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eFields Report a must-see for farmers in Ohio

The 2018 eFields Report has been released by the Ohio State University. The 200 page book contains on-farm research data from the last year collected from 95 research locations spread across 25 counties.

“The eFields report is documentation of all of the on-farm research across the state of Ohio being done by extension educators,”said Sam Custer, Darke County Extension Educator.

Ohio Ag Net’s Bart Johnson sat down with Custer to discuss highlights of the report and how you can see it for yourself.

Click here for the online copy.

There are reginal eFields meetings coming up around the state:

  • Southwest: February 13, 2019 – 9:00 am | Clinton County Extension Office: 111 South Nelson Ave. #2, Wilmington OH 45177
  • Northwest: February 20, 2019; 9:00 am – Noon | Robert Fulton Ag Center: 8770 OH-108, Wauseon, OH 43567
  • East: February 27, 2019; 4:30 pm – 8:30pm | RG Drage Career Conference Center: 2800 Richville Dr.
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2018 Ohio Crop Tour follow-up

By Matt Reese

After an almost ideal growing season for some and not so much for others, we were not sure quite what to expect on the 2018 I-75/I-71 Ohio Crop Tour in mid-August.

There were certainly some examples that showed up in fields on the 2018 I-75/I-71 Ohio Crop Tour displaying evidence of some challenging conditions, but for the most part what we found was a crop that might just meet what USDA has suggested, a record Ohio corn and soybean crop. The 2018 Ohio Crop Tour was sponsored by AgroLiquid.

In January, prior to the final yield report that has been delayed by the government shutdown, the U.S. Department of Agriculture was predicting an average yield in Ohio of 190 bushels. In August, the number we came up with for our tour average was 186.7 bushels. At the time, we thought that yield may be on the high side because there was a fair portion of the crop that had a long way to go yet in mid-August and there were still plenty of chances left in the season for yield reductions.

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Northern Ohio Crops Day

By Allen Gahler, Ohio State University Extension

Northern Ohio Crops Day, held annually on the first Thursday in February at Ole Zim’s Wagon Shed near Gibsonburg, Ohio in Sandusky County is all set for another outstanding program that the progressive grain crop producer will not want to miss.

Thursday, Feb. 7, 2019, the program will begin at 8:30 a.m. with a look at fungicide use in alfalfa led by Jason Hartschuh, Ag Educator in Crawford County. Alan Sundermeier, Ag Educator in Wood County will then provide an update on the status of palmer amaranth and waterhemp in the area along with management strategies. A discussion on temperature inversions and their impact on our spray practices will be led by OSU Extension climatologist Aaron Wilson.

Greg Labarge, OSU Extension agronomic systems specialist will give an update on where we’ve been and what we’ve learned on Lake Erie, phosphorous, and water quality, and Andrew Kleinschmidt from OSU’s Ag Engineering department will present research findings on high speed planters and pinch row mitigation.

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Ohio Fall Weed survey follow-up

By Harold Watters, Ohio State University Extension agronomist

So I got some calls after our Extension Fall Weed Survey — if these are the problem weeds, then how do you deal with them?

It is becoming apparent that with the move to herbicide tolerant crops, we aren’t necessarily getting rid of all of our weeds — only 30% of our fields are weed free. Giant ragweed moved back into first place for worst weed, seen in 34% of fields overtaking marestail seen in 30% of fields. And then there is the pigweed problem — waterhemp appeared frequently, so did redroot pigweed and then there are the concerns about Palmer amaranth and its escape across Ohio.


Weed2018 Ohio rank% of fields
Giant Ragweed134
Redroot pigweed105


So how do we deal with problem weeds? I look in the back of the Ohio, Indiana and Illinois Weed Control Guide — all of these weeds are there, so it’s not just a problem for you but these appear to be problems across the eastern Corn Belt as well.

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Plenty of market news to ponder

By Doug Tenney, Leist Mercantile

There is certainly plenty of news to mull over. Government shutdown, trade talks, USDA reports, snow, cold, South American weather, and charts are among the topics clamoring for significant attention.

The partial government shutdown is approaching 30 days at this writing. The partial shutdown is affecting farmers in numerous ways this winter. It means local FSA offices are closed and unable to process loan payments along with the Market Facilitation Program (MFP). Those soybean payments of $1.65 per bushel are being welcomed profusely across Ohio and the U.S. While we are now well past the Jan. 15 original deadline, USDA had already announced that deadline would be extended the number of days FSA offices were closed by the partial government shutdown. The FSA offices across the country were last open on Dec. 28 with some Ohio offices open Jan. 17, 18, and 22. Numerous conversations with producers indicate many are still waiting on their second round of MFP payments.

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No-Till news

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

The December Ohio No-Till Council conference in Plain City featured 14 speakers on diverse topics. It was a beautiful day, the sun shining, a rare occurrence in rainy 2018. The ground was reasonably dry so attendance was down because so many farmers were home harvesting corn and soybeans.

For those who missed it, here are a few highlights, provided by Vinayak Shedekar, an OSU Ag. Engineer working on water quality. Harold Watters, OSU Extension, discussed the new Tri-State Fertilizer recommendations, which include lower rates for Phosphorus. (Note: at the Conservation Tillage Conference a concurrent session on March 6 will go in depth on the revised recommendations.)

Jim Hoorman, Soil Health Specialist, NRCS, disclosed that for every ton of soybeans produced the average farm loses one to two tons of topsoil. Four principles of soil health are: minimize soil disturbance, maximize cover, maximize live roots, and maximize biodiversity.

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Winter wheat management: What are tillers and how do they contribute to yield?

By Matt Hutcheson, CCA, product manager for Seed Consultants, Inc.

In the coming months as the weather warms, up winter wheat will break dormancy and will begin to green up. After a period of about 2 weeks producers should evaluate their stand in order to make management decisions for their wheat crop. Part of this evaluation includes counting tillers to determine if there is an adequate stand for achieving high yields. According an article in a 2014 C.O.R.N. Newsletter written by Laura Lindsey, Ed Lentz, Pierce Paul, “Yield potential is reduced if tiller numbers fall below 25 per square foot after green up.”

So, what is a tiller? And how should they be counted? Tillers are additional stems that develop off of the main shoot of the plant. Primary tillers form in the axils of the first four or more true leaves of the main stem. Secondary tillers may develop from the base of primary tillers if conditions favor tiller development.

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Extensive spread of corn toxin could affect 2019 crop

A wetter than normal summer and fall in Ohio led to the worst spread of a toxin on corn in at least a decade, according to a grain disease expert with The Ohio State University.

And next year’s crop may be at risk as well. The fungus that produces the toxin can survive the winter, particularly if stalks or other plant material from the 2018 corn crop are left on the surface of the soil, said Pierce Paul, an Ohio State University Extension specialist in corn and small grain diseases.

The extent of vomitoxin across Ohio and the rest of the Corn Belt led some farmers to receive a lower price for their crop, Paul said.

High moisture levels spur the spread of vomitoxin, which can cause people and animals to get sick. The rainy summer and fall in the state and across the Midwest not only left more moisture in fields, but also delayed some farmers from harvesting.

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New conservation practice could reduce nitrogen pollution in the Gulf of Mexico

Every summer, a “dead zone” forms in the Gulf of Mexico. Plumes of oxygen-robbing algae, fed by excess nitrogen coming in from the Mississippi River, kill off marine life and threaten the livelihoods of those who fish the Gulf. States bordering the Mississippi River are putting strategies in place to limit nitrogen from wastewater treatment plants, surface runoff, and agricultural fields. In a new study, University of Illinois scientists have estimated that a new conservation practice known as saturated buffers could reduce nitrogen from agricultural drainage by 5 to 10%.

“It might not sound like much, given that agricultural drainage only represents a portion of the nitrogen getting into the Mississippi. But 5 to 10% is pretty good for an inexpensive, passive system that farmers can put in and forget about,” said Reid Christianson, research assistant professor in the Department of Crop Sciences at U of I and co-author of the study.

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Wyandot Agronomy Day Jan. 29

By Jason Hartschuh, CCA, Ohio State University Extension

Wyandot Agronomy day will be held on Jan. 29 from 9:00 to 3:30 at the Sycamore Community Center, 3498 St Rt 103, Sycamore Ohio 44882. Featured Presentations will include Dr. Pierce Paul presenting on Corn and Wheat Disease and Dr. Aaron Wilson on Todays Weather and Climate. Other presentations by local educators will cover all pesticide categories and fertilizer for recertification credits. The program includes lunch and will cost $50 including recertification credits if you wish to attend and do not need recertification credits the program will only cost $20. For more information and to register see the flier or call 419-562-8731

Topics include:

•Creating a herbicide program to match your farms needs

•Managing disease in forage crops

•Applying Nutrient management BMPS on your farm.

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Be informed about 2019 dicamba requirements

The Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) is reminding farmers of revised labels and new training requirements for applicators who intend to use dicamba herbicide products this year. In October 2018, U.S. EPA approved revised labels for the three dicamba products that are labeled for use on soybeans: Engenia (BASF), XtendiMax (Monsanto) and FeXapan (DuPont).

“Like any other product, we want to ensure licensed applicators are properly following label directions as they get ready for this growing season,” said Matt Beal, chief of the ODA Division of Plant Health. “This not only helps ensure the safe use of pesticides, it also helps prevent misuse and mishandling.”

The manufacturers of these dicamba products also agreed to additional requirements for their products. Some of the requirements include:

  • 2019 labels supersede all prior labels for these products. Applicators must obtain a copy of the new label and must have that label in their possession at the time of use
  • Only certified applicators may purchase and apply the products.
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Madison County Grain Outlook Breakfast

The 2019 Grain Outlook Breakfast is Thursday, Jan. 17 at the Der Dutchman in Plain City from 8 a.m. to noon. The meeting is $15 including hot breakfast. Pre-registration is required. Contact the Union County Extension Office at (937)644-8117.
Topics include:

· Commodity Prices – Today’s YoYo (Ben Brown)
· Examining the 2019 Ohio Farm Economy (Barry Ward)
· U.S. Trade Policy: Where is it Headed? (Ian Sheldon)
· Weather Outlook (Aaron Wilson)

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No-till a fit for first generation farm

By Matt Reese

Starting out as a first generation row-crop farmer offers plenty of challenges. To help overcome some of those, Nathan Brown — the 2018 Ohio No-Till Council Outstanding No-Till Farmer —started no-tilling on his Highland County farm.

Though he did not grow up on a farm, Brown began working for a nearby farm when he was young, which allowed him to get started on his own. In 2012, he started no-till to help make the transition to farming on his own a little easier.

“Originally we started working everything but I realized really quickly that tillage wasn’t going to be feasible if I was going to expand the operation. I remember chisel plowing ground in April or May when I was back in high school and watching the neighbors who were no-tilling out planting. I realized that as much as I love to do tillage, I really hate to do tillage,” Brown said.

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2018 eFields Research Report available

By Elizabeth Hawkins, John Fulton, Jenna Lee

High quality, relevant information is key to making the right management decisions for your farm. The eFields program at The Ohio State University was created to provide local information about critical issues for Ohio agriculture. The 2018 eFields Research Report highlighting 95 on-farm, field scale trials conducted in 25 Ohio counties was released on Jan. 9. Research topics include nutrient management, precision seeding, crop management, soil compaction management, remote sensing, and data analysis and management. To help identify trial locations that are similar to your operation, each study includes information about weather, soil types, and management practices. Additionally, economic analysis was added to select trials this year. QR codes that link to videos featuring the researchers and partner farmers are available in the report.

The 2018 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.

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Winter maintenance worth the effort

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

Have you ever heard someone say, “What do farmers do in the winter?” As you are aware, there are many answers to this question.

Winter is a great time to get ready for spring planting, which will be here before we know it. One of the most important parts of the growing season is planting. It’s crucial that your crops get off to a good start and it’s important to make sure that your planter is field-ready when the time comes. Planting seed into the best possible growing conditions is a one of the most important tasks of spring field work. A planter in need of some adjustment can result in varied seed placement, uneven emergence, and ultimately a reduction in yield potential.

Check for and replace any parts of your planter that are excessively worn. No-till coulters or disk openers that are worn out will not create the proper seed furrow and may cause poor seed placement.

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China approves GM traits as trade talks proceed

By Matt Reese

As trade talks between the United States and China ramp up, China announced the long-awaited approval of five genetically modified crops. This is the first GM crop approval by China for import since July of 2017.

The approved products include two canola products, DowDuPont Inc’s DP4114 corn and DAS-44406-6 soybean, and the SYHT0H2 soybean from Bayer CropScience and Syngenta, but now owned by BASF. The Chinese approval of these GM crops is viewed by many as a positive sign in the ongoing trade war between China and the United States.

“The traits approval is a surprise. The talks in China involve a lot of people — it is not just one guy from each side sitting at the table. I think it is more than political posturing. That is what we have seen for months by both sides,” said Doug Tenney, with Leist Mercantile. “I expect that we will see an announcement of a trade deal sooner, not later.”

Tenney said U.S.

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Syngenta settlement approved by federal judge

By Evin Bachelor, Law Fellow, Agricultural and Resource Law Program, Ohio State University

The major multi-year class action lawsuit against Syngenta for failing to receive import approval from China before selling its Viptera and Duracade seeds in the United States has been settled for $1.51 billion.

On Dec. 7, Judge John Lungstrum of the U.S. District Court for the District Kansas issued a final order granting the settlement.

In the order, the court overruled a number of objections from class members who opposed the settlement. It also awarded one third of the settlement amount to the plaintiffs’ attorneys as attorney fees, valued at $503,333,333.33.

The next step could involve appeals by those opposed to the settlement. According to a statement posted by one of the co-lead counsels for the plaintiffs, payments to eligible parties could begin as early as the second quarter of 2019, depending upon whether any appeals are filed.

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Ohio EPA sets rules to improve TMDL procedure

Ohio’s corn, soybean and wheat farmers applaud the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for new rules that will improve the procedure for Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) implementation plans. In December, Ohio EPA established additional steps to involve interested and affected parties, including farmers, in the TMDL process.

“The continuous improvement of water quality is a priority of our farmers, and it is essential for them to be part of all decisions that impact both water quality and their businesses,” said Tadd Nicholson, executive director of the Ohio Corn and Wheat Growers Association. “We thank Ohio EPA for recognizing the importance of our participation, and we further encourage all state agencies to include us in all aspects of water quality policy.”

Under its new TMDL procedure, Ohio EPA will:

  • Notify interested and affected stakeholders and offer at least 30 days of input for TMDL development during the project assessment study plan, the biological and water quality study report and the loading analysis plan.
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The 2018 Farm Bill, industrial hemp and what it means for Ohio

By Ellen Essman, Sr. Research Associate Ohio State University Agricultural and Resource Law Program

Hemp is one of the most talked-about provisions of the new Farm Bill. There’s plenty of excitement about the removal of federal restrictions on hemp production and the economic opportunities for growing hemp. But what exactly does the Farm Bill say about hemp? Can Ohioans now grow, use and sell hemp and hemp products? We dove into the 807 pages of the Farm Bill Conference Report to find answers to your questions about the new legal status of hemp and hemp cultivation.


What is hemp?

Before we go much further in this discussion, it’s important to understand that both hemp and marijuana are species of cannabis, but they have different properties. Of particular note is the fact that marijuana contains much more tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) than hemp. THC is the part of a cannabis plant that can cause a psychoactive effect in certain concentrations, but hemp plants generally do not contain enough THC to produce a “high.” Hemp has many uses — it can be used for construction materials, fabrics and clothing, and animal bedding.

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