Crops



When will you start planting corn and soybeans?

By Greg LaBarge, CCA, Ohio State University Extension

Every agronomist and farmer knows the connection between timely planting and crop yields. The Ohio Agronomy Guide has a recommended Ohio corn plant date range of April 15 to May 10 for northern and April 10 to May 10 for southern regions. Recommended soybean planting is a similar timeframe. RELATIVE grain yield potential is indeed reduced after May 1. However, we need to remember more factors than planting date influence ACTUAL YIELD at harvest. Soil conditions at and after planting are more important than the calendar date to answer when to start planting.

At the Conservation Tillage and Technology Conference (CTTC), we had research agronomists from around the Midwest share their research on planting date and management interactions. Dan Quinn, Purdue Corn Agronomist, shared these corn planting observations. 1) Early planting favors higher yields but are no guarantee. 2) Statewide averages for planting date and yield are not strongly related.… Continue reading

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Terminating cover crops with tight glyphosate supplies

By Greg LaBarge, CCA, Ohio State University Extension

Ohio’s cover crop of choice is cereal rye. The herbicide of choice for terminating that cover is glyphosate. However, the fact that 2022 glyphosate supplies are limited has raised questions about cover crop termination. Mark Loux, OSU Extension Specialist, Weed Science, provided some comments at CTTC on the topic. Mark suggests if your glyphosate supply is limited, consider using glyphosate in the burndown and turn to other herbicides options for POST applications.

The recommendation from the Ohio Weed Control Guide is “Glyphosate at 0.75 lb ae/A will effectively control cereal rye up to 18 inches tall. Mixtures of glyphosate plus 2,4-D, chlorimuron, chloransulam, atrazine, or saflufenacil can also be applied for additional control of other cover crop species (specifically broadleaf species) and residual control of summer annual broadleaf weeds. The nonselective herbicides Gramoxone and Liberty are less effective than glyphosate on these species.”

Another option is to use a roller-crimper on cereal rye.… Continue reading

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Goal: 30 million acres of cover crops by 2030 

A new partnership between USDA’s Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) and Farmers for Soil Health (FSH) was awarded a $1 million grant to advance adoption of soil conservation practices on farms. 
FSH is a farmer-led, farmer-funded initiative that will help producers plant cover crops on 30 million acres of soybeans and corn by 2030 to improve overall soil health. FSH is a joint effort of NPB, National Corn Growers Association and the United Soybean Board. 
Pork producers can measure their cover crop adoption by using On-Farm Sustainability Reports, which are available at no additional cost to them to help document and improve their on-farm sustainability efforts.  
“Nearly one-half of pork’s environmental footprint comes from the corn and soybeans that are fed to pigs1,” said Steve Rommereim, past president of the National Pork Board. “Sustainable pork production begins with sustainably grown feed. The FSH initiative will support the environmental stewardship on row-crop acres, ultimately helping pork producers meet their sustainability goals.” … Continue reading

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Applying MAP and DAP at corn sidedress

By Greg LaBarge, CPAg/CCA, Ohio State University Extension

One fertilization strategy is to apply a two-year rotation phosphorus need ahead of the corn crop. The primary source of phosphorous fertilizer is the nitrogen-phosphorous (N-P) containing products of 11-52-0, Monoammonium Phosphate (MAP) and 18-46-0, Diammonium Phosphate (DAP). For example, the maintenance P need for corn yielding 180-bushel per acre and soybean at 60 bushels is 111 pounds of P2O5 per acre.

When applied in fall, the phosphorus from these products is solubilized and retained in the soil labile phosphorus pool. To supply this P need with MAP or DAP, we also apply 23 or 43 pounds of N with the application. This nitrogen is subject to environmental loss when fall-applied by leaching or denitrification. The net nitrogen result from fall MAP or DAP application is that little of the applied N is available to meet crop needs. By changing MAP and DAP application timing from fall to at sidedress, can we reduce the sidedress need from other N sources?… Continue reading

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CTC presentations available online

Video recordings are available from the Conservation Tillage Conference If you are interested in hearing the comments made firsthand.

Exclusive access to the presentation recordings is available until April 21 for $100. There were eight sessions with over 50 speakers covering corn/soybean production, nutrient management, cover crops, and precision ag. Crop Consultants needing CCA continuing education credits will find a QR code to record the credit for viewing a talk.

View the complete schedule and speakers list at https://ctc.osu.edu. To register to view the videos, go to https://go.osu.edu/cttc.… Continue reading

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Preemergence mesotrione use in “mesotrione-tolerant” soybeans

By Mark Loux, Ohio State University Extension herbicide specialist

Put this one in the “we’re usually the last to know” category. Following an article in the last C.O.R.N. about the Alite 27 label for use on GT27 soybeans, we became aware that some mesotrione products are labeled for preemergence use on “mesotrione-tolerant” (GT27) soybeans. Products that we know about with this label include Bellum, Motif, and Meso Star. As far we know, all GT27 soybeans are tolerant of mesotrione used preemergence. The catch is that the seed tag and agreement need to specify that the variety is “mesotrione-tolerant” for this to be a legal application. At least this is how it was explained to us by one reputable company rep. Not every company selling GT27 seed has made this change, so check with seed supplier if in doubt. Basics of this label are as follows:

• use prior to soybean emergence only and only on soybeans labeled “mesotrione-tolerant”

• use rate of up to 6 ounces product per acre; only one application (higher rates improve length of residual and improve control of giant ragweed and other tough weeds)

• can be mixed with other preemergence soybean herbicides unless prohibited on another label

• for control of emerged weeds, add AMS plus either NIS or COC (would also depend upon what else is in the mix for burndown)

• do not apply to emerged soybeans

• do not graze or feed soybean forage or hay to livestock.… Continue reading

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The cost of SCN

By Dusty Sonnenberg, CCA, Ohio Field Leader

Soybean Cyst Nematode (SCN) for decades has been considered the most damaging pathogen throughout North America. It is estimated soybean farmers have lost $1.5 billion per year since 1996.

“Every 5 years a survey is conducted to determine what counties have SCN present,” said Dr. Greg Tylka, Morrill Professor in the Department of Plant Pathology and Microbiology at Iowa State University. “In the most recent survey, 55 new counties were identified in the Unites States, with most of the new findings in the state of New York. That was largely due to an intentional survey that was conducted, which further proves we often don’t know if SCN exists until we look for it.”

SCN can be causing yield losses in soybean fields and have no above-ground symptoms. In Ohio, 70 of the 88 counties have fields where SCN has been found. In a random survey of Ohio soybean fields conducted by the USDA in 1995 and 1996, 60% of the samples submitted found SCN.

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Farmers setting the stage for teaching teachers

Ohio teachers learned about how corn becomes ethanol in a recent energy and ethanol workshop in Springfield, sponsored by Ohio Corn & Wheat.

Presenters Jane Hunt and Rachel Sanders led the group through renewable energy labs found on the Feed the World website. Corn was turned into mash, fermented, and distilled. Nutrient testing evaluated levels of protein and carbohydrates in the raw product, after fermentation, and after distillation. The ethanol created was evaluated with a flame test and by powering putt-putt boats, always a favorite activity with teachers and students alike.

“It is so helpful to attend workshops like this where we actually get to do the labs,” said Lara Hamilton, chemistry and physical science teacher at Lynchburg-Clay High School. 

Ohio Corn & Wheat is proud to sponsor these teacher workshops to help connect science with the workplace. Farmer Eric Need greeted teachers and talked about the need for bright minds to fill in-demand jobs in agriculture-related areas.… Continue reading

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Hemp update

By Matt Reese

Hemp production is labor intensive, costly and unpredictable, but the challenge is being accepted by some Ohio producers.

After being prohibited for many years, commercial hemp production was legalized in the U.S. by the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018. Then on July 30, 2019, Senate Bill 57 was enacted to legalize hemp production in Ohio. Hemp produces three main types of crops — fiber, grain, and metabolites — each end use requires very different genetics, production practices, processing methods, and end users. Hemp is coming off of a lower production 2021 in Ohio compared to 2020.

“In Ohio and nationwide, the total number of registered acres and acres planted decreased significantly in 2021,” according to the Ohio Department of Agriculture. “In 2020, there were 2,067 acres registered with 555 planted in Ohio. In 2021, there were 1,498 acres registered with 272 planted.”

The Ohio Department of Agriculture Hemp Program is currently accepting applications for the 2022 growing season through Thursday, March 31, 2022.… Continue reading

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Thoughts from the Ohio Field Leader on SCN resistant varieties

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

Soybean Cyst Nematode (SCN) resistance is a good news, bad news situation. In a presentation given by Dr. Greg Tylka, Morrill Professor in the Department of Plant Pathology and Microbiology at Iowa State University, numbers were shared that commanded everyone’s attention. One number in particular, as the saying goes, virtually “sucked all the air out of the room.” That number was 22.4 bushels per acre. While 22.4 bushels per acre may not seem overwhelming at first, the combination of that yield difference along with the cash price of soybeans put the total over the top. This was further impactful considering the difference in yield was not between the plot control variety and the best resistant variety in the plot, but rather it was within the resistant varieties tested. There was a greater than 22.4 bushel per acre yield difference between the SCN resistant varieties in the trial.

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Hyperspectral sensing and artificial intelligence pave new path for monitoring soil carbon

Just how much carbon is in the soil? That’s a tough question to answer at large spatial scales, but understanding soil organic carbon at regional, national, or global scales could help scientists predict overall soil health, crop productivity, and even worldwide carbon cycles. 

Classically, researchers collect soil samples in the field and haul them back to the lab, where they analyze the material to determine its makeup. But that’s time- and labor-intensive, costly, and only provides insights on specific locations. 

In a recent study, University of Illinois researchers show new machine-learning methods based on laboratory soil hyperspectral data could supply equally accurate estimates of soil organic carbon. Their study provides a foundation to use airborne and satellite hyperspectral sensing to monitor surface soil organic carbon across large areas.

“Soil organic carbon is a very important component for soil health, as well as for cropland productivity,” said Sheng Wang, lead study author and research assistant professor in the Agroecosystem Sustainability Center (ASC) and the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences (NRES) at U of I.… Continue reading

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Considering carbon credit agreements?

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

Several types of carbon credit agreements are now available to Ohio farmers, and they differ from one another so it’s good to review them closely and with the assistance of an attorney and an agronomist. 

For starters, take time to understand the terminology, make sure you can meet the initial eligibility criteria, review payment and penalty terms, know what types of practices are acceptable, determine “additionality” requirements for creating completing new carbon reductions, know the required length of participation and how long the carbon reductions must remain in place, understand how carbon reductions will be verified and certified, be aware of data ownership rights, and review legal remedy provisions.  That’s a lot!  Read more about each of these recommendations in our blog post on “Considering Carbon Farming?”Continue reading

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Nematology on plant and soil health

By Horacio Lopez-Nicora, Adapted from C.O.R.N., 2022-05

“If all the matter in the universe except the nematodes were swept away, our world would still be dimly recognizable . . .” Nathan Cobb (1915)

If nematodes are so abundant, why do we know so little about them?

The Plant Nematology Lab (PLNTPTH 6002.02) and The Department of Plant Pathology invite everyone to our nematology panel in-person and via Zoom.

Prestigious nematologists and scientists will answer your questions about nematodes and the impact of nematology, particularly on plant and soil health.

Do not miss the opportunity to ask your questions to Drs. Greg Tylka, Terry Niblack, Chris Taylor, and Tom Mitchell.

Join us to learn more about these fascinating animals!

MONDAY, MARCH 7, 3:00 – 4:00 PM EST – PANEL

Panelists also available for informal discussion, 4:00 – 4:30 PM

In-person location: Kottman Hall 102 [2021 Coffey Rd., Columbus, OH 43210]

Zoom: register here!

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Spring 2022 fertilizer applications

By John Fulton

We say every growing season is unique and 2022 is no different. Supply chain and labor challenges along with high fertilizer prices have already created a unique situation in agriculture before we get to spring work. Consequently, fertilizer decisions coupled with fertilizer applications are important for profitable production of crops and forages. Regardless of choosing fixed-rate or variable-rate applications of fertilizers, an important factor to efficient and effective use of fertilizers is proper maintenance, setup and calibration of broadcast spreaders. Calibration and maintenance checks of broadcast spreaders is recommended. For 2022, that becomes important to ensure accurate and uniform application of NPK and other granular nutrients.

To start, spreader settings need to change accordingly for the fertilizer product being applied while these settings may need to be adjusted based on application rates and field conditions. While technology on spreaders, especially VRT spreaders, has increased over the past decade, field performance remains vital for profitable production.… Continue reading

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Using the corn nitrogen rate calculator

By Eric Richer, CCA, Ohio State University Extension

Throughout this winter meeting season, fertilizer has been a hot topic. Generally, the discussion has been around nitrogen price and availability. Most of us have little to no influence on price or availability, but as a farmer, you decide your corn (and wheat) nitrogen rates, assuming you can get the nitrogen product you want. Your corn nitrogen rate could likely cost $100 per acre more in 2022 as compared to the year prior and nitrogen will probably surpass seed as the most expensive variable cost per acre this year. As such, it is important to note that the most recent revision (2020) of the Tri-State Fertilizer Recommendations for Corn, Soybean, Wheat and Alfalfa moved from nitrogen rate recommendations based on yield — from the original ‘Tri-States’— to a nitrogen rate based on maximum profitability or a maximum return to nitrogen (MRTN) rate. Sometimes the maximum return to nitrogen rate is referred to as the Economic Optimum Nitrogen Rate (EONR).… Continue reading

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Big deadlines looming for crop insurance, ARC, PLC

By Matt Reese

While field conditions are not quite ready for planting to get started, the next two weeks will be a very busy time for Ohio’s crop producers with major decisions regarding crop insurance and farm bill programs.

These decisions take on extra importance with bigger dollar values involved than usual.

“All the numbers are bigger. When you are talking about corn prices as high as we are seeing, it costs more to ensure a crop being estimated at that kind of value than when the prices are lower. Some people will have sticker shock on their crop insurance bill this year. Everyone has to look at their own individual situation and decide with their agent on the best solution and what they need to have. Everything comes down to your individual situation,” said Larry Davis, with Ag Resource Management (ARM). “We have some high input prices this year compared to in the past too, so when you can lock in the high crop prices we are seeing right now, it makes sense to do that.… Continue reading

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Soybean cyst nematodes resistant to the resistance

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

The phenomena of Soybean cyst nematodes (SCN) developing resistance to SCN resistant varieties is similar to the herbicide resistance problem. After more than 20 years of farmers using the same source of soybean cyst nematode resistance, nature is finding a way around it. Natural selection occurs as the nematodes continue to feed, reproduce and adapt.

SCN Female

Managing SCN is multifaceted and involves more than just planting an SCN resistant variety. Nearly all SCN resistant varieties have the same source of resistance: PI 88788. SCN populations are adapting and reproducing on PI 88788. The soybean cyst nematodes are basically becoming resistant to the resistance.

“Rotating between different soybean varieties is one of the steps to manage SCN resistance,” said Horacio Lopez-Nicora, Assistant Professor in Plant Pathology at The Ohio State University. “Most soybean varieties have the same source of resistance being PI 88788, but there are many soybean varieties out there with different genetic backgrounds even though they have the same resistance source.

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Determining the right corn plant population

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

One factor that greatly influences corn yields is plant population. Determining the correct plant population may take some effort, however, it is a critical factor that every corn grower needs to get right in order to maximize yields. Recent research performed by universities and seed companies has determined that that yields increase significantly as populations are increased up to a point of 34,000 seeds per acre. In general, yields begin to level off at planting rates around rates 36,000 seeds per acre. Recent studies have also determined that even in low yield environments planting rates of 31,000 seeds per acre maximize yield and economic return. In very productive, 250 bushel per acre yield environments, research results show that higher populations (38,000+ seeds per acre) maximize yields. Breeding and advances in genetics have improved the modern corn plant’s ability to yield at higher populations when compared to corn hybrids from the past.… Continue reading

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Getting ready for 2022 wheat management

By Greg LaBarge, CCA, Ohio State University Extension agronomist

 

The USDA-NASS, Ohio Field Office estimates that Ohio farmers planted 700,000 winter wheat acres in fall 2021. The last time we were close to that many wheat acres was in 2013. We had excellent yields in 2021, with a historically high state average yield of 85 bushels per acre, 5 bushels higher than the previous record in 2016. Replicating our success in 2021 will depend on management and weather, especially temperatures and moisture at grain fill. Here are a few management steps for March.

Spring stand assessment

The best time to do stand assessments is Feekes 5 growth stage, where leaf sheaths are strongly erect (Early to Mid-April). A stand that looks thin in the spring does not always correspond to a lower grain yield. Rather than relying on a visual assessment, we suggest counting the number of wheat stems or using the mobile app Canopeo to estimate wheat grain yield. … Continue reading

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