How are corn and soybean yields on your farm?

By Harold Waters and Greg LaBarge, Ohio State University Extension

The crop tour season is upon us with yield estimates from across the region coming in. While these are great conversation starters, the most meaningful estimates are for your own farm. There is no secret formula, yield estimate tools are widely published, so why not join in on the fun.

Corn yield estimates are based on determining the number of kernels per acre then using a standard kernel weight. A commonly used formula is found in the Corn, Soybean, Wheat and Forages Field Guide on page 14, provided by Peter Thomison retired OSU state corn specialist. 

There are several techniques for estimating corn grain yield prior to harvest. A numerical constant for average kernel weight is figured into the equation. Weight per kernel will vary depending on hybrid and environment; yield will be overestimated in a year with poor grain fill conditions and underestimated in a good year.… Continue reading

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Corn and beans outpacing 2020 crop progress

Thunderstorms during the week brought much-needed rain which benefitted crop development, according to Cheryl Turner, State Statistician, USDA NASS, Ohio Field Office. Topsoil moisture conditions were rated 80 percent adequate to surplus, up 5 percentage points from the previous week. Temperatures for the week ending August 15 were 6.1 degrees above historical normals, while the entire State averaged 1.37 inches of precipitation. There were 4.2 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending August 15.

Farmers sprayed crops, hauled grain and manure, and made hay. Alfalfa hay second cut was complete while alfalfa hay third cut was 65 percent complete. Oat harvest was 97 percent complete. Corn sinking progress was rated 94 percent complete and corn dough was rated 68 percent complete. Corn condition was rated 81 percent good to excellent. Soybeans blooming was rated 92 percent complete while 80 percent of soybeans were setting pods. Soybeans condition was rated 73 percent good to excellent.… Continue reading

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Microgreens offering local flavor to central Ohio

By Matt Reese 

Believe it or not, growing microgreens is the easy part.

This was one of the first lessons learned by Ty Lilly after he started researching these tiny powerhouses for nutritionand flavor after being laid off from a lucrative career in software. Rather than search for another job he decided to create his own. Along with business and life partner Martha Channell, who had also recently lost her job at a soil testing lab, they decided — after extensive research — to jump into growing microgreens full time in 2019 as Seven Acre Farm.

They live on a unique, 7-acre wooded property in Dublin on the northwest side of Columbus in Franklin County anddecided to harness the advantages of their location for growing and delivering fresh, vegan microgreens within hours ofharvesting. Despite never really hearing of microgreens before, they discovered emerging and quickly growing demandfor these vegetable greens harvested just after the cotyledon leaves develop. Upscale chefs love including microgreens in salads and as flavorful additions to their creations, and more consumers are seeking them out for adding color, flavor,and nutrition to their meals at home.… Continue reading

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Upper Scioto River Watershed opportunities

American Farmland Trust is presenting two unique opportunities for farmers in the Upper Scioto River Watershed.

First, farmers can receive $20 per ton financial incentive for using Triple Super Phosphate in the fall as an alternative to MAP or DAP. Second, farmers who adopt cover crops, reduce tillage and diversify their crop rotations could earn up to $40 per acre for carbon and water quality credits.

Both of these options will be discussed in presentation at Der Dutchman in Plain City Tuesday Aug. 12 starting at 11:30. The meeting includes lunch (and pie). … Continue reading

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Tackling important production decisions with on-farm research

By Aaron Overholser and John Fulton

Making decisions centered on crop production and how best to manage inputs and select practices that make sense for the farm operation can be difficult at times. Many times, information is obtained from neighboring farmers and searching the internet to understand what works or not. With precision ag technology and software available within the industry today, conducting on-farm studies has provided an opportunity for farmers to proactively address production questions. This then leads to insight about what works or not while fine-tuning input management; especially fertilizer application decisions. 

One of the programs in the state of Ohio that works with farmers to setup and answer their production questions is The Ohio State University’s eFields program. This program was developed in 2016 as a means to tackle farmers’ questions from around the state while helping Extension and research personnel conduct meaningful studies addressing research questions as well.… Continue reading

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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

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Moisture haves and have nots showing up

By Matt Reese and Dave Russell

Most of Ohio had enough rain in the early part of the 2021 growing season (in some places too much). In the last 3 weeks or so, though, the rains have stopped in some areas. The Aug. 12 update from the U.S. Drought monitor has a large portion of southeastern and portions of western Ohio listed as “Abnormally Dry.”

This map was released Aug. 12 by the U.S. Drought Monitor. Yellow areas are “Abnormally Dry.”

Some of those dry conditions showed up in this week’s Ohio Crop Tour.

“The places we have been, I’d say Greene and Champaign counties have had more moisture than any other place we were, Fayette would be in there too. The western side of the state and back to Pickaway County was drier than what I imagined it would be,” said Bill Black, a Pickaway County farmer who participated in the in-person tour.… Continue reading

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Hazy days: How does light influence crop?

By Alexander LindseyLaura LindseyAaron Wilson, Ohio State University Extension

Quite often this summer, our skies have been filled with smoke from western wildfires. Strong, dominant high pressure has focused record-breaking heat in the west while here across the Midwest, westerly to northwesterly flow has funneled that smoke our direction. Typically, this smoke remains at high altitude, resulting in hazy sunshine. What impact can this filtered sunshine have on crop production?

Capturing sunlight energy, which drives photosynthesis, is important to maximize crop yield. Typical plant canopy-level instantaneous light values (also known as photosynthetic photon flux density) on sunny days range from 1200 to 1800 µmol/m2/s while typical instantaneous plant canopy-level values for cloudy days are 100 to 400 µmol/m2/s. In general, sunny days (all else equal) are better for crops, especially if moisture is non-limiting.

For soybean, photosynthetic photon flux densities that exceed 700 µmol/m2/s produce minimal gains in leaf-level photosynthetic efficiency, which ultimately can translate into yield production.… Continue reading

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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

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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

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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

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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.”

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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.”

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Leafhopper issues in alfalfa

By Andy MichelMark SulcCurtis Young, CCAKelley Tilmon, Ohio State University Extension

Potato leafhopper (PLH) adults arrived in Ohio during the last week of June and first week of July. Since then, the eggs have hatched and we are now seeing late stage nymphs and adults infesting alfalfa fields.  A few fields are showing the typical “hopperburn”, which is a triangular yellowing from the center of the leaf to the leaf margin. The more mature the crop of alfalfa is since the last cutting, the more the hopperburn symptoms will be showing. Hopperburn will also become more pronounced in areas of the state that are short on rain or are predicted to become drier because the alfalfa will not be able to outgrow the feeding activity of PLH.  Scouting now and making appropriate management decisions based on the scouting can help avoid serious damage to the crop.… Continue reading

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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

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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

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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.
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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

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Crop progress still ahead of last year

Dry weather throughout the week benefited crops in some areas of the State but caused moisture stress in other areas, according to Cheryl Turner, State Statistician, USDA NASS, Ohio Field Office. Topsoil moisture conditions were rated 75 percent adequate to surplus, down 11 percentage points from the previous week. Temperatures for the week ending August 8 were 1.6 degrees below historical normals, while the entire State averaged 0.40 inches of precipitation. There were 6.2 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending August 8.

Farmers sprayed crops and mowed wheat stubble. Winter wheat harvest was complete. Alfalfa hay second cut progress was 97 percent complete while third cut was 55 percent complete. Oat harvest was 94 percent complete. Corn silking progress was rated 93 percent complete and corn dough was rated 51 percent complete. Corn condition was rated 80 percent good to excellent. Soybeans blooming was rated 90 percent complete while 72 percent of soybeans were setting pods.… Continue reading

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