Incorporating surface applied manure on corn

By Glen Arnold, CCA, Ohio State University Extension

Farmers in northwest Ohio have been getting favorable weather for planting. Although we had a very good spring for manure application there will be livestock producers using manure with newly planted and emerged corn.

With the H2Ohio manure practices in mind, a liquid swine manure corn side-dress research plot was conducted at the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center Northwest Station in 2020. The treatments were 200 pounds per acre of nitrogen incorporated as 28% Urea Ammonium Nitrate (UAN); 5,000 gallons per acre of swine finishing manure subsurface applied with a manure tanker and Dietrich sweeps; and 5,000 gallons per acre of swine finishing manure surface applied and incorporated the following day with a row cultivator in accordance with H2Ohio requirements. The swine finishing manure had 40 pounds of available first-year nitrogen per 1,000 gallons so the swine manure treatments each received 200 pounds of nitrogen per acre.… Continue reading

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Wheat disease risk and fungicide application programs

By Pierce Paul, Marian Luis and Maira Duffeck, Ohio State University Extension

Wheat is now between boot and anthesis (flowering) across the state. In most of the fields that we have visited over the last two weeks, the crop looks excellent, with very little or no disease symptoms on the flag leaf or even the two leaves below the flag leaf. In southern Ohio where the crop is at anthesis or will reach anthesis this week, the risk for head scab is very low ( This is largely because of the cool weather conditions we have experienced over the last several days. Head scab and most of our economically important diseases usually develop best under warm, wet, or humid conditions. Cool conditions have prevented or slowed down the development of diseases such as Stagonospora leaf and glume blotch.     

However, as conditions warm up and wheat in the central and northern portions of the state reach anthesis over the next two weeks, the risk for head scab will likely increase, and with it comes the risk of grain contamination with vomitoxin.… Continue reading

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Beck’s collaborates to accelerate gene editing innovations

Inari, the SEEDesign company, and Beck’s, the largest family-owned, retail seed company and the third largest seed brand in the United States, have announced a business and R&D collaboration — reinforcing their respective missions to provide more diverse, sustainable and competitive choices for farmers. The combination of Inari’s novel predictive design and advanced multiplex gene editing technology with Beck’s established corn research and breeding program will increase product testing capabilities and expand both companies’ capacity for innovation. 

Since its inception in 2016, Inari has made significant progress in delivering scientific breakthroughs through its SEEDesign platform. Much like the software and the hardware of a computer, this platform has a two-step approach. The software is its predictive design capabilities, which create a deep understanding of the plant genome, enabled through artificial intelligence and used to predict plant behavioral outcomes to improve performance. 

“Pushing the boundaries of what is possible and addressing the current and future challenges facing farmers requires innovation and collaboration,” said Ponsi Trivisvavet, chief executive officer at Inari.… Continue reading

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Challenging times forge strong leadership

By Brianna Gwirtz, OCJ field reporter

When Karie Staley found out she was selected to be the new branch manager for Central Ohio Farmer’s Co-op in Mt. Gilead, she was more than excited. 

After nearly 20 years dedicated to the company and to her customers as a sales agronomist, she began her role as the branch manager in early 2019. She had no idea at the time what the year would hold, but was looking forward to getting started that spring. 

“We were ready to go, had everything set and ready to roll, but it just started raining. Then it kept raining,” Staley said. “People didn’t want to do prevent plant, but then the days kept rolling by and farmers had to make an economic decision.” 

Customers of the cooperative kept calling to cancel their orders. 

“You can send seed corn back, but you can’t send treated soybeans back,” Staley said. … Continue reading

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Carbon markets are promoting healthier soils

By James Hoorman, Hoorman Soil Health Services

No-till farming started in the 1960’s and gained steam in the 1970’s (fuel crisis) and the 1980’s (agricultural financial crisis).  Glyphosate (Roundup ®) and genetically modified organisms (GMO) innovations also increased no-till farming.  But true long-term no-till farming on every acre every year occurs on less than 4-5% of Ohio farms, with most farmers doing some tillage.  Farmers are decreasing their tillage intensity and are now considering ways to capture soil carbon for payment which may require they move to towards regenerative practices like no-till and cover crops.

Tillage breaks up soil aggregates and loses carbon dioxide to the atmosphere within 5-10 minutes; while long-term no-till with cover crops starts the slow process of recovering lost carbon.  Adding soil carbon is all about roots exudates (active carbon) and root turnover (building humus from microbes).  Crop rotation, moisture, climate, and soil characteristics all influence how quickly soil carbon stabilizes. 

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Weed control and delayed planting

By Mark Loux, Ohio State University Extension

It’s déjà vu all over again.  We have run this article every few years, and it seems like maybe the frequency is increasing as we deal with wet and cold weather that delays planting.  The questions about this have not changed much, and neither have the suggestions we provide here.  One of the most common questions, predictably, is how to kill glyphosate-resistant marestail and giant ragweed and generally big weeds in soybeans when it’s not possible to delay planting long enough to use 2,4-D ester (Enlist soybeans excluded since there is no wait to plant).  Overwintered marestail plants become tougher to kill in May, so this is an issue primarily in fields not treated last fall.  The good news is that we have more effective herbicide/trait options for help with burndown compared with a few years ago.  The bad news is that nothing we suggest here is going to be infallible on large marestail. … Continue reading

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Remember the basics when getting back to planting

By Andy Westhoven, AgriGold Regional Agronomist, CPAg, CCA

I realize it is now mid-May and plenty of corn and soybean fields have been planted, but the feeling of planting crops when the markets have rallied is a beloved feeling by all. Another common sentiment with higher commodity prices is the willingness to try something new or different. If you are willing to step outside the box, please remember some of these general basics.

The planter is the most important pass of the season and no one enjoys a redo. Make sure to focus on the three key principles for germination: 1) uniform soil temperature, 2) uniform soil moisture, 3) consistent seed to soil contact. Oh, and plant two inches deep! (Couldn’t help myself.) If you have not finished planting your crops, one lesson we have learned in recent years is the ability to plant late (into June) and still reach respectable yields.… Continue reading

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Ohio Soybean Council launches website for carbon market resources

The Ohio Soybean Council (OSC) has launched a new website for Ohio farmers interested in learning more about carbon programs. The site will help farmers answer common carbon-related questions, compare carbon programs available in Ohio and compile the questions they need to consider before enrolling in a program. Interested farmers can also sign-up to receive bi-weekly email updates about the latest news affecting carbon markets. The new site is available at

“Right now, carbon markets are a lot like the Wild West,” said Ryan Rhoades, Ohio Soybean Association (OSA) president and Marion County soybean farmer. “Each program has its own requirements and ways of measuring success so the sheer amount of information that exists can be overwhelming for farmers who are just trying to make the best decision for their operation.”

That is where OSC stepped in.

“As we began to learn about the carbon programs available in Ohio, we realized there was not a ‘one-stop-shop’ resource for farmers to compare programs and answer initial questions,” said Bill Bateson, OSC chairman and Hancock County soybean farmer.… Continue reading

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Growing Degree Days vs. calendar days — How long will emergence take?

By Alex Lindsey and Greg LaBarge, Adapted from C.O.R.N. 13-2021

When we examine crop emergence post-planting, two factors can impact speed of emergence — soil moisture content and soil temperatures. If soil temperatures are lower, it can take more calendar days for emergence to occur meaning rowing corn may take a little more time. In the Ohio Agronomy Guide, emergence should begin to occur after approximately 100 air GDDs.

A difference in 10 degrees in temperature can dramatically affect how quickly crops will emerge. For example, at a temperature of 60 degrees F heat unit accumulation per day would be 60 F – 50 (base temperature for growth) = 10 GDDs. If it takes 100 GDDs to start to see emergence, at this rate it would take 10 calendar days to see the crop start to emerge. If temperatures are 70 degrees F, heat unit accumulation per day would be 70 F – 50 = 20 GDDs.

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Does wheat need more N with wet weather?

By Laura LindseyEd Lentz, CCA, Ohio State University Extension

We’ve had several days of extremely wet weather, and there are some questions regarding the need for additional nitrogen fertilizer. Last week, wheat was between Feekes 8 and 10.2, depending on the area within the state. At this point in the growing season, additional nitrogen fertilizer applied to winter wheat is unlikely to increase grain yield.

As a reminder, nitrogen should be applied to wheat between green-up and Feekes 6 growth stage. Between Feekes 5-6 growth stage, wheat plants begin to rapidly take-up nitrogen from the soil. Nitrogen fertilizer can be applied as late as Feekes 7 growth stage if wet weather prevented an earlier application, but mechanical damage can occur from applicator equipment.… Continue reading

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Slugs will go after cover crops too

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

Farmers plant cover crops for a number of reasons. Improving soil health, increasing water infiltration, reducing soil erosion, enhancing soil life and microbial biodiversity and breaking up soil compaction layers are just a few benefits cover crops provide. It is often said that to ensure a successful cover crop stand, a farmer should to be just as intentional when planting and establishing a cover crop as they are for their cash crops. One factor not often considered when establishing a cover crop is the threat of slugs.

Liz Bosak, Extension Educator Photo Credit Penn State University

Liz Bosak, an Extension Educator in Perry County with Penn State University, was recently featured on the “Cover Crop Strategies’ podcast discussing when during the growing season to look out for slugs, how slugs damage cash crops and cover crops, the weather conditions slugs prefer, and more.

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Are periodical cicadas a threat to field crops?

By Curtis Young, CCA, Ohio State University Extension

Are periodical cicadas a threat to field crops? The quick and dirty answer to this question is NO. Are they a thread to the health and welfare of anything? There is no quick and dirty answer to this question.

The best way to answer the second question is to start by looking at what the periodical cicada is, what it feeds on, where one would expect to find them, and its life cycle.

The periodical cicada or 17-year cicada is an insect with an extremely long life cycle that takes 17 years to get from the egg stage to the adult stage. Some people mistakenly refer to this insect as a locust. Unfortunately, locusts and cicadas are not one-in-the-same.  Locusts are a type of grasshopper (Order Orthoptera).  Cicadas (Order Hemiptera) are not grasshoppers. And the 2 look nothing like one another.

The periodical cicada feed mostly in their nymphal stages and are hosted by trees of many species.… Continue reading

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Planting date

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

For much of the Eastern Corn Belt it is widely understood that the optimal planting period is between April 20th and May 10th. Research has proven that corn loses yield potential daily when planted after the beginning of May. For the Central Corn Belt, the declines in yield potential due to planting delays vary from about 0.3% per day early in May to about 1% per day by the end of May according to Bob Nielsen at Purdue University. Knowing that this is true, it can be frustrating during a wet spring or when field work is delayed for one reason or another. Planting is a critical component of a successful crop as it sets the stage for the entire growing season. However, it is important to keep in mind that early planting is just one of many factors that contribute to high yield potential.… Continue reading

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Starting right to finish well

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

Is there a place for using a starter fertilizer when planting soybeans? Farmers often think of using starter fertilizers when planting corn for various reasons. These can include: giving roots early access to plant nutrients, to stimulate early plant growth, to improve stand uniformity, to add micronutrients, and hopefully to increase yield.

Kurt Steinke, associate professor, Soil Fertility and Nutrient Management Specialist for Michigan State University Extension has looked at research conducted when using starter fertilizer applied as a 2×2 when planting soybeans in 30 inch rows.

“The first thing to consider when thinking about using a starter fertilizer on soybeans, it what are your soil test concentrations,” Steinke said. “What are the P and K levels? If the K levels are not deficient, then a farmer can probably go without K in the starter.”

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Is there a fit for in-season liquid manure application for soybeans?

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

Glen Arnold, Field Specialist for Manure Nutrient Management Photo Credit The Ohio State University

The use of livestock manure as a source of nutrients for crop production has been in place for decades. Manure is typically applied in the summer after wheat harvest, or in the spring prior to planting corn and soybeans, or in the fall after harvest.

“The vast majority of liquid livestock manure in the Western Lake Erie watershed is surface applied in the fall without a growing crop. This results in most of the nitrogen being lost, and a portion of the phosphorus,” said Glen Arnold, Field Specialist for Manure Nutrient Management with The Ohio State University.

Over time, as the livestock industry has evolved, more livestock production systems are managing liquid manure versus solid manure.

“Basically, we have built up a lot of liquid manure storage and application capacity and a lot of expensive equipment is used to move a lot of manure.

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Maximizing crop yield at planting

By James J. Hoorman, Hoorman Soil Health Services

High grain prices for grain crops make any planting mistakes extremely costly.  Most corn yield is determined within the first several weeks.  Soybeans are a little more forgiving but any type of environmental (weather) or biological (weeds, disease, insects) stress can impact yields.  Healthy plants tolerate stress better than plants that are nutrient deficient.

Jim Hoorman, Hoorman Soil Health Services

For corn, the best time to plant traditionally has been May 1-through May 10 according to Ohio State University Research.  Weather delays often make it hard to get all acres planted at this time.  Current varieties have a tremendous ability to compensate and still get good yields, but getting that plant off to a good start is critical.

Regarding soil health, soil microbes process the majority of the nutrients a plant absorbs.  Cold or wet conditions slow microbial growth and hurt plant growth. 

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Science for success: Answering soybean questions

With funding from United Soybean Board, soybean agronomists across the U.S. are hosting a ‘Notes from the Field’ webinar series the first Friday of each month beginning May 7. Join research and extension specialists from Land Grant institutions for monthly informal discussion on production topics of timely relevance. Bring your questions!

When-  May 7, June 4, July 9, and August 6 at 9:00 a.m. eastern time

Want to plug in- Register to attend (via Zoom) for each monthly session and you will receive Zoom login information. Register at:

If you have any questions, please contact Laura Lindsey ( or 614-292-9080).

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GMO versus non-GMO crops

By James Hoorman, Hoorman Soil Health Services

Ohio is one of the leading states planting Non-GMO crops.  GMO stands for genetically modified organisms.  About 92% of the US corn and 94% of soybeans in 2018 were genetically modified for weeds, insects, or drought tolerance.  Japan and many European countries are demanding crops that are Non-GMO, so farmers can pick up premiums by growing these crops.  Premiums vary by company, crop variety, and purity but premiums may be around $0.25 per corn bushel and $1-$2 per bushel on soybeans.

In a GMO crop, scientist identify a gene in a organism, then copy and insert that gene into a crop like corn, soybeans, potatoes, etc.  GMO crops are typically resistant to herbicides like glyphosate (Roundup with CP4 gene) or Glufosinate (Liberty Link, PAT gene).  GMO corn insecticides resistance is obtained by using up to seven genes from the Bacterium thuringiensis that produces proteins that are toxic to certain insect pests like corn rootworm, corn stalk borer, corn earworms, fall army worm and several other insect pests. 

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Avoid spreading SCN

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

Greg Tylka, Nematologist. Photo Credit: Iowa State University

As spring planting season rolls into full force, one of the last things on a farmer’s mind is the risk of spreading Soybean Cyst Nematode (SCN) during planting. “Anything that spreads soil spreads nematodes,” said Greg Tylka, Iowa State University Nematologist. This includes not just tillage equipment and planters, but even tractor and implement tires. If the tires are in a field with SCN and have soil that sticks to the tires, then that soil containing SCN can be spread to another field when if falls off.

The SCN Coalition campaign, “What’s your number? Take the test. Beat the Pest.”, encourages farmers to regularly test their fields for SCN. One of the only ways to reduce the likelihood of spreading it is to be aware of what fields have it present and at what levels.

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