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Ohio’s Crop Progress Report – May 31st, 2016

Producers spent the week planting significant amounts of corn and soybeans as the weather was conducive to fieldwork, according to Cheryl Turner, Ohio State Statistician of the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. There were 6.0 days suitable for fieldwork for the week ending May 29th. Corn and soybean planting has caught up to the five-year average, though emergence is still behind due to the previous planting delays. Some growers replanted corn that had been stunted by the cold temperatures after early planting. Some soybeans will also need to be replanted, due to frost damage and pythium incidence. There were reports of wheat rust that may lead to diverting fields to forage. Producers were cutting and baling hay as the moisture surplus was no longer an issue. Some areas are even beginning to become too dry, particularly in the northern part of the state. Vegetable producers were also planting their crops. Other activities included side-dressing, hauling manure, and spraying, though high wind hampered spraying in some areas.

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Keeping hay in the rotation

The challenges of making good hay are many.

It requires season-long hour-by-hour weather watching, extensive time management skills, the equivalent of a PhD in engineering required to make even routine in-field repairs, and the patience under pressure of the most skilled surgeons when making said repairs with a rain cloud looming. Those making hay also need to know a good bit about chemistry, biology, agronomy, physics, and have the people skills of a top waiter at a white tablecloth restaurant to deal with an often fickle customer base trying to feed livestock worth more than most homes.

At any rate, it ain’t easy making hay, but somebody has to do it. One of those somebodys is Mike Lutmer from Warren County. Mike and his brother Chris have been working with hay since they were young.

“Currently, we have around 200 acres of hay. We also do some custom work. A majority of our hay customers have been with us for over 15 years.

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It seems everyone has a “package” that gives an extra bump in yield. Many of these packages contain micronutrients. In Ohio, because we generally have clay in our soil and reasonable levels of organic matter, we don’t regularly see a yield impact from applying micronutrients. So should we be concerned about micronutrients?

Our soil tests are most reliable for pH, phosphorus and potassium. We usually use a combination of soil and tissue tests to determine micronutrient deficiencies. Soil pH can also help us know where to look for deficiencies. Table 1 outlines some situations in which to watch for these deficiencies.


Table 1 Crop and soil conditions under which micronutrient deficiencies may occur. This taken from Table 23 of the Tri-State Fertilizer Recommendations.


Boron (B)Sandy soils or highly weathered soils low in organic matterAlfalfa and clover
Copper (Cu)Acid peats or mucks with pH < 5.3 and black sandsWheat, oats, corn
Manganese (Mn)Peats and mucks with pH > 5.8, black sands and lakebed/depressional soils with pH > 6.2Soybeans, wheat, oats, sugar beets, corn
Zinc (Zn)Peats, mucks and mineral soils with pH > 6.5Corn and soybeans
Molybdenum(Mo)Acid prairie soilsSoybeans


Typically we will see deficiencies occurring in small isolated areas of a field first.

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Late soybean planting (and replanting)

Wet weather has kept many farmers (and us) out of the field.  According to the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service, as of May 15, 10% of the soybean acres were planted.  At the same time last year, 46% of soybean planting was complete.  On average, in Ohio, the majority of soybean acres are planted mid to late May (Table 1).  Although, it is not uncommon for soybean planting to creep into June.  In general, we don’t recommend altering soybean management until planting in June.  Below are some guidelines to consider if planting soybeans in June.

soybean yield by date

Row spacing.  Regardless of planting date, we recommend planting soybean in narrow rows (7.5 to 15 inches).  The goal is to have row widths narrow enough for soybean canopy closure by the time flowering occurs in late June/early July.  This becomes even more important as soybean planting is delayed.  The later in the growing season soybeans are planted, the greater the yield increase due to narrow rows. 

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Weeds have been slow to grow, but they are at it 24 hours a day

With the frequent rains, we missed proper burndown timing. Now we must totally rely upon pre-emergent herbicide application and now are working on missing the proper timing for post applications. Consider adding a second component to that glyphosate application when you post- spray your corn or soybeans. The idea is to have a second method of attack on those weeds that may be resistant, have grown a little larger than planned or in areas where you have had problems with in the past.

The Ohio & Indiana Weed Control Guide is a great resource for getting management tips on how best to apply glyphosate — see page 13 in the guide. Also see the corn tables starting on page 55 and the soybean tables starting on page 119 to choose a potential partner for post applications. The Guide is sold out for this year but is available free on-line from Mark at https://u.osu.edu/osuweeds/files/2015/11/2016_Weed_Control_Guide-17h5o2i.pdf.

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Planter Field Day May 31

Weather conditions have delayed some farmers from getting into their fields to plant this spring, so more growers are looking to new technologies to help them speed up the planting process.

With each day growers aren’t able to get into their fields to plant due to cold or wet soil conditions, more questions are arising as to how the planting delays will impact yields, said Mary Griffith, an Ohio State University Extension educator.

“While growers always are focused on getting their crops in on time, this year many farmers are especially concerned about how a narrow planting season such as this will impact yields,” Griffith said. “Some growers who planted early were negatively impacted by late frost and have had to replant some fields — in some cases some of those farmers hadn’t even gotten all their fields planted the first round before they had to replant.

“As a result, many growers are looking at planters, new technologies and yield impact.

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Wheat scab update for late May

Wheat is now flowering in parts of central Ohio and will continue to flower in more northern counties later this week and into next week. According to the FHB forecasting system (http://www.wheatscab.psu.edu/), the risk for scab was low in central and northern Ohio for fields flowering earlier this week.

Although it rained fairly consistently in mid May, conditions were relatively cool last week, which likely reduced the risk of the scab fungus infecting the wheat spikes. Scab develops best under moderate to warm temperatures and humid conditions. Continue to keep your eyes on the weather and the forecasting system over the next week or so as there is rain in the forecast and warmer temperatures.

Fields flowering at the end of this week or early next week (May 25-30) may still be at risk for scab. Prosaro and Caramba are the two fungicides recommended for head scab control. Stay away from the strobilurins when the risk for scab is high as they have been linked to higher grain contamination with vomitoxin.

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Is it time to switch hybrids yet?

Cooler temperatures and wet fields across the region have delayed planting and have many growers wondering if they should swap out their full-season seeds with hybrids that will produce corn sooner.

Not necessarily, says an agronomist in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University.

In most cases, full-season corn hybrids will mature or develop a “black layer” before a killing frost even when planted as late as May 25, said Peter Thomison, an Ohio State University Extension agronomist.

And depending on where they are grown, some full-season hybrids can be planted even later and still typically reach maturity before a killing frost, Thomison said.

Adjusted growth rates

“In studies that look at how hybrids respond to later planting dates, results have shown that hybrids of varying maturity can adjust their growth and development rates in response to a shortened growing season,” he said. “Some growers are getting worried that the shorter growing season due to delayed planting means fewer Growing Degree Days to mature their crop and a greater risk of frost damage.

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Documenting the relationship between corn emergence and yield

One very important aspect of corn plant development and yield is emergence. While evenly spaced “picket fence” stands are often discussed, agronomists and university experts stress the more important aspect of emergence-uniform emergence. According to Paul Jasa, University of Nebraska Extension ag engineer, “When a plant develops ahead of its neighbor, it hurts yield dramatically. It’s going to vary somewhat from year to year, but a plant lagging behind those around it becomes a weed.”

In order to achieve high yields, uniform emergence is essential.

As part of Seed Consultants testing in 2016, our agronomic team has planted a test plot in Fayette County that will be observed twice daily (morning and evening) during the emergence process. This study will observe 1/1000 acre sections of rows for 5 different hybrids. Approximately every 12 hours an agronomist will walk through the plot and place garden stakes next to plants as they emerge (as pictured above).

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ODA honors top Ohio wines

Ohio Agriculture Director David T. Daniels honored the Director’s Choice recipients at an event held at the Statehouse for retailers, distributors, restaurateurs and winery owners.

More than 20 wines were evaluated by a panel of judges, on behalf of Director Daniels, for the highly coveted award. The 2016 award recipients are:

White Wine: 2014 Firelands Gewurztraminer, Firelands Winery, Sandusky

Red Wine: 2012 Valley Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve,
Valley Vineyards, Morrow

Specialty Wine:  Gervasi Sognata Ice Wine, Gervasi Vineyard, Canton

All of the Director’s Choice award recipients are eligible for the Ohio Quality Wine designation. It was created in 2007 by the Ohio Grape Industries Committee and is assigned to wines made from at least 90% Ohio-grown grapes. These wines must also achieve at least 15 of 20 points on a sensory evaluation and pass a chemical analysis before receiving the quality seal.

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Ohio’s Crop Progress Report – May 23rd, 2016

While some growers in the northern part of the State were able to begin planting due to warmer weather, most growers throughout the rest of the State continued to delay planting as their fields were too wet for planting activities, according to Cheryl Turner, Ohio State Statistician of the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. There were 2.8 day suitable for fieldwork for the week ending May 22nd. While corn and soybean planting progress moved somewhat, both are behind the five year averages. There were frosts early in the week, which raised concern about damage to wheat, fruit, and vegetables, as well as the emerged early planted corn and soybeans. Emerged corn is looking yellow and stressed, and some will need to be replanted if the weather cooperates. Hay fields were being chopped across the state, though much of it for haylage, as conditions made it too difficult for dry hay baling.

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Slow crop progress gives pests more time

Rainy, cooler weather experienced recently throughout the region means slugs may be on the rise in some field crops, says an entomologist with the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University.

The rains combined with colder temperatures are ideal slug weather, said Kelley Tilmon, a field crop entomologist with Ohio State University Extension and the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center.

Because slugs love these cooler, wetter conditions, Tilmon said growers need to be on the lookout in their corn and soybean fields for slug feeding damage, which can sometimes be heavy.

“During crop emergence, farmers should scout their fields for slugs, especially in fields with a history of slug damage,” Tilmon said. “As plants emerge, these young slugs will be hungry and feed on corn and soybean, with no-till fields with high residue at a higher risk.

“Wheat fields at this point are less likely to experience economic feeding damage from slugs – the wheat is much further along and the larger plants are less susceptible than little seedlings.”

The adverse conditions that are making fields appealing to slugs will, however, have varying impacts other cops from other insect pests, she said.

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Late planted corn can still yield well

Growers worried about delayed planting, take heart — late-planted corn sometimes has reaped better yields than early planted corn, said an agronomist in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University.

It’s true that the optimal time to get corn planted in southern Ohio is between April 10 and May 10 and in northern Ohio between April 15 and May 10, based on historical crop data, said Peter Thomison, an Ohio State University Extension agronomist.

But this season’s cooler temperatures and wet field conditions have delayed many growers across the region from getting their corn crops completely planted, Thomison said.

Across Ohio, as of the week ended May 15, only 34% of corn was planted, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. That compares to 71% that had been planted by the same time last year and 54% that had been planted on average during the same time period over the past five years, the agency said.

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Rust, freeze injury, head scab: Should I still put on a fungicide?

Is it still worth putting on a fungicide? If so, what would be the best time to put it on? Via phone, email, or in person, these have been the most frequently asked questions over the last 5 days. The short and simple answer is “it depends”. Some fields have been hit by stripe rust while others have been hit by freezing temperatures, all within the last 7 day. Understandably, most people were planning to hold off on making a fungicide application until flowering (anthesis: Feekes 10.5.1) to get the best control of head scab and vomitoxin. Several of the fields affected by stripe rust are still between Feekes 10 (boot) and 10.5 (heading), at least a week before flowering. Since it is never really profitable to make multiple fungicide applications to wheat, the question now becomes, should I apply a fungicide now (at Feekes 10.5) to control stripe rust or should I just wait until Feekes 10.5.1 to target head scab.

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How’s your corn doing?

For many of my neighbors and almost everyone in northern Ohio, it’s still in the bag. As I write this, it is obvious that more than one half of the corn crop this year will be planted after May 20. And at least some of the soybean crop will be planted in June. So our yields are likely to be depressed. We do know that with good growing conditions and timely late season rains, we can still produce a decent crop.

These two items from the Ohio Agronomy Guide show the impact that delayed planting has on corn and soybean. As you read this, I hope you are finished planting and moving on to those important in-crop decisions.

Agronomy Guide Figure 5-4








Table 4-9: Planting Date Affects Yield, Percent Grain Moisture, and Test Weight of Corn Grain (Columbus, Ohio).


Planting Date (mo/day) Percent of Maximum Yield Percent Grain Moisture TestWeight (lbs/bu)
4/23 – 4/2910020.855
4/30 – 5/79923.755
5/8 – 5/149224.955
5/22 – 5/278728.254
5/28 – 6/47935.051
6/23 – 6/255240.049


Some other concerns about our crop may be whether or not we might be caught by a frost before maturity without a change in maturity selection.

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Time to assess crops for frost damage

A late season frost chilled Ohio’s newly emerged crops earlier this week and farmers should now be checking to determine the extent of the damage.

Ben Klick, from Massillon, saw first-hand the colder-than-usual conditions that had many producers concerned. Sunday was less than ideal for emerged crops in Klick’s northeastern Ohio fields.

“I was hauling manure and it snowed like a banshee for about 15 or 20 minutes. Enough to smack the windshield for a little bit. There was no accumulation on the ground, but just enough to hit the windshield,” Klick said.

His farm has a respectable amount of seed in the ground already.

“We got about 350 acres in. About 130 acres of that’s out of the ground,” he said. “The first stretch of good weather we had, we started planting some April 25. The corn and beans, they stayed in the ground for a lot longer than I was hoping.

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Deal or no deal: Finding the right nitrogen rate

One of the largest investments in a corn crop is the nitrogen (N) application, and many farmers will be sidedressing their corn soon. Especially with this year’s profit outlook, it is important to carefully consider how much N to apply. Deciding on the correct N rate can be a lot like playing the game “Deal or no deal.”

“Deal or no deal” was a TV game show that aired a few years ago. The game consisted of a series of 26 cases, each containing a different amount of money ranging from $0.01 to $1,000,000. A contestant would select a case at random, and then play the game to reveal how much money was in their case, or try to sell their case for more than it was worth.

Each corn field will require a certain amount of N to reach its maximum yield potential. However, that ideal rate is a lot like the dollar value in the contestant’s case — it isn’t known until the end of the game (harvest).

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American Ethanol launches NASCAR sweepstakes

This season, NASCAR will surpass 10 million successful miles racing on fuel blended with American Ethanol E15. Also this year, E15 fuel availability at fuel stations is expanding around the country. To celebrate these two milestones, American Ethanol is launching two sweepstakes giving lucky winners ultimate NASCAR experiences.

“NCGA’s relationship with American Ethanol and NASCAR has given corn farmers an incredible platform in which to communicate the economic and environmental benefits of higher ethanol-blended fuels,” said Jon Holzfaster, NASCAR Advisory Committee Chair. “With E15’s expanding availability at the pump, we have an even greater opportunity to assist consumers in living a greener lifestyle and dispel myths related to ethanol’s safety and performance.”

The “We’ve got the power” sweepstakes is open to NASCAR fans who enlist in No. 3 American Ethanol Chevrolet driver Austin Dillon’s Green Army. Fans who share their American Ethanol-related experiences on Facebook with Austin Dillon will qualify for a chance to win an ultimate NASCAR fan experience at a Sprint Cup race in October of this year.

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Ohio’s Crop Progress Report – May 16th, 2016

Spring planting continued to be slowed heavily by cold, wet conditions. There was 1.0 day suitable for fieldwork for the week ending May 15th. Corn and soybean planting progress is behind both last year and the five-year average, as farmers have been unable to get into fields that are soggy and, in some cases, in standing water. Conditions have slowed emergence, and much of what has emerged is stressed. Some areas saw cool enough temperatures to have frost on Sunday morning. Oat progress is even with last year and the five-year, largely due to significant plantings made early in the season when conditions were drier. Similarly, wheat progress is ahead of the previous year and five-year average due to the warm temperatures in early spring contributing to quick maturation. Most field work this week was limited to spraying and fertilizer application.

View the full report to check out the past week’s planting progress

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