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Managing nitrogen in 2022

By Roy Ulrich, technical agronomist for Dekalb and Asgrow, Southern Ohio

Adequate rates of nitrogen available to a corn plant during the entire growing season is a foundation to a successful harvest. This fact is foundational that Fred Below from the University of Illinois in his “Seven Wonders of the Corn Yield World” ranked nitrogen as the second most important factor in corn yield, only to be outdone by weather. 

If nitrogen is that critical to a successful crop, then what is the correct rate of nitrogen for an acre of corn? The old school approach would be to take a yield goal and multiply it by 1.25 pounds  per bushel so a 250-bushel per acre yield goal would require an application rate of 312 pounds per acre of nitrogen. As most know, nitrogen isn’t quite this simple and isn’t this cut and dry when it comes to final yield. 

When it comes to actual nitrogen rates, like most good agronomy answers, when it comes to nitrogen needed “it depends” is the correct answer.… Continue reading

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Vineyard Expansion Assistance Program open to Ohio Vineyards

The 2022 Vineyard Expansion Assistance Program (VEAP) is now open to new and existing Ohio vineyards. VEAP allows wineries to invest in and plant high-quality, high-value grapes onsite instead of purchasing them from other states. The VEAP is an incentive program created and funded by the Ohio Grape Industries Committee (OGIC).

Due to the small number of grapes produced in Ohio, many wineries, farmers markets, and retailers are forced to purchase grapes of several different varieties from other states in order to meet production needs. The VEAP is designed to provide a more stable source of high-quality, high-value grapes grown in Ohio. Additionally, the program will allow for more Ohio wines to qualify for the Ohio Quality Wine (OQW) program and increase consumer awareness of Ohio’s premier wines made from Ohio-grown grapes.

The VEAP funding will cover the cost of the grape vines planted. Each grower may apply for up to $1,500 per half-acre with a maximum of three acres, or $9,000.… Continue reading

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USDA to allow producers to request voluntary termination of Conservation Reserve Program contracts 

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will allow Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) participants who are in the final year of their CRP contract to request voluntary termination of their CRP contract following the end of the primary nesting season for fiscal year 2022. Participants approved for this one-time, voluntary termination will not have to repay rental payments, a flexibility implemented this year to help mitigate the global food supply challenges caused by the Russian invasion of Ukraine and other factors. USDA also announced additional flexibilities for the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) and Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP).  

“Putin’s unjustified invasion of Ukraine has cut off a critical source of wheat, corn, barley, oilseeds, and cooking oil, and we’ve heard from many producers who want to better understand their options to help respond to global food needs,” said Zach Ducheneaux, Administrator of USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA). “This announcement will help producers make informed decisions about land use and conservation options.”… Continue reading

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SCN testing in newly planted corn fields

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

In an effort to better understand the dynamics of soybean cyst nematode (SCN), Horacio Lopez- Nicora, assistant professor, Soybean Pathology and Nematology, in the Department of Plant Pathology at The Ohio State University, College of Food, Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, is conducting research funded by the Ohio Soybean Council and soybean check-off. This research is evaluating SCN levels in both corn and soybean fields.

“This is a research opportunity for growers to participate and help us understand the reproduction factors of SCN in Ohio,” Lopez-Nicora said.

The research requires farmers to collect soil samples from both corn and soybean fields at planting and again at harvest.

“We want farmers to take a sample at planting, and it doesn’t matter if it is corn or soybeans,” Lopez-Nicora said. “Results from this first sample will be the initial population of SCN.… Continue reading

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Soybean seed germination concerns

Matthew Wilde Progressive Farmer Crops Editor

ANKENY, Iowa (DTN) — Poor soybean seed quality in some varieties and lots may cause lower-than-normal germination rates, which could lead to poor emergence and thin stands. There are several steps farmers can take, though, to mitigate potential issues.

A few soybeans are beginning to poke through the ground in some parts of the Midwest this week. But farmers yet to plant may want to check seed tags, as reports of lower germination rates than normal might require population adjustments.

Shawn Conley, University of Wisconsin Extension soybean specialist, said he’s warned farmers for the past several months to pay close attention this spring to the minimum germination rate printed on soybean seed bag and bulk container tags. It might surprise them.

All soybean seed is tested at independent labs to determine germination rates. According to the Nebraska Crop Improvement Association, the germination rate of soybean seed it tests ranges from 88% to 98% during a normal year.

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2022 Ohio Youth Capital Challenge winners announced

Sponsored by Ohio Farm Bureau, Ohio FFA and Ohio State University Extension 4-H Youth Development, the Ohio Youth Capital Challenge is for students, ages 14 to 18, who want to learn more about government and public policy and make a difference in their community. Participants learn how to identify local issues, create solutions and follow the process through state government.
The challenge started in early spring when groups met to learn about public policy issues and began planning their proposals. A total of seven teams made up of 16 student delegates, with help and guidance from three collegiate mentors, identified issues and problems facing their community. After researching a specific topic, they developed a public policy plan to propose to appropriate government leaders. In their final presentations, the teams described the steps necessary to have their public policy proposal adopted by the appropriate government authorities.
Topics this year included wastewater management, prison reform, rural highway infrastructure, requirements in pre-K through grade 12 classrooms.… Continue reading

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Markets responding to surprises

By Doug Tenney, Leist Mercantile

The May 12 WASDE Report (supply and demand) provided several positive surprises and higher grain prices for producers. First, the U.S. corn yield for 2022 was pegged at 177 bushels. In a rare move, USDA’s first supply and demand tables for the 2022 crop year project the corn yield for this year as different compared to the February Outlook Forum. That report estimated the U.S. 2022 corn yield at 181 bushels. This compares to past years when in consecutive fashion from 2014 to 2021 the May corn yield was the same as the February Outlook Forum. The U.S. corn yield last year was 177 bushels.

For months the market has been filled with various private reports that the U.S. corn yield had to be a record due to the tightness of corn supplies around the world. In addition, some had already suggested that a record U.S.… Continue reading

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Wheat head scab risk low

By Pierce Paul, Ohio State University Extension

Wheat is, or will soon be, flowering in parts of central and northern Ohio. After a relatively slow start to the season, several days of warm weather caused the crop to advance, reaching anthesis (Feekes 10.5.1) a few days earlier than usual in some locations. Feekes 10.5.1 is the growth stage at which wheat is most susceptible to infection by the fungus that causes head scab and produces vomitoxin.

However, according to the FHB risk tool (, fields across the state are currently at low risk for head scab. This is likely because of the relatively low temperatures we have experienced over the last few days. The tool indicates that the risk for head scab development is low in fields flowering on May 23, and assessments based on 2 to 6 days of forecasted weather suggest that the risk will continue to be low into the weekend as more fields reach anthesis.… Continue reading

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Purple corn?

By Matt Hutcheson, CCA, product manager, Seed Consultants, Inc. 

One phenomenon that commonly occurs at the early stages of the growing season is the appearance of purple cornplants. Corn plants can turn purple for several reasons related to environmental factors such as:

• Sunny days and cool nights (temps in the 40s to 50s F) 
• Soil pH lower than 5.5 
• Cool temperatures 
• Wet soil 
• Stresses that hinder the uptake of phosphorus 
• Herbicide injury 
• Soil compaction.

Because many fields have saturated soils and the forecast includes cooler nighttime temperatures, producers may see some purple plants in their fields. Purpling in corn due to cooler weather most often occurs when plants are in the V2 to V5 growth stages. Because of diverse genetics, hybrids react differently to early stress and some will exhibit purpling while others will not. Anyone who has walked a test plot to observe early plant vigor or has split their planter between two hybrids has probably seen a side-by-side comparison where one hybrid turned purple while the other did not.… Continue reading

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OSU report focuses on ways to expand, enhance rural access to broadband internet in Ohio

While most Ohioans have access to broadband internet, nearly 1 million still lack access to the fast, reliable broadband services in their homes, said analysts with the C. William Swank Program in Rural-Urban Policy at The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES).

“This unserved population largely lives in less populated rural regions of the state where it is prohibitively expensive for internet service providers to extend service,” said Mark Partridge, chair and professor in the CFAES Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics. The Swank program, housed in the department, conducts research, teaching, and outreach within the college.

An April report released by researchers with the Swank program says there is a strong economic benefit for Ohio to invest in expanding and enhancing broadband coverage to unserved areas, as well as making the service more affordable and ensuring that users have access to adequate devices to use the internet for their needs.… Continue reading

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Wheat prices holding strong

By Jon Scheve, Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC

Last week:

  • July corn was down about 3 cents
  • December corn was down about 17 cents
  • November soybeans were up over 20 cents
  • July wheat finished the week down only about 10 cents

Planting progress

Farmers appear to be getting a chance at an open planting window this week, which could allow more total acres of corn to get planted. Right now, the price advantage clearly favors planting corn over beans. The market responded this week by pulling back new crop corn prices and pushing soybean prices higher, but the prices still favor corn.

The market is trying to figure out how many corn acres will be planted, especially in the Dakotas and northern Minnesota. With today’s prices, it seems unlikely farmers will take prevent plant over trying to get the crops planted even if it is late.


Increased Chinese bean purchases during a time of year that does not usually see big export numbers likely also contributed to the old crop soybean price bump this past week.… Continue reading

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Corn genetic heritage the strongest driver of chemical defenses against insect feeding

Plants release chemical distress signals when under attack from chewing insects. 

These “911 calls,” as entomologist Esther Ngumbi refers to them, alert other bugs that dinner or a nice place to lay their eggs is available nearby. If predatory or parasitic insects detect the right signal, they swoop in like saviors to make a meal out of — or lay their eggs in — the bodies of the herbivore insects.

A new study explores the factors that contribute to corn plants’ chemical signaling capacity, comparing how different corn varieties respond to herbivory in the presence or absence of a soil bacterium known to promote plant health.

Ngumbi, a professor of entomology at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, led the research with U. of I. natural resources and environmental sciences professor Angela Kent and Ph.D. candidate Sierra Raglin, who is the first author of the paper. The findings are reported in the journal Frontiers in Microbiology.… Continue reading

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