Crops

Organizations speak out on pesticide preemption

In a letter to congressional leadership, more than 300 agriculture, environment, academic, infrastructure, and other stakeholder groups are calling on Congress to reaffirm federal pesticide preemption on labeling and packaging. Failing to do so, the groups warn, could hold disastrous consequences for our food security, the environment, public health, vital infrastructure, and other uses where pesticides provide important societal benefits.

The Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act is clear that states “shall not impose or continue in effect any requirements for labeling or packaging in addition to or different from those required” by the federal government. However, in recent years, states have sought to impose health claim label requirements that directly contradict federal findings. This not only risks eroding public trust in science and evidence-based regulation, but also opens the door for a patchwork of conflicting state and municipal labels that could disrupt commerce and limit access to vital tools.

The letter, which drew 332 signers, calls on Congress to reaffirm that states may not impose additional labeling or packaging requirements that conflict with federal findings.… Continue reading

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Why high-oleic soybeans?

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

High-oleic Soybeans are nothing new to Ohio producers, and the number of opportunities to grow and market high oleic soybeans are greater now than ever.

“The demand for high-oleic soybean oil in both the food market and industrial uses is exploding,” said John Motter, Ohio Soybean Farmer and past United Soybean Board Chairman. “The demand for high-oleic beans is out there. We simply don’t have enough acres going to high-oleic soy in Ohio and across the country to meet the demand.”

Some folks worry about yield drag when growing a specialty bean. That has not been the case with the high-oleic soybeans.

“I’ve been growing high oleic soybeans for 11 years. I put out my own personal plots with the high-oleic beans and put them up against a high yielding elite commodity variety and the high-oleic beans area always right up there with the elite varieties. … Continue reading

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Developing a New Method to Monitor Stink Bugs in Soybeans

By Laura Temple, adapted from Soybean Research and Information Network, November 7, 2022

Multiple stink bug species can infest soybean fields. Brown marmorated stink bug, an invasive species currently moving across Ohio, is the primary problem species there, according to Kelley Tilmon, professor of entomology at Ohio State University. However, green stink bugs, brown stink bugs and other species also damage soybeans.

“Stink bugs feed on developing seeds,” she explains. “They punch through pods with their sharp, straw-like mouth parts. Then they secrete digestive chemicals that allow them to slurp up developing seeds.”

Tilmon adds that when stinkbugs feed later in the season, they cause soybeans to shrink, reducing their quality. When they feed early in reproductive growth stages, pods may not produce any soybeans.

“Stink bugs can cause yield losses of up to 20 bushels per acre if not controlled,” she says. “The good news is that stink bugs are very easy to control with insecticide.… Continue reading

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Heritage Lane Farm: Using high tunnels to extend the growing season

By Brooke DeCubellis, Natural Resources Conservation Service

Initially, Kevin and Sarah Swope focused on beef production for the Heritage Lane Farm in Columbiana County, but over three decades the 53-acre farm has evolved into a much more diverse crop and livestock operation.

Kevin keeps 30 American bison, a small herd of American Milking Devon and Aberdeen Angus, as well as a flock of sheep. When directly marketing their products, though, they quickly learned that adding a high tunnel production system helped increase sales at farmers markets. They currently market their products at Shaker Heights Farmers Market in Cleveland on Saturday mornings.

Kevin and Sarah Swope pose with their granddaughter Lydia by the farm’s cut flower field.

“We started by going and just selling meat, but that doesn’t make a very attractive market stand,” Sarah said. “So I would always take a little bouquet of flowers that I had growing, and if I had any extra peppers or tomatoes, I’d put them out.… Continue reading

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Fall Herbicide Applications in Dry Conditions

By Alyssa Essman, Visiting Assistant Professor, The Ohio State University, Adapted from C.O.R.N. 2022-39

Dry conditions this fall have led to timely harvest progress in much of the state. As folks start to wrap up, the window for follow up field activities like fall herbicide applications may be longer than in years past. Recent C.O.R.N. articles have covered the benefits of fall herbicide applications: Our Annual Article to Nag about Fall Herbicides and Cressleaf GroundselAVOID A NIGHTMARE NEXT SPRING!!!!!!!!Another Article about Fall Herbicides?!. In the 2022 driving survey of late-season weed escapes in soybean, marestail was the second most common species encountered. Fall applications are an essential part of managing marestail and other overwintering species.

The dry pattern this fall may have reduced winter annual weed emergence, and we don’t appear to be headed into an overly wet pattern. It’s possible that weed populations are low and may not merit a fall application, although there are always more weeds out there than we think.… Continue reading

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Handling storage of mycotoxin infested grain

By Luke Schulte, CCA, Beck’s field agronomist

Unfortunately, many farmers observed ear molds throughout harvest, leading to some level of mycotoxins in the grain. While the abnormally dry weather this fall has helped minimize the severity of these toxins, many fields still had some level of ear mold and toxins present that now resides in farm storage bins. The management of that stored grain can potentially significantly impact the mycotoxin level and potential discount fees associated with that grain as it is hauled out.

For farmers who observed ear molds at harvest but store 100% of their crop, the presence of mycotoxins may not be known yet. I’d encourage those in this situation to take the time now to get a representative grain sample to better understand the potential for toxins and the required management that may be beneficial in the coming months.

Since most of the mycotoxins reside in the fines and bees’ wings, minimizing these components within storage is critical.… Continue reading

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A year of many agronomic challenges

By Mitch Greve, AgriGold  

Many producers in Ohio experienced a unique set of challenges in 2022 including: delayed planting, poor emergence, drought and water stress, disease, stalk rots, and ear molds to name a few. It is important for every grower to reflect on factors impacting their crop. These issues that hindered top end performance this year can be used for learning lessons for future growing seasons.

Mitch Greve, AgriGold

Planting for success starts with good, uniform soil moisture and temperature, seed-to-soil contact, and accurate delivery of seed from the planter to the soil. Most growers across the state did not have all three critical components. Weather was less than favorable in the early going resulting in later planting dates. Later planting dates, such as June planted corn, have a decreased window to capture sunlight and create energy and thereby places more emphasis on growth as compared to maintenance of the corn crop.… Continue reading

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Drought conditions expanding in Ohio

By Aaron Wilson, Ohio State University Extension

Drought conditions continue to expand across Ohio. As of the latest U.S. Drought Monitor report on Thursday November 3, 2022, 86% of Ohio is abnormally dry with 43% of the state classified as D1 or in Moderate Drought. West Central Ohio (centered on Darke County) has been particularly dry, only receiving about 25% of normal rainfall over the last 90 days. Dry conditions have dropped stream flows, diminshed soil moisture, hindered wheat and cover crop emergence, and contributed to numerous field and equipment fires across the region. Record highs in the upper 70s combined with gusty winds over this past weekend did little to help conditions. Over the past two months, several stations across Ohio (Akron, Dayon, Cincinnati, Columbus, Findlay, and New Philadelphia) have all experienced their top 5 driest streatches for this period. For the latest up-to-date conditions, seasonal outlooks, and monthly climate summaries, please visit the State Climate Office of Ohio.… Continue reading

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Roots Eat Bacteria

By James Hoorman Hoorman Soil Health Services

(Source: Jeff Lowenfels, Teaming with Bacteria, 2022)   

Do plant roots really eat bacteria?  The answer is Yes (sort of!). In the last 5-10 years, our understanding of how plants acquire nutrients has changed dramatically. With new stronger microscopes; Australian scientist and Dr. James White, Rutgers university have discovered that plant roots are taking in endophytic (translation: “within the plant”) bacteria and acquiring nutrients from these microbes.  One study estimates that 47% of the atmospheric nitrogen (N) and perhaps as much as 70% of the plants N might be acquired from bacteria absorbed and living between plant cells and within plant cells.  This newly discovered processed is called rhizophagy.

We should not be too surprised. Farmers inoculate legumes (soybeans, peas) with Rhizobium bacteria which reside in plant nodules and fix N .  Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi (AMF) also enter roots and live between plant cells. … Continue reading

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Tips for reducing erosion

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

Soil erosion is an annual problem throughout the Eastern Corn Belt. Recent research estimates that farmland across the Corn Belt looses close to 4 tons of soil/acre each year due to erosion. In addition, even under the best conditions topsoil buildup is very slow, if it occurs at all. Soil particles can be detached and moved out of a field by both wind and water. Wind can pick up small soil particles, transporting them long distances. Water moving along the ground surface can remove a thin sheet of soil, create small channels, or wash out large gullys.

Factors that Contribute to Erosion

1. Rainfall—soil erosion increases as length or intensity of rainfall increases

2. Slope Length/Grade—soil erosion is worse on longer/steeper slopes because water moves faster across the soil

3. Vegetation/residue—growing plants and residue protect the soil from rain impact, slow down flowing water and increase infiltration of water into the soil, as well as protecting the soil from wind erosion.… Continue reading

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Soybean Production 2022, the year in review

By Dusty Sonnenberg, CCA, Field Leader, a project of the Ohio Soybean Council and soybean check-off.

Dr. Laura Lindsey serves as the OSU Extension State Soybean and Small Grain Specialist.  When she looks back over the growing season, her mind goes back to the spring of 2019. “We have had some rough springs in the past, such as 2019. This spring was pretty good as far as planting the soybean performance trial sites around the state. There was a nice window in the middle of May for planting, and then there was a wet period, and we were pushed back into the first part of June,” said Lindsey.

While some of the research Dr. Lindsey conducts looks at planting date, this is not the case with the soybean performance trials. “With our variety testing program, we don’t push the planting date too early since it is not possible to replant them,” said Lindsey.… Continue reading

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Mississippi River shipments down significantly

NAFB News Service

The USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) says the number of grain barges being unloaded in New Orleans during September and October dropped significantly.

An AMS report says the number of barges is 20-30 percent lower than in recent years. The slowdown coincides with river closures and restrictions on barge companies that reduced the bar tow. Typically, 30-40 barges can move down the river together, and the new restriction says no more than 25. The tonnage movement has been even weaker. Since September, tonnage going through locks was down more than 40 percent below recent years.

The significant decline in tonnage is consistent with reports of how barges have been forced to reduce their draft. Barges are normally loaded to an 11-12-foot-deep draft during the fall. However, companies started imposing nine-foot barge draft restrictions in October. That can lead to a reduction of 10,000-15,000 bushels per barge. Tonnage appeared to pick up in October.… Continue reading

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Drought pre-planning

By James Hoorman, Hoorman Soil Health Services

Farmer’s fear drought which leads to reduced crop yields and profits.  Worldwide, drought is affecting a number of countries: China, Argentina, European countries, and the USA.  California, Arizona, Texas, Kansas, and Oklahoma have experienced severe drought soil conditions this year.  The Midwest is dry and experiencing drought problems, especially the Mississippi river with reduced barge traffic. Most farmer’s want to know what is the probability of a drought next year?

Currently, a strong La Nina for the past 3 years is transitioning to a El Nino, perhaps by late Summer 2023.  In most cases, strong El Nino’s signal an increased probability of a drought in the Midwest.  Coupled with La Nina and El Nino ocean currents, there are increased solar flares and sun spot activity expected to peak by 2025.  While droughts are hard to predict, the probability of dry soil conditions or a drought in the next couple of years. … Continue reading

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Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway: An alternative worth exploring

By Mike Steenhoek, Soy Transportation Coalition

It’s always a good day to try to diversify your supply chain.  It’s particularly a good day to do so given the current supply chain challenges.  The low water levels throughout the inland waterway system, unreliable rail service – exacerbated by the threat of a railroad strike in mid-November, truck driver shortages, and port congestion are all seeming to conspire to impede the ability of farmers to connect with domestic and international customers.  One of the cardinal rules regarding supply chains is to avoid “putting all your eggs in one basket.”  When a shipper can access a variety of transportation modes and providers, the more competitive that shipper will often be in serving its customers.  

In the effort to continue promoting a more dynamic and diverse supply chain for U.S. soybean farmers, the Soy Transportation Coalition (STC) has continued its partnership with The St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation (SLSMC) to encourage the greater utilization of the Great Lakes-St.… Continue reading

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CFAES open new greenhouse of the future

The Ohio State University President Kristina M. Johnson, the Ohio State Board of Trustees, and several elected officials joined Cathann A. Kress, Ohio State vice president for agricultural administration and dean of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES), in celebrating the completion of a new, state-of-the-art greenhouse research complex that will catapult the university, the state of Ohio, and all of North America to the forefront of controlled environment agriculture (CEA), an innovative, technology-based approach to farming that takes place inside a facility equipped to create the most optimal conditions for food production.

The Controlled Environment Agriculture Research Complex (CEARC) uses emerging technology to conduct research and control environmental factors such as light, humidity, temperature, and nutrients, which leads to an extended growing season, reduced waste, and more high-quality crops. The complex also enables CFAES to expand programs to prepare the future workforce and create a pipeline of experienced CEA growers.… Continue reading

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Check out OSU crop production resources online

By John Fulton, Elizabeth Hawkins, Stephanie Karhoff

Keeping up with the latest information to help with decision making on your farm can be easy. The Ohio State University Extension maintains several online resources related to crop production that offer timely and relevant information. These online resources include websites and social media maintained by OSU Extension personnel that focus on agronomy, precision agriculture, and farm management. There is also the Agronomy and Farm Management podcast released biweekly covering hot topics and current news. Videos sharing useful information and highlighting on-going research are available on both the Precision Ag and Agronomy YouTube channels.

Consider following the different social media accounts to keep up all the crop production and farm management news from Ohio State. Here is a listing of online resources to check out, follow and keep up with on your current crop production news from Ohio State University.  Please reach out with questions.… Continue reading

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2022 Ohio Soybean Performance Trials, All Yield Results Available

By Dr. Laura Lindsey and Allen Gahler, Adapted from C.O.R.N. 2022-38

The purpose of the Ohio Soybean Performance Trials is to evaluate soybean varieties for yield and other agronomic characteristics. This evaluation gives soybean producers comparative information for selecting the best varieties for their unique production systems. A pdf copy of the trial can be downloaded here: https://stepupsoy.osu.edu/sites/hcs-soy/files/2022_OSPT_All%20Yield%20Data_for%20CORN%20newsletter.pdf

In the upcoming weeks, data will also be available for download on the Ohio Crop Performance Trials website- https://u.osu.edu/perf/ and will include soybean seed size and quality (protein and oil) information.

Soybean varieties were tested in six Ohio counties- Henry, Sandusky, Mercer, Union, Preble, and Clinton. Yield was greatest in Henry County, averaging 91 and 94 bu/acre for the early and late relative maturity trial, respectively. This location received 8.2 inches of rainfall in August. In Sandusky, Mercer, Preble, and Clinton County, average yield ranged from 67 to 81 bu/acre. However, in Union County, average yield was only 33 and 40 bu/acre for the early and late relative maturity trial, respectively, due to dry weather.… Continue reading

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Reaching for the top rung at Bent Ladder

By Brianna Gwirtz, OCJ field reporter

When the Vodraska family first purchased Rittman Orchards in 2004, the farm was in desperate need of repairs. 

“There was poison ivy in the orchard with healthier trunks than some of the apple trees,” Matt Vodraska said. 

Vodraska was a college student at the time in Tennessee, but he decided to transfer to nearby Kent State to help his family. After graduating, he returned home to work on the orchard alongside his brother Chris.

In the ensuing decade, the 125-acre fruit farm, located in Doylestown in Wayne County, was completely replanted. The original market was replaced and the whole property was rehabbed top to bottom. Today only a few Red Delicious trees remain from the original orchard. 

“We pounded in tens of thousands of stakes by hand. But we were creating a solid foundation that my brother and I knew would result in successful careers for us both,” Vodraska said. … Continue reading

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Ohio State research seeks to help greenhouse growers become more efficient

The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES) is leading a research and development project to help greenhouse growers create the most ideal growing environment using real-time data and climate optimization processes. The U.S. Department of Agriculture awarded a $3.77 million grant to study controlled environment agriculture (CEA), a process that extends the growing season, reduces waste, and yields more crops that are higher in quality by controlling environmental factors such as temperature, light, and nutrients.

CFAES will spearhead the four-year study with collaboration from Rutgers; Cornell; University of Arizona; and Koidra, a company specializing in tools that help greenhouse and indoor growers manage crops using data and technologies such as sensors, artificial intelligence, and machine learning. Chieri Kubota, a CFAES professor of horticulture and crop science will lead the project with A.J. Both, professor of environmental sciences at Rutgers University.

“This grant will help us pioneer controlled environment agriculture in the United States,” said Kubota, who also is the director of the Ohio Controlled Agriculture Center (OHCEAC).… Continue reading

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