Soybean problems showing up

By Anne Dorrance, Ohio State University Extension plant pathologist

We have multiple planting dates in Ohio this year with soybeans in all different growth stages. This can create challenges when management decisions are based on the stage of crop development.

For soybeans that are flowering, there was a confirmed report of frogeye leaf spot. If the soybeans in the field are in good health then managing this disease is often cost effective on susceptible varieties. Scouting between R2/R3, if frogeye is easy to find on the newly expanded leaves a fungicide application is warranted. There are many fungicides available with fair to very good efficacy. The one caveat is in Ohio we have identified strains of the fungus that causes frogeye leaf spot that is resistant to strobilurin fungicides, so choose a product that has another mode-of-action.

For soybeans that are in the early seedling stages that have continued to get these saturating rains, damping-off is occurring.… Continue reading

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USDA numbers neutral on July 11

By Doug Tenney, Leist Mercantile

What will USDA give us today? How will they affect my bottom line?

That is the gargantuan (adjective for the day) question farmers are asking. They continue to be in shock with the most surprising corn acres number provided with the June 28 Acres Report. This report had U.S. corn acres at 91.7 million acres while soybean acres were estimated at 80 million acres. What happened to prevent planted corn acres talked about for weeks ahead of that report? Corn acres were a huge bearish surprise, with December CBOT corn closing down 19 ½ cents at $4.31 ½ on the June 28 report day. Trader estimates ahead of the report estimated corn acres at 86-87 million acres. Soybean acres were a huge bullish surprise as the November CBOT soybeans closed at $9.23, up 10 ¾ cents that same day. Trader estimates had been 84 million acres.… Continue reading

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USDA extends spring-seeded crop reporting deadline in Ohio, 11 other states

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is extending the deadline for agricultural producers in states impacted by flooding and heavy moisture. The new July 22 deadline applies to producers in Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, Minnesota, North Dakota, Ohio, Tennessee and Wisconsin for reporting spring-seeded crops to USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) county offices and crop insurance agents.

“These are challenging times for farmers, and we are here to help,” said Bill Northey, USDA Under Secretary for Farm Production and Conservation. “This deadline extension is part of our broader effort to increase program flexibility and reduce overall regulatory burden for producers who are having to make some tough choices for their operations.”

Producers not in the selected states must file reports or be added to a county register by the original July 15 deadline.

“While producers in many parts of the country are experiencing a challenging spring and early summer, these states are seeing an especially large number of producers delayed in planting and unable to complete their other fieldwork,” Northey said.… Continue reading

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Soybeans as a cover crop

From the USDA RMA website (


  1. Can I plant a cover crop of the same crop I was prevented from planting? Or in other words, can I use the seed I have on hand (corn, soybeans, wheat) to plant a cover crop as long as it’s at a lower seeded rate that qualifies for cover crop?
  2. Yes. An acceptable cover crop must be generally recognized by agricultural experts as agronomically sound for the area for erosion control or other purposes related to conservation or soil improvement is planted at the recommended seeding rate, etc. The cover crop may be the same crop prevented from planting and may still retain eligibility for a prevented planting payment. The cover crop planted cannot be used for harvest as seed or grain.”

Soybean is an acceptable cover crop as it is agronomically sound for the area for erosion control or other purposes related to conservation or soil improvement.… Continue reading

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More on the RMA cover crop harvest date change

By Peggy Kirk Hall, director of agricultural law, Ohio State University Agricultural and Resource Law Program

With many farmers in Ohio unable to plant before the Final Planting Date for crop insurance, questions are arising about planting and harvesting cover crops on those prevented planting acres. USDA Risk Management Agency (RMA) rules allow operators to plant cover crops on prevented planting acres and to hay, graze, or cut the cover crops for silage after the posted “harvest date.” In previous years, the harvest date for cover crops was Nov. 1.  If an operator harvested the cover crop before that date, the prevented plant payment would be reduced from 100% to 35%.

The RMA has changed the harvest date for 2019, however. In response to reduced livestock feed supplies that will result from the loss of planted acres this year, the RMA has moved up the cover crop harvest date to September 1.… Continue reading

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Study highlights nitrogen efficiency gains in corn hybrids over 70 years

During the past 70 years, hybrid corn varieties have increased both yield and nitrogen use efficiency at nearly the same pace, largely by preserving leaf function during grain filling. The Purdue University study’s findings offer strategies for corn breeders who want to continue to improve yields and nutrient efficiencies.

Decades of genetic improvements in corn have led to a fourfold increase in grain yield since the 1930s, before hybrids were widely used. But those yields also required increases in nitrogen application, and loss of excess nitrogen can damage water and air quality as well as wildlife.

Tony Vyn, the Corteva Agriscience Henry A. Wallace Chair in Crop Sciences and a professor in Purdue’s Department of Agronomy, wanted to know how corn plants have historically utilized nitrogen — especially in reproductive growth — so that breeders can make informed decisions with future hybrids. He and his former doctoral student, Sarah Mueller, obtained seed and grew seven commercially important Pioneer hybrids, approximately one from each decade between 1946 and 2015.… Continue reading

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Fungicide applications to late planted crops

By John Schoenhals, Pioneer Field Agronomist in northern Ohio

Fungicide applications to corn and soybeans is an important management practice in an “average” year, but what about in 2019, a year

in which many corn and soybean acres were planted much later than normal? To answer this question, it is important to understand the role and function of fungicides.

Leaves serve as a “factory” for the plant, collecting sunlight and carbon dioxide to produce sugars used for grainfill. Healthy leaves produce sufficient amounts of sugars to meet grainfill needs as well as support plant health.

When plant diseases are present, the efficiency of this factory is reduced. If the demand for sugars is greater than what an unhealthy plant can produce, grain yield is reduced and overall plant health will rapidly decline as cannibalization of stalks takes place.

When fungicide applications occur, the leaf “factory” is protected from further disease development for a period of at least two to three weeks.… Continue reading

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USDA adds flexibility for cover crop management in 2020

The 2018 Farm Bill mandated changes to the treatment of cover crops for U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) programs, which add more flexibility to when cover crops must be terminated while remaining eligible for crop insurance. USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA), Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and Risk Management Agency (RMA) developed new guidelines and policy provisions to enact these changes, which will be available beginning with the 2020 crop year. With these changes, NRCS is now recognized as an agricultural expert resource for cover crop management systems.

“USDA is working to quickly implement the 2018 Farm Bill to better serve our customers,” said Bill Northey, USDA Under Secretary for Farm Production and Conservation. “These new guidelines will provide more flexibility for our customers who want to plant cover crops to meet their production and conservation goals for their farms.”

Producers now know up front that insurance will attach at time of planting the insured crop.… Continue reading

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MFP funding for cover crops

Though it initially did not appear to include funding for cover crops, it was announced on July 1 that farmers prevented from planting corn or soybeans can now sow a cover crop and still be eligible to receive federal trade assistance through the Market Facilitation Program (MFP). This aid is in addition to crop insurance payments on those acres.

The change in policy on cover crops from the U.S. Department of Agriculture is one of several allowances the agency has made in recent weeks to assist farmers in the Midwest.

MFP was created to help offset growers’ losses as a result of the recent, international tariffs on U.S. goods. USDA has targeted a little over $14 billion in MFP payments for the 2019 growing season in order to ease the impact the ongoing trade dispute with China is having on U.S. farmers. The first of three rounds of payments is due in either late July or early August.… Continue reading

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Ohio Farm Service Agency Extends prevented plant crop reporting deadline in 76 counties to July 15 for producers without insurance or NAP coverage

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) is extending the prevented plant crop reporting deadline for Ohio producers affected by spring flooding and excessive moisture.

Producers without crop insurance or Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) coverage in certain counties now have until July 15, 2019, to report acres they intended to plant this spring but could not due to weather conditions. Counties include: Adams, Allen, Ashland, Athens, Auglaize, Belmont, Brown, Carroll, Clermont, Champaign, Clark, Columbiana, Coshocton, Crawford, Cuyahoga, Darke, Defiance, Delaware, Erie, Fairfield, Fayette, Franklin, Fulton, Gallia, Greene, Guernsey, Hancock, Hardin, Harrison, Henry, Highland, Hocking, Holmes, Huron, Jackson, Jefferson, Knox, Lawrence, Licking, Logan, Lorain, Lucas, Madison, Mahoning, Marion, Medina, Meigs, Mercer, Miami, Monroe, Morrow, Noble, Ottawa, Paulding, Perry, Pickaway, Portage, Putnam, Richland, Sandusky, Scioto/Pike, Seneca, Shelby, Stark, Summit, Trumbull, Tuscarawas, Union, Van Wert, Vinton, Washington, Wayne, Williams, Wood and Wyandot counties. The new deadline coincides with the July 15, 2019, FSA crop acreage reporting deadline that is already in place.… Continue reading

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Make the best of a bad spring

By Matt Hutcheson, CCA, Product Manager, Seed Consultants, Inc.

Spring of 2019 is one everyone would soon like to forget. However, as the growing season progresses, there are several areas of crop growth and development that could be impacted because of the wet field conditions and delayed field work.

In many areas field conditions were marginal at best for the duration of April, May, and June. As a result, field work was performed in wet soils. Although many growers feel they never had adequate conditions and to perform field work, it is important to keep in mind that throughout the growing season we are going to see why agronomists warn against field work in wet soils. Root-restricting compaction is a concern this growing season and evidence of compaction’s significant impact on crop development appeared shortly after emergence of corn this year. In fields where corn was planted under wet conditions, sidewall compaction is evidenced by roots that can only grow in the direction of the seed furrow because they are unable to penetrate the sidewall of the furrow.… Continue reading

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Cover crops following prevented planting

Growers who opt not to plant corn or soybeans this year because of consistently wet fields would be best off not leaving those fields bare, according to an expert at The Ohio State University.

A bare field is a vulnerable field, subject to losing its valuable, nutrient-rich layer of topsoil because wind can blow the topsoil away and rain can wash it away, said Sarah Noggle, an educator with Ohio State University Extension, the outreach arm of Ohio State’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES).

And a field without a crop is an open invitation for weeds to take over, making it harder to prevent weeds the next time a crop is planted there, Noggle said.

Planting a cover crop such as oats, buckwheat, or cereal rye to have something on the field is a wise choice, she said. In addition to helping slow soil erosion, cover crops can improve soil health.… Continue reading

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Hay inventory severely low across Midwest

Excessive rainfall has not only hindered soybean and corn farmers’ attempts to plant, but has contributed to a near record-low level of hay to feed livestock in Ohio and across the Midwest.

The hay inventory in Ohio has dipped to the fourth lowest level in the 70 years of reporting inventory, leaving farmers struggling to find ways to keep their animals well fed, said Stan Smith, a program assistant in agriculture and natural resources for Ohio State University Extension. OSU Extension is the outreach arm of The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES).

The situation is not much different across the Midwest, where some livestock owners are having to pay much higher prices for animal feed.

“We’re all in the same boat. There’s very little stored hay in the Midwest, and there’s been very little opportunity to harvest more. It’s a huge challenge,” Smith said.

Ideally, hay should be dry when it’s baled.… Continue reading

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Using corn as a cover crop

By Peter Thomison, Ben Brown, Sam Custer, Greg LaBarge, CPAg/CCA, Sarah Noggle, Mark Sulc, Eric Richer, CCA, Harold Watters, CPAg/CCA, Kelley Tilmon, and Anne Dorrance

Based on information from across the Corn Belt, including states where they have more experience with delayed planting of corn (University of Wisconsin – and Iowa State University –, these are our best recommendations for using corn as a cover crop.

Although the yield potential of corn planted in July for grain and silage is very low, corn makes an excellent “emergency” forage when planted in July. Moreover, unlike some other forage crops, Ohio producers know how to grow it. We also are aware of limited seed supply for several alternatives that typically could be used. Farmers should consult with their insurance agent to see if harvesting as forage will affect any current or future insurance payments on prevented plant acres.… Continue reading

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Elevated phosphorus study progressing in Maumee Watershed

By Matt Reese

Farmers do not enjoy spending money on nutrients to have them float down the creek. They also do not enjoy being the subject of the blame for water quality issues in Lake Erie. For years, Ohio agriculture has seen trends of decreasing phosphorus (P) application and increased conservation tillage, yet the water quality problems persist and in some cases seem to be getting worse. Why?

There are hundreds of potential factors from the watershed scale down to the specific zones of a single field that influence the answer to this question. One of those factors is the high P levels in portions of some fields from years of over application of nutrients. These elevated P zones are the subject of an ongoing study led by Jay Martin, an ecological engineering professor with The Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.

Martin said the study has four main parts: recruit the partner farmers; measure phosphorus runoff on the farmers’ fields; use and evaluate best management practices on the fields to reduce the fields’ phosphorus runoff while maintaining yields; and then form further public-private partnerships to expand the adoption of the practices throughout the watershed.… Continue reading

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New disaster funding from Ohio NRCS to plant cover crops on damaged acreage

Extreme weather conditions like the recent excessive rains and tornadoes have negatively impacted Ohio farmers. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service will invest $4 million to help Ohio agricultural producers recover.  Technical and financial assistance is now available to producers who were unable to plant their crops, or who have experienced crop loss due to flooded or wet fields. This sign-up is an opportunity for farmers to plant a cover crop.

“NRCS can be a valuable partner to help Ohio landowners with their agricultural recovery effort,” said State Conservationist Terry Cosby for NRCS in Ohio. “This special sign-up encourages farmers to plant cover crops to improve water quality and soil health, prevent soil erosion, and suppress weeds on areas not planted to crops.”

NRCS will utilize the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) for this special disaster recovery sign-up.  EQIP is a voluntary conservation program that helps agricultural producers protect the environment while promoting agricultural production.… Continue reading

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Corn bearish, soybeans bullish

By Doug Tenney, Leist Mercantile

Shock and awe with acres numbers today. Corn bearish, soybeans bullish. USDA did it again, it’s called a surprise!

At a time when traders, producers, and end users are starving for information on acres and yield, today’s acres report falls far short. There is a vast amount of irony today due to what many have expected and what the numbers should reveal but likely won’t.

The corn acres were 91.7 million acres while soybean acres were 80 million acres. Shortly after the report corn was down 11 cents, soybeans were up 12 cents.

Shortly before the report, corn was up 2 cents, soybeans up 4 cents, wheat up 1 cent. The average corn acres estimate was 86.7 million acres with a range of 82 to 89.8 million acres. The average trade estimate for soybean acres was 84.4 million acres with a range of 81 to 86.5 million acres.

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What a weird year for getting crops planted

By Harold Watters, Ohio State University Extension agronomist

The sun is almost shining at my office as I write this edition of C.O.R.N to go. That hasn’t happened much in the past eight or 10 weeks, or heck even since last October. I did finally get four days in the field last week. As I look at my rain gage numbers in Union County since April 1, I see 38 days with measurable precipitation out of 73 total days. With a total 12.5 inches of rain – it actually doesn’t sound that terrible but it’s the fact that there was so little drying in between the showers. By comparison in 2011, another rain delayed start to the season I had 16.6 inches of rain by this date. My rainfall records are available on the CoCoRaHS network, I also encourage you to get a gage and participate too:

Regarding 2011, the Ohio Department of Agriculture’s Annual Report crop planting progress for 2011 for corn was at 25% at the end of May and 89% on June 10.… Continue reading

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Wet weather and soybean stand

By Laura Lindsey, Alexander Lindsey, Ohio State University Extension

Saturated soils after soybean planting can cause uneven emergence and stand reductions of varying extent depending on the stage of the soybean plant and other environmental factors including temperature and duration of saturated conditions. Additionally, increased disease incidence may further reduce plant stand.

Saturated soil prior to germination: While soil moisture is necessary for germination, soybean seeds will not germinate when soils are saturated because oxygen is limiting.

Saturated soil during germination: Saturated soils during soybean germination may cause uneven emergence. In a laboratory study, soybean germination was reduced by ~15% after only one hour of flood conditions (Wuebker et al., 2001). After 48 hours of flood conditions, soybean germination was reduced 33% to 70% depending on when imbibition (seed taking up water) began relative to the flooding conditions. Practically, for Ohio, this means if soybean seeds were further along in the germination process when flooding occurred, the seeds will be more susceptible to flooding stress.… Continue reading

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Have SCN sorrows been drowned in soggy fields?

Farmers looking for any bit of good news in all of the rain-soaked suffering this spring are asking if the extreme overabundance of moisture has drowned Soybean Cyst Nematode (SCN).

“Unfortunately, the answer is no,” said Greg Tylka, Iowa State University nematologist and leader of The SCN Coalition.

Nematodes are worms (animals) that require oxygen.

“They absorb oxygen through their body wall or cuticle, which is made almost exclusively of proteins (and no chitin),” he said. “Waterlogged soils may have greatly reduced levels of oxygen. But many plant-parasitic nematodes, including SCN, can survive long periods of time with little oxygen.”

In the early 1970s, scientists at the University of Arkansas conducted experiments to determine whether SCN could survive in flooded conditions. They found that hatched SCN juveniles survived in water up to 630 days — and probably longer, but the experiment ended after 630 days. Scientists also tested survival of SCN in flooded soils, and the juveniles survived seven to 19 months depending on soil texture.… Continue reading

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