Bird’s eye view of big yielding beans

By Matt Reese

Dale Minyo and I got a bird’s eye harvest view of Louie Rehm’s bin busting soybean field in Wayne County via a helicopter ride just outside of Orrville.

I will confess that I did have some initial reservations about riding in the doorless circa 1970s helicopter used for sightseeing and aerial crop pesticide application. But, once in the air — despite the fact that only a ragged seatbelt separated me from a high speed plummet to Wayne County — I could not help but dangle myself out the side with my camera to capture some beautiful shots.

Ultimately, the helicopter was really fun, but only a periphery distraction from the story of the day — incredible soybean yields. Boosted by a new drainage system that held water in the tile lines throughout the dry summer, the combine’s yield monitor in the field held pretty tightly to 100 bushels through most of the field planted with Northrup King soybeans.… Continue reading

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New app lets you report invasive species

Now there’s a new tool for fighting alien invasions.

Your smart phone.

Ohio State University Extension has released a new app for spotting and tracking invasive species — non-native organisms such as Asian carps, purple loosestrife and Asian longhorned beetle — to try to keep them from setting up beachheads and hurting the economy and environment.

By using the free Great Lakes Early Detection Network app, a person can take pictures of suspected invasive species — whether of farm, woods or water — and upload the pictures and locations for verification.

Based on this early warning, scientists can send out alerts, map the spread and figure out a battle plan.

“Early detection gives us a greater chance of being able to handle infestations before they become so large that eradicating them isn’t possible or feasible,” said Kathy Smith, forestry program director for Ohio State University Extension and a co-developer of the app.… Continue reading

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Summer weather may take some terror from Halloween

By Matt Reese

Everyone loves a giant Halloween pumpkin to terrify the neighbors and the trick-or-treaters that come a knocking, but there will not be quite as much terror to go around this year, courtesy of a challenging growing season.

Bob Sage’s important autumn pumpkin crop was little off in 2012 on his Geauga County farm. The pumpkins are on trickle tape irrigation, which is crucial for providing moisture to the plants prior to vining. The summer heat did not hurt the numerous types of specialty gourds or pie pumpkins they produce, but did reduce the size of the largest pumpkins.

“Our large pumpkins are just not quite as large,” Sage said. “Our pumpkin crop was OK. Disease control is the challenge with pumpkins, and downy mildew does just as well in a dry year as in a wet year.”

Those largest pumpkins command the highest prices and have the highest demand for Sage, and at many pumpkin patches around the state.… Continue reading

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Time to nominate your favorite CCA

Harold Watters, CPAg/CCA, OSU Extension

Now is the time to nominate your Certified Crop Adviser for honors. If your CCA got you through another difficult year then consider nominating her or him for this honor. The application is found on the Agronomic Crops Team website ( under Links or at the go address:

The Ohio Certified Crop Adviser (CCA) Program is sponsoring one state award titled “Ohio Certified Crop Adviser of the Year“. The award program is designed to recognize an individual who is highly motivated, delivers exceptional customer service for farmer clients in nutrient management, soil and water management, integrated pest management and crop production, and has contributed substantially to the exchange of ideas and the transfer of agronomic knowledge within the agricultural industry in Ohio.

Last year’s deserving winner, Mike Dailey, was awarded the honor in March – and the winner for this year will receive the award on March 5th at the 2013 Conservation Tillage Conference.… Continue reading

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SCN plant resistance gets a boost

Soybean cyst nematode (SCN) does hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of damage each year. Matt Hudson and Brian Diers, crop sciences researchers at the University of Illinois and Andrew Bent at the University of Wisconsin, think they may have found a way to strengthen plant resistance. The research has just been published in Science Express.

Diers and Hudson, with researchers at Wisconsin and the University of Nebraska, have been studying an area on chromosome 18 called Rhg1 (Resistance to H. glycines) that is known to be the location of the main source of SCN resistance. Rhg1 disrupts the formation and maintenance of potential nematode-feeding sites on plant roots.

Most SCN-resistant soybeans in the Midwest are bred to contain Rhg1, but no one knew the DNA sequence of the gene that was responsible for the resistance. Diers wanted to find it.

“You could say it’s a billion-dollar gene because it’s in many varieties, it’s widely used, and it’s protecting varieties against these nematodes,” he said.… Continue reading

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Dandelions, cash crop for Ohio?

By Fred Michel, Associate Professor of Biosystems Engineering in the Department of Food, Agricultural, and Biological Engineering at The Ohio State University’s OARDC campus

Natural rubber is a critical renewable resource used for countless products including hoses, car parts and tires. Natural rubber has properties superior to those of synthetic rubber and is required for the most demanding uses, such as airplane and truck tires. Currently, the United States is totally dependent on natural rubber derived from rubber trees grown in Southeast Asia. Growing international demand for natural rubber has led to steep price increases and even shortages. While Ohio is the home to many multinational rubber corporations and rubber production and manufacturing facilities, these companies lack a domestic source for their most important feedstock.

Research at the Ohio State University OARDC is addressing this issue by developing a new crop that can be grown in Ohio and other Northern states to supply rubber.… Continue reading

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Ohio’s Crop Progress – October 15th, 2012


The average temperature for the State was 46.5 degrees, 7.4 degrees below normal for the week ending Sunday, October 14, 2012. Precipitation averaged 0.12 inches, 0.47 inches below normal. There were 32 modified growing degree days, 25 days below normal.

Reporters rated 5.3 days suitable for fieldwork during the seven-day period ending Friday, October 12, 2012. Topsoil moisture was rated 5 percent very short, 25 percent short, 63 percent adequate, and 7 percent surplus.


Ohio farm operators are harvesting corn and soybeans, and planting winter wheat. Dry field conditions have enabled operators to rapidly progress with the harvest of row crops and winter wheat planting.

As of Sunday October 14th, eighty-nine percent of corn was mature, which was 34 percent ahead of last year and 8 percent ahead of the five-year average. Thirty-one percent of the corn was harvested for grain, ahead of last year by 24 percent and the five-year average by seven percent.… Continue reading

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Harvest and marketing update

By Doug Tenney, Leist Mercantile

As of the second week of October, the U.S. corn harvest stood at 69% while the U.S. soybean harvest was 58%. Both reflected a record pace at that time. The price declines for November CME soybeans from $17.89 the first week of September to $15.06 the first week of October were aided by numerous reports of harvested soybeans yielding better than earlier expectations. Harvest in Ohio at the same time was 22% for corn and 23% for soybeans. In many parts of Ohio, producers were pushing on with corn harvest ahead of soybeans. Many had finished corn harvesting before making a major dent in harvesting soybeans. Soybeans were apparently slowed in reaching maturity due to rains during late August and early September.

In many parts of Ohio, producers are experiencing flat price corn prices nearly identical for fall delivery compared to January 2013. The market appears to be indicating the only reason to hold corn would be for higher board prices or already strong basis levels to improve even further in coming months.… Continue reading

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Don’t use drought as excuse for “revenge tillage”

Farmers should consider the short- and long-term effects of fall tillage on their fields and not just the effects of the drought on this year’s crop, a Purdue Extension agronomist said.

Tillage loosens and rearranges soil aggregates with the intent of establishing a better foundation for crop seed placement and root growth, but the drought itself has already accomplished deep cracking and loosening of some soils. The drought also reduced the post-harvest crop residue that is often used as an additional justification for tillage.

“Tillage decisions should never be based on one year’s crop yield,” Tony Vyn said.

A farmer’s natural reaction to a drought year is disappointment, and that may lead to what Vyn called “revenge tillage.”

“I don’t want farmers to overestimate the need for fall tillage just because of the 2012 drought and poor crops,” he said. “It’s important to adopt a tillage system that leaves topsoil uniformly in place to build up a whole field’s resiliency in root-zone water retention over time.”… Continue reading

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Ethanol industry boosts Ohio’s economy

The Ohio ethanol industry released the results of an economic impact study today showing that the ethanol industry has supported more than 13,000 jobs and invested $2.8 billion in the state since 2008 through the construction and operation of ethanol facilities. The study, conducted by researchers at Ohio State University’s Extension Community Development Office, is the first detailed look at Ohio ethanol operations since the state’s six plants became operational in 2008.

The study found that each year ethanol operations in Ohio produce an estimated $433 million in economic output and generate an additional $103 million in direct income for Ohio households. While the chemical industry is one of the largest benefactors of ethanol’s presence ($40.6 million), the report also showed a large impact on 20 other industry sectors including: restaurants ($1.6 million), doctors ($2.7 million) and even automotive repair ($963,071).

“Ohio ethanol isn’t just about corn farming,” said Mark Borer, president of the Ohio Ethanol Producers Association.… Continue reading

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Soybean yields up, corn yield drops

By Doug Tenney, Leist Mercantile

This morning, USDA released their latest estimate of U.S. corn and soybeans production for 2012. Corn production was estimated at 10.706 billion bushels with a yield of 122 bushels per acre. Soybean production was 2.86 billion bushels and a yield of 37.8 bushels per acre. Prior to the report release, traders were looking for corn production to decline while anticipating soybean production would increase.

Corn production was reduced but not nearly as much as traders had expected. Soybean product was increased, nearly 100 million more bushels than expected. Following the report, soybeans had a range of 30 cents in the first five minutes. Corn had a range of 18 cents in that same time frame.

Producers can expect both corn and soybeans to be very volatile in coming weeks as end users scramble to secure their cash needs for the next three to six months. Expect producers to be tight holders of grain as many will close the bin doors and not open them until 2013.… Continue reading

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Fall a great time to control weeds in hay

Farmers looking to grow highly productive pastures and hay fields still have time to control weeds to prevent reduced forage quality and quantity, an Ohio State University Extension expert said.

Fall can be a good time to eliminate hard-to-control perennial weeds because many of the plants are feeding their root systems, which allows applied herbicide to reach the root system to effectively kill the weeds, said Mark Landefeld, an OSU Extension educator in Monroe County.

“Farmers should monitor their fields regularly to identify weeds and deal with them in a timely manner,” he said. “Not only can weeds decrease forage quality, but some can be invasive and reduce the tonnage of the forage that you are trying to harvest.

“Getting rid of weeds while they are small and few in number can save time, money and effort.”

The savings are significant, considering that more than 95% of weeds can be controlled through good management practices, Landefeld said.… Continue reading

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Herring yield contest hopes alive after tough 2012

By Matt Reese

Last year, Jim and Phil Herring were first and second in Ohio, respectively, and second and third in the nation in the “AA Non-Irrigated Class” of the National Corn Growers 2011 Corn Yield Contest. Jim’s contest entry with DEKALB 113-day DKC63-84 finished at 305.7750 bushels and Phil’s 110-day Shur Grow SG-720 produced 291.7814 bushels.

Herring Farms has been in the family since the late 1840s and has long been an ideal site for growing corn.

“People drive down our road to look at the corn every year,” Phil said. “It’s on good river bottom ground with a gravel base that we can always plant early, so this corn usually looks really good.”

Even with the extremely hot and dry year on the farm and throughout the state, the Herring yield contest plots were still looking pretty good in 2012. The brothers thought the river bottom ground could still produce respectable yields in spite of the tough conditions, but their combine yield monitor was still an unbelievable surprise this fall.… Continue reading

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Soybean rust making a late run in the south

By Anne Dorrance, David Dugan, Greg LaBarge, Ohio State University Extension

Soybean rust is making a late breaking appearance in many of the southern states, both those that border the Mississippi river as well as Georgia and South Carolina (  Some of these developments were the result of Hurricane Isac back in early September and some were there before this storm.   have started to receive some samples of leaves — just to see if the spores could make it to Ohio on the back of a hurricane. This information is important to have for the year when a hurricane might hit in July, with the same level of rust in the south. It helps develop the models that can help us with management in the future. As of today, no soybean rust was found on these leaves collected from fields in Brown, Highland, Wood, Hardin, Hancock and Union counties. … Continue reading

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Armyworm issues

By Ron Hammond, Andy Michel

A few weeks ago we mentioned reports of armyworms in forages and the need for growers to check their stands for signs of insect feeding.  Over the past week or so, this concern has grown considerable, and problems are occurring in rangelands, forages, cover crops including rye, and wheat fields. Not only is Ohio experiencing problems, but numerous Midwest states are reporting similar instances of large numbers of armyworms feeding in fields, especially in newer plantings. An excellent article on the problem is available at the Kentucky Pest News site that was written by our colleague, Doug Johnson, that discusses the problem and answers various questions ( Until we get a few hard freezes, expect much of this feeding to continue. Make special note of whether armyworm feeding is killing off pasture or forages, or any newly sown planting.  Those plants might still be alive and continue to grow.… Continue reading

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Ohio’s Crop Progress – October 9th, 2012


Wet field conditions has limited planting, and subsequent emersion of winter wheat. In addition, the progress of the corn and soybean harvests has slowed due to rain.

As of Sunday October 7th, eighty-two percent of corn was mature, which was 47 percent ahead of last year and 11 percent ahead of the five-year average. Twenty-two percent of the corn was harvested for grain, ahead of last year by 18 percent and the five-year average by five percent. Sixty-eight percent of soybeans were mature, 43 percent ahead of last year and identical to the five-year average. Soybeans harvested were rated at 23 percent, compared to two percent last year and 30 percent for the five-year average. Winter wheat planted was rated at 19 percent, compared to four percent last year and 32 percent for the five-year average. Winter wheat emerged was rated at two percent, one percent ahead of last year, but four percent behind the five-year average.… Continue reading

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Closing the books on a tough 2012

By Kevin Cool, CCA, Beck’s Hybrids

We can finally begin to put 2012 to a close and look ahead to 2013. The drought of 2012 has raised several questions about possible management decisions for 2013 so let’s take a closer look at some of those questions.

One hot topic has been fertility for the 2013 crop. With lower than average yields in 2012, many growers have asked if they can cut back their fertilizer program for next year. It is true that with lower yields less fertilizer was removed from the field. For a farmer that applies fertilizer based solely off of crop removal, in theory less P and K could be applied this year and maintain current soil fertility. I recommend this only be done with VRT fertilizer maps utilizing yield data since there is variable nutrient removal and yield throughout the field.

For most, however, I would suggest that they continue with their normal fertilizer program and use this as an opportunity to build soil fertility levels.… Continue reading

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Mark Dowden-October 8th

“In the last two weeks we’ve had quite a bit of rain and we’ve been out of the fields. Just on Friday afternoon we got an inch.

“We’re about halfway through the corn. We’ve had field averages of 75 bushels to 180 bushels and we’ve had a wide spectrum of everything in between. I don’t think the heat hurt us as bad as the lack of water. The final average will probably be in the 115- to 120-bushel range, but we’re getting into our better ground. We’ve run all of our worst stuff so far.

“The corn looked rough and we wanted to get it out before it fell down. We have seen some ear drop. One of the neighbors was talking about problems with ear drop based on a couple of hybrids. You can pick out the refuge corn pretty easily in our fields. There are lower yields and more dropped ears.… Continue reading

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Billy Pontius-October 8th

Harvest is progressing quickly despite the rains.

“We’re just trying to get these beans off. We have probably 500 acres of beans left to run and probably 175 acres of corn. Corn yields have stayed right around 100- and 110- bushel range and beans have been right around 50 bushels.

“I am really pleased with my beans, but the beans died off early then started to green back up when it started raining. There are some beans shattering on the hills, but it hasn’t been as bad as I thought. I got a lot of my early beans off. I think the later beans will be right there around 50 bushels for an average too. I have had beans at 60 bushels but I also had some at 40 bushels.

“Some of the later corn is still a little wet, so we are going to finish up the beans and then finish the corn.… Continue reading

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Mark Thomas-October 8th

“Silage is done, fifth cutting hay is done and we got a heck of a frost this morning. We have about half of our wheat planted. We would like to get a bunch more beans off, but we have not had the weather. We’ve had plenty of rain the last couple of weeks that we could have used this summer. There are still green spots out in the bean fields. The beans we have run are wetter than we’d like.

“We have not yet shelled any corn. From everything I’ve heard, corn is 20% to 30% moisture with more guys in the upper 20s than lower 20s. The ears are still hanging on there so we’ll let nature take its course here and dry things down. If I see ears getting loose, we will get started, but it looks OK so far.

“Sand and gravel hillsides are producing beans in the 30-bushel range.… Continue reading

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