First time no-tillers

By James Hoorman, Hoorman Soil Health Services

As the national price of diesel fuel averages around $5.40 per gallon, many farmers are considering no-tilling both soybeans and corn for the first time. Also, due to wet weather and a late planting window, getting crop seed in the ground becomes even more important.  Here are a few tips that may help improve your first year no-till crop yields.

First, scout your fields. Weeds like purple dead nettle, henbit, dandelion, chickweed, yellow rocket, ragweed and marestail can be problems and require a good burndown herbicide.


Most farmers will use glyphosate (Roundup®)but remember that as a chelator, glyphosate ties up many micronutrients, especially iron, manganese, zinc, and copper, so minimize it use.

Second, check for slugs and other pests, especially in weedy fields. Ferroyx® is a new slug bait that has a 40-day residual.  The pellets are very small and the slugs ingest it. 

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Biological nutrient uptake

By James Hoorman, Hoorman Soil Health Services, adapted from “Solubility versus Biology” by  Lawrence Mayhew.

Regenerative farming practices emphasize nutrient uptake from soils through natural soil biological cycles.  This ecologically‐based agricultural approach uses microbes and carbon compounds to produce crops naturally rather than relying entirely on highly soluble “salty” nutrient inputs for plant nutrition.

Jim Hoorman, Hoorman Soil Health Services

Before commercial synthetic fertilizer, historically, soil microbes provided about 80% of soil nitrogen (N) through the efficient process of microbial N fixation. However, soil compaction and over‐use of nitrogen fertilizers are having a negative impact on N fixing microbes. For the first time, the total fixed N supplied by microbes is less than the amount of applied synthetic N from fertilizer.  Excess salt based or soluble fertilizer is disrupting the natural soil balance.

Soil microbe interact with plant roots and soil minerals to releases plant nutrients from soil minerals. Biological release of plant nutrients has far greater potential for plant mineral uptake than relying entirely on soluble nutrients from fertilizer.

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Challenging nutrient management decisions for 2022

By Matt Reese

Planting season has finally arrived after a frustrating cold and soggy start to spring. Are there more frustrations ahead for corn and soybean farmers due to the ongoing supply challenges and high fertilizer cost scenarios?

“I don’t think the issue is going to be that we’re going to be short on supply domestically. The challenge that we face is how do we make sure that we as a retailer are in a good position to satisfy the needs of our customers,” said Robert Mullen, vice president of agricultural technology for Heritage Cooperative. “If you haven’t secured fertilizer, at this point you certainly need to start having that conversation so that we make sure we take a position on getting product into the bins so that we can satisfy your needs. And I can tell you on the retail side, that’s all we’re trying to do right now is make sure that we have product in place where we know we’re going to need it.… Continue reading

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Corn leaf diseases to watch for in 2022

By Dave Nanda, Ph.D. Director of Genetics for Seed Genetics Direct
It is almost impossible to develop resistance to all of the prevalent diseases while developing new varieties. The disease organisms are constantly changing and by the time breeders develop new varieties resistant to certain disease organism, the pathogens mutate and change. In order to maximize the potential yield of crops, farmers need to also protect them from diseases. Fungicides is one way to do so. 

Dave Nanda

Depending on the spring weather and past experience, there are leaf diseases which might develop and dominate in July and August, most of the which are caused by the fungal organisms.

Northern corn leaf blight (NCLB) can get started from the residue of previous crops which may provide the initial inoculum and is further spread by airborne spores. It likes cool, wet and humid weather. NCLB produces long, cigar shaped lesions which are grayish to tan in color.… Continue reading

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Breaking down crop residue

By James Hoorman, Hoorman Soil Health Services

For many farmers, crop residue can either be a plus or a minus. Crop residue has many beneficial plant nutrients when it decomposes, but when the residue is slow to break down, it keeps soils cold and wet, and can be difficult to plant.  Good crop residue breakdown is dependent upon moisture, temperature, soil microbes (fungi and bacteria) and particle size.  Late harvesting and some insecticides and herbicides may delay or inhibit crop residue break down.  When crop residue is slow to decompose; planting equipment can plug easier, crop populations may decline, and tires on equipment tend to wear out faster.

When crops are harvested late, soil temperatures often decline.  Most soil microbes (bacteria and fungi) grow the fastest when soil temperatures are above 50OF.  Excessively wet soil conditions favor bacteria that thrive in low oxygen, and slows down crop residue digestion. 

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eFields partnering with growers to evaluate Xyway fungicide

By Stephanie KarhoffElizabeth Hawkins, Ohio State University Extension

Preventing significant yield losses from disease is likely on the forefront of growers’ minds following the 2021 growing season. A new product available to growers is FMC’s fungicide Xyway LFR. OSU Extension eFields program is partnering with growers to conduct on-farm trials evaluating the effect of an at-plant soil application of flutriafol (Xyway) on corn health and yield. Information from this trial will be used to improve corn disease management recommendations for growers throughout the state.

At each field site, an untreated control will be compared to plots treated with Xyway applied either in-furrow and/or 2×2. Additionally, growers may also include the following treatments:

  • Xyway + VT/R1 Foliar Fungicide
  • VT/R1 Foliar Fungicide

For this study, a minimum of three replications is required, and four is preferred. Plots must also be randomized to eliminate bias due to plot order. Plots should be at least 500 feet long to ensure accurate yield monitor data.… Continue reading

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Imbibitional chilling — Is it a concern?

By Alexander LindseyLaura LindseyOsler Ortez, PhD, Ohio State University Extension

Warmer temperatures combined with the excitement (and need) to get crops in the ground triggered planting around the state last week (April 18 to April 24) or even before. With some warm days without much precipitation forecasted this week (April 25 to May 1), planting will continue. However, cold temperatures and precipitation after planting can cause imbibitional chilling, and this is something that we should certainly be aware of (watch for!). 

Imbibitional chilling may occur in corn and soybean seeds if the soil temperature is below 50 degrees F when the seed imbibes (rapidly takes up water from the soil, usually within 24 hours after planting). Imbibitional chilling can cause reductions in stand and seedling vigor. If seeds were planted into soil with at least 50 degrees F of temperature and adequate moisture (at least 40-50% plant available water) for at least one day, the drop in temperature is not likely to lead to imbibitional chilling issues.… Continue reading

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Manage soybeans to push profits

Pam Smith, DTN Crop Technology Editor

By Pamela Smith, DTN Crops Technology Editor

Taking soybean production to the next level requires a different thought process. DTN asked Greg McClure and his son, Cameron, who farm near St. Francisville, Illinois, to outline some of the changes they’ve made during the past few years.

The father-son duo has been participating in AgriGold’s Yield Masters program to explore opportunities and barriers to increasing soybean efficiency. Here’s a snapshot of their soybean-management journey.

Q: What’s been your crop rotation, and is that changing?

A: Until 2017, we continually planted 60% of our acres to corn with some fields having corn for 10 or more consecutive years. From 2017 through 2020, we tried to operate on a 50-50 ratio while rotating every acre between corn and beans annually. As demand has increased back toward soybean meal in many livestock diets and future demand for soybean oil to be used in biofuels, we decided in 2021 to pursue several acres of high-management bean-on-bean production.

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Rotate SCN-resistant seed varieties for optimal protection

Understanding the difference between soybean cyst nematode-resistant varieties may help soybean growers understand the importance of rotating sources of resistance, which is one of the “active SCN management” strategies advised by The SCN Coalition. For combating SCN during the 2022 growing season, The SCN Coalition encourages growers to work with their advisors to select the appropriate SCN-resistant varieties.

Melissa Mitchum, University of Georgia molecular nematologist

“Most soybean growers are familiar with PI 88788 and Peking, the two most widely used sources of resistance to soybean cyst nematode,” says Melissa Mitchum, University of Georgia molecular nematologist. “What might be news to growers is these different sources of SCN resistance have different resistance genes — also known as different modes of action.”

Simply speaking, resistance from the PI 88788 line contains one gene, Rhg1. Resistance from Peking contains two resistance genes, Rhg1 and Rhg4. “There are also different flavors — aka alleles — of the Rhg1 genes, which is where the A and B designations come into play,” Mitchum adds.

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Be sure to monitor soil temperatures

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

Soil temperature is a critical part of successful corn and soybean germination. For seed to begin the germination process, soil temps must be at least 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Prior to planting early in the spring, it is important to monitor soil temperatures and wait to plant until soil warms up enough to promote quick germination and emergence. Soil temperatures should be in the 50s and expected to continue to rise.

It is also important to keep in mind that soil temperatures can fluctuate relatively quickly. For example, soil temps in southern Ohio were in the mid 40s Wednesday, April 20. With warmer weather and sunshine they had climbed to above 60 degrees on Saturday, April 23. Although soil temps have warmed up enough to plant due to a weekend of 80 degree weather, keep in mind soil temps can drop below 50 just as quickly if we have a cold rain event.… Continue reading

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Will wheat be back in the mix for more Ohio farms in 2022?

With wheat prices already hitting a 14-year high this year, more Ohio farmers are now planning to plant more of the grain. The war in Ukraine and its impact on wheat exports is driving wheat to record prices, leading more farmers statewide to consider planting more wheat as a result.
That’s according to Laura Lindsey, a field crops expert with The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES). Lindsey, a soybean and small grains specialist with Ohio State University Extension, said she’s already fielded numerous calls, emails, and Twitter messages from farmers statewide wanting to know the feasibility of planting wheat this year and what they can do to take advantage of the record prices for the grain.
The main question Ohio farmers have, Lindsey said, is whether they can get wheat planted this spring to harvest this year and take advantage of the high wheat prices now or if they must wait for fall-planted varieties. While… Continue reading

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Plant forage stands as soon as feasible

By Mark SulcJason Hartschuh, CCA, Ohio State University Extension

Early spring provides one of the two preferred times to seed perennial cool-season forages, the other being late summer. Given our current weather patterns, planting opportunities will likely be few and short again this spring, continuing the pattern of the past several years. So we need to be ready to roll when the weather gives us a planting window. The following 10 steps will improve your chances for successful perennial forage establishment.

  1. Check now to make sure soil pH and fertility are in the recommended ranges. Follow the Tri-state Soil Fertility Recommendations ( Forages are more productive where soil pH is above 6.0, but for alfalfa it should be 6.5 to 6.8. Soil phosphorus should be at least 20 ppm for grasses and 30 ppm for legumes, while minimum soil potassium should be 100 ppm for sandy soils less than 5 CEC or 120 ppm on all other soils.
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Season-long game plan pushes soybeans through biology

By Pamela Smith, DTN Crops Technology Editor

Pam Smith, DTN Crop Technology Editor

Soybeans may have the reputation of being a fickle crop, but agronomist Dustin Bowling maintains they are merely misunderstood.

“Too often, we try to lump soybeans into the category of the corn plant. We know what has let us push the needle on corn yield, and we try that on soybeans,” said Bowling, Missouri-based agronomist for AgriGold. “We end up scratching our head because we have a hard time getting the soybean to react to those management tactics and chalk it up to the soybean being too stubborn. We tell ourselves it is going to do what it wants, no matter what we do.” 

Instead, he urges farmers to treat the soybean like a factory by adjusting management practices to meet the biological needs of the plant throughout the growing season.

“Think of it as providing everything that factory needs to keep the lights on and running efficiently all season long,” Bowling said.

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The Big 10 of Ohio agriculture

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

Agriculture is very important to Ohio’s economy. Annually the Food and Agriculture industry contributes more than $100 billion to the state’s economy, and accounts for 14% of the jobs in Ohio. One out of every seven workers in Ohio is employed in agriculture. The industry is constantly changing, and the challenges and opportunities facing agriculture are ever evolving. “We know that there are trends impacting our industry, and being aware of what is going on around us is important,” said Adam Sharp, Executive Vice President of the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation. “I have a list of ten things that are on my radar and on the radar of Ohio Farm Bureau.”

Technological revolution

“We are seeing a technological revolution in agriculture,” Sharp said. “This includes things like biotechnology, genetics, robotics, various sensors and remote access, data, data systems, and data protection.… Continue reading

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Know your SCN risks before planting soybeans back-to-back

Concerns about lofty input prices and the limited availability of fertilizer this spring have some corn growers planning to plant soybeans back-to-back. Experts with The SCN Coalition want soybean growers to consider the potential economic and agronomic impacts that could have in SCN-infested fields, especially after many experienced warmer growing conditions in 2021.

“SCN reproduction is greater in hot, dry growing seasons, and many soil samples collected at harvest from field

Greg Tylka, Iowa State University Nematologist. Photo Credit, Iowa State

experiments in Iowa in 2021 have very high end-of-season SCN population densities,” said Iowa State University nematologist Greg Tylka.

“Planting an SCN-resistant variety is a soybean grower’s first line of defense. But in many fields, SCN has become resistant to the resistance because the same source of SCN resistance, known as PI 88788, has been used in about 95% of SCN-resistant soybean varieties for decades.”

SCN research data is clear

Data from 15 years of variety trial experiments in growers’ fields in Iowa revealed that increased reproduction of SCN populations on PI 88788-resistant varieties can decrease yield by as much as 14 bushels per acre,1 which represents a 23% yield loss.

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Agronomic resiliency in 2022

By John Schoenhals, Pioneer Field Agronomist, Northern Ohio

Resiliency is defined as the ability to recover quickly from difficulties or “toughness.” Lately, this term has been used quite often. Electric grid resiliency is used following hurricanes and storm outbreaks. Economic resiliency is discussed following the COVID-19 pandemic and mandated shutdowns. The resilience of underdogs competing against juggernauts in March madness basketball has been another recent topic.  

John Schoenhals, Pioneer Field Agronomist in northern Ohio

In 2022, “resiliency” is the goal of every farmer planting or tending a crop. From sky-high fertilizer prices to pesticide availability to tar spot concerns to equipment and parts inventories, the buildup to the start of the 2022 growing season has been filled with remarkable, unparalleled, and in some cases, downright concerning headlines in the ag industry. In addition, global unrest and lingering weather concerns have led to historic volatility in the price of commodities. 

Against this backdrop, resilient growers will be those who are prepared with a plan, surrounded by trusted advisors, and willing to adapt to challenges.  The… Continue reading

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Wheat yield contest deadline coming soon

By Eric Richer, CCALaura LindseyMike Estadt, Ohio State University Extension

The National Wheat Yield Contest was created in 2015 by the National Wheat Foundation to promote new ideas and experimentation for wheat production, enable knowledge transfer between growers and identify top wheat producers in each state.  Since its short inception, Ohio has had good participation in the national contest, ranking second in entries in 2021 to Kansas. While your wheat crop may not be looking quite as good as it did in 2021, we encourage producers to improve their knowledge of wheat production as a result of participating in the 2022 contest. 

The contest is a friendly competition that will help farmers stay focused on raising high quality, high yielding wheat while evaluating agronomic and economic decisions at the field level.  Each registered contestant must be a member of their state’s wheat growers association (in Ohio, www.ohiocornandwheat.orgContinue reading

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Set-up soybeans for success in 2022

By Laura Lindsey, Ohio State University Extension State Soybean and Small Grains Specialist, Adapted from C.O.R.N. 2022-09

For soybean, pre-planting decisions are extremely important to set-up the crop for success. Soybean Extension Specialists from across the U.S. have been working together on the Science for Success initiative (funded by United Soybean Board) focused on leveraging local expertise to provide national soybean best management practices. Recently, we’ve focused on soybean planting date, row spacing, and seeding rate.

Dr. Laura Lindsey, OSU Extension Soybean Specialist

Soybean planting date

Soybean planting date has a large effect on yield. In Ohio, yield reduction as a result of late planting ranges from 0.25 to 1.0 bushel per acre per day. In our small plot research in Clark County, Ohio, soybean yield reduction in 2013 and 2014 was approximately 0.6 bushel per acre per day for each day planted after early to mid-May. Although early planting is important to maximize soybean yield, deciding on when to plant should be based on field suitability and soil temperatures at the time of, and following, planting as well as frost forecast.

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International soybean export success, record crops and record exports

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

In 2021, soybean exports from the United States set new records.

“It is wonderful to see people around the world recognizing the value and reliability of U.S. Soy,” said Jim Sutter, U.S. Soybean Export Council CEO. “We experienced very good global demand, and we had a record year last year for both soybean production and soy exports. This is exciting because we had a wide range of countries purchasing our soybeans. They did not all go to just one or two countries.”

Geographically, export growth is widely distributed around the globe, but China does play a large role.

“The distribution is spread out around the globe,” Sutter said. “China is a significant part of our exports, but people need to remember that China is a huge factor in the global soybean market. Of all the soybeans that leave one country and go to another, so of international trade, 60% end up in China.

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Policy highlights from Commodity Classic

By Matt Reese and Dusty Sonnenberg

Corn, soybean, wheat, and sorghum farmers from around the nation were excited to gather again for the Commodity Classic, held in New Orleans this year. Nearly 8,000 attendees — farmers as well as exhibitors, industry stakeholders and members of the media — met in March for the return to an in-person Commodity Classic for 2022.

“The biggest part of what we are doing down there is trying to set policy for the next year that we want the American Soybean Association to lobby for in D.C.,” said Pat Knouff, the Ohio Soybean Association president from Minster. “We are getting closer to a new farm bill so we talked quite a bit about Title I farm safety net programs. We’d like to see better staffing at these county offices. There are a lot of open positions right now. We are trying to push forward with that to help with signups with farm programs in the future.… Continue reading

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