1. Title: Editor's Note
  2. Title: June Weather
  3. Title: Senate Bill 1
October 24 - October 30, 2017
Editor(s): Mary Griffith
  1. 2018 eFields Research Report Available January 9th

    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 will be released on January 9th. 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. The e-version can be viewed and downloaded at go.osu.edu/eFields.

    The eFields team has planned four regional results meetings to discuss local results and gather information about research interests for 2019. There is no cost to attend; for more information or to register for a meeting, visit go.osu.edu/eFieldsMeeting. Please plan to join us for the meeting nearest you:

                Southwest Region: February 13th, 9AM-12PM, Wilmington

                Northwest Region: February 20th, 9AM-12PM, Wauseon

                East Region: February 27th, 5-8:30PM, Massillon

                West Central Region: February 28th, 9AM-12PM, Piqua

    We would like to sincerely thank all of our 2018 collaborating farms and industry partners. The eFields team enjoys working with each of you and we are looking forward to continuing to learn together in 2019.

    Follow our social media @OhioStatePA on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram or subscribe to our quarterly newsletter, Digital Ag Download (go.osu.edu/DigitalAgDownload), to keep up with the eFields program throughout the year. For more information on how to get involved in eFields in 2019, contact Elizabeth Hawkins at hawkins.301@osu.edu.

  2. Corn Newsletter Reader Survey – Reminder

    Author(s): Amanda Douridas

    We’d like to thank all of you who have completed the survey so far. The response has been great. We would still like to hear from those of you who have not completed yet. Our goal is to provide farmers and consultants with accurate, researched based information that helps improve farm efficiency, profitability and sustainability. Completion is voluntary. All survey responses are anonymous and cannot be linked to respondents. Only summary data will be reported. You can complete the survey by going to: https://osu.az1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_577r8yARYgUZk9f.

    Thank you again for your time and feedback as we strive to meet the needs of our readers.

  3. Winter has seen wild swings in the weather

    Author(s): Jim Noel

    The winter has seen wild swings in the weather and climate from cold to warm to cold.

    The outlook for February calls for this wild swing pattern to continue with periods of cold and mild along with periods of wet, snow and dry. The end result should be temperatures slightly colder than normal for February and precipitation at or above normal. Over the next two weeks precipitation liquid equivalent should average 1.5-2.5 inches over Ohio. Normal is about 1 inch in this period. See attached graphic for details.

    La Nina continues in the eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean with cooler than normal waters. This tends to lead to more challenging years in the Ohio Valley for agriculture.

    See: https://www.climate.gov/enso

    The outlook for March through May planting season continues to calls for a gradual switch from cooler than normal to start to warmer than normal by later May. It also overall suggests wetter than normal with a possible switch to drier than normal by May or June.

    The outlook for summer growing season calls for warmer and drier than normal from the latest climate models.

  4. Steps to keep Palmer amaranth out of your operation

    Author(s): Mark Loux

    As of the end of 2016, Palmer amaranth had been found in 18 Ohio counties, and the majority of it is resistant to both glyphosate and ALS-inhibiting herbicides (site 2) based on OSU greenhouse screening.  Not all of these “finds” represent problem infestations, and in some cases the potential for a few plants to become an established patch was remedied by timely removal and subsequent monitoring.  There are however a number of fields where Palmer became well established and effective control has since required extremely comprehensive herbicide programs combined with removal be hand.  This past growing season, three soybean fields were so densely infested with Palmer that they had to be mowed down in early August.  At that point, the only recommendation we could make was mowing, to prevent the production of massive amounts of additional seed, in order to at least limit somewhat how bad future infestations were going to be (photos of this on our blog – u.osu.edu/osuweeds).  These infestations obviously started prior to this year, and were ignored, allowing them to continue to increase to the point of disaster.  This scenario is of course what occurred in many fields in the southern US as Palmer spread and took over fields.  In this article we cover the relative importance of the various paths of Palmer amaranth introduction in to Ohio fields so far, and the steps growers can take to prevent infestations from becoming established.

    1.  Use cotton feed products from the south by animal operations, and subsequent spread of manure from these operations onto crop fields, has been responsible for most of the infestations in Ohio so far.  Palmer is widespread in cotton fields in the south so the cotton harvest byproducts that are shipped to Ohio for use as feed have a high potential to contain Palmer seed.

    Action items:  a) avoid use of these feed products, b) educate animal operations in your area about this issue; c) if still using these feed products, find out whether the supplier has taken any steps to remove Palmer seed prior to shipping them here; d) if possible, store manure in pits for a period of time prior to spreading, which may reduce the seed viability at least somewhat. 

    2.  Field to field spread by local equipment has occurred in a few areas of the state, primarily via combines that are used in Palmer-infested fields without subsequent complete cleanout (and it’s impossible to get all Palmer seed out of a combine anyway). 

    Action items:  a) if hiring custom harvesters, find out whether the combine has previously been in fields infested with Palmer; b) ask the custom harvest operator what his philosophy is with regard to harvesting very weedy fields or those infested with Palmer - does he avoid these fields, are cleanout procedures used? 

    3.  Purchase of used equipment that came from the south is known to be the source of several infestations in one area of the state.  In this case a used combine was purchased from a local equipment dealer, but apparently originated in Georgia.

    Action items:  a) when purchasing used equipment, especially combines, know the full history; and b) avoid purchase of combines from Palmer-infested areas.

    4.  Contamination of seed used for establishment of cover crops, CREP and similar areas, pollinator areas, wildlife areas, etc.  We should say at the outset here that as far as we know this has been the source of only two infestations of Palmer amaranth in Ohio – one in Scioto County that may have started in about 2007, and one in Madison County several years ago that was torn up to prevent future problems and so did not turn into an established infestation.  However, a pollinator seeding program in Iowa this year resulted in many new introductions of Palmer amaranth due to the contamination of pollinator seed with Palmer seed.  (A recent Ohio Farmer article on this subject made it look like Armageddon was about to occur here in Ohio based on the problems that occurred farther west, which is an overstatement.  It stated that two counties were “infected” with Palmer due to contamination of CREP, when the reality is that there are three infested fields in Scioto County.  The introduction in Madison County was largely eradicated). 

    Much of this type of seed is produced farther west (Kansas, Texas, etc), or

    in the south in the case of warm-season grasses, in areas that can be abundantly infested with Palmer amaranth.  Palmer amaranth is not a noxious weed in the western states at least.  The Catch 22 is that while seed sold for use here is not supposed to contain seed of Palmer amaranth or other weeds designated as noxious in Ohio, the fact that Palmer is not a noxious weed where the seed is produced means that the seed tag does not have to show whether Palmer seed is a contaminant.  If you are thinking well that doesn’t make any sense, you’re not alone.  Programs of state and federal agencies have been relying on seed tags for the most part, although they are encouraging growers to have seed tested (see below).  One county FSA office apparently does mandate testing of all seed.  Pheasants Forever appears to have a more proactive approach in place.  They contract with only one seed vendor each year.  Prior to being shipped from the Kansas vendor, seed is screened for the presence of first any pigweed, and then also Palmer amaranth if necessary. 

    Action items:  a) Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) will screen any seed of this type for the presence of all Ohio noxious weeds.  We recommend having this done prior to planting.  Contact the ODA Grain, Feed, and Seed Program at (614) 728-6410 – they have to pick the seed up, it cannot be mailed or dropped off.

    Other possible mechanisms of introduction include movement of seed on animals or migratory birds or with flood water, all of which are out of one’s control.  Keep in mind that the residual herbicides we are using to control marestail and ragweeds also have activity on Palmer amaranth.  The early-season control of Palmer that they provide allows for a fighting chance to scout and remove Palmer plants later in the season, before they have been able to produce viable seed.  There was no use of residual herbicide in the fields that were mowed down this year (nothing except glyphosate actually). 

    We need to have a zero tolerance attitude toward Palmer amaranth in Ohio.  An important component of this, in addition to the steps outlined above, is scouting of soybean fields in mid to late season for the presence of Palmer plants that have escaped all prior herbicide treatments.  This can be accomplished a number of ways – driving by or around fields and scanning with binoculars, use of a drone, etc.  Any Palmer plants found should be first checked for presence of mature seed – small black seed upon shaking or crushing of seedheads.  If there are none, cut the plants off just below the soil line, remove from field and burn or compost.  They can reroot and gegrow enough to still produce seed if left in the field.  Where plants have mature seed, our suggestion would be to first cut off and bag seedheads on site, prior to removal of plants.  Or possibly drive into the field, and put them gently into the bed of a vehicle.  Avoid dragging plants with mature seed through the field.  We assume that Palmer plants would not be evident in corn fields until seen from a combine cab during harvest.  When in doubt, get help with identification and avoid contaminating combines with Palmer seed, rather than just harvesting through anything and hoping for the best.  Contact us at any time for help with identification or management advice.  There are also resources on the OSU weed management website – u.osu.edu/osuweeds.


  5. Handy Bt Trait Table for U.S. corn production updated for 2017

    Most corn hybrids planted in the U.S. contain one or more transgenic traits for weed or insect management.  There are many different available traits, which can sometimes cause confusion about a hybrid’s spectrum of control or refuge requirements. The Handy Bt Trait Table provides a helpful list of trait names and details of trait packages to make it easier to select and understand products and their refuge requirements, and read company seed guides, sales materials, and bag tags.  This year’s table was authored by Dr. Chris DiFonzo at Michigan State University with contributions by Drs. Kelley Tilmon (OSU) and Pat Porter (Texas A&M). 

    A new column has been added to the table in 2017 to address local or regional performance issues in cases where there are documented field-level insect populations which are less susceptible to or resistant to a given Bt protein.  An insect is listed in this column only if ALL of the Bt proteins which should control it in a product are ‘ineffective’ somewhere in the US or Canada. Ineffective ratings are based on published lab assays and/or field research from field corn, sweet corn, and cotton. University extension specialists or local educators can assist in determining if you are in an area where reduced effectiveness was reported. On a broader scale, this column is intended to alert growers and consultants to potential management problems, influence seed selection, and encourage field scouting.

    The Handy Bt Trait Table can be downloaded here, along with a list of citations documenting performance issues here.

  6. Lake Erie Cyanobacteria Bloom- A Summary of the 2016 Season

    Cyanobacteria growth in the Western Lake Erie Basin (WLEB) has been a concern closely monitored over the past 10 years. The presence of cyanobacteria leads to a pea soup appearance of water that causes aesthetic concerns. Cyanobacteria also produce toxins which cause human health concerns, especially contact during recreational uses or at municipal water intakes. This article compares the 2016 bloom to years back to 2002, plus identifies target loadings for the WLEB to lessen the incidence of blooms.


    Figure 1. Bloom severity index for 2002-2016 (green bar) plus the forecast for 2016 released in early July, 2016 (red bar) (Stumpf, 2016).

    The historical bloom severity for 2002 through 2015 is seen in Figure 1 (Stumpf, 2016). The index is based on the amount of biomass over the peak 30-days. The 2016 severity forecast released on July 7, 2016 with the red bar showing a predicted value of 5.5 with an uncertainty range of 3-7. The actual observed level is shown with the green bar with a severity of 3.2 which was similar to 2004 and 2012. The highest observed levels were 2011 rated a 10 and 2015 with a rating of 10.5.

    Spring loadings (1 March to 31 July) of bioavailable phosphorus entering the WLEB from the Maumee Watershed are a key factor in the severity of cyanobacterial blooms during the summer. This value is a key component of the predictive models of bloom size. Bioavailable phosphorus includes the dissolved reactive phosphorus (DRP) which is 100% soluble, plus an estimated portion of particulate phosphorus that will become available as water moves downstream and out into the lake. Figure 2 (Stumpf, 2016) below shows spring loading of bioavailable phosphorus for key reference years. In 2015, where severity reached 10.5, spring loading was over 700 metric tons. In 2004, where loading was close 250 and 2016 with close to 200 metric tons had a severity index around 3.0.

    Figure 2. Total bioavailable phosphorus from the Maumee River for 2016 compared to some other years. Data collected by Heidelberg University (Stumpf, 2016).

    Phosphorus, regardless of source, is an important factor in the presence of cyanobacteria blooms in the WLEB. Agriculture as a prominent land use in the WLEB has an important role to play to attain reductions through implementation of Best Management Practices for nutrient use and water management. All who live in the watershed should look for ways to lower contributions of phosphorus leaving their property.

    Target Phosphorus Reductions for the Western Lake Erie Basin

    Target loading criteria have been adopted by both the US and Canadian governments. The targets are designed to attain levels of cyanobacteria blooms that are less intrusive. The targets are set to achieve a bloom no greater than that observed in 2004 or 2012, 90% of the time.

    To attain that target bloom level, the Task Team recommended P levels seen in Table 1 (Annex 4, 2015).

    ·        Total phosphorus (TP) spring load of 860 metric tons and dissolved reactive phosphorus (DRP) loading of 186 metric tons from the Maumee River. (The 860 metric ton target is approximately a 40% reduction from the 2008 spring load of 1400 metric tons for TP and 310 metric tons of DRP.)

    ·        Flow Weighted Mean Concentration (FWMC) of 0.23 mg/L for TP and 0.05 mg/L for DRP. (This target is expected to achieve phosphorus loadings below the targets (860 and 186 metric tons) 90% of the time (9 years out of 10), if precipitation patterns do not change.)

    ·        Total P annual loading into the Lake Erie’s western and central basin of 6000 MT.

    Table 1. Target P loading criteria for the Lake Erie (Annex 4, 2015).


    Stumpf, R, (et.al). Harmful Algal Blooms in Lake Erie - Experimental HAB Bulletin. (2016) https://www.glerl.noaa.gov//res/HABs_and_Hypoxia/lakeErieHABArchive/

    Annex 4 Objectives and Targets Task Team Final Report to the Nutrients Annex Subcommittee. (2015) https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2015-06/documents/report-recommended-phosphorus-loading-targets-lake-erie-201505.pdf


    Author(s): Jim Noel

    Winter so far has seen major swings in weather patterns but in the end we are close to normal temperatures and precipitation.

    For the remainder of January milder and wetter are the words. The attached graphic shows the NWS Ohio River Forecast Center's 16-day precipitation outlook which is wet. Normal precipitation is near 2 inches with the mean forecast being 2-5 inches.

    Going forward for the remainder of winter it looks a little warmer and wetter than normal with still significant swings in weather patterns.

    The early outlook for spring planting season suggests a slightly warmer than normal season with precipitation normal or slightly above normal. Some planting delays would be possible. Historical data suggests a slightly later than normal last freeze date.

    The early outlook for the summer growing season suggests a warm to hot summer with rainfall potentially below normal.

    You can keep up-to-date on the outlooks at the NOAA/NWS Climate Prediction Center at: http://www.cpc.noaa.gov/

  8. Useful Weather Links and Outlook

    Author(s): Jim Noel

    There has been many requests for information on where to find such things as 4 inch soil temperatures, stress degree days, growing degree days etc.

    The NOAA Midwest Regional Climate Center has a wealth of information at:



    If you go to the NOAA Midwest Regional Climate Center and create a free account at:


    You will be able to get access to observed growing degree days, stress degree days, temperatures, precipitation and snowfall information both in gridded and station format.

    The NOAA MRCC also has a VEG program to give information on such things as stress degree days and chilling hours at the websites below:



    The NOAA MRCC also has 4 inch and drought information at:


    The NOAA MRCC also has all your information for El Nino at:


    February Outlook:

    Expect a cold middle of the month of February to turn warmer than normal again by late February. Precipitation for February will generally to normal to slightly above normal.

    March Outlook:

    Expect temperatures slightly above normal and drastically better than the last two March's. Rainfall will be in the normal or slightly below normal range.

  9. So there is lots to talk about in the weather

    Author(s): Jim Noel

    After a record warm December, colder weather returned to Ohio and surrounding areas for January with temperatures in January running just below normal.

    The headlines surround a strong El Nino in the Pacific Ocean. This looks to be the strongest on near-term record. Most of the data suggests this El Nino is similar to the winters of 1957/58, 1982/83 and 1991/92 and like but with some differences to the 1997/98 winter.El Nino is only one of many things affecting the weather pattern but it has its strongest influence on our weather from January into March.

    The big challenge for the upcoming planting and growing season is the rapid decline in El Nino (warming of the central and eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean) toward a possible La Nina (cooling). This rapid change could result in reduced forecast skill once it gets going this spring and summer.

    Short-term into first half of February...

    We expect a pattern change toward warmer and slightly wetter conditions into the first half of February. This will likely result in rain events versus snow events though some minor snows are possible.

    Second half of February into March...

    A warmer and drier than normal pattern is forecast across the area. There is some risk of normal precipitation though.


    There is uncertainty in spring with transition away from El Nino. Most indications are for a bit warmer and drier than normal. If that transition does not happen as fast away from El Nino it could turn to a slightly wetter and cooler pattern so confidence is low past March. We should know more about this in the next 2-4 week.

     You can keep up on all of this at the NOAA/NWS/Ohio River Forecast Center Seasonal Briefing Page at: http://w2.weather.gov/ohrfc/SeasonalBriefing

  10. Introducing Dr. Kelley Tilmon

    Author(s): Kelley Tilmon

    In January, Dr. Kelley Tilmon joined the faculty of the Department of Entomology as an Associate Professor and State Specialist for field crop entomology. Her extension, research, and teaching programs will focus on the management of insect pests of agronomic crops. She will be based out of the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC) campus in Wooster.  Kelley has an M.S. in entomology from the University of Delaware, a Ph.D. in entomology from Cornell University, and for the past 10 years has served as the soybean entomologist for South Dakota at South Dakota State University, with extension and research responsibilities.  Her contact information is 330-202-3529 and tilmon.1@osu.edu

  11. Reminders about dicamba training

    Author(s): Mark Loux

    Following the problems with off-target movement of the new dicamba formulations, XtendiMax, Engenia, and FeXapan, last summer, the USEPA mandated a number of label changes, and also designated these products as restricted use pesticides. The labels now contain additional restrictions on application, and also mandate that anyone applying these products must participate in annual training on their use. ODA will be enforcing the new dicamba restrictions and has sent out a letter to all private applicators with category 1 (grain and cereal crops) on their license to notify them of the new requirements. Dicamba-specific training dates and locations can be found at the OSU Pesticide Education website, pested.osu.edu – the list will be updated frequently. Any of the dicamba-specific training dates listed on the website will meet the training requirement to apply Xtendimax, Engenia, or FeXapan, regardless of which company (BASF, Monsanto, Dupont) sponsored the meeting. In other words, only one training session from any company has to be attended regardless of which product an applicator is using. Ohio is accepting training that an applicator attends in all states bordering us, but the reverse is not necessarily true – Indiana and Kentucky are not accepting training attended here in Ohio. More information can also be found on the ODA Pesticide and Fertilizer Regulation website - http://www.agri.ohio.gov/apps/odaprs/pestfert-PRS-index.aspx.

  12. Status of Palmer amaranth in Ohio

    Author(s): Mark Loux

    Palmer amaranth has to date been found in about 11 Ohio counties.  Infestations within a county can range from one or more fields or other areas with just a few plants or patches of plants, to the presence of one or more fields with dense populations.  There isn’t any real pattern to the distribution of counties where Palmer has been found.  Palmer seed has entered the state via contaminated CREP or wildlife seed that comes from farther west, and via the cotton feed products that are shipped from the south and used in animal operations.  The latter has been the source of our most recent and most severe infestations that occurred in 2015 in northeastern Ohio.  While some animal operations are aware of this problem and have stopped using these types of feed products, it’s likely that many other operations or feed dealers have not received information about this issue or modified their practices.  The current Palmer amaranth situation is summarized in a brief video and presentation that can be found on the OSU weed science website – http://u.osu.edu/osuweeds.   We have also posted several fact sheets there that summarize the Palmer problem and current distribution, and provide tools for pigweed identification.

  13. Winter Application of Manure

    Author(s): Glen Arnold, CCA

    This past fall was particularly tough on livestock producers and commercial manure applicators trying to land apply livestock manure. Weather conditions were warmer and wetter than normal with the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC) station at South Charleston recording 32 days with measurable rainfall totaling 9.91 inches in November and December. In these same two months the OARDC station at Hoytville recorded 24 days with measurable rainfall totaling 6.04 inches. The wet weather prevented many acres of cover crops being planted and has severely limited the number of days that field conditions were dry enough or frozen enough for manure application equipment to operate.

    A substantial number of livestock producers across the state will be looking to apply manure as soon as farm fields are frozen enough to support application equipment. Permitted farms are not allowed to apply manure in the winter unless it is an extreme emergency, and then movement to other suitable storage is usually the selected alternative. This article is for non-permitted livestock operations.

    In the Grand Lake St Marys watershed, the winter manure application ban from December 15th to March 1st is still in effect. Thus, no manure application would normally be allowed in January and February.

    In the Western Lake Erie Basin (WLEB) watershed, the application of manure to frozen and snow-covered soils require there to be a growing crop in the field. This could be a pasture, alfalfa, clover, ryegrass or a rape crop. There must be enough vegetation visible to provide 90% cover of residue and growing vegetation, Radishes and oats would not qualify as a growing crop as both are typically winter killed. Manure can be applied to fields without growing crops if the manure is incorporated at the