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Cover crop survey

By Mark Loux, Ohio State University Extension

Ohio State University weed scientists are in the process of planning cover crop research, and could use your input. Cover crop use has been on the rise in recent years, most commonly for the preservation of soil, reduction in nutrient loss, and suppression of weeds they can provide. Feedback from this survey will allow us to perform trials that are in line with practices common in the state of Ohio and thus generate more impactful results. Thank you!

Please take our five second survey!

https://osu.az1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_3CzwGMFUxMeW7u5

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Stress during corn reproductive stages a concern

By Roy Ulrich, Technical Agronomist for Dekalb/Asgrow

The growing season has been quite variable across the region this year so far. For some regions of Ohio, the start to the growing season may have been slightly delayed, but once it was fit the crop went in relatively fast and stress free. For other regions, the growing season was extremely late to get started and each management step has been a struggle to accomplish between all the rains. So, whether your crop started out stress free or it has been under stress since the beginning, the state’s corn crop has transitioned from the vegetative stages into the ever-critical reproductive stages.

The first of those stresses to show up in fields this year was foliar diseases. The warm, humid weather conditions of late June were the perfect environment to develop foliar diseases in corn. The development and progression of these foliar diseases leads to a direct loss in the photosynthetic ability of a plant as leaf surface area is compromised and lost for photosynthesis.

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No pigweed left behind: Late-season scouting for Palmer amaranth and waterhemp

By Mark Loux, Ohio State University Extension

If you don’t already have to deal with waterhemp or Palmer amaranth, you don’t want it. Ask anyone who does. Neither one of these weeds is easy to manage, and both can cause substantial increases in the cost of herbicide programs, which have to be constantly changed to account for the multiple resistance that will develop over time (not “can,” “will”). The trend across the country is for them to develop resistance to any new herbicide sites of action that are used in POST treatments.

Preventing new infestations of these weeds should be of high priority for Ohio growers. When not adequately controlled, Palmer amaranth can take over a field faster than any other annual weed we deal with, and waterhemp is a close second. Taking the time to remove any Palmer and waterhemp plants from fields in late-season before they produce seed will go a long way toward maintaining the profitability of Ohio farm operations.

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American Farmland Trust targets soil health through Conservation Innovation Grant

American Farmland Trust was awarded a highly competitive 2018 Conservation Innovation Grant (CIG) from USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service. Authorized by the 2002 Farm Bill, CIG helps develop the tools, technologies and strategies to support next-generation conservation efforts on working lands.

“Through programs like the Conservation Innovation Grants Program, we’re fueling the development of new and exciting tools and technologies, helping farmers improve their agricultural and conservation outcomes,” said Leonard Jordan, NRCS Acting Chief.

The grant will fund a new AFT project called “Accelerating Soil Health Adoption by Quantifying Economic and Environmental Outcomes & Overcoming Barriers on Rented Land” that is designed to give farmers and landowners the quantitative evidence they need to make better conservation decisions.

One barrier to wider use of soil health practices that improve water, save soil, protect climate, and often increase profit has been limited quantitative data proving their benefits.

AFT will work in six watersheds across five states (California, Illinois, Ohio, New York and Virginia) to quantify the benefits experienced by 24 farmers who have already implemented soil health practices like reduced tillage, cover crops, nutrient management, crop rotation and more.

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CENTURO first new N inhibitor approved in 40 years

CENTURO, a next-generation nitrification inhibitor for anhydrous ammonia and UAN from Koch Agronomic Services (Koch), has received approval from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) and is now available for order in the U.S. The approval marks the first time in more than 40 years that a nitrification inhibitor has received FIFRA registration.

“Our team of agronomists, chemists and technology specialists have spent the past nine years working on a technology that could make a grower’s nitrogen investment more efficient. Today, we have CENTURO, which has been scientifically proven to reduce nitrogen loss and optimize nutrient-use efficiency,” said Justin Hoppas, executive vice president of Koch. “Farmers throughout the Corn Belt are facing growing economic and environmental pressures, and we understand fertilizer additives must perform and pay off. CENTURO is now available as one more tool in a grower’s toolbox to increase agricultural efficiencies and optimize their crop nutrition investments.”

CENTURO works to protect applied nitrogen and keep the valuable nutrient available in the root zone in its ammonium form where it’s less susceptible to loss through denitrification and leaching.

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Japanese beetle in corn and soybeans

By Kelley Tilmon, Andy Michel, Ohio State University Extension

We have been hearing reports of Japanese beetles in corn and soybean. These beetles are large with a shiny copper and green color. Foliage feeding in corn is almost never economic, though economic damage from silk clipping is possible (though rare). Consider a rescue treatment when silks are clipped to less than ½ inch and, fewer than 50% of the plants have been pollinated, and the beetles are still numerous and feeding in the field.

Japanese beetles will also feed on soybean foliage. While the damage might look startling, it is very rare that this reaches economic levels from Japanese beetle. A rescue treatment is advised when defoliation levels reach 30% in pre-bloom stages, and 20% in bloom to pod fill. These defoliation levels apply to the plant as a whole, not just certain leaves, and can also be used for general defoliation from more than one kind of leaf-feeding insect in soybean.

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Keep scouting for potato leafhoppers in alfalfa

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

If you grow alfalfa, now is the time to scout those fields for potato leafhoppers. Integrated pest management (IPM) scouts are finding potato leafhoppers (PLH) widely distributed across a number of alfalfa fields. PLH numbers have ranged from low to well above economic treatment thresholds. In addition, alfalfa growers have been calling about yellow leaves on alfalfa, one of the classic PLH damage symptoms. Alfalfa growers should consider regular field scouting for PLH because this is one of the economically significant pests of alfalfa.

The potato leafhopper is a small bright green wedge shaped insect that arrives in our area each year on storm fronts from the Gulf Coast region. PLH is a sucking insect. PLH feeding causes stunting of alfalfa plants resulting in yield loss. Excessive stress on plants by heavy PLH feeding can result in yield reductions in the current as well as subsequent cuttings.

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Soil health, corn disorders, weeds topics of upcoming Soil and Water Field Night

Soil health, corn disorders, and weed management are topics set to headline the upcoming Soil and Water Field Night, hosted by The Ohio State University South Centers.

This free educational opportunity, presented by OSU South Centers in partnership with Pike Soil and Water Conservation District and Pike County Solid Waste Management District, will take place Thursday, Aug. 16 with registration beginning at 5 p.m. A light supper will immediately follow, then attendees will depart on a wagon tour and attend field research presentations by OSU faculty and staff.

 

Corn disorder

Ohio is among the top-10 producers of corn in the United States, having grown the crop on more than 3 million acres, and it plays a major role in the state and nation’s economy.

“With the changing climate, we are experiencing more frequent extreme weather conditions. These natural stresses and poor management can cause some physiological disorders in corn,” said Rafiq Islam, who heads the Soil, Water and Bioenergy program at the Ohio State University South Centers.

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Lessons learned in Ohio’s updated fertilizer recommendations

At the recent 4R Field Day in Hardin County, Ohio State soil fertility specialist Steve Culman presented on the updated fertilizer recommendations through 300+ on-farm strip trials since 2014.

He said some main take-home points he hoped to get across to agriculturalists were:

  • From 2014 – 2017, 300+ on-farm strip trials were conducted across Ohio evaluating corn, soybean and wheat response to N, P and K fertilizer.
  • Yield responses to P and K fertilizer in soils at or above the current maintenance range were very rare.
  • Long-term data from 3 sites show that when Ohio soils are in the current maintenance range, they can supply sufficient P and K to meet corn and soybean demand for many growing seasons without fertilization.
  • Recommended corn N rates were updated this spring and are based on maximizing farmer profitability, not maximizing yields.
  • Corn, soybean and wheat are yielding more grain with less nutrient: Grain nutrient removal per bushel of grain is lower than it was 20 years ago.
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Scouting time for western bean cutworm

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

Western bean cutworm (WBC) adult moth catches in our trapping network are ticking up, with a noticeable increase from the week before. For week ending July 14, 24 counties monitored 88 traps. Overall, there was an average of 14.5 moths per trap (1116 total captured). This is an increase from an average of 3.4 moths per trap (217 total captured) the previous week.

Adult moths (what we monitor in the traps) will be making their way into corn fields where females will lay eggs on the uppermost portion of the flag leaf. Eggs are laid in unevenly distributed clusters of 5 to 200, but averaging about 50 per cluster, and hatch within 5 to 7 days.

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NCGA testifies on EPA’s RFS

This week Michigan farmer Russell Braun provided testimony on behalf of National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) during an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) hearing on the agency’s proposed biofuel targets for 2019.

Braun encouraged EPA to maintain a strong, equitable Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and stressed the need to follow Congressional intent and level the playing field for America’s farmers by using the annual volume rule to repair the damage from extensive refinery exemptions.

“With corn prices low, EPA’s decisions have a greater impact on my livelihood and other farmers’ as well.  We believe EPA should use the Renewable Fuel Standard volume rule to remedy the harm caused by the extensive retroactive exemptions given to refineries over the past year and ensure future exemptions are accounted for,” he said. “These refinery exemptions decrease ethanol blending and reduce demand and profits for my corn crop. Every gallon of renewable fuel blending waived by EPA reduces the consumer benefits of the RFS.”

EPA’s proposal supports some growth in the RFS volumes and continues to propose an implied 15-billion-gallon volume for conventional ethanol. 

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Soybean and corn export outlook

By Todd Hubbs, University of Illinois Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics

The escalating trade issues between the U.S. and many of our trading partners continue to affect the outlook in both corn and soybean markets. Drastic price declines since Memorial Day show the impact of trade uncertainty and yield potential. The prospect of large yields combined with trade issues set the baseline for determining export potential and price formation in both corn and soybean markets moving forward.

The USDA soybean export projection for the current marketing year totals 2.085 billion bushels, up 20 million bushels from June’s estimate. Census Bureau export estimates through May place soybean exports at 1.762 billion bushels. Census Bureau export totals came in 42 million bushels larger than cumulative marketing year export inspections over the same period. As of July 12, cumulative export inspections for the current marketing year totaled 1.873 billion bushels. If the same difference in export pace continued through the current period, soybean exports would total 1.915 billion bushels as of July 12.

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Frogeye leaf spot

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.

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Project grain fill

By John Brien, AgriGold

Grain fill is a critical part of a corn plant’s life, but is often overlooked because it is kind of slow, boring and uneventful to watch. What is actually occurring soon after pollination is utterly amazing considering an acre of corn has to “build” over 11,200 pounds of dry matter to equal 200 bushel of grain yield. Therefore grain fill is anything but boring and is vital for high yields.

Grain fill is the period of corn growth and development between pollination and black layering (or physiological maturity). During grain fill the corn plant is using their leaves to capture sunlight to drive photosynthesis that in turn produces the sugars the plant needs to build yield. The corn plant also uses its roots to acquire moisture and nutrients to build the dry matter. Therefore the more sunlight a corn plant can intercept and the more nutrients and water it can aquire, equates to more optimal grain fill and therefore higher yield potential.

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Friendly corn, bearish soybean ending stocks but soybeans actually higher

By Doug Tenney, Leist Mercantile

Corn ending stocks were less than expected. Soybean ending stocks 110 million bushels above trade expectations but soybeans not falling off. World corn ending stocks went down. Looks like the market looking at more than trade issues, weather, and a much higher soybean ending stocks than expected.

Shock, awe in recent years were words used to describe US overseas military efforts. Those same words can easily be inserted to reflect producer and trader’s mindset since late May. In that time frame corn has fallen 75 cents and soybeans have seen a huge decline of $2.10. Trade tensions and announced trade tariffs between the US/China have accounted for 80% of the price decline according to some analysts. Great weather that at the moment is non-threatening for much of the Midwest has also been a big factor in the price declines.

US corn 2018-19 ending stocks were estimated at 1.552 billion bushels.

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Assessing hay quality

By Mark Landefeld, Ohio State University Extension ANR Educator, Monroe County

“You gotta make hay while the sun shines”. How many times have you heard that said throughout the years? We’ve had some sunshine this spring/summer, but making first cutting “dry” hay has really been challenging for most farmers this year. Getting two or more days in a row without rain has been rare in the spring of 2018.

Making timely first cutting dry hay in Ohio always has challenges with weather it seems, but this year it definitely has been more than usual. Extremely good, high quality hay is made from young leafy forage at boot stage, not fully mature long brown stems with dried up seed heads like we have been seeing everywhere now in July. The combination of maximum yield and highly digestible dry matter is usually obtained at the late boot, to early head stage of maturity for grasses and in the mid-to-late bud stage of maturity for our legumes.

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Marestail control in double-crop soybeans

By Mark Loux, Ohio State University Extension herbicide specialist

A uniform wheat crop can provide effective suppression of marestail, especially when combined with some in-crop herbicides. It is nonetheless typical for marestail plants to be evident after the wheat is harvested, and these should be controlled prior to double crop soybean emergence. There can be a couple types of marestail plants to deal with in this situation: 1) small ones that were lurking near the base of the wheat plants, which are largely not disturbed by the combine; and 2) larger ones that may have been present in areas of thin wheat stand, which get cut off by the combine and then regrow. The first of these is really the more ideal situation because the small undisturbed plants can usually be controlled by one of the following: glyphosate plus Sharpen + MSO; glufosinate (Liberty, Interline, Cheetah, etc); or possibly even Gramoxone plus metribuzin (although this is more effective when mixed with 2,4-D).

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Frogeye and fungicides for soybeans

By Anne Dorrance, Ohio State University Extension plant pathologist

From the scouting reports from the county educators and crop consultants, most of the soybeans in the state are very healthy with no disease symptoms.

However, as the news reports have indicated, there are a few varieties in a few locations that have higher incidence of frogeye leaf spot than we are accustomed to seeing at this growth stage — mid R2 through flowering in Ohio. Most of the reports to date are along and south of route 70, which based on the past 12 years is where frogeye is the most common. When this disease occurs this early in the season, where it can be readily observed, this is a big problem and should be addressed right away with a fungicide soon and a second application at 14 to 21 days later depending on if disease continues to develop and if environmental conditions (cool nights, fogs, heavy dews, rains) continue.

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Can No-till get you Fired? Learn more Aug. 29

By Randall Reeder, OSU Extension Agricultural Engineer (retired)

“Glover, they’re going to fire you.”

The first time Glover Triplett took his wife to see the new no-till research plots in 1962, the corn was about a foot tall, and the ground was littered with dead weeds and corn stalks from the previous year. The plot looked awful compared to a clean tilled field. She was scared he would lose his first faculty position, at OSU-OARDC in Wooster.

Well, he was not fired, and neither was his co-researcher, Dave Van Doren. But they did attract interesting questions about their innovative research, including, “How can you measure erosion if you don’t have any runoff?”

Triplett and Van Doren established identical plots in 1963 at Hoytville (Wood County) and South Charleston (Clark County). All three, at OSU-OARDC research stations, continue to give valuable results today.

No-till was known as “Farming Ugly” in the early days.

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