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Stink bugs in soybeans

As our beans start to put on pods, it’s time to start scouting for stink bugs.  In 2016 a number of farmers had significant stink bug damage but didn’t realize it until harvest, when they discovered shriveled, blasted seeds.  Seed damage can be prevented by scouting and treatment at appropriate threshold levels.

There are several species of stink bugs that can be found in soybean, even beneficials. These include the green, the brown, the red shouldered and the brown marmorated stink bug. The spined soldier bug looks similar to the brown stink bug, but has sharper points on its shoulders, and is more brown on the underside (the brown stink bug is actually more green underneath). Both nymphs (immatures) and adults feed on the developing seed by using their piercing/sucking mouthparts to poke through the pod. Seed that is fed upon will take a flat or shriveled appearance.

Often this damage is not seen until harvest time, because the pod usually retains its shape, despite the smaller seed.

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Does tillering hurt corn yields?

This year I’ve seen more tillering in corn than normal, and there have been inquiries about the impact of tillers on crop growth. When farmers see extensive tillering in their corn hybrids they often express concern that the tillering will have a detrimental effect of crop performance (tillers will “suck” nutrients from the main plant and thereby reduce yields). As a result, tillers are often referred to a “suckers.” However, research has shown that tillers usually have little influence on grain yields and they are generally beneficial.

Tillers are lateral branches that form at below ground nodes. Although tiller buds form at each below ground node, the number of tillers that develop is determined by plant population and spacing, soil fertility, early season growing conditions, and the genetic background of the hybrid. Many hybrids will take advantage of available soil nutrients and moisture by forming one or more tillers where stands are thin in the row or at the ends of rows.

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Corn farmers call for faster access to new technology

Farmers attending  National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) Corn Congress in mid-July called for faster access to new biotechnology-enhanced crop traits. The move reflects growing frustration among NCGA members over excessive regulatory delays in the international marketplace.

“Farmers recognize that a strong, science-based, regulatory system is essential to reassure consumers about the safety and quality of our crops,” said Wesley Spurlock, a farmer from Stratford, Texas and NCGA president. “At the same time, when it takes four to six years, or more, to secure regulatory approvals in certain markets, it is clear that a country’s regulatory system is broken.”

The NCGA’s new policy supports the commercialization of new biotechnology-enhanced corn traits that: a) have been approved by the U.S. and Japan; and b) have faced delays of more than 30 months from any government with a non-functioning regulatory system. By comparison, there are biotechnology traits that have been awaiting regulatory approval in certain markets for the past 48 to 72 months.

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Pumpkin Field Day coming Aug. 17

Autumn will be here before you know it and if you are a pumpkin grower, you won’t want to miss the Aug. 17 Pumpkin Field Day.

The event runs from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Western Agricultural Research Station, 7721 S. Charleston Pike South in Charleston. Registration will begin at 5:30 p.m. The field day will offer beginning and experienced growers valuable research updates regarding disease management, insect management, weed control, and new pumpkin and winter squash varieties.

Current production information designed to help growers will be presented during a research plot tour by experts from the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC) and Ohio State University Extension. OARDC and OSU Extension are the research and outreach arms, respectively, of OSU’s College of Food Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.

“The field day will feature some traditional and new projects on the tour,” said Jim Jasinski, OSU Extension Educator and Integrated Pest Management Program Coordinator.

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Ohio’s Crop Progress — July 31, 2017

Cooler and drier conditions allowed producers to complete some field work and harvest hay, straw, wheat and oats, according to Cheryl Turner, Ohio State Statistician with the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. There were 4.4 days suitable for fieldwork for the week ending July 30th. The dry weather was ideal for hay cutting, and the drying of soils made for better growing conditions. Many parts of the state experienced good conditions for the pollination of corn. Crop conditions remain steady, but soybeans are showing stress from earlier floods. There is still a great deal of variability in crop conditions. Central and southern Ohio received more rain on average, and minor localized flooding was observed in these areas. Aerial spraying of fungicide took place in areas where field access was still an issue. Harvest of commercial fruit and vegetable crops continued.

Click here for the full report

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C.A.R.E.S. puts sustainability in the hands of the farmer

Farmers face public pressure these days to increase their efforts to protect the environment. Given this increased public attention, as well as EPA and local government initiatives, farmers are turning to sustainable farming practices centered on nutrient management.

Crop Production Services (CPS) has developed a platform to provide education, seed recommendations, and the technology and nutrients growers need to take a proactive approach to ensure the highest productivity while minimizing environmental impact. The program is called C.A.R.E.S., an acronym for Certified Action Regarding Environmental Stewardship.

“C.A.R.E.S. includes the best available farming practices based on the 4Rs and then we tailor those practices to the farm level and field level,” said Steve Emery, Division Manager for CPS in Southern Ohio. “The stewardship practices within the program are both cultural and agronomic and they help the farmer do the right thing for the environment, but C.A.R.E.S. also gives them a voice and a platform to point to and say what they are doing on their particular farm to be sustainable.”

C.A.R.E.S.

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Southern rust confirmed in Ohio corn

After being a suspected issue due to the unusual late spring and early summer weather and Tropical Storm Cindy moving through the area back in June, southern rust was confirmed late last week in several counties in central and southern Ohio.

Evan Delk, a CCA with Integrated Ag Services sent samples he thought were suspect to Ohio State professor in the Department of Plant Pathology, Pierce Paul, who later confirmed those samples to be southern rust.

Southern Corn Rust is a fungal disease that generally affects corn after silking. Weather conditions can have a significant affect on when southern rust develops and how far and quickly the disease spreads.

According to Stewart Seeds, southern rust has the potential to cause yield loss due to its ability to develop and spread rapidly. The effect of the disease on corn plant health and yield depends on time of infection. Plants infected early in the season may develop significant damage to leaf tissue.
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Rough year for hay production

The seemingly continuous wet weather Ohio farms have been dealing with this year has slowed hay progress substantially in 2017.

“Certainly if you’re trying to produce dry hay, it’s been frustrating with all the rain showers coming through. That’s probably the comment I hear most from folks who are trying to make any kind of dry hay,” said Rory Lewandowski, Ohio State University Extension specialist based in Wayne County. “It’s really been frustrating to squeeze things in between rain showers. A lot of times they’re not getting that done, maybe hay is getting a little too mature or it gets rained on. That’s certainly been a struggle.”

He said several growers in his area range from second cutting to third cutting, all depending on where those spotty showers have fallen.

The latest Ohio Crop Progress Report (July 24, 2017) from USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service tallied 83% of alfalfa second cutting completed, a jump of 10 points from the week before.

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Assessing pollination

Many Ohio corn fields have been subject to excessive rainfall this year. The fields where the Ohio Corn Performance Test (OCPT) were planted are no exception. Extraordinary rainfall accumulation has occurred at nearly all OCPT sites. Rainfall accumulations from May 15 to July 18-19 (and there’s been more since then) range from 14 to 19.1 inches at test sites in the southwest/west central/central region.

Reports of short, waist high corn tasseling, as well as uneven development and flowering within fields, are not uncommon in parts of the state where heavy rains contributed to extended periods of saturated soil conditions and ponding.  Now there are questions as to whether such uneven development will impact pollination and thereby affect yield.

There are two techniques commonly used to assess the success or failure of pollination. One involves simply waiting until the developing ovules (kernels) appear as watery blisters (the R2 or the “blister” stage of kernel development).

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Consider scab resistance in wheat selection

One problem that eastern Corn Belt wheat growers face frequently is Fusarium Head Blight (Scab). This disease can cause significant yield loss in addition to reduced grain quality and high levels of mycotoxins. Growers have effectively managed head scab with timely fungicide applications.

One additional tool available to growers for management of Fusarium Head Blight is gene resistance. The Fhb1 gene is widely recognized as an outstanding source of head scab resistance in wheat. This gene is effective in reducing the DON (Deoxynivalenol) levels in wheat, ultimately resulting in better grain quality. DON levels are a major concern in wheat because they cause animal feed refusal, sickness, and decreased weight gain.

For the 2017-2018 sales season, all four of Seed Consultants, Inc. wheat varieties (SC 13S07TM , SC 13S17TM, SC 13S26TM , and SC 13S37TM ) have the Fhb1 gene. The Fhb1 gene provides Type II resistance, which slows down or inhibits the spread of the pathogens from the initial infection site.

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Still wet Between the Rows

We finally got enough dry weather to get the straw wrapped up and we got some manure hauled to make things look and smell better around here. We got an inch of rain over the weekend — seven-tenths earlier today and three-tenths last night.

The first two weeks of July we had 7.5 inches and since then we have probably had about 2 inches, so it has been plenty wet. This last inch, though, was nice and slow. It all soaked in.

We are getting to the point where our soybeans all need sprayed but it has been so wet we haven’t gotten to do it. If we don’t get in soon we’ll have spots that will be a mess. We have a lot of Japanese beetles. The beans planted May 22 are all flowering and it is a nice stand.

The corn all looks good for what it has been through and I think it will be a better crop than last year.

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OSU Agronomy Field Days

See the Agronomic Crop Team’s calendar for more information: https://agcrops.osu.edu/events/calendar/.

 

  • Manure Science Review on Wednesday, Aug. 2, 2017 at the Stoller Brothers & Sons farm in Paulding County. Learn how to use manure nutrients to improve crop yields and protect water quality, get the latest on regulations and staying safe, plus more. See field demonstrations on applying manure, subsurface tile drainage, and more. For program and registration details, https://ocamm.osu.edu/sites/ocamm/files/imce/Events/MSR_2017_FLYER.pdf.

 

  • Southwest Ohio Corn Growers and Fayette County Agronomy Field Day – Fayette Co. August 15, 2017, 9:30 a.m. – 3 p.m. The event is free to attend at the Fayette County Farm, 2770 State Route 38 NE, Washington Court House, OH 43160. Contact: Ken Ford at 937 378-6716 or ford.70@osu.edu. For more information see the website: fayette.osu.edu. Several speakers will be heard throughout the day including: keynote Speaker Sonny Perdue Secretary of Agriculture (yet to be confirmed), a follow-up for 2018 Farm Bill Listening Session, corn ear rot diagnostic demonstration, using on-farm research to make adaptive nitrogen decisions, cover crops for pollinators, and many other activities will be available throughout the day.
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Have you thought about a cover crop?

We get calls most summers about growing cover crops in Ohio after winter wheat. Often in the past couple of years the calls have related to producing nitrogen after wheat for the next crop — usually corn. The short answer is that we have difficulty in Ohio, with our short season after wheat harvest, in growing that perfect cover crop. When my grandfather had a four- to five-year rotation that included two years of clover, then yes you could grow some nitrogen for corn. With our short rotations of corn, soybean then maybe wheat and the income demands of cash rent farming, it is difficult to allow any cover crop to grow for more than a few months.

The search is for that perfect cover that provides great cover, that is cheap and easy to establish and provides a benefit. I worked with winter peas over several years and have found it an easy crop to establish.

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Southern rust and common rust on corn: How to tell them apart

Ohio corn producers are reporting more rust on corn this year, and are concerned that it might be southern rust, the rarer but more damaging of the two major rust diseases that affect corn in state. Based on the fact that they both produce rusty looking pustules on the leaves, producers may actually be confusing common rust with southern rust, especially when they are not occurring side-by-side on the same leaf. The table below provides some key differences between the two based on the characteristics of visual symptoms and conditions favorable for development.

 Common rustSouthern Rust
Pustule appearanceLarge, oval to elongated, scattered over the leafSmall, circular, evenly distributed over leaf
Pustule colorBrownish to cinnamon-brownReddish orange
Pustule locationBoth upper and lower surface of leaves. Generally only found on leaves.Predominantly on the upper leaf surfaces. Also found on stems and husks.
Optimum ConditionsCool (60-77F) and humid conditionsWarm (77+F) and humid conditions
RegionSubtropical and temperate regions – more common in the northern statesTropical and subtropical regions.
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The dicamba dilemma

With more acres of dicamba resistant cotton and soybeans growing in fields around the country, there is more potential for postemergence dicamba applications during warmer, more humid conditions and more chances for the controversial herbicide to move off-target.

The situation has been particularly heated in in the South. An Arkansas man was shot and killed in 2016 over a neighborly dispute concerning off-target dicamba damage. Missouri and Tennessee have also been reporting off-target dicamba damage on significant acres.

Available for 2017 planting were the Monsanto Xtend soybeans and cotton that are resistant to Monsanto’s XtendiMax with VaporGrip, which is also sold as FeXapan by DuPont. In addition, BASF developed the Engenia dicamba formulation. The long-needed new tools are finally available to help tackle tough weed control situations but are bringing with them (not wholly unexpected) logistical and management issues. Arkansas and Missouri have even banned any additional dicamba applications for the remainder of the growing season, although subsequent label changes will allow some continued use in Missouri.

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Watch for wet weather challenges

The growing season of 2017 continues to be a challenge for management and forces work to be done in between torrential rainfall events. Some areas of the state have already received more than 20 inches of rain since planting which is more than 8 inches above the 10-year average. This above average rainfall may seem like a huge relief, especially to those areas of the state that were in a drought last growing season, but it creates its own agronomic challenges as well.

In corn fields, the excess moisture and warm temperatures have created the perfect environment for fungal growth. Gray leaf spot, northern corn leaf blight and common rust can be found in most corn fields around the state. With the disease present and a conducive environment, the last side of the disease triangle — a susceptible host — is also needed to drive rapid infection. Product disease ratings from the seed companies would be the first place to start evaluating which products in the fields may be the most susceptible to which diseases.

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Hops field night July 27

If you raise hops, pre-harvest can be a make-or-break time. Learn everything you need to know about the next steps that need to happen at the Ohio State University South Centers Hops Pre-Harvest Field Night on July 27.

The field day will take place from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at OSU South Centers Research Building Auditorium, 1864 Shyville Road in Piketon.

Brad Bergefurd, a horticulturist with OSU South Centers, will be hosting the field day, which is being sponsored by Ohio State University Extension and the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center.

Due to Ohio’s growing craftbrewing industry and increased interest in buying local, Bergefurd has developed a research and education program for hops that focuses on production and marketing. The goal is to develop sustainable hop production practices for growing conditions in Ohio, he said.

“A lot of people are growing hops for Ohio’s brewing industry, and hop farmers need to know what to look for as they get close to harvest.

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Ohio’s Crop Progress — July 17, 2017

Continued wet weather with heavy downpour events caused many fields to be lost to standing water and has stalled harvest, according to Cheryl Turner, Ohio State Statistician with the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. There were 1.9 days suitable for fieldwork for the week ending July 16th. Northwest and Central Ohio were drenched by heavy storms. Major rains fell in the vicinity of Hancock, Hardin, Seneca and Wyandot counties on already saturated soils. The Blanchard River near Findlay crested at 16.5 feet, which was three feet above major flood stage. Critical cropland drainage networks were overwhelmed and corn and soybean fields were inundated with water. Reports of Sclerotinia led many growers to scout fields for disease. Winter wheat is still in the fields as wet field conditions has prohibited harvest. Excessive moisture created concerns over head sprout. Pasture and range conditions changed little despite the rains. Farmers delayed manure applications and bailing of straw.

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Diseases showing up in soybeans

Northern Ohio and North Central Ohio farmers need to focus on Sclerotinia as we move into flowering.  Southern Ohio producers also have something to focus on, scouting for frogeye leaf spot.  There are still a few very high yielding but very susceptible cultivars planted in Ohio and it is the susceptible ones that we are most concerned about. Losses of 35% have been reported when the disease starts early and we have consistent, weekly rains.  Another complication in the frogeye story, Ohio has a mixed population, some strains are still susceptible to the strobilurin class of fungicides while other strains are resistant, and some fields have both.  We do have funding this year from Ohio Soybean Council to evaluate the strains for sensitivity to strobilurin fungicides.  So if you have some samples, please mail them to us and we will test for sensitivity to strobilurin fungicides.  This is done through the use of molecular markers which are targeted directly to the most common mutation that is known to occur for resistance development. 

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Scout for foliar diseases in corn

Anyone who attended one of our Winter Agronomy Meetings heard a discussion of what conditions promote diseases (northern corn leaf blight and gray leaf spot) and possible management options. You might ask, “What are the important management options that will protect yield from leaf diseases?” Although some of the important management practices have already been performed (crop rotation, hybrid selection, and tillage, and planting) growers still have opportunities to protect their corn from disease as discussed in the following list:

• Scouting: Scouting fields is an important part of a management plan. Walk corn fields right before tassel emergence to determine disease presence and severity.

• Identify which diseases are present: Having the ability to identify specific diseases is a critical piece in managing GLS and NCLB. NCLB symptoms are brown or tan cigar-shaped lesions, ranging from one to six inches in length. GLS symptoms are tan or gray rectangles with parallel or straight sides, ranging from half and inch to four inches in length.

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