Ohio agriculture needs 100% involvement in water quality efforts

By Matt Reese

In July, interested parties from around Ohio gathered at Stone Lab on Lake Erie to hear about the science behind the Harmful Algal Bloom (HAB) Forecast for Lake Erie in 2018. At the event, Laura Johnson, Director of the National Center for Water Quality Research from Heidelberg University, reported that phosphorus loading in rural waterways has not changed much in recent years since the sharp increases that began in the mid-1990s.

“What we have been finding out of the Maumee River hasn’t changed a whole lot over the past 5 to 10 years. We are still getting the same concentrations that we have gotten in the recent past, but that doesn’t mean we are not making progress. There is a lot of effort going into practices that most folks would say are the practices we need to focus on like nutrient management plans, not applying on frozen ground, drainage water management, 4R certification — these are all moving in the right directions.… Continue reading

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Using cover crops with fall manure applications

By Glen Arnold, OSU Extension Field Specialist – Manure management

As corn silage harvest starts, livestock producers and commercial manure applicators will follow with the fall manure application season. To best capture the nutrients in manure, manure should be incorporated during application or as soon after as possible. Livestock producers should also consider using cover crops to capture more of the manure nutrients and to prevent soil erosion.

The most common cover crops used with livestock manure are cereal rye, wheat, and oats. However, farmers have also used radishes, clover, annual ryegrass, Sudan grass or almost anything they are comfortable growing.

  • Cereal rye is the most commonly planted cool-season grass for capturing excess nitrogen. Because rye over-winters, research has shown it can capture and hold 25 to 50 pounds of nitroge per acre , in the organic form as roots and plant tissue. It germinates at lower temperatures than oats so may be planted later, but less nitrogen will be recycled the later the rye is seeded in the fall.
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Beck’s 400 bushel project pushing the limits

Ohio Ag Net was recently at the 2018 Becknology Days at the Beck’s Hybrids headquarters in Indiana. A close-up look at the ongoing Practical Farm Research is a highlight of the annual event. One of the more unique projects being undertaken is that of producing 400-bushel corn with today’s technology. PFR Agronomist Travis Burnett talks with Ohio Ag Net’s Joel Penhorwood about the undertaking.… Continue reading

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Watch for ear rots in corn fields

By Pierce Paul, Felipe Dalla Lana da Silva, Ohio State University Extension

Over the last few weeks, we have received samples with at least four different types of ear rots in Ohio — Diplodia, Gibberella, Fusarium, and Trichoderma. Of these, Diplodia ear rot seems to be the most prevalent. Ear rots differ from each other in terms of the damage they cause (their symptoms), the toxins they produce, and the specific conditions under which they develop. Most are favored by wet, humid conditions during silk emergence (R1) and just prior to harvest. But they vary in their temperature requirements, with most being restricted my excessively warm conditions such as the 90 degrees F forecasted for the next several days. However, it should be noted that even when conditions are not optimum for ear rot development, mycotoxins may accumulate in infected ears.

A good first step for determining whether you have an ear rot problem is to walk fields between dough and black-layer, before plants start drying down, and observe the ears.… Continue reading

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The 2018 wheat crop finished strong

By Jason Hartschuh Crawford County Extension and Harold Watters

There were some good reasons to grow wheat again this year. Many farmers we spoke with said 2018 produced another very good crop. Our warm spring conditions cut back on yield but quality was excellent. What else goes into making the farm more profit?

  • Crop rotation: wheat adds a third crop to our rotation. Generally we get a 10% yield bump to the next crop in the rotation. And with a three crop rotation we reduce disease and insect pressure for all crops.
  • “Cover crop wheat” was a new term for me this spring. This was planted after last year’s soybeans and planned to be a cover crop ahead of corn. Wheat, like oats and cereal rye will help hold onto nitrates. If we wanted we could even graze wheat, or if we get a good stand and have good prospects we can keep it to harvest as grain — this may be our perfect cover crop.
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Corn ear abnormalities

By Matt Hutcheson, Seed Consultants agronomist

While walking corn plots for fields as they get closer to maturity, it is not uncommon to observe some plant/ear abnormalities. One abnormality observed this time of year is a tassel ear. The picture is a tassel ear I observed recently while taking notes in a corn plot.

Corn plants are monecious, having both male (the tassel) and female (the ear) flowering structures. Occasionally, female reproductive structures develop on a tassel, allowing for kernel development. Typically observed on tillers (or suckers) these tassel ears do not develop with a husk covering the kernels and do not produce harvestable grain due to damage from pests and environmental conditions.

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Late season alfalfa management

By Rory Lewandowski, CCA, Mark Sulc, Ohio State University Extension

Late season alfalfa management decisions often come down to balancing a need for forage versus stand health and winter survival. Weather patterns across the state in 2018 have been variable. Lack of summer rain in some areas have decreased forage yields, frequent rains or too much rainfall in other areas have blown apart harvest schedules and/or resulted in low quality forage inventories. Taking a fall alfalfa harvest is an opportunity to increase both the quality and quantity of the farm forage inventory. Like most farming decisions, there are trade-offs and risk factors to consider when making a fall alfalfa harvest.

The decision of when to take the last harvest of alfalfa to insure good winter survival and yield potential for the following year can be boiled down to two choices. Either cut early enough in the fall to permit alfalfa to regrow and replenish carbohydrate root reserves or cut late enough so that alfalfa does not regrow and use carbohydrate root reserves.… Continue reading

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Late-season pod feeding by bean leaf beetle or grasshopper

By Kelley Tilmon and Andy Michel, Ohio State University Extension

We have heard a few reports of either bean leaf beetles or grasshoppers increasing in soybeans. As we start to approach the end of the growing season the larger concern with these insects is the potential for pod feeding, rather than foliage feeding. Pod feeding directly impacts grain quality. Crop stage is also an important consideration. Late-planted fields or double-cropped soybeans which are still green when other fields are drying down can be “trap crops,” attracting both bean leaf beetles or grasshoppers leaving the other fields. Such fields bear close watching.

Evaluation of pod injury should be based on inspection of all pods on 10 randomly selected plants. Be sure to sample at least 100’ into the field to avoid making your entire decision based on field edges, where damage can be worse than in the field as a whole.… Continue reading

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Field day features world’s oldest no-till fields

A field day scheduled for Aug. 29 will look at the old and the new in tillage practices.

The Ohio No-Till Field Day will feature panelists with a combined 250 years of no-till experience, as well as a tour of the historic Triplett-Van Doren No-Tillage Experimental Plots. It will also include updates on recent research regarding cover crops, soil health, and more.

The event takes place on the Wooster campus of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES) at The Ohio State University.

The Triplett-Van Doren plots, established in 1962, are known as the longest continually maintained no-till research plots in the world.

“Long-term research plots are incredibly important because soil can take longer than three to five years to respond to management practices,” while most research projects are supported by just three- to five-year grants, said Steve Culman, assistant professor of soil fertility for the School of Environment and Natural Resources in CFAES.… Continue reading

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Beck’s Hybrids weighs in on dicamba

By Matt Reese

With a November deadline looming for an Environmental Protection Agency decision on the future of dicamba-resistance technology, leaders at Beck’s Hybrids decided it was time to comment on the matter.

In late July, Sonny Beck sent a letter to the EPA asking for the XtendiMax, Fexipan and Engenia labels to be modified to restrict dicamba in its current formulations to pre-plant only. Dale Minyo talked with Scott Beck, president of Beck’s Hybrids, about the letter and the company’s view of dicamba technology moving forward.

“Our purpose was simply to support the technology. We believe farmers do need dicamba-based chemistry as a tool, however with the results of last year — the training that took place, the restrictions the EPA did impose for certain states, the timing of the applications — we are still seeing damage this year,” Scott Beck said. “Our concern is that if we don’t properly steward the technology by making it a pre-plant application only, then we are going to continue to cause harm in farmer-to-farmer relations and the agriculture industry to the public.… Continue reading

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Slug and vole survey

By Greg LaBarge, CCA, Ohio State University Extension
We have heard varying reports of crop injury including replanting, treatment with control products or tillage from slugs and vole in corn and soybeans across the state. To get a better feel for where and under what conditions these two pests have been active in 2017 and 2018, a short 6-question survey has been put together. The survey is intended for farmers or professionals. The survey will be available until Aug. 31 and should take less than 3 minutes. Please go to

For more information on “Slugs on Field Crops,” visit

A summary of responses will be posted in an upcoming fall issue of the CORN newsletter. If you have any question please contact Greg LaBarge,… Continue reading

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Nitrogen deficiency in corn

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

Due to heavy rainfall and saturated soils during the 2018 growing season, it is not surprising to see some signs of nitrogen deficiency showing up in corn fields. Whether applied preplant or sidedressed, patterns of heavy rainfall and wet soils increase the likelihood of nitrogen being lost. Because nitrogen is an essential nutrient for corn plant development and ultimately yield, losses will impact final yields this fall.

When saturated conditions persist, nitrogen can be lost though leaching or denitrification. Leaching (more likely to occur in course-textured soils) is the process where nitrogen is moved down through the soil profile and out of the root zone where it is not available to plants. The severity of nitrogen loss due to leaching is impacted the intensity and duration of rainfall. Denitrification is the process where soil nitrogen is biologically converted to gaseous nitrogen and lost to the atmosphere.… Continue reading

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EPA ordered to ban the sale of chlorpyrifos

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

The U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals this month ordered the U.S. EPA within 60 days to cancel all registrations for chlorpyrifos, a pesticide first introduced by Dow and commonly used on crops and animals.

The court held that there was no justification for a decision by previous EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt refusing to grant a petition to ban chlorpyrifos in the face of scientific evidence that the pesticide can cause neurodevelopmental damage in children. The court also discarded the agency’s argument that it could refuse to ban chlorpyrifos so based on a possible contradiction of evidence in the future. Both actions, said the court, placed the agency in direct violation of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act and the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act. The highest uses of chlorpyrifos are on cotton and corn crops and almond and fruit trees.… Continue reading

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Will soybean aphids hit thresholds in 2018?

By Andy Michel, Kelley Tilmon, Ohio State University Extension

We have heard from a few Extension educators and scouts that soybean aphids are starting to make their appearance. Right now, the number of infested plants is very low (around 5%) and the number of aphids on the plants is also low (average 5-10). With this level of infestation, it is highly doubtful that soybean aphids will reach threshold, especially in soybean that has already entered the late R stages (R5 and R6).

However, there is a fair amount of late planted soybean that could still be at risk—in fact we were in a field last week that just reached R2. We recommend that growers continue to scout their fields to make sure that soybean aphid populations remain under the treatment threshold which is 250 aphids per plant.… Continue reading

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2018 I-75/I-71 Ohio Crop Tour summary

After an almost ideal growing area for some and not so much for others, we were not sure quite what to expect in the 2018 I-75/I-71 Ohio Crop Tour. We had heard about a wet start to the growing season followed by a long dry spell, but we weren’t sure just what the state’s corn and soybean fields would have to offer.

There were certainly some examples that showed up in fields on the 2018 I-75/I-71 Ohio Crop Tour displaying evidence of some challenging conditions, but for the most part what we found was a crop that might just meet what USDA has suggested, a record crop. The 2018 Ohio Crop Tour was sponsored by AgroLiquid.

In the West, the I-75 group had an average corn yield of 180.3 bushels on Day 1 and 191.8 bushels on Day 2. The Eastern leg of the Ohio Crop Tour averaged 188.07 bushels on Day 1 and 182.3 bushels on Day 2.… Continue reading

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Notice of election: Ohio Soybean Council, District 9

District 9 of the Ohio Soybean Council (OSC) Board of Trustees will have an election beginning Aug. 13. All ballots must be postmarked by Aug. 31 and received by the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) by Sept. 7. District 9 includes Delaware, Marion, Morrow and Union Counties.

The candidates are Lizabeth Funderburgh of Union County and Mike Ralph of Marion County. Candidate bios can be found at

Ballots will be mailed to all farmers in the district and be available by request from the Ohio Soybean Council by calling 614-476-3100.

Eligible voters must reside within the district within the last 30 days and have engaged in the growing of soybeans anytime during the three-year period immediately preceding Nov. 15, 2018.

All ballots will be counted and validated by ODA with official election results announced in late September.

For questions, contact Kirk Merritt, OSC executive director, at 614-476-3100 or… Continue reading

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Western bean cutworm: Adult moth catches indicate Ohio is past peak flight

By John Schoenhals, Mark Badertscher, Lee Beers, Amanda Bennett, JD Bethel, Bruce Clevenger, Sam Custer, Tom Dehass, Allen Gahler, Jason Hartschuh, Ed Lentz, Rory Lewandowski, Cecilia Lokai-Minnich, David Marrison, Les Ober, Eric Richer, Garth Ruff, Jeff Stachler, Alan Sundermeier, Curtis Young, Megan Zerrer, Andy Michel, Kelley Tilmon, Ohio State University Extension

Western bean cutworm (WBC) adult moth catches decreased across monitoring counties in Ohio. For week ending August 4, 23 counties monitored 73 traps (Figure 1). Overall, there was a statewide average of 5.6 moths (406 total captured). This is a decrease from an average of 15 moths per trap (1090 total captured) the previous week. Two consecutive weeks of WBC adult captures indicate that Ohio is past peak flight for WBC adults.

Figure 1. Average WBC adult per trap in Ohio counties, followed in parentheses by total number of traps monitored in each county for the week ending August 4, 2018.… Continue reading

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Bearish August numbers from USDA

By Doug Tenney, Leist Mercantile

Today’s USDA monthly Supply and Demand Report detailed actual expected corn and soybean yields across Ohio and the Midwest. It was a bearish report for both corn and soybeans. Corn was down 4 cents and soybeans were down 23 cents following the report. Prior to the report corn was down 2 cents and beans were down 10 cents.

The soybean ending stocks were up 205 million bushels due to an average yield of 51.6 bushels per acre. That is up from last month’s prediction of 48.5 bushels per acre. The corn yield was predicted to be 178.4, up from last month’s 174-bushel prediction.

Don’t be surprised that corn and soybean harvest will commence earlier than that of last year. Corn demand could easily be ratcheting higher in coming months. Last month USDA raised U.S. corn exports 125 million bushels to 2.225 billion bushels. The export could reach last year’s level of 2.4 billion bushels.… Continue reading

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Tile Drainage and Soil Health Field Day

By Jason Hartschuh, CCA, Ohio State University Extension

OSU Extension Crawford County will be hosting a Tile demonstration and Soil Health Field day on August 22. The program will start at 9:30 am and run until 2 pm. Cost for the program will be $5 to cover lunch. Throughout the day, participants will have the opportunity to see both commercial and tractor mounted plows in operation. They will have the opportunity to see how to run the tractor plow from the seat and how Intellislope works. While drainage is often the first step to successful no-till and cover crops, it is not the only step. Other presentations will include, Profitable cover cropping with livestock, Managing herbicides for cover crop success, In field soil health testing and interpretation, Planning Grass waterways and Blind inlets to partner with you tile installation, Economics of drain tile installation. Please call the Crawford county extension office at 419-562-8731 to RSVP by August 20th.… Continue reading

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