Vernalization requirements for winter wheat

By Laura Lindsey, Will Hamman, Ohio State University Extension

In the southern portion of the state, above-average temperatures have resulted in winter wheat remaining green (see picture). Will the vernalization requirement be met?

Winter wheat has molecular regulation preventing the transition to reproductive growth until a certain threshold of cold days has been reached. This regulation is called “vernalization.” In winter wheat, the vernalization period protects plants from breaking dormancy too early.

The vernalization requirement varies among cultivars and is temperature (and day length) dependent. In a study conducted on one winter wheat cultivar, it took 40 days for plants to achieve vernalization at 52°F while it took 70 days for plants to achieve vernalization at 34°F. Temperatures above 64°F were ineffective for vernalization. Although winter wheat is green and the winter temperatures have been fairly mild, winter wheat should meet the vernalization requirement.

Once the vernalization requirement has been met, growth is driven by growing degree units.… Continue reading

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Big yield farmers talk shop

Record Breaking Yields. BASF hosted a panel discussion with some of the top corn producers across the country. Listen in as Randy Dowdy, David Hula, Cory Atley and Levi and Jenna Oshsner discuss pushing yields to the next level. The panel discussion includes new technologies, fertility, tissue sampling and the need for fungicide application on every acre. #behindthescience20… Continue reading

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Winter agronomy meetings

By Harold Watters, Ohio State University Extension agronomist

One of the last big meetings of the winter is the Conservation Tillage Conference in Ada, Ohio. Find program and registration information at many county Extension and Soil & Water offices as well as the website.

The CTC this year is March 3 and 4 at the Macintosh Center on the Ohio Northern University campus, 402 West College Avenue, Ada Ohio. The CTC is an annual 2-day program with speakers in four concurrent sessions, exhibitors, and a chance to visit with friends and co-workers. Session titles this year:

  • Crop School — Tuesday and Wednesday upstairs in Room A
  • Nutrient Management — a mix of manure talks and water quality
  • Cover crops, No Till and Soil Health
  • Hemp, plus forage cover crops
  • Managing cover crops
  • Building on 60 Years of no-till success
  • And water quality.

Attendance over the past 5 years has been over 800.… Continue reading

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Cover crop recipes for new users

By Sarah Noggle, Ohio State University Extension

Wondering how to do cover crops? OSU Extension, in collaboration with the Midwest Cover Crops Council (MCCC), has produced cover crop “recipes” for two scenarios: Post corn, going to soybean and Post soybean, going to corn.

The recipes are intended to provide step-by-step guidance to some of the lowest-risk starting points for cover crops. They don’t cover the whole spectrum of possibilities, but they can help beginners get most pieces in place to incorporate cover crops into a farm operation. The two recipes were developed to address Ohio’s most common crop cropping system, the corn/soybean rotation.

The “Post corn, going to soybean” recipe suggests cereal rye, which provides an overwintering ground cover. Soybeans often thrive when planted into standing dead or living cereal rye residue. The “Post soybean, going to corn” recipe suggests an oats/radish mix, which will winterkill and leave a smaller amount of residue in the corn seedbed the following year.… Continue reading

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Fertilizer applicator record keeping rules are in place

By Harold Watters, Ohio State university Extension agronomist

I have done half a dozen fertilizer re-certification trainings this winter so far. There have been many questions — that’s good. It means you are thinking. When we first rolled out the required training, there was complaining about everyone else who also is contributing to the problem. Now that seems to have gone away and folks are looking for ways to reduce the problem on their own farm. I am hearing they forgot about some of the requirements that they need to follow. One big item that we hear from ODA inspectors is the need to record the application of fertilizer. Within 24 hours of any nutrient application, record:

  • Name of fertilizer certificate holder
  • Name of applicator working under direct supervision of certificate holder
  • Date of application
  • Location (field ID, farm)
  • Fertilizer analysis (such as 11-52-0)
  • Rate of fertilizer application (lbs/A), number of acres, and total amount applied
  • Fertilizer application method (surface-applied, incorporated, etc)
  • Soil conditions
  • For surface applications only: is ground frozen or snow covered?
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Had your auxin training yet?

By Harold Watters, Ohio State University Extension agronomist

I recently sat through my training for the season. I was told it’s “all online” but I prefer in person. Everyone now who uses a dicamba product on soybeans must attend auxin training from one of the manufacturers; contact your seed dealer or herbicide supplier to see when yours is happening. If you missed it for the product you are using, that’s OK, you can attend any of the manufacturers’ training sessions to get the update. You can see the list of restrictions for Ohio and online training specifics on the OSU Pesticide Education website:

The goal is not just to reduce herbicide movement but also to reduce resistance weed development. So how do we reduce the potential of resistance development?

  1. Use a pre-emergent herbicide,
  2. Spray post to small weeds; 4-inches or less,
  3. Allow no seed production. “Go rogue” to remove those seed heads.
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Decreases in air pollution result in surplus of $1.60 billion annually for corn and soybeans

As the global population increases, a critical issue is how the world will meet the growing demand for crops. One solution to increase land productivity is to reduce air pollution. In a recent study, MIT Sloan School of Management Visiting Prof. Konstantinos (Kostas) Metaxoglou quantified the crop yield increases attributed to the reductions in emissions in the U.S. and found that the changes resulted in significant benefits for consumers.

“Crops such as corn and soybeans are grown in a part of the country that also has a large number of electric power plants that are major nitrogen oxides (NOx) emitters. There hasn’t been a lot of research or discussion about the impact of NOx on crops. Our study brings attention to the effect of these emissions on agriculture in the U.S. and shows a strong benefit for consumers of U.S. crops,” Metaxoglou said.

He notes that U.S. agriculture productivity has grown substantially in the past 100 years, with average corn yield increasing 8-fold and average soybean yield increasing 5-fold.… Continue reading

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Commodity Classic kicks off in San Antonio

The 2020 Commodity Classic kicks off this week Feb. 27 through Saturday, Feb. 29 in San Antonio, Texas. This year’s theme is “See Your Future Clearly.”

As farmers look to improve their profitability in an unpredictable agricultural environment, the educational sessions at the 2020 Commodity Classic are designed to provide farmers with the clarity and insight they need to make better-informed decisions that can have a powerful impact on their bottom line.

More than 40 educational sessions are on the schedule in San Antonio. They will cover a wide range of important topics including soil health, grain marketing, farm policy, farm succession planning, nutrient stewardship, weather trends, mental health, fertility programs, rural broadband access, on-road ag equipment regulations, ag technology, international trade, African Swine Fever and more.

“Every educational session is selected by the Commodity Classic Farmer Committee to ensure the content and the presenters provide high-quality, relevant content that matters to today’s growers,” said Bill Wykes, a farmer from Illinois and co-chair of the 2020 Commodity Classic.… Continue reading

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Nitrogen recommendations for wheat

By Harold Watters, Ohio State University Extension agronomist

I hear wheat acres are up, to maybe 560,000. That’s good, but what about the one million acres we used to grow. Is there a need for that level of production anymore? Wheat makes our other two crops better and reduces weed, insect and disease problems for them. I know some had a rough fall to get wheat planted, with wet conditions and harvest delays. If you have wheat, it’s time to think about your nitrogen (N) application. The most recent Ohio Agronomy Guide has just a bit of an update on spring nitrogen recommendations for wheat in Ohio.

We do rely on yield potential to make the wheat N recommendation — not for corn anymore, but we still do for wheat. Once you have set a realistic yield goal, follow rates suggested in Table 1. These recommendations are for mineral soils with adequate drainage and 1 to 5% organic matter.… Continue reading

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It’s time for a change: Stop grain drownings

By Robert (Bob) Marlow, Operations Professional Services, Walton, Ind.

I lost a friend recently. Rescuers found his body in a grain storage tank, along with a coworker covered in grains. They died of asphyxiation.

Out of respect for the families, coworkers and others involved, I’m not going to go into specifics. If something doesn’t change, it will happen again.

I’ve lost too many friends in my career. Statistics show on average, 18 to 20 deaths occur each year due to engulfment in grains, and over 80% are due to grain that has spoiled. OSHA tracks these incidents, but not all farms and elevators are regulated by OSHA. If all incidents were included, experts suggest the numbers would be significantly higher.

How and why does this happen?

Corn is the grain most closely associated with, and tied to engulfment deaths, both on farms and in commercial storage operations. Corn is the single largest crop produced in the U.S.… Continue reading

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Dryness worsens in the South as Brazil’s soy harvest reaches 31%

It is Carnival in Brazil, but corn and soybean farmers don’t have time to rest or dance. They’d better hurry up, because time is ticking for the second corn crop planting, which is sown right after the soybean harvest – and this year the soy crop is delayed due to irregular rains in late 2019.

According to AgRural data, Brazilian farmers had harvested 31% of their 2019/20 soybean area by Feb 20, compared to 21% a week earlier, 45% in the same period a year ago and 30% on the five-year average. Top producer Mato Grosso leads, with 73%. Despite excessive rains in some areas of the state, quality issues are not a big concern so far and yield reports remain strong.

Catching up
As expected, the harvest pace finally picked up last week in states that planted later than normal, such as Goiás, Paraná, São Paulo and Mato Grosso do Sul.… Continue reading

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USB Take Action webinar series

The USB Take Action initiative and university weed scientists have developed a free webinar series covering various weed and herbicide management issues. The webinar occurs every Thursday at 11 am EST through March 26. Each webinar will have two weed scientists giving presentations about 15 minutes long, and there is opportunity for viewers to ask questions via the web portal. The schedule is as follows:

  • Feb. 20: Aaron Hager, University of Illinois — effective long-term management of waterhemp; Travis Legleiter, University of Kentucky — spray deposition factors.
  • Feb. 27: Pat Tranel, University of Illinois — metabolism-based resistance, multiple resistance, etc; Amit Jhala, University of Nebraska — pollen-mediated gene flow and transfer of herbicide-resistance.
  • March 5: Tom Peters, North Dakota State University — status of research on electricity methods; John Wallace, Penn State University — cover crops and weed management.
  • March 12: Bryan Young, Purdue University — drift retardants/volatility; Bill Johnson, Purdue University — mixing/antagonism, volunteer corn issues.
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Reducing phosphorus runoff

By James J. Hoorman, Hoorman Soil Health Services

Tremendous farmer turnout occurred for the new Ohio H20 plan for $30 million being provided to 14 Northwest Ohio counties to improve Lake Erie water quality.  Almost everyone agrees that phosphorus (P) in surface water is a major issue.  The excess P in surface water is causing Harmful Algal Blooms (HAB) in Lake Erie.  Since we are dealing with many algae (singular), the plural is algal not algae (common mistake).  One pound of P in water may produce 500 pounds of HAB.  The HAB in water need 1/10 the amount of P that our land-based plants need to thrive, so even a little P in surface water causes HAB to thrive.

In the 1970’s/1980’s, the problem was total phosphorus which includes dissolved (or soluble) reactive phosphorus (DRP) plus the particulate phosphorus (PP) or P attached to soil particles.  Recently, researchers have concentrated mainly on DRP because it flows with the water and is easily HAB absorbed. 

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Will fungicide resistant frogeye be an issue for Ohio in 2020?

By Matt Reese

With growing concern about fungicide-resistant frogeye leaf spot in some parts of the Corn Belt, farmers in Ohio may wondering if this will be a management issue with soybeans in 2020. This could be especially problematic after the fairly mild winter conditions that may set up potential problems for the 2020 growing season.

“Frogeye leaf spot has now become a recurring problem for soybeans in southern up to central Ohio. High levels of inoculum — lots of leaf spots — in the fall can overwinter in Ohio, so this is especially important for those fields that are continuous soybean,” said Anne Dorrance, Ohio State University Extension plant pathologist. “The first thing is if you had frogeye at the end of the season in 2019, please do not plant the same variety back in that field. I do that to create the best opportunity for our research plots to develop disease for fungicide studies, and since I have that covered, you don’t need to do that. … Continue reading

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Continuous soybeans and cover crops

By Dusty Sonnenberg, CCA, Ohio Field Leader

Soybean growers across Ohio, and especially farmers enrolling in the new H2Ohio program, will be interested in research conducted by Keeley Overmyer, investigating possible impacts from a crop rotation with continuous soybeans and the use of cover crops. Overmyer’s research was funded by a grant from the Ohio Soybean Council and Soybean Checkoff.

According to a survey conducted by the North Central Soybean Research Program, there has been a steady increase in the percentage of Ohio fields with soybeans following soybeans. In 2014, only 8% of the soybean fields were in a continuous soybean system. Just 4 years later, that number has climbed to 17% of the fields in Ohio with soybeans following soybeans. According to the 2017 Census of Agriculture, 718,000 acres of cover crops were planted in Ohio. Percentages have continuously climbed with soybean fields having a cover crop planted either prior to the soybean crop, or following the soybeans.

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Farm bill decision deadline fast approaching

By Chris Zoller, Mary Griffith, Ben Brown, Ohio State University Extension

Enrollment in the 2018 Farm Bill programs (PLC, ARC-CO, and ARC-IC) ends on March 16. If you do not enroll by this date you will default to the election you made in the previous Farm Bill and receive NO PAYMENTS for the 2019 program year. This same election holds true for 2020.

As a reminder, PLC is a price protection/income loss option that covers declines in crop prices and the ARC-CO program is an income support option based on county-level benchmark revenues and guarantees compared to actual revenues. For those with prevent planted acres, the ARC-IC program may be worth consideration. ARC-IC issues payments when individual crop revenue is less than the guarantee and uses individual yields, rather than the county yields.

Once an election is made, the choice carries through for 2019 and 2020. Annual changes can be made in 2021, 2022, and 2023 program years.… Continue reading

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Results from the 2019 Ohio Corn Yield and Ohio Wheat Yield contests

2019 Ohio Corn Yield Contest results

District 1 (Far Northwest Ohio)

  1. Jim Motycka, 289.37 bushels, Pioneer
  2. Dan Watchman, 280.79 bushels, Seed Consultants


District 2 (Northern Ohio)

  1. Nick Kelbly, 295.8 bushels, AgriGold
  2. Bill Frankart, 254.47 bushels, Pioneer


District 3 (Northwest Ohio)

  1. Jerry Shipp, 265.51 bushels, AgriGold
  2. Scott Saum, 263.48 bushels, Seed Consultants


District 4 (North Central Ohio)

  1. John Wilson, 266.64 bushels, Channel
    2. Todd Schroeder, 257.91 bushels, Pioneer


District 5 (Northeastern Ohio)

  1. Shawn Houck, 276.80 bushels, Pioneer
  2. Dave Schafer, 270.02 bushels, Pioneer


District 6 (Western Ohio)

  1. Don Jackson, 290.04 bushels, Dekalb
  2. Jeff Martin, 272.73 bushels, Specialty Hybrids


District 7 (Central Ohio)

  1. Scott Haer, 287.32 bushels, Pioneer
  2. Michael Vallery, 282.35 bushels, Channel


District 8 (Eastern Ohio)

  1. Mike Wolfe, 294.53 bushels, Dekalb
  2. Bryon Gearhart, 282.66 bushels, AgriGold


District 9 (Southern Ohio)

  1. Cory Atley, 314.55 bushels, Dekalb
  2. Cory Atley, 310.21 bushels, Croplan
  3. Neal Bond, 285.71 bushels, Pioneer (second place District winner)

Ohio Winner:  Cory Atley, 314.55 bushels, Dekalb

State Second Place Ohio Grower: Nick Kelbly, 295.8, AgriGold


2019 Ohio Wheat Yield Contest results

  1. Doug Goyings, Paulding Co.,
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Nationwide launches annual safety contest to cultivate awareness of grain bin hazards

Each year, thousands of farmers are exposed to the life-threatening hazards associated with entering grain bins to remove rotting or clumped grain. In just a few seconds, an adult can sink waist-deep in the quicksand-like suction of flowing grain, rendering them unable to free themselves without help. Although these hazards are well-known in the industry, they are often underestimated until it’s too late.

To raise awareness of these dangers and prevent all-too-common accidents, Nationwide has launched its seventh annual Nominate Your Fire Department Contest in recognition of Grain Bin Safety Week. The goal is to help prevent injuries and fatalities by promoting safe bin-entry procedures when entry is absolutely necessary, such as maintaining quality grain, testing bin atmosphere for toxic gases, wearing proper safety equipment and always utilizing a spotter who can help if needed. Nominations for this year’s Nominate Your Fire Department Contest are open until April 30.

U.S.… Continue reading

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Prevent plant acres and rogue weeds: Having a control plan is the key

By Dusty Sonnenberg, CCA, Ohio Field Leader

With prevent plant acres abundant in 2019, some fields experienced a huge increase in the weed seed bank. For some of those fields, pre- and post- herbicide applications were delayed, or did not occur at all. In other fields, weed control was attempted by mowing and tillage prior to seed development. Looking ahead to 2020, weed management could be a challenge.

“This is one of those time you do not want to cut out any of your pre- herbicides or cut rates on your post-,” said Mark Loux, Ohio State University Extension weed scientist.

The three primary weeds of most concern coming out of the 2019 prevent plant acres include: waterhemp, ragweeds, and marestail.

“Farmers need to be sure to have a comprehensive effective herbicide program that includes; effective burndown or tillage, a full rate of preemergence herbicide with residuals, and choosing an effective post emerge soybean trait system,” Loux said.

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