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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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Six soil health measures identified by NRCS

The USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service has drafted six measures recommended by a group of federal, university, public and private sector soil health experts.

Soil health is defined as the capacity of the soil to function as a vital living ecosystem to sustain plants, animals, and humans.

The six key soil physical and biological processes are: Organic matter dynamics and carbon sequestration; Soil structural stability; Microbial activity; Carbon food source; Bioavailable N; and Microbial community diversity. Also, laboratory methods for assessing each indicator were chosen based on interpretability, ease of use, cost effectiveness, measurement repeatability, and ability to inform agricultural management decisions.

NRCS is accepting comments on the draft through December 13.

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Syngenta corn seed settlement claims due Oct. 12

By Peggy Kirk Hall, Associate Professor and Director, OSU Agricultural & Resource Law Program

Those post cards advising producers of a $1.51 billion settlement in the Syngenta corn seed lawsuits are legitimate, and corn producers seeking compensation from the settlement must file claims by 11:59 p.m. on October 12, 2018. The settlement is the result of class action and individual lawsuits alleging that Syngenta failed to receive import approval from China before selling its genetically modified Viptera and Duracade seeds in the United States, which led to the rejection of U.S. corn shipments and a lowering of corn prices from 2013 to 2018.

Who can file a claim?

Three types of claimants that were involved in the U.S. corn market between Sept. 15, 2013 and April 10, 2018 may file claims.

  1. Corn producers, which includes any owner, operator, landlord or tenant who shared in the risk of producing any variety of corn, not just Syngenta varieties.
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Check beans for stink bug damage

By Kelley Tilmon, Andy Michel, Ohio State University Extension

As farmers progress with soybean harvest we encourage you to take a quick look at your grain quality, especially stink bug damage in soybeans at field edges. We have been receiving reports of the deformed and discolored beans typical of stink bug damage.

If your beans show signs of stink bug damage (or even if they don’t!) consider incorporating stink bug scouting into your management next year, beginning around pod set or early fill. Stink bugs are scoutable and treatable before damage occurs, and we will provide timely information next season in the CORN newsletter on when and how to monitor for this insect in soybeans. A quick guide to Ohio stink bugs and their management can be found here.


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New trade deal helps, but hurdles remain

The newly renegotiated trade agreement involving the United States, Canada and Mexico offers farmers a bit more security about markets for dairy, corn and other products, but hefty Mexican tariffs still in place hinder business, according to an agricultural trade specialist with The Ohio State University.

Under the new trade agreement, dairy farmers in the United States will have 3.75% more access to the Canadian dairy market. That means they’ll be able to sell more of their cheese, milk and other products there without those products getting taxed heavily at the Canadian border.

“Dairy farmers in Ohio should be happy,” said Ian Sheldon, an agricultural economist who serves as the Andersons Chair in Agricultural Marketing, Trade and Policy in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES).

The agreement also reassures corn growers, who may have worried about not being able to sell to Mexico, a significant importer of U.S.

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Field Leader offers online research and conservation resources for Ohio soybean producers

As farming continues to change, it’s more important than ever for growers to stay on top of the latest agronomic research, technology trends and water quality best practices. That’s why the Ohio Soybean Council developed Field Leader, an online resource to give you access to the latest soybean checkoff research and water quality information to enhance Ohio’s soybean operations. The web resource highlights how checkoff-funded research is helping Ohio soybean farmers every day, visit www.ohiofieldleader.com.  Site visitors can sign up for the Field Leader newsletter to get the latest research information send directly to their inboxes.

Field Leader also provides a forum to recognize farmers who go the extra mile for conservation. Know someone who deserves to be recognized as a conservation field leader? Let the Ohio Soybean Council know by sending an email to jcoleman@soyohio.org.

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Agronomic price for high yields

By John Brien, AgriGold

The adage states there is nothing free in life and high yields in the corn and soybean fields in the Eastern Corn Belt are no different. While the growing season of 2018 has had its share of challenges, the overall trend has been for higher than normal yields. The start of planting was slightly delayed but when May rolled around planting happened rapidly. Once the crop was put into the ground it never looked back. There was plenty of heat, water and sunshine for much of the State. The trend continued shortly after pollination with plenty of timely rainfalls and adequate heat accumulation. All these ingredients have made for a big yield potential. But the adage that nothing is free in life is the theme growers need to be aware of during this harvest season.

Growing crops in the Eastern Corn Belt provides many challenges that are constant and often compounding.

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Tips for harvest and planning for the 2019 field season

By Anne Dorrance, Ohio State University Extension plant pathologist

There are some things to keep track of this fall as the combines run across the soybean fields.

  • Make note of those low yield spots in soybeans to soil sample for soybean cyst nematode levels.
  • Did you leave unsprayed strips? Harvest each of these first separately. Yield is not even throughout a field so comparisons to the average of these unsprayed strips are a more accurate measure of what the baseline level of yield is within a field. This is the number to compare yields for any treatments.
    • Note: the outside borders of the field are usually not comparable since these have additional secondary factors such as shade from trees, compaction, old fence rows etc. which can impact yield.
  • Fields with Sclerotinia should be harvested last. Yes, seed quality will continue to decline but this will avoid contaminating equipment with sclerotia, which can then be introduced into more fields.
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Wheat genome finally fully sequenced

By Lainey Wolf, National Association of Wheat Growers

After 12 years of research and the work of 20 countries, the genome of wheat has finally been sequenced. The complexity of the wheat genome made sequencing a long and difficult process. Now, the world’s most widely cultivated crop has each gene sequenced, and the possibilities are endless. With the use of this scientific breakthrough farmers and scientists can now coordinate to improve wheat production.

Wheat is most complex plant to be fully genetically sequenced, to date. Decoding the incredibly complex structure of the wheat genome is a major scientific breakthrough that will allow for future improvements in wheat production. Wheat has a genome five times larger than that of humans, with much of the DNA being highly repetitive. Additionally, the cells are hexaploid, meaning that there are six homologous pairs of chromosomes instead of just two. Now that each of the approximately 108,000 genes of wheat are known, it is time to finish figuring out exactly what each of them do.

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