Home / Crops

Crops



Soil compaction, choices and patience

By Dusty Sonnenberg, CCA, Ohio Field Leader

Management requires measurement. There are two forms of soil compaction that can be measured and then managed, said John Fulton, associate professor at the Ohio State University in Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering at the recent Precision University 2020 meeting.

“To effectively manage compaction we need to both understand it and measure it. The first is surface compaction. This is the compaction that occurs at the upper soil layer.  It is considered to be within the tilled layer of soil. The second is subsoil or deep compaction. Subsoil compaction occurs below the tilled layer as a result of surface loading,” Fulton said. “There are four stages when dealing with compaction issues. They include: identifying areas of soil compaction,evaluating those compacted areas to determine both the cause and also severity, making plans to prevent future compaction, and developing plans to manage existing compaction.”

John Fulton, Associate Professor, Biosystems Engineering, The Ohio State University

Soil compaction can be defined as soil particles being compressed together and reducing the pore space.… Continue reading

Read More »

Plenty to consider at OSU Extension farm bill meetings

Farmers who prefer planting over paperwork could gain a lot from a series of upcoming meetings that will guide them through the tedium of signing up for farm safety net programs and crop insurance.

Ohio State University Extension and the U.S. Department of Agriculture are partnering to offer free meetings across Ohio to help growers of commodities decide on a government farm program that will help protect them against dips in farm income.

By March 15, farmers of corn, soybeans, and wheat have to decide which one of three government farm programs they want to enroll in. Each offers different benefits. Those who sign up for Agriculture Risk Coverage at the County Level (ARC-CO) receive a payment whenever revenue on a particular commodity in the county where their farm is located runs below a guaranteed level.

Another option is Agriculture Risk Coverage at the Individual Level (ARC-IC), which triggers a payment when revenue falls below the guaranteed level. … Continue reading

Read More »

Northwest Ohio Corn & Soybean Day

By Eric Richer, CCA, Ohio State University Extension

The annual Northwest Ohio Corn & Soybean Day is scheduled for Friday, January 17 in Founders Hall at Sauder Village in Archbold from 8:00 am to 2:30 pm. The program has a variety of speakers, farmer/retailer re-certification credits and 30 exhibitors sharing information on management practices for the 2019 crop production season.

Topics and speakers for the day include:

Drainage for Crop Production and Soil Health

Eileen Kladivko, Professor, Purdue University

Biology and Management of Pigweeds

Jeff Stachler, OSU Extension, Auglaize County

Farmer Attitudes and Behaviors in WLEB

Robyn Wilson, Professor, OSU School of Natural Resources

Corn Nematodes

Abasola Simon, PhD Candidate, OSU Plant Pathology

CORE Pesticide Update

Stephanie Karhoff, OSU Extension, Williams County

Farm Bill Decision 2019-2020

Eric Richer, OSU Extension, Fulton County

Fumigation: Caring for your stored grain

Curtis Young, OSU Extension, Van Wert County

The following continuing education credits for pesticide and fertilizer applicators are offered throughout the day:

Private Pesticide Applicator Re-certification: 3hrs in categories Core, 1, 2, and 6.… Continue reading

Read More »

How recent corn losses will impact Brazilian exports in 2020?

The new year has started with crop woes in Brazil. No, I am not talking about soybeans, my favorite subject here and everywhere. I am talking about corn – the first corn crop, which has been damaged by hot, dry conditions in some southern producing areas.
And now you might be questioning whether a crop failure in Brazil could result in weaker exports here and, consequently, in more sales of US corn in 2020. That is a fair question. But the answer is no. The problems that Brazil’s first corn crop faces right now will not impact Brazilian exports.
As I have already explained a few weeks ago right here in this column, Brazil grows three corn crops a year. The first crop is harvested from January to May and represents about 25% of Brazilian total corn production. It is grown in states where weather conditions do not allow a second corn crop – which is planted from January to March, right after the soybean harvest.
Continue reading

Read More »

Hemp production workshop

Join experts from The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES) and beyond in discovering Ohio’s possible new cash crop.

A workshop titled “Growing Hemp in Ohio: Separating Fact from Fiction,” featuring 10 sessions by 18 speakers, is set for Jan. 24 at the CFAES Wooster campus, about 60 miles south of Cleveland.

The event will look at the opportunities and challenges facing Ohio hemp growers. Subjects will include hemp plant basics, growing practices, business considerations, rules, and regulations.

Also offered is an optional program from 9:30 a.m. to noon the next day, Jan. 25, featuring six sessions by speakers from national and Ohio hemp-related businesses. Independence-based HempOhio is sponsoring the program.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently approved Ohio’s hemp plans, making it legal for the state’s farmers to grow the crop.

Useful for making products including health food, paper, clothing, biofuels, bioplastics, and cannabidiol (CBD) oil, hemp is closely related to marijuana but lacks its psychoactive component, the chemical THC.… Continue reading

Read More »

2019 eFields Report is available

By Elizabeth Hawkins and John Fulton

The spring planting season of 2019 was a season that many of us may want to forget, but the weather conditions we dealt with provided us an opportunity to learn how we can be more resilient in agriculture. Looking back at the lessons learned can help us be prepared for similar conditions in the future. The 2019 eFields Research Report highlights 88 on-farm, field scale trials conducted in 30 Ohio counties. Research topics include nutrient management, precision crop management, cover crops, and forages. Other information about production budgets, planting progress, and the 2018 Farm Bill is also included.

The 2019 report is now available in both a print and e-version. To receive a printed copy, contact your local OSU Extension office or email digitalag@osu.edu. The e-version can be viewed and downloaded at go.osu.edu/eFields with the online version readable on smartphone or tablet devices.

The eFields team has planned six regional results meetings to discuss local results and gather information about research interests for 2020.… Continue reading

Read More »

USDA NASS to re-survey operators with unharvested corn and soybeans

USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) will re-contact respondents who previously reported acreage not yet harvested in Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin in the spring, once producers are able to finish harvesting remaining acres. If the newly collected data justifies any changes, NASS will update the Jan. 10 estimates in a future report. Stocks estimates are also subject to review since unharvested production is included in the estimate of on-farm stocks.

When producers were surveyed for the Crop Production 2019 Summary there was significant unharvested acreage of corn in Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin; and soybean acreage not yet harvested in Michigan, North Dakota, and Wisconsin. The unharvested area and expected production were included in the totals released on Jan. 10.

As a result of this work, NASS may release updated acreage, yield, production, and stocks estimates for corn and soybeans later this spring. Because farmers’ ability to complete harvest is impacted by winter weather, timing of the re-contacts and subsequent publication schedule will be announced at a later date.… Continue reading

Read More »

Quitting tillage cold turkey

By Matt Reese

In recent years Nathan Brause re-learned some lessons and quit tillage cold turkey.

“My grandpa, Glenn Brause, no-tilled corn into rye on this farm in the 70s. I remember that. Everyone else was plowing and I thought he was crazy,” said Nathan Brause, who was recently named the No-Till Farmer of the Year by the Ohio No-Till Council. “They had it figured out back then and it took me 20 or 30 years to figure it out again.”

When Nathan took over the gently rolling Sunny Slopes Farm in Crawford County that his grandpa had purchased in the 1920s he invested heavily in tillage.

“We were doing soil samples one day and got caught in the rain. We watched the rain just run off. I thought I had to start tilling again. We used to moldboard plow back in the 80s. Then I started deep ripping. Then we got a chisel plow.… Continue reading

Read More »

OSU hosting Farm Bill meetings around Ohio

Ohio State University Extension and the USDA Farm Service Agency in Ohio are partnering to provide a series of educational Farm Bill meetings this winter through early February to help producers make informed decisions related to enrollment in commodity programs.

The 2018 Farm Bill reauthorized the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) safety net programs that were in the 2014 Farm Bill. While the ARC and PLC programs under the new farm bill remain very similar to the previous farm bill, there are some changes that producers should be aware of. Farm Bill meetings will review changes to the ARC/PLC programs as well as important dates and deadlines. Additionally, attendees will learn about decision tools and calculators available to help assess which program best fits the needs of their farms under current market conditions and outlook.

Enrollment for 2019 is currently open with the deadline set as March 15, 2020.… Continue reading

Read More »

Scientists improve yield predictions based on seedling data

A doctor diagnosing a 50-year-old patient based on a blood test taken during the patient’s infancy would be unthinkable.

Anecdotally speaking, however, that’s what Michigan State University scientists have done with corn. Using plant RNA data from 2-week-old corn seedlings, Shinhan Shiu, professor of plant biology and computational mathematics, science and engineering, has shown that farmers and scientists can improve adult crop trait predictions with accuracy that rivals current approaches using DNA, i.e. genetic data.

“Traditional breeding methods take months to years, which can be saved if we can predict the desirable traits just from DNA and RNA without growing them, without having to measure the actual traits directly,” said Shiu, senior author of the paper appearing in the current issue of The Plant Cell. “To continue the human medicine anecdote, it’s like sequencing an infant’s RNA and analyzing what sort of traits the infant may develop later in life.”

Shiu has long been fascinated with using computational approaches to resolve evolution and genome biology questions.… Continue reading

Read More »

Plenty of market factors to watch in early 2020

By Doug Tenney, Leist Mercantile

Uncertainty and risk are the themes at this writing, just days into 2020. The U.S. military bombed Iran, killing a top general the second trading day of 2020. Crude oil rose over $3 upon news of U.S. air strikes as they reached levels not seen since mid-July 2019.

The U.S. and China are expected to sign an historic trade deal in Phase 1 of ongoing trade talks on Jan. 15. Then a 30-day implementation period goes into effect in which China must wait before they can begin to buy U.S. goods. Instead, it will be crucial to monitor the weekly U.S. grain export sales report, which is published each Thursday at 8:30 a.m. It has been way too long since May 2018 when the tariffs began with partial hints along the way of a trade deal just days away, but unsettled for months. China is not expected to remove retaliatory tariffs implemented since the beginning of the 2018 trade war.… Continue reading

Read More »

The Ohio Agriculture Conservation Initiative and Ohio Agriculture Conservation Council

By Dusty Sonnenberg, CCA, Ohio Field Leader

Just as the 4Rs of Nutrient Management has become a common phrase in Ohio agriculture, the Ohio Agriculture Conservation Initiative (OAIC) is likely to become just as familiar in Ohio’s agriculture community in 2020.

“This is an innovative, collaborative effort of the agricultural, conservation, environmental, and research communities in Ohio to improve water quality. They plan to do this by establishing a baseline understanding of current conservation and nutrient management efforts and building a new certification program for farmers,” said Scott Shearer, Chair of the Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Biological Engineering at The Ohio State University. “There are a lot of farmers out there doing the right things, we just have not had a good way to measure or quantify those or to be able to communicate that to the general public. When H2Ohio came along, it put more emphasis on water quality and best management practices.

Continue reading

Read More »

When weeds talk

By James J. Hoorman, Hoorman Soil Health Service

A weed is any plant out of place, but what is the real purpose of weeds?  Weeds, ecologically, are the first plants to inhabit nutrient deficient or disturbed soils. Most weeds grow in soils that are high in nitrates and are bacteria dominated.  By studying the type of weeds that grow on your farm, you can start to figure out what conditions are limiting.  The real purpose of weeds (believe it or not) is to improve the soil. Many weeds act as collectors of deficient soil minerals.  Mother Nature does not like bare soils, so she finds something to grow (weeds) that improve soil so that other plants can grow.

Each plant is an indicator of the conditions that exist in that field and indicates why some agronomic crops (corn, soybeans, wheat, hay) growth may suffer.  Weeds give us a clue to what factors are either limiting or in excess.

Continue reading

Read More »

I survived 2019

By Harold Watters, CCA Ohio State University extension agronomist

And I deserve a certificate. I think you do too. I told my intern this summer that this will be a season she will remember her whole career. But honestly, I want to forget this one — unless this is the glimpse of what the future brings. Attend any “dealing with climate change” program you hear about, just in case.

 

Weed management in Ohio, update 2019

Our OSU Extension AgNR educators observed soybean fields across the state again this fall to see what was out there for our annual fall soybean weed survey. I was supposed to share this early enough so you could at least get a fall application on to get a head start on controlling marestail, but it seems we have more problems than that to deal with.

Statewide our most frequently observed weed problem was again marestail.… Continue reading

Read More »

What’s in my corn? Insect management traits in corn hybrids

By Kelley Tilmon, Andy Michel, Ohio State University Extension

Corn hybrid selection is about more than maturity and agronomic properties. Many corn hybrids also come with a package of Bt traits for the management of various insects below-ground (for example corn rootworm) and above-ground (for example, corn borer) pests.

These traits can add substantially to the cost of the seed so it’s worth evaluating which ones you really need. In fields without a consistent history of insect pest pressure Bt traits are an added cost that likely won’t pay for itself. Sometimes you only need protection against soil pests, sometimes against above-ground pests, and sometimes neither. But how do you know what Bt traits the various hybrids contain and what insects they are meant to manage? This can be confusing or hard to figure out.

There is an excellent resource available to help with this — the Handy Bt Trait Table.… Continue reading

Read More »

“Ultra-early” corn performance

Rich Minyo, Allen Geyer, Peter ThomisonBy Rich Minyo, Allen Geyer, Peter Thomison, Ohio State University Extension

Confronted with June planting dates, some Ohio corn growers planted hybrids with relative maturity ratings earlier (less than 102 days) than those of our commonly grown maturities. At the Hoytville OCPT test site, we evaluated 27 ultra-early hybrids with maturities ranging from 93 to 101 days. Yields averaged 190 bushels per acre and ranged from 163 to 219 bushels per acre; harvest grain moisture averaged 19.3 and ranged from 18.3% to 20.3%; and test weight averaged 56.6 and ranged from 53.3 to 58.5. In contrast, a 107-day commonly grown maturity hybrid included as a check yielded 220 bushels per acre with a 22.9% harvest moisture and test weight of 51. The Hoytville test site planted June 12 and harvested Nov. 18, benefited from favorable growing conditions with timely rains. Pest injury was negligible. Several hybrids were subject to severe animal damage and not considered in this performance overview.… Continue reading

Read More »

Warden recognized for work as a CCA

In a presentation at the Annual Indiana CCA Conference on Wednesday afternoon, Randall Warden, CEO and agronomy lead at A&L Great Lakes, was named the Indiana Certified Crop Adviser of the Year. The Indiana Certified Crop Advisers CCA of the Year award recognizes someone who has gone above and beyond in their career to help farmers and others in the industry improve their techniques in crop production.

Randall has been with A&L Great Lakes for 25 years, and during his tenure, total lab sample volume has increased 5-fold. He has accomplished this by focusing on sound agronomy, customer service, and quality analytics. While Randall is well known to many Indiana CCAs, he is often in the background of many programs and projects that other CCA’s are using daily. His ability to discern a clear agronomic message that moves the agronomy industry forward from a collection of often overlooked data is truly remarkable.… Continue reading

Read More »

Cover crop herbicide carryover

By James J. Hoorman, Hoorman Soil Health Services

Farmers who want to plant cover crops after corn and soybeans also want to control resistant weeds like marestail, waterhemp, and giant ragweed. Often the residual soil herbicides remain active and have a long residual or half-life that could hurt cover crop establishment. Herbicide half-life is how long it takes for half the herbicide to break down. Good stands of radish and cereal rye also suppress these tough weeds. Since many factors vary from field to field and even certain areas of the field, residual herbicide activity at cover crop establishment is difficult to predict.

Herbicides remain biologically active based on soil temperature, rainfall, time of application, organic matter, soil type, and soil pH. Generally, the warmer the soil at planting time, the higher the microbial activity and the faster the herbicide breaks down. Moisture is critical, so dry summers means less or slower breakdown than when moisture is not limiting.… Continue reading

Read More »

Choosing varieties and hybrids for 2020 — Check disease resistance ratings

By Anne Dorrance and Pierce Paul, Ohio State University Extension

The seed suppliers want your early orders and the catalogues are all spread out on the tables. Now to begin the process of choosing the best variety or hybrid for your fields that can hold up to the all of the challenges facing soybeans and corn in Ohio. Our recommendation is to first focus on the disease and insect scores. Every company uses a different scale based on 1 to 10 – but for some companies 1 is best and for others, 10 best – so first read the fine print. In addition, some companies use a distributive disease rating scale, using words like “excellent disease package,” “good disease package,” or “poor.” While this scale is unclear as to which specific disease the hybrid is most resistant to, it can still be used as a guide for hybrid/variety selection. For instance, a hybrid listed as having an “excellent disease package” should be less susceptible to the primary diseases than one listed as having a “good disease package.” Next step – what key diseases and insect pests do we need to focus on.… Continue reading

Read More »