Are they personal property? What are these things, and how do we track them in the legal world,” said Peggy Hall, Associate Professor and Field Specialist in Ag Resource Law at The Ohio State University. “If there is interest by farmers or landowners to engage in this carbon market, there are a couple of legal issues that need to be considered.”

Continue reading

Read More »

Federal legislation and carbon markets (Part 2)

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

Carbon Credits are a potential revenue source for farmers across the country. In Ohio, it was recently announced that the Soil and Water Outcomes Fund is offering farmers $40 per acre to sign up for their carbon credit agreements if they live in the Upper Scioto River Watershed. “The idea of carbon markets has been around for a long time,” said Peggy Hall, Associate Professor and Field Specialist in Ag Resource Law at The Ohio State University. “About 15 years ago there was a lot of talk about the carbon market and carbon credits, and then it fizzled out. Now the discussion is back again with the concept of the carbon credit. Those agreements establish a market for carbon capture or carbon reduction. The practices that farmers engage in that can reduce greenhouse gasses or sequester carbon can be converted to a carbon credit that can be sold on the open market.”

Continue reading

Read More »

Ohio Crop Tour North summary

It is said that “rain makes grain”, and that was the take away from the northern leg of the 2021 Ohio Crops Tour sponsored by Ohio Field Leader, a project of the Ohio Soybean Council and Soybean Check-off. Those farms that have had sufficient rainfall early-on looked very promising, and have the potential for excellent yields with some timely rain to finish it out. Those fields that were lacking rain as of late, are in need of some moisture to relieve the stress and help the crop finish out with the potential that is left. July rains help the corn during the critical periods of pollination and grain fill. Timely August rains can literally translate to millions of dollars of revenue for the Ohio soybean crop.

Overall the corn fields on the northern leg of the crop tour looked very good. Many had been sprayed with a fungicide. There was very little disease present, and virtually no insect pressure observed.… Continue reading

Read More »

Ohio Crop Tour South summary

There were definitely some surprises along the way on the southern leg of the in-person 2021 Ohio Crop Tour. First, we found some surprising pollination issues and one of the highest disease levels we have ever seen in corn in the first couple of counties. Of course, there were some highlights with strong yields in counties where rains have been steady through the growing season, which is what we expected after a strong start and generally good growing conditions for much of Ohio in 2021. We were very surprised, though, about the extent of areas suffering from very dry conditions, particularly in the western part of the tour. We found some pretty wide and deep cracks in the soil we were not expecting to see.

We sampled fields in 12 counties over a day and a half. Overall we settled upon an average yield of 174.7 bushels for corn on Ohio Crop Tour South this year.… Continue reading

Read More »

2021 Ohio Crop Tour: North leg

Crawford County

Corn: The corn we evaluated was 109-day maturity corn planted on May 16 with an estimated yield of 200 bushels per acre. It was another good crop.

Ears of corn in Crawford county.
Close-up of an ear of corn in Crawford county.

Soybeans: The soybeans we evaluated were a group 2.7 maturity bean planted in 15-inch rows on April 27 with an average pod count of four to five pods per plant and three beans per pod. Fungicide was applied to the crop. Overall, a good looking stand that could yield 55+ bushels per acre.

Crawford county soybean field.
Crawford county soybean sample.

Wyandot County

Corn: The corn we evaluated was 110 day maturity corn planted on April 26 with an estimated yield of 219 bushels per acre. The crop was sprayed with fungicide and insecticide after some pressure was evident. Overall, an excellent crop.

Ears of corn pulled from Wyandot county.
Continue reading

Read More »

2021 Ohio Crop Tour: South leg

Pickaway County

Corn: The corn had a good green color with no disease pressure on the upper canopy. The fill to the tip was getting small kernels due to dry weather. This is a nice looking field with a 33,000 population and a 185-bushel yield.

Pickaway Co. corn
Pickaway Co. corn

Soybean: The beans were green and looked nice. These were the tallest beans of the day at 39 inches. The distance between nodes was 2.5 inches with very low amounts of frogeye present. There was a little leaf feeding. There were 2-3 beans per pod and most were in groups of 2-3 pods per cluster. These were 50 to 60 bushel beans.  

Pickaway Co. beans
Pickaway Co. beans

Fayette County

Corn: There was a nice green color in this field and the corn looked really healthy. The disease pressure was light with tiny lesions of gray leaf spot far down in the canopy.… Continue reading

Read More »

Manure incorporation with the H2O Ohio Program

By James Hoorman, Hoorman Soil Health Services

Livestock farmers have an opportunity to be a part of the H2O Ohio program on manure incorporation.  This program pays farmers for three years to apply manure to a cover crop or a growing crop in the summer or early fall.  The program is designed to encourage farmers to tie up nitrogen or phosphorus in manure to decrease the risk of manure or nutrient runoff into surface water.  Keeping nutrients and manure on the land and out the water helps to keep our water clean to drink (after treatment), and is good for recreational activities like swimming and fishing.

For farmers to get state funding, the local soil and water conservation district (SWCD) needs to approve a mandatory nutrient management plan for each farm.  When manure is applied, the local SWCD needs to be notified within 24 to 48 hours.  Every farm needs to follow the recommended setback distances and apply manure based on Ohio NRCS 590 standards. 

Continue reading

Read More »

Monitoring Plant Health

By Jim Hoorman, Hoorman Soil Health Services, and John Kemp

Farmers are often looking for a quick way to measure plant health.  Soil and tissue tests are commonly used, but the results may take several days or even weeks in some cases. This can be too late on a growing crop.  A quick and easy method to evaluate plant health is to measure a plant’s sap pH which gives instant feedback.

Jim Hoorman, Hoorman Soil Health Services

A plant’s sap pH represents the percentage of hydrogen ions in a solution or the liquid (sap) from the plant cell.  The pH ranges from 1 which is highly acid to 14 which highly alkaline. Since pH is a logarithm, a one pH unit change equals a tenfold change in the hydrogen ion concentration. If the pH is increased or decreased by two units, the hydrogen ion concentration changes by a hundredfold! A slight shift in plant sap pH can lead to disaster for the farmer.

Continue reading

Read More »

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. 

Continue reading

Read More »

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.

Continue reading

Read More »

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.

Continue reading

Read More »

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.

Continue reading

Read More »

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

Read More »

The O.G. of water quality

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

It is not often that a 90’s rap lyric is used to describe the status of water quality initiatives, however, “in the case of Grand Lake St. Marys in 2021, the O.G. (original gangster) terminology is fitting,” said Jordan Hoewischer, Ohio Farm Bureau Director of Water Quality and Research.

This year has been a banner year for a body of water that has had the designation of a distressed watershed and issues with harmful algal blooms for the past 12 years. Currently the lake does not have a water quality advisory in place.

Jordan Hoewsicher, OFBF Director of Water Quality and Research, OFBF

“While a primary reason cited for the lower levels of algae is the low rainfall totals year to date, credit also needs to be given to the actions taken by the agricultural community and organizations that came together to work towards finding a solution to the algal bloom,” he said.

Continue reading

Read More »