Advocates pushing biofuels with the White House

America’s top biofuel and farm advocates urged President Biden to swiftly expand access to plentiful, lower-cost biofuels after the White House announced a far more narrow set of proposalsto address skyrocketing fuel costs. Specifically, renewable energy advocates reiterated their call for the White House to swiftly allow for the year-round sale of gasoline blended with up to 15 percent ethanol (E15), a lower-cost fuel option that could vanish from many markets on June 1 under seasonal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) restrictions.

The following joint statement was issued by the Advanced Biofuels Business Council, Growth Energy, National Corn Growers Association, National Farmers Union, and Renewable Fuels Association: “The White House is actively considering an E15 fix to deliver relief at the pump, but today’s announcement made no mention of homegrown fuels. It was just another stop-gap release of oil reserves and a promise of more mineral extraction down the road. The clock is ticking, and failure to protect E15 from summer fuel restrictions threatens to take away a popular, money-saving option at the pump in 30 states.… Continue reading

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Wheat stand evaluation

By Laura Lindsey, Ohio State University Extension

Between planting in the fall and Feekes 4 growth stage (beginning of erect growth) in the spring, winter wheat is vulnerable to environmental stress such as saturated soils and freeze-thaw cycles that cause soil heaving. All of which may lead to substantial stand reduction, and consequently, low grain yield. This year, many areas of Ohio have been wet and wheat plants look poor. However, a stand that looks thin in the spring does not always correspond to low grain yield. Rather than relying on a visual assessment only, we suggest counting the number of wheat stems to help estimate wheat grain yield.

Wheat stem count method 

Wheat stems (main stem plus tillers) should be counted at Feekes 5 growth stage (leaf sheaths strongly erect) from one linear foot of row from several areas within a field. In Ohio, Feekes 5 growth stage is generally early to mid-April, depending on the weather and location within the state.… Continue reading

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USB adding value to soybeans

By Matt Reese and Dale Minyo

Farmer-leaders of the United Soybean Board (USB) announced a new strategic plan earlier this year that prioritizes sustainable soy solutions for global and domestic customers while ensuring value and profitability for U.S. soybean farmers. 

The seating of the new Chair and Executive Committee at its December meeting included appointments of the Supply and Demand Action Team leads, Priority Area coordinators and Communication & Education Committee chair, among other key roles within the organization.

“We take checkoff dollars to create value for the U.S. soybean and we invest that in research, education and, of course, promotion,” said Steve Reinhard, United Soybean Board treasurer and board member who farms in Crawford County. “Every dollar invested is returning $12.34 back according to a Cornell study. We are trying to be very targeted and strategic in the investments we make.” 

The USB Strategic Plan will guide checkoff investments in research, education and promotion across three priority areas of Infrastructure & Connectivity, Health & Nutrition, and Innovation & Technology.… Continue reading

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Time to assess forge stands

By Mark Sulc, Ohio State University Extension

With the onset of recent warm temperatures, forage stands are beginning to green up. Wet soil conditions and widely fluctuating temperatures have presented tough conditions for forage stands this winter. This is especially true of taprooted legumes like alfalfa and red clover. Many forage stands suffered significant fall armyworm feeding damage late last summer and into the fall, so those stands should be carefully evaluated this spring as they greenup. It is time to start walking forage stands (especially in southern and central Ohio) to assess their condition so decisions and adjustments for the 2022 growing season can be planned if necessary.

Forage stand evaluation can be performed when 3 to 4 inches of new shoot growth is present. Select random sites throughout the field and count the plants in a one-foot square area.  Check at least 4 to 5 random sites in each 20- to 25-acre area.… Continue reading

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EPA allows Enlist products in 134 previously banned counties for the 2022 growing season

Following the thorough review of a proposed label amendment, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has approved the use of Enlist One and Enlist Duo in 134 additional counties, providing growers with additional weed management options for the 2022 growing season. 

Enlist One and Enlist Duo, two herbicides used to control weeds in conventional and genetically-modified corn, cotton, and soybean crops, can now be used in all counties of Ohio, including the 12 counties in which previously banned. Other states with previous county bans are Arkansas, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and South Dakota. In Texas, Enlist products can now be used in Bowie, Cooke, Fannin, Grayson, Lamar, and Red River counties. Read page 16 of the new Enlist One label and page 16 of the new Enlist Duo label to see which counties remain prohibited.

In January 2022, EPA issued seven-year registrations for these Enlist products. At that time, Enlist One and Enlist Duo were not approved for use in all counties of the United States.… Continue reading

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Managing for a high yielding 2022

By Matt Hutcheson, CCA, product manager, Seed Consultants, Inc.

With spring planting right around the corner, it is a good time to discuss key management practices and the impact they have on the growing season. You may have heard that the crop starts the season in the bag with its highest yield potential. That yield potential can be lost due to several factors throughout the season. While many factors leading to yield loss are out of our control (drought, disease development, insect pressure, etc.), it is important to properly manage the factors that can be controlled.  

Matt Hutcheson, product manager for Seed Consultants, Inc., talks to customers at a field day.

With the presence of herbicide-resistance weeds and the growing number of herbicide trait options, it is increasingly important for farmers to be well informed and meticulous in their weed control decisions. Knowing what weeds are present and which herbicides most effectively control them is a must.… Continue reading

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Reducing off-target pesticide movement

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

Simply put, one of the primary goals of a spray applicator is to get the product on the target. While this sounds relatively straight forward, there are a number of factors that come into play. According to Erdal Ozkan, Professor in the Department of Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering at The Ohio State University, factors that significantly influence the off-target movement of pesticides include wind velocity and direction, spray droplet size and density, and the distance between the spray tip and the target. Other factors include the velocity and direction of the spray droplet, volatility of the product being sprayed, air temperature, relative humidity, and turbulence. At the end of the day, if the product does not reach the target, the pesticide application will not be effective, and there may even be a situation of off-target pesticide movement that can injure adjacent crops or landscape plants.

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When will you start planting corn and soybeans?

By Greg LaBarge, CCA, Ohio State University Extension

Every agronomist and farmer knows the connection between timely planting and crop yields. The Ohio Agronomy Guide has a recommended Ohio corn plant date range of April 15 to May 10 for northern and April 10 to May 10 for southern regions. Recommended soybean planting is a similar timeframe. RELATIVE grain yield potential is indeed reduced after May 1. However, we need to remember more factors than planting date influence ACTUAL YIELD at harvest. Soil conditions at and after planting are more important than the calendar date to answer when to start planting.

At the Conservation Tillage and Technology Conference (CTTC), we had research agronomists from around the Midwest share their research on planting date and management interactions. Dan Quinn, Purdue Corn Agronomist, shared these corn planting observations. 1) Early planting favors higher yields but are no guarantee. 2) Statewide averages for planting date and yield are not strongly related.… Continue reading

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Terminating cover crops with tight glyphosate supplies

By Greg LaBarge, CCA, Ohio State University Extension

Ohio’s cover crop of choice is cereal rye. The herbicide of choice for terminating that cover is glyphosate. However, the fact that 2022 glyphosate supplies are limited has raised questions about cover crop termination. Mark Loux, OSU Extension Specialist, Weed Science, provided some comments at CTTC on the topic. Mark suggests if your glyphosate supply is limited, consider using glyphosate in the burndown and turn to other herbicides options for POST applications.

The recommendation from the Ohio Weed Control Guide is “Glyphosate at 0.75 lb ae/A will effectively control cereal rye up to 18 inches tall. Mixtures of glyphosate plus 2,4-D, chlorimuron, chloransulam, atrazine, or saflufenacil can also be applied for additional control of other cover crop species (specifically broadleaf species) and residual control of summer annual broadleaf weeds. The nonselective herbicides Gramoxone and Liberty are less effective than glyphosate on these species.”

Another option is to use a roller-crimper on cereal rye.… Continue reading

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Goal: 30 million acres of cover crops by 2030 

A new partnership between USDA’s Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) and Farmers for Soil Health (FSH) was awarded a $1 million grant to advance adoption of soil conservation practices on farms. 
FSH is a farmer-led, farmer-funded initiative that will help producers plant cover crops on 30 million acres of soybeans and corn by 2030 to improve overall soil health. FSH is a joint effort of NPB, National Corn Growers Association and the United Soybean Board. 
Pork producers can measure their cover crop adoption by using On-Farm Sustainability Reports, which are available at no additional cost to them to help document and improve their on-farm sustainability efforts.  
“Nearly one-half of pork’s environmental footprint comes from the corn and soybeans that are fed to pigs1,” said Steve Rommereim, past president of the National Pork Board. “Sustainable pork production begins with sustainably grown feed. The FSH initiative will support the environmental stewardship on row-crop acres, ultimately helping pork producers meet their sustainability goals.” … Continue reading

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Applying MAP and DAP at corn sidedress

By Greg LaBarge, CPAg/CCA, Ohio State University Extension

One fertilization strategy is to apply a two-year rotation phosphorus need ahead of the corn crop. The primary source of phosphorous fertilizer is the nitrogen-phosphorous (N-P) containing products of 11-52-0, Monoammonium Phosphate (MAP) and 18-46-0, Diammonium Phosphate (DAP). For example, the maintenance P need for corn yielding 180-bushel per acre and soybean at 60 bushels is 111 pounds of P2O5 per acre.

When applied in fall, the phosphorus from these products is solubilized and retained in the soil labile phosphorus pool. To supply this P need with MAP or DAP, we also apply 23 or 43 pounds of N with the application. This nitrogen is subject to environmental loss when fall-applied by leaching or denitrification. The net nitrogen result from fall MAP or DAP application is that little of the applied N is available to meet crop needs. By changing MAP and DAP application timing from fall to at sidedress, can we reduce the sidedress need from other N sources?… Continue reading

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CTC presentations available online

Video recordings are available from the Conservation Tillage Conference If you are interested in hearing the comments made firsthand.

Exclusive access to the presentation recordings is available until April 21 for $100. There were eight sessions with over 50 speakers covering corn/soybean production, nutrient management, cover crops, and precision ag. Crop Consultants needing CCA continuing education credits will find a QR code to record the credit for viewing a talk.

View the complete schedule and speakers list at To register to view the videos, go to… Continue reading

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Preemergence mesotrione use in “mesotrione-tolerant” soybeans

By Mark Loux, Ohio State University Extension herbicide specialist

Put this one in the “we’re usually the last to know” category. Following an article in the last C.O.R.N. about the Alite 27 label for use on GT27 soybeans, we became aware that some mesotrione products are labeled for preemergence use on “mesotrione-tolerant” (GT27) soybeans. Products that we know about with this label include Bellum, Motif, and Meso Star. As far we know, all GT27 soybeans are tolerant of mesotrione used preemergence. The catch is that the seed tag and agreement need to specify that the variety is “mesotrione-tolerant” for this to be a legal application. At least this is how it was explained to us by one reputable company rep. Not every company selling GT27 seed has made this change, so check with seed supplier if in doubt. Basics of this label are as follows:

• use prior to soybean emergence only and only on soybeans labeled “mesotrione-tolerant”

• use rate of up to 6 ounces product per acre; only one application (higher rates improve length of residual and improve control of giant ragweed and other tough weeds)

• can be mixed with other preemergence soybean herbicides unless prohibited on another label

• for control of emerged weeds, add AMS plus either NIS or COC (would also depend upon what else is in the mix for burndown)

• do not apply to emerged soybeans

• do not graze or feed soybean forage or hay to livestock.… Continue reading

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The cost of SCN

By Dusty Sonnenberg, CCA, Ohio Field Leader

Soybean Cyst Nematode (SCN) for decades has been considered the most damaging pathogen throughout North America. It is estimated soybean farmers have lost $1.5 billion per year since 1996.

“Every 5 years a survey is conducted to determine what counties have SCN present,” said Dr. Greg Tylka, Morrill Professor in the Department of Plant Pathology and Microbiology at Iowa State University. “In the most recent survey, 55 new counties were identified in the Unites States, with most of the new findings in the state of New York. That was largely due to an intentional survey that was conducted, which further proves we often don’t know if SCN exists until we look for it.”

SCN can be causing yield losses in soybean fields and have no above-ground symptoms. In Ohio, 70 of the 88 counties have fields where SCN has been found. In a random survey of Ohio soybean fields conducted by the USDA in 1995 and 1996, 60% of the samples submitted found SCN.

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Farmers setting the stage for teaching teachers

Ohio teachers learned about how corn becomes ethanol in a recent energy and ethanol workshop in Springfield, sponsored by Ohio Corn & Wheat.

Presenters Jane Hunt and Rachel Sanders led the group through renewable energy labs found on the Feed the World website. Corn was turned into mash, fermented, and distilled. Nutrient testing evaluated levels of protein and carbohydrates in the raw product, after fermentation, and after distillation. The ethanol created was evaluated with a flame test and by powering putt-putt boats, always a favorite activity with teachers and students alike.

“It is so helpful to attend workshops like this where we actually get to do the labs,” said Lara Hamilton, chemistry and physical science teacher at Lynchburg-Clay High School. 

Ohio Corn & Wheat is proud to sponsor these teacher workshops to help connect science with the workplace. Farmer Eric Need greeted teachers and talked about the need for bright minds to fill in-demand jobs in agriculture-related areas.… Continue reading

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Hemp update

By Matt Reese

Hemp production is labor intensive, costly and unpredictable, but the challenge is being accepted by some Ohio producers.

After being prohibited for many years, commercial hemp production was legalized in the U.S. by the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018. Then on July 30, 2019, Senate Bill 57 was enacted to legalize hemp production in Ohio. Hemp produces three main types of crops — fiber, grain, and metabolites — each end use requires very different genetics, production practices, processing methods, and end users. Hemp is coming off of a lower production 2021 in Ohio compared to 2020.

“In Ohio and nationwide, the total number of registered acres and acres planted decreased significantly in 2021,” according to the Ohio Department of Agriculture. “In 2020, there were 2,067 acres registered with 555 planted in Ohio. In 2021, there were 1,498 acres registered with 272 planted.”

The Ohio Department of Agriculture Hemp Program is currently accepting applications for the 2022 growing season through Thursday, March 31, 2022.… Continue reading

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Thoughts from the Ohio Field Leader on SCN resistant varieties

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

Soybean Cyst Nematode (SCN) resistance is a good news, bad news situation. In a presentation given by Dr. Greg Tylka, Morrill Professor in the Department of Plant Pathology and Microbiology at Iowa State University, numbers were shared that commanded everyone’s attention. One number in particular, as the saying goes, virtually “sucked all the air out of the room.” That number was 22.4 bushels per acre. While 22.4 bushels per acre may not seem overwhelming at first, the combination of that yield difference along with the cash price of soybeans put the total over the top. This was further impactful considering the difference in yield was not between the plot control variety and the best resistant variety in the plot, but rather it was within the resistant varieties tested. There was a greater than 22.4 bushel per acre yield difference between the SCN resistant varieties in the trial.

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Hyperspectral sensing and artificial intelligence pave new path for monitoring soil carbon

Just how much carbon is in the soil? That’s a tough question to answer at large spatial scales, but understanding soil organic carbon at regional, national, or global scales could help scientists predict overall soil health, crop productivity, and even worldwide carbon cycles. 

Classically, researchers collect soil samples in the field and haul them back to the lab, where they analyze the material to determine its makeup. But that’s time- and labor-intensive, costly, and only provides insights on specific locations. 

In a recent study, University of Illinois researchers show new machine-learning methods based on laboratory soil hyperspectral data could supply equally accurate estimates of soil organic carbon. Their study provides a foundation to use airborne and satellite hyperspectral sensing to monitor surface soil organic carbon across large areas.

“Soil organic carbon is a very important component for soil health, as well as for cropland productivity,” said Sheng Wang, lead study author and research assistant professor in the Agroecosystem Sustainability Center (ASC) and the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences (NRES) at U of I.… Continue reading

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Considering carbon credit agreements?

By Peggy Kirk Hall, director of agricultural law, Ohio State University Agricultural and Resource Law Program

Several types of carbon credit agreements are now available to Ohio farmers, and they differ from one another so it’s good to review them closely and with the assistance of an attorney and an agronomist. 

For starters, take time to understand the terminology, make sure you can meet the initial eligibility criteria, review payment and penalty terms, know what types of practices are acceptable, determine “additionality” requirements for creating completing new carbon reductions, know the required length of participation and how long the carbon reductions must remain in place, understand how carbon reductions will be verified and certified, be aware of data ownership rights, and review legal remedy provisions.  That’s a lot!  Read more about each of these recommendations in our blog post on “Considering Carbon Farming?”Continue reading

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