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Kernel red streak in corn

One common occurrence observed by growers and agronomists as corn begins to mature is a red coloring of the normally yellow pericarp of corn kernels. Kernel Red Streak (KRS), pictured top left, results from the development of red pigment in corn kernels caused by wheat curl mite feeding on the kernel seed coat. According to Purdue’s John Obermeyer and Christian Krupke in the 2015 issue 25 of the Pest and Crop Newsletter; “There are two suspected mechanisms causing the red streaking. One is the triggering of anthocyanin, a red pigment, in the pericarp as a response to mite feeding. Hybrids vary greatly in how much and where anthocyanin accumulates (e.g., purple seedling corn under cool, wet conditions). The other is the elicitation of another red pigment, phlobaphene, that determines cob (white vs. red), pericarp (great variability as shown with Indian corn), and silk (yellow vs. pink) coloration”

Just like purpling of a corn plant itself during the growing season varies by genetics, so does KRS.… Continue reading

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OABA’s Nutrient Stewardship Certification Program celebrating and implementing the 4R philosophy

Everyone wants clean water.

Yet, in the complex realities of food production, land management and nutrient stewardship, balancing society’s other needs with the supply of clean water is not always a simple task. While everyone wants clean water, not everyone is willing to invest their time, money and other resources into doing what is necessary to make that a reality.

Using the right fertilizer source at the right rate, the right time and in the right place is a simple concept, but the actual implementation of the 4Rs is a challenging task that requires a broad, unified approach including farmers and the agribusinesses that work with them. Ohio took legislative steps to address the water quality challenges in the western basin of Lake Erie, but Ohio’s agribusinesses wanted to take their water quality efforts a step further.

“We started having conversations with The Nature Conservancy about what else could be done outside of government mandates.… Continue reading

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2016 wheat was great in Ohio

There were some good reasons to grow wheat again this year. Many farmers I spoke with said 2016 was there best crop ever. Cool conditions and adequate moisture early May and a dry late May and June helped. What else goes into making the farm more profit?

  • Crop rotation — wheat adds a third crop to our rotation. Generally we get a 10% yield bump to the next crop in the rotation. And with a three-crop rotation we reduce disease and insect pressure for all crops.
  • Wheat can be a good cover crop. We can plant it after soybean harvest, unlike other cover crops. It can even be planted after corn, but be aware that Fusarium head blight will likely be worse if you are planning on grain harvest. Wheat, like oats and cereal rye will help hold onto nitrates. If we want we can graze wheat, or if we get a good stand and have good prospects we can keep it to harvest as grain — this may be our perfect cover crop.
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Purdue dedicates first field phenotyping facility in North America

Dedication ceremonies were held Aug. 29 for the Indiana Corn and Soybean Innovation Center, a 25,500-square-foot facility at the Purdue Agronomy Center for Research and Education.

The center will support state-of-the-art research in automated field phenotyping, the process of measuring and analyzing observable plant characteristics.

The Indiana Corn and Soybean Innovation Center is a core component of the plant sciences research and education initiative, part of Purdue Moves, announced in 2013 to broaden Purdue’s global impact and enhance educational opportunities for students. It is the first field phenotyping facility in North America.

“It will require truly revolutionary new technologies to feed a world of 9 billion people and to do so in a way friendly to the environment,” said Mitch Daniels, Purdue president. “The Indiana Corn and Soybean Innovation Center will play a big part in meeting this most urgent of global challenges.”

Jay Akridge, the Glenn W Sample Dean of Agriculture, said the facility will broaden research.… Continue reading

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Tough life lessons from the 80s for a new generation of agricultural hardships

At 65, Les Imboden recently retired from farming after selling his operation that ran through a fair portion of southern Ohio. He is among the most financially successful farmers from Ohio in his generation and many of his successes (and failures) are rooted in the hard lessons he learned battling through the 1980s.

“When I started farming, it was a way of life and when I said it was a business many people were offended by that statement in the 1980s,” Imboden said. “Farming is a wonderful way of life but you also have to pay the bills by treating it like a business. That seems like such an obvious statement now, but back in 1980 that is not how some people were looking at it.”

Imboden’s hard advice for facing the present tough times in agriculture may still offend some in 2016 as a new generation of farmers face prices dipping below production costs, but sometimes those hardest-to-hear lessons can be the most valuable in challenging times.… Continue reading

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Things to know before buying LibertyLink soybeans for next year

Continued problems with marestail and ragweeds this year have a number of growers considering the switch to LibertyLink soybeans for 2017. The LibertyLink system can certainly be a good choice for management of glyphosate-resistant populations of these weeds, along with waterhemp and Palmer amaranth. It’s essential to use the appropriate approach to LibertyLink soybeans to get the most out of it and avoid potential problems. Some things to consider as you make seed-buying decisions and think about your herbicide costs for next year:

• The active ingredient in Liberty — glufosinate — is available in a number of products now. The glufosinate products that are listed in this year’s weed control guide, Liberty, Cheetah, and Interline, have similar loading, rates, and labels. There is also a premix of glufosinate and fomesafen, Cheetah Max, that could be helpful for bigger ragweeds or waterhemp.

• POST glufosinate applications in LibertyLink soybeans should be part of an overall comprehensive herbicide program that includes a preplant herbicide treatment containing effective burndown herbicides and broad-spectrum residual herbicides.… Continue reading

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Drought stressed silage

Rain has been spotty across much of Ohio this summer and there are areas where corn was under moisture stress during the critical pollination period.  As a result, this drought stressed corn has poor grain development and small cobs.  Much of this corn may end up chopped for corn silage.  Typically the most frequent questions about using drought stressed corn for corn silage revolve around nitrate toxicity, expected yield and quality.

In the August 16 issue of the CORN newsletter (http://agcrops.osu.edu/newsletter/corn-newsletter/potential-nitrate-problems-drought-stressed-corn) Peter Thomison and Laura Lindsey addressed the question of potential nitrate problems in drought stressed corn.  When drought occurs during or immediately after pollination it raises the flag of potential nitrate accumulation.  In drought conditions nitrates accumulate in the stalk of the plant, with the lower portion of the stalk having the highest concentration of nitrates.  High and potentially toxic levels of nitrates are more likely to accumulate if high rates of nitrogen fertilizer or high rates of manure were applied to the crop. … Continue reading

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Cover Crop Field Day

Cover crops can help protect soil erosion, keep nutrients in place and build valuable organic matter. Many farmers have questions on species selection and management strategies. On September 8, spend the day with cover experts and farmers using cover crops at a Cover Crop Field Day in Urbana.

Sarah Noggle, OSU Extension Paulding County, will talk about cover crop selection and how the Midwest Cover Crop Council’s selection tool can be used to assist in deciding which covers are best for individual farms. George Derringer is a soil scientist with NRCS and will cover soil health topics and how cover crops play a role in promoting soil health. Learn from experienced farmers during a panel session where they will discuss their cover crops uses and answer questions from attendees.

The afternoon will be spent exploring a local farm where different varieties of cover crops are growing. We will explore the soil structure and see a planting demonstration.… Continue reading

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Ohio’s Crop Progress — August 29th, 2016

The state received varied amounts of rain along with strong winds and tornadoes that caused limited damage, according to Cheryl Turner, Ohio State Statistician with the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. The week started off dry, helping hay harvest and other field work. Scattered rains moved in by mid-week and lingered through the weekend. Western and northeastern portions of the state benefitted most. There were 5 days available for fieldwork for the week ending August 28th . Disease and insect pressure remained high for corn in many areas. Growers reported tip back on ears, the likely result of either unfavorable pollination conditions or early season nitrogen loss. Soybean progress continued to track along the five year average. Hayfields and pastures received a boost where rains were abundant.

Read the full report hereContinue reading

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Challenges to watch for as harvest approaches

As producers across the state of gear up for 2016’s harvest, there are a few things to keep in mind. This growing season has created various challenges that Ohio’s farmers will need to cognizant of as they wrap up the growing season. Several issues will affect yield as well as management practices throughout and following harvest.

Drought conditions that persisted throughout Ohio in June and July have impacted crops. By the end of June, much of the state was at 50% to 75% of normal rainfall. Some areas experienced several weeks of hot dry weather. Every day plants experienced stress from the dry conditions this summer, yield was diminished.

“By rule-of-thumb, the yield is diminished by 1% for every 12 hours of leaf rolling — except during the week of silking when the yield is cut 1% per four hours of leaf rolling,” said Peter Thomison, Ohio State University Extension corn specialist in a recent 2016 C.O.R.N.… Continue reading

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Becknology Days brings products, research to farmers

The annual Becknology Field Days ran through Saturday, August 27th at the company’s headquarters in Atlanta, Indiana. Thousands of farmers and members of the agricultural industry turn out to the event each year to learn about the latest innovations, hear from company leadership, and enjoy fellowship among fellow producers.

Ohio Ag Net’s Joel Penhorwood visited with many involved in the leadership of Beck’s Hybrids.

Listen to Beck’s President Scott Beck comment on Becknology and the state of the seed industry.


Sonny Beck, CEO of Beck’s


Agronomist Brent Minett on the Ohio crop vs that of the surrounding region.

160825_BrentMinett_Becknology_IntvContinue reading

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Ear development impacted by drought

Drought and heat adversely affected ear and kernel formation in many Ohio corn fields this year. Poor ear and kernel development is associated with variability in plant growth within fields that is related to differences in soil moisture.   In some areas within fields subject to protracted dry conditions, ears are absent (“barren”) or severely reduced in size with a few scattered kernels (nubbin ears). Where the impact of drought was less pronounced and plant height and color look

normal or near normal, ear cob size may be normal but kernel number is markedly reduced. No kernels may be evident on the last two or more inches of the ear tip. Several factors may cause this problem. The ovules at the tip of the ear are the last to be pollinated, and under the stress conditions only a limited amount of pollen was available to germinate late emerging silks. Pollen shed was complete or nearly complete before the silks associated with the tip ovules emerge.… Continue reading

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OSU research shows P levels declining in Ohio soils

Agricultural soil phosphorus levels held steady or trended downward in at least 80% of Ohio counties from 1993 through 2015, according to recent findings from the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University.

The findings, part of the college’s Field to Faucet initiative, represent good news for Ohioans concerned about protecting surface water quality while maintaining agricultural production, according to college researchers Elizabeth Dayton, Steve Culman and Anthony Fulford.

“Soil phosphorus levels are strongly related to runoff water phosphorus levels. Less phosphorus in the soil should result in reduced phosphorus runoff risk,” Dayton said. “These findings show that Ohio farmers are doing a good job of managing soil phosphorus levels.

“While there is still room for improvement where soil phosphorus levels are higher than crop needs, the fact that so many counties show soil phosphorus levels trending down indicates Ohio farmers are moving in the right direction.”

Phosphorus soil testing is an important tool farmers use to determine if phosphorus fertilizer is needed for crop growth, and if so, how much.… Continue reading

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Ohio Corn & Wheat hosts annual Farm Science Review Tallest Stalk Contest

Ohio Corn & Wheat is hosting its annual Tallest Stalk Contest at the Farm Science Review, September 20-22, 2016. All Ohio farmers are encouraged to participate.

Stalks may be checked-in between 9 A.M. and 3 P.M. on Tuesday, September 20, or 9 A.M. and 1 P.M. on Wednesday, Sept. 21.

“The Ohio Corn & Wheat Tallest Stalk Contest does more than just provide farmers an opportunity for friendly competition,” said Tadd Nicholson, executive director of Ohio Corn & Wheat. “It gives them an opportunity to showcase their hard work from this growing season.”

Judging will occur on Sept. 21 at 1 p.m. Winners will be announced via Facebook, Twitter and Ohio Corn & Wheat’s website. Cash prizes are awarded to the top five stalks, with first place receiving $300.

Visit ohiocornandwheat.org for contest rules.… Continue reading

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Ohio’s Crop Progress — August 22nd, 2016

Timely Rains Improve Conditions

Rains reached across the state, boosting soil moisture levels and helping conditions for some crops according to Cheryl Turner, Ohio State Statistician of the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. There were 3.4 days available for fieldwork for the week ending August 21st . According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, 26 percent of the state was rated as in “moderate drought”, down significantly from last week. None of the state is under “severe drought.” Rain did not do much for corn condition which remains nearly the same, mainly due to the advanced state of the crop. Soybeans benefited a lot from the moisture and setting pods is now nearly complete. This has been the most rainfall seen in weeks for many areas but has come too late for some crops.

Read the full report hereContinue reading

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Don’t forget the chilling lessons that can be learned from May 16

The hot days and muggy nights of late have certainly all but erased now distant memories of the late frost that punctuated the cool, wet spring planting season. Even though harvest season is drawing near, it may not hurt to review the crops that were hurt by the late frost in the not-so-distant past to see if any lessons can be learned for the future.

May 16, 2016 is not a date Levi Runkle will soon forget. He is an agronomist for Tri Ag Products in London and he spent the day looking at frost damage in customer’s fields. He is still haunted by what he saw in his corn field that night when he got home.

“That particular field was one of the best fields I have ever had in terms of emergence, stand count and population. Even the morning of the 16th it looked great when it had a little frost on it,” Runkle said.… Continue reading

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Managing wheat for profitability

There is growing evidence reaffirming the important role the inclusion of wheat in the crop rotation can have on total farm productivity and water quality. This combined with strong grain and straw yields in 2016 may have more farmers thinking about wheat this fall. But, to maximize the benefits of wheat, it must be properly managed.

“Wheat is not a four-letter word, but you have to manage it. We spend a lot of time doing our own wheat research on varieties, seed treatments, fungicides, growth regulators and other factors,” said Jim Howe with Star of the West Milling Company based in Michigan. “Our most exciting plot went 145.7 bushels per acre for white wheat. In Ohio, you should be able to blow the doors off these yields. Mathematically, wheat can produce 400 bushels per acre. It is what we do or don’t do that can make a difference.”

The folks at Star of the West understand the frustrations that can accompany growing wheat and the financial struggles for farms to justify the crop.… Continue reading

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2016 Ohio Crop Tour Summary

AgroLiquid_PositiveThe 2016 growing season started wet and cool then turned hot and dry in many areas — a classic worst-case scenario for corn and soybeans. There were certainly some examples that showed up in fields on the 2016 I-75/I-71 Ohio Crop Tour displaying evidence of those challenging conditions. But, at the same time, we saw many more examples of how solid farm management practices made the most of some challenging weather situations and others capitalized on timely rains. The Tour was sponsored by AgroLiquid.

In the West, the I-75 group had an average corn yield over both days of the Ohio Crop Tour of 148 bushels. Rather than break it down by days, the group felt it would be more appropriate to break the yields up geographically with corn yields north of I-70 in some of the tougher growing conditions averaging 134 bushels per acre and yields south of I-70 (where there was generally more rain in July) averaging 180 bushels.… Continue reading

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The benefits of collecting good yield data

The sound of locusts in the evening and back-to-school advertisements on TV are a sure sign that August has arrived and summer is quickly coming to an end. Before you know it, corn and soybeans will be changing color and it will be time for harvest. During harvest, most farmers don’t think twice about making sure that their combine settings are fine-tuned. For example, if the sieves aren’t set correctly, there will either be grain left in the field or discounts at the elevator for grain that’s not clean. There is a clear gain in profitability by taking the time to set your combine correctly. The benefit of yield monitors and the maps they produce however can be more obscure, but are also important. Here are three ways that well-calibrated yield data can help make you more profitable.

1. Recordkeeping: Once harvest and fall fieldwork tasks are completed, the season of paperwork and planning will be in full swing.… Continue reading

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Ohio’s Crop Progress — August 15th, 2016

Some areas received varied amount of rainfall that benefitted the crops, while other areas continued to suffer from the dry conditions, according to Cheryl Turner, Ohio State Statistician of the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. There were 5.5 days available for fieldwork for the week ending August 14th . According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, 46 percent of the state was rated as in “moderate drought.” That area covered most of northern Ohio. Another 15 percent was rated in “severe drought”. That area spread from west central Ohio to northeast Ohio. Much of northern Ohio received some rainfall since the Drought Monitor was published, but the level of relief is not yet known. Corn condition continued to decline, as most of the rain fell during the latter half of the week. Many areas expect to start cutting silage soon. Oat harvest neared completion. Spraying was underway in some counties for spider mites in soybeans.… Continue reading

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