Crops



Drought returns to Ohio

By Aaron Wilson, Ohio State University Extension

Hot and mostly dry conditions have continued across Ohio. As of July 20, Columbus has reached at least 90°F on 16 out of 20 days in the month, with many locations around the state recording at least double-digit days at that mark. Recent temperatures averaged 2 to 8 degrees F above normal, with the warmest conditions compared to average across northern Ohio.

Outside of locally heavy thunderstorms, widespread rainfall has been lacking. Only far northeastern counties, far northwestern Ohio, and isolated locations generally south of I-70 picked up more than 0.50 inch of rain this past week, with much of the state collecting less than 0.10 inch. With very little rain and intense evaporation rates (0.25 to 0.30 inch per day), soil moisture continues to dissipate across the region.

Much of northwest Ohio has now fallen below the tenth percentile for soil moisture in the top 1 meter (3.3 feet) of the surface.… Continue reading

Read More »

Corn silks, beans bloom despite dry conditions

Warm and dry weather prevailed throughout the week, allowing small grain harvest to progress quickly, according to Cheryl Turner, State Statistician, USDA NASS, Ohio Field Office. Topsoil moisture decreased from 43 percent adequate or surplus last week to 24 percent adequate or surplus this week. Approximately 59 percent of the state saw abnormally dry conditions according to the latest Drought Monitor, and several reporters observed crop stress due to lack of soil moisture. Average temperatures for the week were approximately 2 degrees above historical normals, and the entire state averaged less than .5 inches of precipitation. There were 6.6 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending July 19. Farmers harvested wheat, baled straw and hay, installed tile, conducted tillage, and hauled manure. Winter wheat harvested was at 95 percent, ahead of the five-year average by 12 percentage points. Soybeans blooming was at 64 percent, ahead of the five-year average by 14 percentage points.… Continue reading

Read More »

A new era of victory gardens

By Brianna Gwirtz, OCJ field reporter

When the United States entered World War I nearly a century ago, citizens were asked to do their part to support the troops by planting gardens.

Propaganda and pamphlets were distributed across the country, encouraging everyone to plant gardens to aid in the war. School yards, parks, backyards and more were all converted into gardens. Again, following the start of World War II, these “victory gardens,” as they were named for their wartime efforts, began to reemerge. Food rations led to many families producing their own fruits and vegetables. Gardens boosted morale and brought a sense of collectiveness to the country.

As the world has gone to war in a new battle in the form of a pandemic, there appears to be another wave of these “victory gardens.” For the first time in a very long time, Americans went to the grocery store and were met with empty shelves.… Continue reading

Read More »

GPS concerns for agriculture

By Matt Reese

There has been much discussion about the importance of improving rural broadband and cellular connectivity. As efforts to address this challenge move forward, new potential challenges are emerging.

“We know there are places where there is no cellular connectivity in Ohio making it very hard to get a connection to the Internet. The Internet has become a necessity for production agriculture today. Cellular services have advanced to 5G but that is limited to large cities and making that accessible to rural communities is very important,” said John Fulton, professor in the Ohio State University Department of Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering. “The federal government has taken initiatives on the finding solutions to rural broadband coverage. One of the more debatable discussions currently is about the Ligado Company. Many people in the ag sector would recall LightSquared back in the 2011 era trying to deliver rural broadband via satellite.… Continue reading

Read More »

Mid-season weed management in soybeans

By Dr. Mark Loux, OSU Extension Weed Specialist, adapted from C.O.R.N. 2020-21

A few weed-related observations while we try to stay cool and hope for a day of rain or at least popup thunderstorms.

One of the frequent questions during extended dry weather is — do I wait for rain before applying POST herbicides, or just go ahead and apply before the weeds get any larger and tougher to control.  Our experience has been that it’s best to go ahead and apply when weeds are still small, even if it’s dry, and herbicides will usually do what they are supposed to.  Letting them get larger without any sure forecast for rain can make for a tough situation that requires higher rates or a more injurious mix.  On the other hand, waiting to apply can be fine if there is a good chance of rain within the next few days.  It’s not always an easy decision.

Continue reading

Read More »

Western bean cutworm numbers starting to increase

By Amy Raudenbush, Mark Badertscher, Jordan Beck, Frank Becker, Lee Beers, CCA, Bruce Clevenger, CCA, Sam Custer, Tom Dehaas, Craig Everett, Allen Gahler, Jason Hartschuh, CCA, Andrew Holden, Stephanie Karhoff, Alan Leininger, Ed Lentz, CCA, Rory Lewandowski, CCA, Cecilia Lokai-Minnich, David Marrison, Sarah Noggle, Les Ober, CCA, Eric Richer, CCA, Garth Ruff, Beth Scheckelhoff, Clint Schroeder, Jeff Stachler, Mike Sunderman, Curtis Young, CCA, Chris Zoller, Andy Michel, Kelley Tilmon, Matthew Lorentz, Ohio State University Extension

We are in the third week of monitoring for Western bean cutworm (WBC) in Ohio. Numbers of WBC moths doubled from the previous week; however, overall numbers across the state remain low. Trap counts for the week of July 6 – 12 resulted in a total of 117 WBC adults (1.3 average moths per trap). A total of 27 counties monitored 91 traps across Ohio. Sandusky County reported capturing more than 1 moth per day over the 7-day monitoring period; therefore, scouting for egg masses should begin in this county.… Continue reading

Read More »

Ohio No-Till events canceled

The Ohio No-Till Council had three events planned in August that have been canceled.

“With Farm Science Review canceled, it became clear we had to cancel our three half-day events,” said Randall Reeder, Randall Reeder, P.E., Extension Agricultural Engineer (retired).

The events were:

Aug. 19: Ohio No-till (Summer) Field Evening, Nathan Brown Farm, Hillsboro

Aug. 20: Ohio No-till (Summer) Field Morning, Fred Yoder Farm, Plain City

Aug. 20: Ohio No-till (Summer) Field Evening, Keith Kemp Farm, W. Manchester.… Continue reading

Read More »

Watch for frogeye leaf spot in beans

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

Frogeye leaf spot is a disease that can impact soybean yields across this eastern Corn Belt. Typically, more prevalent in the southern growing regions, the disease can occur farther north as a result of weather favorable to its development.

The fungus that causes frogeye leaf spot (Cercospora sojina) survives in infected plant debris and can cause infections in growing plants when weather conditions are favorable. Frogeye leaf spot lesions produce spores that are easily transported by wind, acting as inoculum for leaf infections on other plants. The disease is promoted by warm, humid weather and will continue to develop on infected plants during patterns of favorable weather. With the warm and wet weather patterns that have existed in the eastern Corn Belt during 2017, it is expected that frogeye would be observed in some fields.

Frogeye leaf spot symptoms begin as small yellow spots that become larger lesions with gray centers and dark reddish-purple or brown borders.… Continue reading

Read More »

Scouting for spider mites

By Andy Michel and Kelley Tillmon, Ohio State University Extension Entomology, C.O.R.N. 2020-22
Hot, dry weather encourages certain pests in field crops, in particular spider mites in soybean and occasionally corn. Spider mites are a sporadic problem that most often occurs in August, but infestations in July are possible with sustained periods of hot, dry weather like some parts of Ohio are experiencing. Crop scouts in areas that have not received rain recently should be on the lookout for this problem; spider mites are easy to miss in early stages and can build quickly.

Look for light-colored stippling damage which is easier to spot than the mites themselves. In areas with heavy stippling you can confirm the presence of mites by tapping vegetation over a black piece of construction paper. (Many sources will say to use white paper; but insider tip: they are actually easier to see against a dark background.)… Continue reading

Read More »

Is fungicide the right move for corn and soybeans in 2020?

By Alexandra Knight, Ph.D., Field Agronomist, Pioneer

Late season fungicide and insecticide applications to corn and soybeans is a management decision growers will be making rather quickly but, does it appear this year will pay?

In many parts of Ohio, 2019 left fields unplanted. In many cases, cover crops were planted to preserve mycorrhizal fungi. While this left an opportunity for beneficial organisms to thrive, it also provided an opportunity for insects and diseases to maintain a home. This combined with the mild winter, would lead us to suspect 2020 to be a strong year for both insects and disease.

In both corn and soybeans, the leaves serve as “solar panels” to capture sunlight and turn that sunlight into sugar to produce grain. When leaves remain healthy and undamaged more sugar can be produced and ultimately more yield obtained.

When fungicide applications occur, the leaf is protected from further disease development for a period of approximately 2 to 3 weeks.… Continue reading

Read More »

Take action: Pesticide resistance management

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

Production threats facing soybean farmers are constantly changing. Weeds, insects, and diseases create stress on crops that can contribute to reduced yields throughout the growing season. Take Action: Pesticide Resistance Management is an initiative of the United Soybean Board to help growers better identify and understand these production challenges and find solutions to protect their crops while reducing the threat of resistance developing in the pest.

Take Action is both a website and an app for smart phones and tablets that gives farmers the tools needed to follow an integrated pest management strategy with the resources to correctly identify pests, determine thresholds, and select treatment options the reduce the chances of developing pesticide resistance.

The Take Action website is divided into a resources section and a management section. Both sections are broken down into three key areas: Herbicide-resistance management, Disease-resistance management, and Insect-resistance management.

Continue reading

Read More »

Soybean weed management in hot, dry conditions without dicamba

By Mark Loux Ohio State University herbicide specialist

Here are a few weed-related observations while we try to stay cool and hope for a day of rain or at least popup thunderstorms.

  • One of the frequent questions during extended dry weather is – do I wait for rain before applying POST herbicides, or just go ahead and apply before the weeds get any larger and tougher to control.  Our experience has been that it’s best to go ahead and apply when weeds are still small, even if it’s dry, and herbicides will usually do what they are supposed to.  Letting them get larger without any sure forecast for rain can make for a tough situation that requires higher rates or a more injurious mix.  On the other hand, waiting to apply can be fine if there is a good chance of rain within the next few days.  It’s not always an easy decision.
Continue reading

Read More »

Foliar fertilizer application to soybeans

By Laura Lindsey, Steve Culman, and Emma Matcham, Ohio State University Extension, adapted from C.O.R.N. 2020-21

When soybean prices are low, inputs need to be carefully considered. Obtaining a return on investment (ROI) is necessary?

In 2019, Ohio State participated in a national protocol to evaluate foliar fertilizer in soybean. Trials were conducted in 13 states and totaled 20 different growing environments. In 2019, only 1 environment, located in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, showed a yield benefit associated with foliar fertilizer application.

In Ohio, none of the evaluated foliar fertilizer products resulted in a different yield compared with the non-treated control (no foliar fertilizer application). The 2019 results are consistent with previously conducted trials in Ohio. Historically, yield response to micronutrient foliar fertilizer application is rare.

Although, yield response to micronutrient foliar fertilizer application is rare, there are cases where applications are warranted. In Ohio, manganese is the micronutrient that is most likely to be deficient in soybean.

Continue reading

Read More »

USDA announces flexibility to file for failed, prevented planted acres

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is providing additional flexibilities for producers to file on acres with failed crops or crops that were prevented from planting because of extreme weather events. USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) is adding these flexibilities for Notice of Loss on both insured and uninsured crops to enable Service Centers to best assist producers.

“With many program deadlines approaching, our Service Centers are working hard to accommodate as many producer appointments as possible,” said Richard Fordyce, FSA administrator. “By providing flexibilities to our Notice of Loss policy, we can ensure we provide the best customer service.”

Filing for prevented planted acres
For insured crops, producers who timely filed a prevented planted claim with the reinsurance company but filed a Notice of Loss (CCC-576) form after the deadline will be considered timely filed for FSA purposes. FSA can use data from the Risk Management Agency (RMA) for accepting the report of prevented planting with FSA.… Continue reading

Read More »

Improving soil moisture

By James Hoorman, Hoorman Soil Health Services

Soils are water reservoirs for crop production. Dr. Elwyn Taylor, Iowa State University climatologist reported that 200-bushel corn needs 19 to 23 inches of water during the growing season. For 200-bushel corn at 75 degree F (soil temperature), corn needs 1-acre inch of water per week, doubling to 2 inches at 85 degrees F, and doubling again to 4 inches at 95 degrees F. As soil temperature increases every 10 degrees F, the corn plant’s water needs double. Keeping soil covered with crop residue and creating a good crop canopy greatly reduces soil temperatures. On a bare soil, soil temperatures may reach over 100 degrees F, which has negative impacts on water needs, microbial populations, and nutrient cycling.

Taylor reports that every 1 inch of fully and effectively used water is worth about 8 bushels corn, 3.5 bushels soybeans, and 6 bushels wheat. Effective rainfall is an extremely important concept.… Continue reading

Read More »

Drought projections and fungicide applications

By Anne Dorrance and Pierce Paul, Ohio State University Extension

There have been several calls this past week for fungicide applications on corn and soybean at all different growth stages. So let’s review what might be at stake here.

Soybeans

Frogeye leaf spot and white mold on susceptible varieties when the environment is favorable for disease easily pay the cost of application plus save yield losses. Let’s dig a bit deeper. Both of these diseases are caused by fungi but frogeye leaf spot is a polycyclic disease, meaning that multiple infections occur on new leaves through the season while white mold is monocyclic and the plant is really only susceptible during the flowering stage. Both of these diseases are also limited geographically in the state. White mold is favored in northeast Ohio and down through the central region where fields are smaller and air flow can be an issue. Frogeye has been found on highly susceptible varieties south of 70, but it is moving a bit north, so it is one that I am watching.… Continue reading

Read More »

Ohio No-till events and COVID-19

By Randall Reeder

As I write this in early July, we still plan to have our three events August 19-20. We are confident we can safely gather 50 to 75 at each site. We’ll stay outside if necessary. Bring a lawn chair and expect to leave some space around you. Masks are optional. (If you’re sick, please stay home.)

Paul Jasa, University of Nebraska, will present “No-till Seeding Equipment: Adjustments and Operation” at all three locations. The Nature Conservancy is covering Paul Jasa’s expenses.

Here are the dates, host and location for the three events:

• Aug. 19, 6:00 to ~9:00pm., Nathan Brown, 6110 Panhandle Road, Hillsboro, OH 45133;

• Aug. 20, 9:00 am to noon, Fred Yoder, 7050 Butler Avenue, Plain City, OH 43064-9694;

• Aug. 20, 6:00 to ~9:00 pm., Keith Kemp, 959 Georgetown-Verona Rd., West Manchester, OH 45382.

At each location, about an hour of the program will be specific for that site.… Continue reading

Read More »

Agricultural exports doing relatively well

Though the COVID-19 pandemic has cut demand for many U.S. products, agricultural exports are holding up well, according to a new analysis by an agricultural economist with The Ohio State University.

The reason?

“We all have to eat,” said Ian Sheldon, a professor in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES).

Even when consumer income declines, the demand for food changes very little, Sheldon said. People in the developed world might be dining out less frequently, but they’re still buying groceries.

Exports of U.S. agricultural goods, including soybeans, which are Ohio’s top agricultural export, are up, Sheldon said. By the start of June, the amount of U.S. soybeans exported was 200,000 tons higher than it was for the same period in 2019.

“The pandemic has affected ag trade, but not by as much as we thought it would,” said Sheldon, who serves as the Andersons Endowed Chair in Agricultural Marketing, Trade, and Policy in the CFAES Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics.… Continue reading

Read More »

Dry weather stressing Ohio crops

Hot and dry weather came back into the state causing drought stress in crops, according to Cheryl Turner, State Statistician, USDA NASS, Ohio Field Office. Topsoil moisture decreased from 69 percent adequate or surplus last week to 30 percent adequate or surplus this week. Average temperatures for the week were approximately 5 degrees above historical normals, and the entire state averaged less than 0.2 inch of precipitation. There were 6.6 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending July 5. Farmers applied herbicide to soybeans, sprayed weeds, baled hay, and harvested wheat. Winter wheat harvested was at 51 percent, ahead of the five-year average by 10 percentage points, boosted by the warm, dry weather. Soybeans blooming was at 27 percent, 11 percentage points ahead of the five-year average. Alfalfa hay first cutting reached 100 percent, 12 percentage points ahead of the five-year average. Fifty-three percent of corn was considered good or excellent and 66 percent of pasture and range was considered good or excellent compared to a five-year average of 59 percent.… Continue reading

Read More »