Crops



Planting progress catches average, trails last year

Excessive soil moisture continued to delay planting and fieldwork, according to Cheryl Turner, State Statistician, USDA NASS, Ohio Field Office. Topsoil moisture conditions were rated 1 percent short, 52 percent adequate, and 47 percent surplus. Statewide, the average temperature for the week ending May 29 was 63.3 degrees, 0.1 degrees above normal. Weather stations recorded an average of 1.19 inches of precipitation, 0.14 inches below average, with late-week rain saturating fields and generating runoff. There were 2.4 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending on May 29.

Farmers described inadequate opportunities for fields to dry, with some areas of the State reporting ponding. Livestock were doing well in pasture, benefitting from moderate temperatures and green grass. Corn was 72 percent planted, and 51 percent of corn had emerged. Soybean planting progress was 56 percent, while 29 percent were emerged. Oats were 96 percent planted and 86 percent of oats were emerged.… Continue reading

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Managing nitrogen in 2022

By Roy Ulrich, technical agronomist for Dekalb and Asgrow, Southern Ohio

Adequate rates of nitrogen available to a corn plant during the entire growing season is a foundation to a successful harvest. This fact is foundational that Fred Below from the University of Illinois in his “Seven Wonders of the Corn Yield World” ranked nitrogen as the second most important factor in corn yield, only to be outdone by weather. 

If nitrogen is that critical to a successful crop, then what is the correct rate of nitrogen for an acre of corn? The old school approach would be to take a yield goal and multiply it by 1.25 pounds  per bushel so a 250-bushel per acre yield goal would require an application rate of 312 pounds per acre of nitrogen. As most know, nitrogen isn’t quite this simple and isn’t this cut and dry when it comes to final yield. 

When it comes to actual nitrogen rates, like most good agronomy answers, when it comes to nitrogen needed “it depends” is the correct answer.… Continue reading

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Vineyard Expansion Assistance Program open to Ohio Vineyards

The 2022 Vineyard Expansion Assistance Program (VEAP) is now open to new and existing Ohio vineyards. VEAP allows wineries to invest in and plant high-quality, high-value grapes onsite instead of purchasing them from other states. The VEAP is an incentive program created and funded by the Ohio Grape Industries Committee (OGIC).

Due to the small number of grapes produced in Ohio, many wineries, farmers markets, and retailers are forced to purchase grapes of several different varieties from other states in order to meet production needs. The VEAP is designed to provide a more stable source of high-quality, high-value grapes grown in Ohio. Additionally, the program will allow for more Ohio wines to qualify for the Ohio Quality Wine (OQW) program and increase consumer awareness of Ohio’s premier wines made from Ohio-grown grapes.

The VEAP funding will cover the cost of the grape vines planted. Each grower may apply for up to $1,500 per half-acre with a maximum of three acres, or $9,000.… Continue reading

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SCN testing in newly planted corn fields

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

In an effort to better understand the dynamics of soybean cyst nematode (SCN), Horacio Lopez- Nicora, assistant professor, Soybean Pathology and Nematology, in the Department of Plant Pathology at The Ohio State University, College of Food, Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, is conducting research funded by the Ohio Soybean Council and soybean check-off. This research is evaluating SCN levels in both corn and soybean fields.

“This is a research opportunity for growers to participate and help us understand the reproduction factors of SCN in Ohio,” Lopez-Nicora said.

The research requires farmers to collect soil samples from both corn and soybean fields at planting and again at harvest.

“We want farmers to take a sample at planting, and it doesn’t matter if it is corn or soybeans,” Lopez-Nicora said. “Results from this first sample will be the initial population of SCN.… Continue reading

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Soybean seed germination concerns

Matthew Wilde Progressive Farmer Crops Editor

ANKENY, Iowa (DTN) — Poor soybean seed quality in some varieties and lots may cause lower-than-normal germination rates, which could lead to poor emergence and thin stands. There are several steps farmers can take, though, to mitigate potential issues.

A few soybeans are beginning to poke through the ground in some parts of the Midwest this week. But farmers yet to plant may want to check seed tags, as reports of lower germination rates than normal might require population adjustments.

Shawn Conley, University of Wisconsin Extension soybean specialist, said he’s warned farmers for the past several months to pay close attention this spring to the minimum germination rate printed on soybean seed bag and bulk container tags. It might surprise them.

All soybean seed is tested at independent labs to determine germination rates. According to the Nebraska Crop Improvement Association, the germination rate of soybean seed it tests ranges from 88% to 98% during a normal year.

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Wheat head scab risk low

By Pierce Paul, Ohio State University Extension

Wheat is, or will soon be, flowering in parts of central and northern Ohio. After a relatively slow start to the season, several days of warm weather caused the crop to advance, reaching anthesis (Feekes 10.5.1) a few days earlier than usual in some locations. Feekes 10.5.1 is the growth stage at which wheat is most susceptible to infection by the fungus that causes head scab and produces vomitoxin.

However, according to the FHB risk tool (www.wheatscab.psu.edu), fields across the state are currently at low risk for head scab. This is likely because of the relatively low temperatures we have experienced over the last few days. The tool indicates that the risk for head scab development is low in fields flowering on May 23, and assessments based on 2 to 6 days of forecasted weather suggest that the risk will continue to be low into the weekend as more fields reach anthesis.… Continue reading

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Purple corn?

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

One phenomenon that commonly occurs at the early stages of the growing season is the appearance of purple cornplants. Corn plants can turn purple for several reasons related to environmental factors such as:

• Sunny days and cool nights (temps in the 40s to 50s F) 
• Soil pH lower than 5.5 
• Cool temperatures 
• Wet soil 
• Stresses that hinder the uptake of phosphorus 
• Herbicide injury 
• Soil compaction.

Because many fields have saturated soils and the forecast includes cooler nighttime temperatures, producers may see some purple plants in their fields. Purpling in corn due to cooler weather most often occurs when plants are in the V2 to V5 growth stages. Because of diverse genetics, hybrids react differently to early stress and some will exhibit purpling while others will not. Anyone who has walked a test plot to observe early plant vigor or has split their planter between two hybrids has probably seen a side-by-side comparison where one hybrid turned purple while the other did not.… Continue reading

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Corn genetic heritage the strongest driver of chemical defenses against insect feeding

Plants release chemical distress signals when under attack from chewing insects. 

These “911 calls,” as entomologist Esther Ngumbi refers to them, alert other bugs that dinner or a nice place to lay their eggs is available nearby. If predatory or parasitic insects detect the right signal, they swoop in like saviors to make a meal out of — or lay their eggs in — the bodies of the herbivore insects.

A new study explores the factors that contribute to corn plants’ chemical signaling capacity, comparing how different corn varieties respond to herbivory in the presence or absence of a soil bacterium known to promote plant health.

Ngumbi, a professor of entomology at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, led the research with U. of I. natural resources and environmental sciences professor Angela Kent and Ph.D. candidate Sierra Raglin, who is the first author of the paper. The findings are reported in the journal Frontiers in Microbiology.… Continue reading

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Online Ohio CCA pre-course now available

By Lee Beers, CCA, Ohio State University Extension

Are you interested in becoming a Certified Crop Adviser (CCA), but are intimidated by the exams? You should consider attending the Ohio CCA Pre-Exam Preparation Course offered by Ohio State University Extension. This online course will be available May 16 through Sept. 30, 2022 and will allow you to study and progress at your own pace. 

This course will provide an overview of the CCA program, and help you prepare for the test by covering basic principles in the four competency areas – nutrient management, soil and water management, pest management, and crop management. Even if you are not considering the CCA program, this class is a great basic agronomy course that any farmer, ag retailer, or anyone working with field crops will find valuable. 

For more information about the CCA program, visit  https://www.certifiedcropadviser.org/about-program

Course contact:

Greg LaBarge, CCA

Ohio State University Extension

Labarge.1@osu.eduContinue reading

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Over half of Ohio’s corn crop planted

Farmers took advantage of planting opportunities in between rain events, according to Cheryl Turner, State Statistician, USDA NASS, Ohio Field Office. Topsoil moisture conditions were rated 3 percent short, 61 percent adequate, and 36 percent surplus. Statewide, the average temperature for the week ending May 22 was 67.0 degrees, 4.6 degrees above normal. Weather stations recorded an average of 1.73 inches of precipitation, 0.92 inches above average, with the largest amount of precipitation falling across the Central Lowland region. There were 3.2 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending on May 22.

Farmers described fieldwork activities as including tillage, planting, and applying manure but reported disruptions stemming from early- and late-week rain and wind. Livestock were in favorable condition, benefitting from green grass and warm temperatures. Corn was 52 percent planted, and 24 percent of corn had emerged. Soybean planting progress was 36 percent, while 12 percent were emerged. Oats were 90 percent planted and 72 percent of oats were emerged.… Continue reading

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Springtime is spray time — Here are some tips for better spraying

By Erdal Ozkan

Applying pesticides requires a high level of skill and knowledge. Increases in the size and complexity of sprayers over the years require even more attention to efficiency, efficacy, and safety. Although each crop requires a slightly different approach to the application of pesticides, some general principles apply to almost all spraying situations. Here are my top 10 recommendations (not in a particular order) that will make spraying efficient and effective resulting in a higher level of biological efficacy expected from pesticides applied: 

  1. Select the best nozzle type and size for the job. Although each component of the sprayer plays a role in achieving success in pesticide application, nozzles play the most significant role. Nozzles come in a wide variety of types and sizes. Each type is designed for a specific target and application. Most manufacturers’ catalogs and websites have charts showing which nozzle type is best for a specific job.
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Corn genetic heritage the strongest driver of chemical defenses against insect feeding

Plants release chemical distress signals when under attack from chewing insects. 

These “911 calls,” as entomologist Esther Ngumbi refers to them, alert other bugs that dinner or a nice place to lay their eggs is available nearby. If predatory or parasitic insects detect the right signal, they swoop in like saviors to make a meal out of — or lay their eggs in — the bodies of the herbivore insects.

A new study explores the factors that contribute to corn plants’ chemical signaling capacity, comparing how different corn varieties respond to herbivory in the presence or absence of a soil bacterium known to promote plant health.

Ngumbi, a professor of entomology at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, led the research with U. of I. natural resources and environmental sciences professor Angela Kent and Ph.D. candidate Sierra Raglin, who is the first author of the paper. The findings are reported in the journal Frontiers in Microbiology.… Continue reading

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Managing your crop’s yield potential 

By Mitch Greve, Agrigold agronomist – Ohio

Managing your crop’s yield potential starts with having patience and a detail-oriented plan heading into planting. Furthermore, as the planting season comes to an end it is essential to spend time in the field with the crop. Scouting corn and soybeans from emergence to harvest can help manage the crop’s yield potential. Monitoring weather patterns and a keen eye can help write your yield story. 

A yield story can be broken down into four chapters; emergence scoring, nutrient deficiencies, disease and heat stress, and late season plant health. 

Emergence score and plant vigor 

Within the first few weeks of planting corn and soybeans it is ideal to scout for emergence and plant vigor. Early season scouting will inform how many plants emerged as compared to intended stand, which we refer to as emergence percentage. Having a high emergence percentage is the best-case scenario, but sometimes weather, and biological or mechanical implications can lower that percentage.… Continue reading

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Replanting decisions in corn and soybeans: What to consider

By Osler OrtezLaura LindseyAlexander Lindsey, Ohio State University Extension

Early plantings, cold air and soil temperatures, precipitation, wind, and warmer temperatures during or after planting may lead to reduced stands in planted fields due to factors such as imbibitional chilling, frost damage, soil crusting, and standing water. These factors (or combinations of them) can negatively affect seedling vigor, plant growth, crop establishment, and plant stands. Reduced stands may result in lower yields. If reduced stands are a concern, a potential solution is to replant fields. However, before replanting, here is a list of steps to consider:

Step 1. Wait… Plant stand should be assessed after ‘stable’ and ‘better’ conditions are achieved (e.g., warmer temperatures, good moisture conditions). Often, hasty decisions are not the best.

  • For corn, past work has shown that 50% emergence can be expected following accumulation of 150 soil GDDs (base of 50°F) from the time of planting, about 5-7 days under normal conditions.
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Planting date and crop yields

By James Hoorman, Hoorman Soil Health Services

Every year, weather seems to play havoc with farmer’s desire to get crops planted timely.  Early planted crops generally have a yield advantage over late planted crops. Most crop yield is related to moisture  at pollination in both corn and soybeans.  So, even if crops are planted later than normal, good yields are possible if there is adequate summer moisture.  Usually, July rains have a big impact on corn yields, while August rains have more of an impact on soybean yields.

Dr. Emerson Nafziger, Photo Credit, University of Illinois Extension

With high crop prices, farmers are eager to start planting.  Cold wet spring often delay planting.   University of Illinois, Dr. Emerson Nafziger, offers some insights on corn and soybean planting dates and yield. Generally, there is about a 3-week window in Ohio for optimal planting which is between April 20th and May 10th. Planting after May 10th on average results in about a 0.3% yield loss per day corn planting is delayed and by the end of May, this loss increases to 1% per day. 

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Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities pilot program update

This spring, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced the first round of funding through the Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities pilot program has received more than 450 proposals ranging from $5 million to $100 million each. The applications USDA received came from more than 350 groups across various sectors.

The American Soybean Association submitted two letters in support of proposals for the program. The first letter supports a project led by Bushel, Inc. and the U.S. Soybean Export Council, which will test the ability of their apps to collect climate-smart production data from farmers and transmit it to grain buyers in an effort to improve traceability and possibly augment the U.S. Soy Sustainability Assurance Protocol (SSAP). The second is in support of a project by the National Corn Growers Association, the National Pork Board and the United Soybean Board that aims to increase cover crop adoption in the corn-soy belt through creation of an innovative private marketplace that will generate demand for climate smart commodities.… Continue reading

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Spring SCN testing and a research opportunity for Ohio growers

By Horacio Lopez-Nicora, Adapted from C.O.R.N. 2022-13

KNOW YOUR SCN NUMBERS, OHIO!

While it is important to know about the presence of SCN in a field, it is more important to know the SCN numbers. It will determine the best management strategy. It is important, therefore, to Test your Fields to Know your SCN Numbers.

In the spring, either before or at planting, is a good time to sample for SCN.

Soybean cyst nematode eggs (note SCN juvenile inside eggs). Photo Credit, The Ohio State University

A soil test in spring will reveal if SCN is present and if so, at what levels. If you are planning to collect samples for soil fertility or participate in an on-farm trial that requires soil sampling, a subsample can be used for SCN testing  

With funding from the Ohio Soybean Council and The SCN Coalition we will process up to TWO soil samples, per grower, to be tested for SCN, free of charge.

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Soybean planting progress, emergence, and misconceptions

By Dr. Laura Lindsey, Adapted from C.O.R.N. 2022-13

Recent wet weather across the state has slowed soybean planting progress, but should be picking up with warmer and dryer weather. As of the last week of April, 2% of the soybean acres in Ohio were planted. Last year at the same time, 17% of soybean acres were planted. However, 2018 through 2020, planting progress was similar at 1-2%.

Table 1. Percent soybean acres planted in Ohio by week for the past five years (USDA NASS).

As soybean planting continues and plants emerge, here are some things to look for as well as some common misconceptions from soybean extension specialists across the U.S.

What Matters at Planting and Emergence: At this point in the growing season, obtaining a stand of sufficient plant population is the first step in ensuring maximum soybean yield. It is important to seed at a rate that will provide an adequate and relatively uniform stand.

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