Crops



Tomatoes offer challenge and reward

By Matt Reese

As corn and soybean harvest efforts around Ohio are really starting to take off, the state’s tomato harvest is wrapping up. And, for Brian and Andy Stickel in Wood County, 2020 was a good tomato year.

“Tomato harvest has been underway now for several weeks and so far the crop looks pretty good. We went from one extreme to the other. It was a very wet year in Wood County last year and we did not get anything planted in 2019,” Andy said. “The 2020 spring was pretty favorable to get planted in a timely manner. We were really pretty dry all summer. We only really had significant rains in late August. Tomatoes like dry feet and that has been pretty favorable. It has kept disease pressure down so far.”

The diverse operation includes cattle, corn, non-GMO food-grade soybeans, wheat, hay, tomatoes, and cover crops. Andy and Brian are the fourth generation of their family on the farm.… Continue reading

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Variable soybeans in 2020

By Matt Reese

There is always variability from soil type to soil type, but this year it seems to be more pronounced.

“I think one of the words that is going to ring true this year is ‘variation.’ There is variation not only across the field but there is wide variation across the entire geography I cover in the southwest half of Ohio,” said Roy Ulrich, technical agronomist for DEKALBAsgrow. “We’ve got areas that caught timely rains and there are going to be some good yields. We also have areas that unfortunately did not catch those rains and they will be looking at depressed yields coming into harvest. There will be areas in some fields with higher moisture holding capacity that are going to yield considerably better than some of our droughtier soils. We have gone through a wide range of stress environments this summer, most driven by moisture or the lack thereof.”… Continue reading

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Ohio’s Linder moves into role as NCGA president

By Matt Reese

John Linder, of Edison, in Morrow County, started in his new role as president of the Corn Board of the National Corn Growers Association on Oct. 1.

“Harvest is upon us, combines are rolling across the country as we speak cutting beans or shelling corn. For the moment, the focus is safely getting this year’s crop safely in the bins and to the elevators, but soon all of us will be shifting our attention to the future,” Linder said. “For some, those plans might be to simply stay afloat while others see opportunities to expand their operations. Wherever you may be on that continuum, my pledge to you is that there will be no stone left unturned in our efforts to create opportunities for our industry to recover and grow beyond the current situation.”

On the state level, Linder is a past chair of the Ohio Corn Marketing Program Board of Directors and past member of the Ag Credit Co-op Board.… Continue reading

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The future of sustainable weed control

By Luke Schulte, Beck’s Hybrids

The year 1996 changed the mindset of many growers regarding their approach to controlling weeds in soybeans. The introduction of Roundup Ready soybeans allowed farmers to more adequately control weeds, and it allowed for post-emergence applications to occur without the crop response that had become expected. Because of this, the adoption of Roundup Ready soybeans took place very rapidly. 

Since then, many farmers have implemented a weed control strategy that relies heavily on post-emergence trips to perform much of the heavy lifting for weed control. For many years, this approach has worked successfully. However, 20+ years later, glyphosate-resistant weeds are once again changing the face of soybean weed control.

From the mid-1990s until recently, glyphosate has been a staple component to most soybean post-emergence programs. Moving forward, many soybean technologies and POST programs are now utilizing Liberty herbicide to control glyphosate-resistant (GR) weeds. Not only is Liberty replacing or being applied in conjunction with glyphosate in many POST programs, but future and recently introduced soybean technologies are also providing tolerance to multiple sites of action (SOAs) POST to combat herbicide resistance. … Continue reading

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2020 Farm Science Review Virtual Research Plot tour continued – Sulfur Deficiencies

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

The OSU Extension, Agronomic Crops Team and the e-Fields Program had a number of research plots once again at the Molly Caren Agricultural Center in 2020. The online review gave guests a number of opportunities to take a virtual plot tour and learn more about the ongoing research. The virtual plot tour was sponsored by the Ohio Soybean Council.

Harold Watters, OSU Extension, Field Specialist Agronomic Systems, presented a poster session discussing nutrient deficiencies and the current research being conducted across the state, particularly as it relates to sulfur deficiencies. To start the discussion, Watters pointed out that while there may be sulfur deficiencies in some fields, the broad application of sulfur to fields across Ohio is not necessary yet. “There are deficiencies in some fields out there, and they will probably be seen on the sand and gravel fields, and lower organic matter soils,” Watters said.… Continue reading

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2020 Farm Science Review Virtual Research Plot tour continued – Poultry litter use

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

The Ohio State University Extension, Agronomic Crops Team and the e-Fields Program had a number of research plots once again at the Molly Caren Agricultural Center in 2020. The online Review gave guests a number of opportunities to take a virtual plot tour and learn more about the ongoing research. The virtual plot tour was sponsored by the Ohio Soybean Council.

The use of poultry litter as a source of nutrients in crop production has increased in recent years as farmers have realized the additional benefits it brings in the micro-nutrients and biological components it contains. In order to maximize these benefits, proper application is necessary. Proper application includes calibrating the spreader in order to apply the correct amount to achieve the desired agronomic results while still protecting the environment.

As part of the 2020 Farm Science Review Virtual Plot Tour, a session was held on Soil manure spreader calibration and poultry litter application.

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2020 Farm Science Review Virtual Research Plot tour

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

The OSU Extension, Agronomic Crops Team and the e-Fields Program had a number of research plots once again at the Molly Caren Agricultural Center in 2020. The online review gave guests a number of opportunities to take a virtual plot tour and learn more about the ongoing research. The virtual plot tour was sponsored by the Ohio Soybean Council.

Strip intercropping was the focus of one plot on the virtual tour. This is a practice that involves growing corn and soybeans in alternating strips within the same field. Preliminary findings were that the strip intercropping practice increased yield, and decreased soil compaction.

Remote Sensing was the focus of another series of plots. Remote sensing is the science of acquiring information about an object or phenomenon by measuring the emitted and reflected radiation. Drone flying over an Ohio soybean field with stinger platform suspended beneath.Remote sensing data can be collected in four primary ways: land-based, UAVs, airplanes, or satellites.

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H2Ohio streamlines approval process for VNMPs

The Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) and the Ohio Agribusiness Association (OABA) are joining forces to streamline the approval process of Voluntary Nutrient Management Plans (VNMP) for farmers participating in the H2Ohio water quality initiative to reduce phosphorus runoff into Lake Erie.

On Sept. 3, 2020, ODA Director, Dorothy Pelanda, appointed two ODA staff members, Kip Studer and Peter McDonough, to work in partnership with OABA and Ohio’s Soil and Water Conservation Districts to approve VNMPs that have been developed as part of the 4R Nutrient Stewardship Certification Program.

First launched in the Spring of 2014, the 4R Nutrient Stewardship Certification Program is a proactive, responsible commitment aimed at the long-term improvement of water quality. This voluntary, annual third-party auditor verified program provides a consistent, recognized standard for agricultural retailers, nutrient service providers and other certified professionals in the state of Ohio. This approach provides a science-based framework for plant nutrition management and sustained crop production, while considering specific individual farms’ needs.… Continue reading

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Harvest technology preparation

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

As harvest season 2020 is just getting underway across the state, Dr. John Fulton, Professor and Extension Specialist in Ohio State’s Food Agricultural and Biological Engineering Department says that getting all the technology checked out before going to the field will make processing harvest data easier this winter.

Dr. John Fulton, The Ohio State University

Good data collection is necessary for making informed management decisions in the future. “When we think about yield monitors, and the data they collect, the first step each fall is to make sure the data on the display from previous seasons has been retrieved, and archived or backed-up to ensure nothing is lost,” said Fulton. “We encourage farmers to move it from the thumb drive or card used to retrieve it and stored on a laptop or a hard drive or storage space to make sure it is securely stored.”

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H2Ohio reminder for nutrient applications

By Glen Arnold, Ohio State University Extension

Harvest is starting and farmers participating in the H2Ohio program are reminded that any fall fertilizer applications, including manure, need to be approved by their local Soil & Water Conservation Districts. This will assure the application is in compliance with their Voluntary Nutrient Management Plan and there will be no problems with the payment process.

Many farmers will be working with their local fertilizer dealerships for fertilizer recommendations, but it is still a requirement to get approval from your local Soil and Water Conservation District before the fertilizer or manure is applied.… Continue reading

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Last Chance: Act Now to Update PLC Yields

By Clint Schroeder, Ohio State University Extension Educator

Landowners or producers with a Power of Attorney for their landowner have until September 30, 2020 to update their Price Loss Coverage (PLC) yield, also referred to as farm yield, information on file with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA). PLC yields exist for each FSA farm number and commodity. This one-time opportunity to update yield information for covered commodities was a provision in the 2018 Farm Bill. The updated yields will be used to calculate payments under the PLC program for the 2020 through 2023 crop years if market prices trigger payments. PLC yields have also been used before in disaster relief programs. There is no guarantee that farmers will have this opportunity again under future farm bills. If a farm chooses to not update their yield info the existing yields for the farm will be used.… Continue reading

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We need to reflect back on what we learned this year

By Harold Watters, Ohio State University Extension

I think we screwed up the 2020 cropping season in 2018 and 2019. I hope the yield estimates we saw in OCJ in August hold up. Matt always goes back and checks with the growers at harvest, this year with the virtual tour I hope we can still check those actual yields against the estimates. At any rate the screw ups we did in 2018 and 2019 were a bit out of our control… meaning we were too wet when we harvested in 2018 and too wet when we planted in 2019 — and that led to a lot of surface compaction, and probably some deeper compaction, too. To follow that up we had a mild winter in 2019-2020 so we saw limited freeze-thaw to take away some of those compaction issues. I do not suggest tillage this fall, generally, to solve the problem.… Continue reading

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Fall soil sampling?

By Greg LaBarge and Harold Watters, Ohio State University Extension

Simply put, the goal of soil sampling is to make a fertilizer recommendation for crop production.

  • To provide that recommendation, calibration studies are done to measure crop response.
  • For Ohio, the Tri-State Fertilizer Recommendations provide the calibration study history for recommendation development. For 2020 we just rolled out the latest “Tri-State” recommendations.

It’s about statistics. We want to take a representative sample, meaning that the sample should represent the fertility level of the area we sampled.

  • Choose sample areas in the field that have similar crop yields, crop rotation histories, fertilizer application methods and sources of applied nutrient.
  • Fields or field areas with a history of livestock production (a former pasture, had manure applications or produced hay) or other unique characteristics may require a different sampling strategy.
  • Field areas represented by any single sample should not be greater than 25 acres.
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University/industry partnership takes field scouting to the next level

It’s no secret that farming has become increasingly high-tech, but a partnership between The Ohio State University and an Ohio agribusiness is taking things even further with new field scouting technology that involves a drone and artificial intelligence (AI).

The Molly Caren Agricultural Center, home to the annual Farm Science Review (FSR), is no stranger to implementing new technology and best practices to optimize production and, more importantly, serving as a resource for Ohio and regional producers.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, FSR 2020 will be a three-day virtual show held Sept. 22–24 at fsr.osu.edu. Although the center is closed to the public, Molly Caren Ag Center farm manager Nate Douridas and his team have been conducting various research projects to ensure that Ohio remains at the forefront of agricultural innovation.

In partnership with Integrated Ag Services, a local agribusiness based in Milford Center, a new high-definition field scouting program is being studied using a drone equipped with AI software.… Continue reading

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Visit the Agronomic Crops Team at the (Virtual) Farm Science Review on September 22-24th

By Amanda Douridas, Mary Griffith, Jason Hartschuh, CCA, Elizabeth Hawkins, Ohio State University Extension

This year the Farm Science Review will be virtual for the first time in its nearly 60 year history. The virtual show takes place on September 22-24th and includes many livestreamed educational sessions and demonstrations, as well as recorded videos. The show is free to attend with a simple registration process. To register, start at fsr.osu.edu and click on the red box that will take you to the My Show Planner. For registration guidance, check out this quick video that demonstrates the process.

The Agronomic Crops Team will be at the virtual Farm Science Review and available to discuss agronomy related issues with visitors through a virtual portal. Once you have registered to attend the Farm Science Review, you can find the Agronomic Crops Team here. The main activities hosted by the Agronomic Crops Team include:

Virtual Agronomic Plots Tour: This year the Agronomic Crops Plots were planted as always, and visitors can take a 360 virtual reality tour of the plots.… Continue reading

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The legalities of noxious weeds

The legalities of noxious weeds

By Ellen Essman, Ohio Law Blog, Agricultural & Resource Law Program at The Ohio State University

We have been receiving many questions about noxious weeds lately. This is meant to be a refresher about what you should do if noxious weeds sprout up on your property.

What are noxious weeds?

The Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) is in charge of designating “prohibited noxious weeds.” The list may change from time to time, but currently, noxious weeds include:

  • Shatter cane (Sorghum bicolor)
  •  Russian thistle (Salsola Kali var. tenuifolia).
  • Johnsongrass (Sorghum halepense ).
  •  Wild parsnip (Pastinaca sativa).
  • Grapevines (Vitis spp.), when growing in groups of one hundred or more and not pruned, sprayed, cultivated, or otherwise maintained for two consecutive years.
  • Canada thistle (Cirsium arvense ).
  • Poison hemlock (Conium maculatum).
  •  Cressleaf groundsel (Senecio glabellus).
  • Musk thistle (Carduus nutans).
  • Purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria).
  • Mile-A-Minute Weed (Polygonum perfoliatum).
  • Giant Hogweed (Heracleum mantegazzianum).
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Cover Crop Champions & Cover Crop Driving Tour

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

Cover Crop Champions is an educational initiative funded through a grant from the National Wildlife Federation. There are two Cover Crop Champions programs in Ohio.  One is in the northwest corner of the state, and the other is located in west central Ohio.

The program in Northwest Ohio is being overseen by the Conservation Action Project (CAP). CAP was started in 1988 and serves the seven-county corner of Northwest Ohio which includes: Paulding, Defiance, Williams, Henry, Fulton, Wood, and Lucas. The governing board is made up of farmers, ag retailers, and agency personnel with the goal of working to help farmers and ag retailers implement conservation practices in an economically sustainable way.

Abby Wensink is the coordinator of CAP, and is administering the Cover Crop Champions grant. Cover Crop Champions utilizes the knowledge of area farmers who are experienced with cover crops.

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Fall harvest tips

By John Fulton (FABE Associate Professor) and Elizabeth Hawkins (Extension Specialist)

Fall harvest is here and is one of the more exciting times of the year on the farm. Spending time sitting in the combine cab or delivering grain can be fun. However, harvest also brings about the opportunity to collect yield and other data from fields that can be valuable when evaluating individual fields for the year. Today, there is a lot of data collected throughout the growing season that can be beneficial as one evaluates each field and the impactful variables on yield and profit.

We would all like to see over 300 bushels of corn and 80 bushels per acre of soybeans consistently displayed on the yield monitor across an entire field. This year that will not happen as yield variability within and between fields is likely to be quite high for the 2020 harvest. However, to work towards reaching yield and profit goals, it is important to collect data that is beneficial for the farm operation to use during post-harvest evaluation.… Continue reading

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Tips for harvest and planning for 2021

By Dr. Anne Dorrance, Ohio State University Extension Plant Pathology, Adapted from C.O.R.N. 2018-33

The 2020 Soybean harvest has started in Ohio.  The following items are things to keep track of as the combines run across the fields to help evaluate the 2020 crop and plan for 2021.

  • Make note of those low yield spots in soybeans to soil sample for soybean cyst nematode levels.
  • Did you leave unsprayed strips?  Harvest each of these first separately.  Yield is not even throughout a field so comparisons to the average of these unsprayed strips are a more accurate measure of what the baseline level of yield is within a field.  This is the number to compare yields for any treatments. Note: the outside borders of the field are usually not comparable since these have additional secondary factors such as shade from trees, compaction, old fence rows etc. which can impact yield.
  • Fields with Sclerotinia should be harvested last. 
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Western Ohio cropland values and cash rents 2019-20

By Barry Ward, Leader, Production Business Management, Director, OSU Income Tax Schools, College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, OSU Extension

Ohio cropland varies significantly in its production capabilities and, consequently, cropland values and cash rents vary widely throughout the state. Generally speaking, western Ohio cropland values and cash rents differ from much of eastern Ohio and parts of southern Ohio cropland values and cash rents. The primary factors affecting these values and rates are land productivity and potential crop return, and the variability of those crop returns. Soils and drainage capabilities are the two factors that heavily influence land productivity, crop return and variability of those crop returns.

Other factors impacting land values and cash rents may include buildings and grain storage, field size and shape, field accessibility, market access, local market prices, field perimeter characteristics and potential for wildlife damage, previous tillage system and crops, tolerant/resistant weed populations, population density, USDA Program Yields, and competition for the cropland in a region.… Continue reading

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