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Register for the Ohio Certified Crop Adviser pre-exam class

By Harold Watters, Ohio State University Extension

The Certified Crop Adviser (CCA) Exam Training program, sponsored and delivered by the OSU Agronomic Crops Team, will be offered at the Shelby County Extension Office, Sidney, Ohio on Jan. 9 and 10, 2019 beginning at 9:00 a.m. on the 9th and adjourn by 5:00 p.m. on the 10th.

The price for the Pre-Exam preparation class is $250. Secure on-line registration via credit card, debit card or check is available at: http://go.osu.edu/Reg2019class.

Register early; due to class interaction, we keep it small. This is an intensive two-day program somewhat directed toward the local exam – to be used as a reminder on what best to study in preparation for the CCA exams.

What we cover in the class:

Nutrient Management Concepts

– Soil pH and Liming

– Primary Nutrients

– Secondary Nutrients

– Micronutrients


– Nutrient deficiencies

Soil and Water Management

– Soil Properties

– Soil Water

– Surface and Ground Water

– Soil & Wind Erosion

Pest Management

– Weeds

– Insects

– Diseases

Fertilizer & Pesticide Math

Crop Management

– Crop Production

– Photosynthesis

– Crop Physiology

– Variety Selection

Course contact:

Harold Watters, CPAg/CCA
Ohio State University Extension
1100 S.

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Ohio corn, soybean and wheat farmers reinforce commitment to water quality

With the conclusion of the 2018 harmful algal bloom season, the Ohio Corn & Wheat Growers Association (OCWGA) and the Ohio Soybean Association (OSA) today reasserted their commitment to addressing water quality for the long haul. Lake Erie experienced a significantly milder summer in terms of algal blooms than recent summers – and notably less than the level of harmful algae that was predicted by scientific forecasters. Ohio grain farmers are nevertheless more determined than ever to protect Ohio’s waterways through best management practices.

“While we are grateful for an improved summer for fishing, boating, swimming and recreation, we know we must continue to do all we can to keep nutrients on our fields and out of the water,” said OCWGA Board President Jed Bower. “Investing in best management practices is crucial not just for today, but for future generations.”

“This was a good summer, but our goals are bigger than one good summer,” said OSA President Allen Armstrong.

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Fall tillage: Is it necessary?

By Harold Watters, Ohio State University Extension

It’s dry and we harvested relatively early, so we have time to kill — and diesel is cheap (right?). Sjoerd Duiker, Soil management specialist at Penn State is a graduate of OSU’s School of Environment and Natural Resources and works just next door. A couple of years ago he supplied us with these remarks on when and why to do fall tillage, it bears repeating.

  • When compaction has been caused, remedial action may be needed. This is especially the case if ruts have been created. If no ruts are seen, tillage is probably not needed. Instead, plant a cover crop to use the living root system to alleviate compaction.
  • Ruts need to be smoothed out to be able to plant the next crop successfully. However, if ruts are uniformly distributed across the whole field, some type of tillage may need to be done on the whole field.
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New app helps farmers know when to spray or spread

A new app from The Ohio State University could help farmers save both money and the environment.

The Field Application Resource Monitor (FARM) uses advanced weather forecasting to advise farmers on when to apply fertilizers and pesticides so that they aren’t washed away by rain.

According to Aaron Wilson, climate specialist for Ohio State’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES) and project manager of FARM, it is much more than just a fancy weather app.

“The app allows you to specify the location of your field in high resolution,” Wilson said. This means that the app can actually give specific forecasts for an area as small as 1.5 miles wide—allowing for incredibly accurate and detailed forecasts.

“It then provides guidance on the best time to apply fertilizers and manures based on the precipitation forecast” Wilson said.

Beyond the high resolution forecasts, FARM has another unique feature: historic forecasts. According to Elizabeth Hawkins, an OSU Extension agronomist based in Clinton County, FARM’s database of forecasts for specific locations is “its most unique feature.”

“This feature gives farmers the ability to look back at the forecasts that were available when they applied the fertilizer,” Hawkins said.

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Conference to address farm income and trade

Prices on goods sold in the United States are likely to increase as an extensive array of tariffs on foreign goods, particularly from China, remain in place, according to an agricultural economist with The Ohio State University.

“I don’t think we’ve seen the full effects of the trade war yet,” said Ian Sheldon, who serves as the Andersons Chair in Agricultural Marketing, Trade and Policy in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES).

The Trump administration first imposed a tariff on foreign steel and aluminum, then on a range of products from various countries including about 5,000 products made in China and sold in the United States. China and other countries have in turn raised tariffs on U.S. products sold in their countries, which has cut the demand for them.

“And the Chinese are showing no signs of backing down,” Sheldon said.

The tariffs the Trump administration imposed are intended to reduce the U.S.

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The logistics of high yields, damaged beans and trade wars

By Ty Higgins, Ohio Ag Net

Farmers will be the first to tell you that things will go your way almost as many times as they don’t. That thought may have never be more true after an ideal growing season and anticipated record corn and soybean yields have turned into a slow and wet harvest, causing some of those high yielding soybeans to succumb to damage caused by insects and disease right before being harvested.

That is presenting challenges on the farm and at the elevator.

“When you have high moisture and high damage you are going to have more challenges throughout the year of keeping quality, so we are trying to get the right beans into the right space so that we can store them for a longer term,” said Don Camden, Regional Commercial Lead for Cargill. “I think that is also going to be an issue for the producer, unfortunately this year, as a lot of beans have found their way to the farm and maybe stored in some unconventional space.

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High yields and aid help offset low commodity prices

Record-high crop yields and new government aid are expected to help insulate Ohio crop farmers from significant financial losses that would have occurred because of low commodity prices, according to a recent Ohio State University study.

If net income for farms across Ohio this year follows the projected national trend, then it will decrease by 15% compared to last year’s total. But it could have been a whole lot worse.

Fortunately, Ohio farmers, on average, are basking in high yields. The average yields of both soybeans and corn are projected to beat the state’s previous record highs. Soybeans, which are estimated to average 60 bushels per acre, are expected to top last year’s average by 19%, and the 190 bushel-per-acre average for Ohio corn is up 11% from 2017’s average, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

“It’s not just a good year in terms of yields statewide, it’s an incredible year.

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Avoid forage toxicities after frosts

By Mark Sulc, Ohio State University Extension

With the cold weather this week, livestock owners need to keep in mind the few forage species that can be extremely toxic soon after a frost. Several species contain compounds called cyanogenic glucosides that are converted quickly to prussic acid (i.e. hydrogen cyanide) in freeze-damaged plant tissues. A few legumes species have an increased risk of causing bloat when grazed after a frost. Each of these risks is discussed in this article along with precautions to avoid them.

Species with prussic acid poisoning potential

Forage species that can contain prussic acid are listed below in decreasing order of risk of toxicity after a frost event:

Grain sorghum = high to very high toxic potential
Indiangrass = high toxic potential
Sorghum-sudangrass hybrids and forage sorghums = intermediate to high potential
Sudangrass hybrids = intermediate potential
Sudangrass varieties = low to intermediate in cyanide poisoning potential
Piper sudangrass = low prussic acid poisoning potential
Pearl millet and foxtail millet = rarely cause toxicity
Species not usually planted for agronomic use can also develop toxic levels of prussic acid, including the following: Johnsongrass, Shattercane, Chokecherry, Black cherry, and Elderberry.

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Delayed wheat planting

By Laura Lindsey, Pierce Paul, Ohio State University Extension

Wet weather has delayed wheat planting in many areas of the state. Generally, the best time to plant wheat is the 10-day period starting the day after the fly-free-safe date. When wheat is planted more than 10-days after the fly-free-safe date, there is an increased chance of reduced fall growth and reduced winter hardiness. The effect of planting date on wheat yield is shown in Figure 6-2 of the Ohio Agronomy Guide. (A free pdf of the guide is available here: https://stepupsoy.osu.edu/wheat-production/ohio-agronomy-guide-15th-edition)

There is still time to plant wheat, but the window is closing. Wheat planted 3 to 4 weeks after the fly-free-safe date can achieve the same yield as earlier planted wheat if freezing weather does not occur until late November or early December. However, as we enter three to four weeks after the fly-free-safe date, growers should plant at a higher seeding rate than the regularly recommended rate of 1.2 to 1.6 million seeds per acre for 7.5-inch rows (that is about 18 to 24 seeds per foot of row with normal sized seed) to compensate for fewer tiller development.

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Challenging harvest conditions showing up in the heart of the Corn Belt

By Matt Reese

Corn and soybean lodging, quality issues, and persistent moisture have plagued the 2018 harvest for Ohio so far. According to the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service Crop Progress Report for the week ending Oct. 14, the heat and dry conditions for part of the week allowed corn harvest to continue to outpace the 5-year average in Ohio. Soybean harvest moved ahead 13 percentage points, although it continues to lag behind the 5-year average.

Though there have certainly been challenges in Ohio, buckeye farmers had better be careful before lamenting too long. Ohio is certainly not the only state facing harvest issues.

In Minnesota, cool and wet weather conditions continued to hamper harvest progress during the week ending Oct. 14, 2018, according to USDA. There were only 1.1 days suitable for fieldwork, the fewest days suitable this year since the week ending April 22 when there were no days suitable for fieldwork.

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Mike Ralph of Marion County elected to OSC Board of Trustees

Mike Ralph, a soybean farmer from Marion County, has been elected to a three-year term on the Ohio Soybean Council Board of Trustees to represent District 9, which includes Delaware, Marion, Morrow and Union Counties.

“I want to congratulate Mike Ralph for being elected to the board,” said Steve Reinhard, OSC chairman and soybean farmer from Crawford County. “He’ll be a great addition to our team and I look forward to working with him.”

Ralph farms 4,000 acres of soybean and corn as a partner in Ralph Brothers Farm. He is past president of the Marion County Farm Bureau, a member of the Ohio Soybean Association, has been active with the Marion County Soil and Water Conservation District, and is past president of Ridgedale FFA and a recipient of the American Farmer degree. He is a member of Epworth United Methodist Church, Upper Sandusky Masonic Lodge and Ohio Eastern Star. He is a graduate of Ridgedale High School.

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Autumn opportunities for agritourism at Libby’s Pumpkin Patch

By Kayla Hawthorne, OCJ field reporter

Those not from farms often yearn for reasons to enjoy the autumn appeal of beautiful blue-sky days. This magnitude of this appeal caught the Lewis family somewhat by surprise after they decided to start selling a few pumpkins from their Meigs County front porch in 2011. To the family, it’s just their home, but to many people who stopped to buy pumpkins, they discovered it was something much more.

“People are desperate to be outside,” Rachel Lewis said. “We found it really odd.”

At first, Rachel and her husband Kevin sold a couple hundred pumpkins per year from Libby’s Pumpkin Patch south of Albany and they soon found customers wanted more than pumpkins.

“They started asking, “What else do you have?” They wanted hot chocolate, apple cider, to take pictures somewhere, to see the pumpkin patch, and to sit on a tractor,” Rachel said.

From there, the business has grown into a full-blown agritourism adventure.

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Continue to watch for ear rots

By Matt Hutcheson, Seed Consultants, Inc.

In the past few weeks while making yield estimates and walking corn fields, it has become apparent that ear rots will be a concern this fall. Corn ear rots reduce corn yield, affect grain quality, and can lead to the development of mycotoxins in grain.

Below are symptoms and toxin concerns for ear rots that may be present in corn fields this fall:

• Aspergillus ear rot: Symptoms appear as an olive-green mold on corn kernels that usually occurs at the tip of the ear. Aspergillus ear rot produces aflatoxin which is toxic to livestock and considered a carcinogen as well.

• Fusarium ear rot: Symptoms include white to pink colored mold on kernels. This mold can infect small areas of kernels on the ear or be scattered in a random patter across the ear. Fusarium ear rot sometimes occurs where insects have damaged kernels the ear.

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Considerations when planting wheat after corn

By Pierce Paul, Ohio State University Extension plant pathologist

Some Ohio wheat growers are thinking about planting wheat after corn to avoid some of the late planting issues we have had to deal with over the past few years. Indeed, timely planting will result in good stand establishment (more tillers per foot of row) and reduce the risk of winter kill. However, planting wheat after corn to ensure that the crop is planted early enough has disadvantages.

In wheat following corn, being both members of the grass family, both crops may be affected by some of the same pests and diseases. One such disease, and by far the one of greatest concern, is head scab, caused by Fusarium graminearum. This same fungus causes Gibberella ear and stalk rot in corn. Consequently, wheat planted into corn stubble is more likely to have head scab and vomitoxin problem next year, especially if late-spring, early-summer conditions are wet and humid.

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USDA friendly corn and soybeans with production and yield less than expected

By Doug Tenney, Leist Mercantile

Overall the trade had expected a bearish report with soybean production to increase, along with increasing yield and ending stocks. The trade had expected corn ending stocks to increase with little changes in the corn yield.

All eyes are on soybeans as traders are assuming it is a given for production and yield to again climb higher. Key to the soybean numbers will be U.S. exports. Will USDA pull them lower with the U.S. export of soybeans to China not yet resolved?

Soybean production was 4.690 billion bushels, the yield was 53.1 bushels per acre, and ending stocks were 885 million bushels. Last month the soybean production was 4.693 billion bushels, the yield was 52.8 bushels, while ending stocks were 845 million bushels. For weeks some analysts have been expecting the U.S. soybean carryout to eventually climb over one billion bushels. The previous record was 574 million bushels.

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Use plot data to make sound decisions

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

As harvest is completed across the Eastern Corn Belt, seed companies, universities, and growers will have the chance to compile and analyze data from yield testing. One of the most important decisions a farmer will face all year is deciding what variety to plant and in which field to plant it. To ensure that the best possible decision is made next spring, it is critical to spend some time looking at yield data. While reviewing data is critical, knowing how to determine whether it is accurate and useful is equally important. Below are some tips for using data to make sound planting decisions next spring.


Look for replicated data

Don’t rely on yield results from one strip plot on a farm or from a single plot location. Look for data from randomized tests that are repeated multiple times and across multiple locations.

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Soybean aphids and barley yellow dwarf in wheat

By Pierce Paul, Andy Michel, Kelley Tilmon, Ohio State University Extension

With the recent warm temperatures, we have been receiving a few questions on the risk of aphids in wheat and the transmission of barley yellow dwarf virus (BYDV). How should growers prepare and gauge the risk of both aphid infestation and BYDV transmission?

First, aphid infestations that cause economic damage are rare in Ohio either in the autumn or spring. There are several species of aphids that infest wheat, and most cannot overwinter in Ohio (they migrate from the southern US). However, aphids can, under certain conditions, build in numbers and damage wheat by feeding on the plant during seedling stages. A suggested treatment threshold for aphid management in wheat is 50 aphids per linear foot of row. Given the warm temperatures, we recommend that growers scout wheat fields to see if any aphids are present.

Second, since economic feeding damage is rare, the larger concern is BYDV transmission.

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Trump proposes an end to Reid Vapor Pressure regulations

By Matt Reese and Dale Minyo

Currently, citing air quality concerns, Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP) regulations force fuel retailers to restrict sales of E15 to only flex fuel vehicles from June 1 to Sept. 15, the peak driving season. For years, ethanol proponents have fought to have the RVP waived to open the door for expanded summer ethanol sales. On Oct. 9, President Donald Trump proposed just that.

“We heard some needed good news out of the president today. They are taking away some regulations that were simply unexplainable barriers to ethanol demand and corn demand. The news today is especially good because we are harvesting a very large crop of corn and wondering where we are going to put it. This opens the door for additional demand for ethanol,” said Tadd Nicholson, executive director of the Ohio Corn & Wheat Growers Association. “In essence, E15 is a cleaner burning fuel but it had this restriction on being sold in the summer months for air quality reasons.

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Soybean exports since the onset of tariffs

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

The evolving developments with tariffs between the U.S. and China continue to influence the outlook for soybean prices. The relationship between U.S. and competitor export prices along with the changing nature of trade flows merit monitoring during the 2018-19 marketing year.

The implementation of tariffs on Chinese goods and the subsequent retaliation led to an adjustment of trade flows in world soybean markets over the last few months. As the tariffs, went into effect, a price gap opened between Brazilian and U.S. export prices. The gap continuously widened when comparing an index of soybean prices at the port of Paranagua and New Orleans prices since early June. The gap reached its broadest level in early September at approximately $1.90 per bushel difference. New Orleans prices came in near $8.50 per bushel. It is difficult to predict future changes in the spread between the two prices, but it directly relates to the tariff level in China on U.S.

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Why plant cover crops?

By Randall Reeder, P.E., Ohio State University Extension Agricultural Engineer (retired)

Jim Hershey, Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania, knows the absolute necessity for keeping pollutants out of streams. His family farms in the Susquehanna River watershed, which flows into the Chesapeake Bay. When severe restrictions were placed on crop and livestock farms a few years ago, the Hershey Farm was already in compliance.

Cover crops and continuous no-till are keys to meeting restrictions on keeping nutrients and sediment out of streams and lakes. We need to recognize that Ohio farmers will eventually need to meet the “Chesapeake Bay” standards for Lake Erie and the Mississippi River.

Jim Hershey spoke at the Aug. 29 no-till field day at Wooster. He emphasized that cover crops should be treated as a cash crop.

Here’s what cover crops provide: increased water holding capacity, reduced weed pressure, reduced crop stress, reduced slug pressure, increased organic matter, and herbicides can be cut by two-thirds when planting green.

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