C.O.R.N. Newsletter: 12-2021

  1. Wheat Between Feekes 8 and 10 and Disease Concerns

    Author(s): Pierce Paul

    Addiitonal authors: Maira Duffeck and Marian Luis

    Wheat is now between Feekes 8 (flag leaf emergence) and Feekes 10 (boot) across the state. Feekes 8 marks the beginning of the period during which we recommend that you begin scouting fields to determine which disease is present and at what level. Septoria tritici leaf spot is usually one of the first to show up, and it has already been reported in some fields. So far, it is restricted to the lower leaves and severity is low in most of the affected fields. This disease is favored by cool (50-68F), rainy conditions, and although it usually develops early in the season, it really does not cause yield loss unless it reaches and damages the flag leaf before grain fill is complete.

    Like many other foliar diseases, Septoria reduces grain fill and the size of the grain. It usually does not affect the number of spikelets per spike, an important yield component that is defined very early in the development of the plant. A fungicide application at this time will control Septoria and powdery mildew, another disease that usually shows up early under cool conditions, protect the flag leaf, and minimize grain yield loss. If the weather conditions continue to be rainy and favorable for foliar disease develop, spores will continue to be produced or blown in from other areas, and new infections will occur, particularly if the variety is susceptible.

    Septoria on wheat

    Results from previous studies have shown that the greatest benefits from foliar fungicide applications were seen when applications were made to a susceptible variety between Feekes 8 and 10. This is largely because most of our major foliar diseases usually develop and reach the flag leaf after Feekes 8-9. However, the residual effects of a Feekes 8-9 fungicide application will not adequately protect the head from late season diseases such as head scab and Stagonospora glume blotch or the flag leaf from rust and Stagonospora leaf blotch. In addition, some of the fungicide that effectively control foliar diseases are ineffective again, or are not recommended for control of, head scab.

    There are several very effective fungicides available for use on wheat (see resource chart). Carefully read labels before making an application.


  2. Are Periodical Cicadas a Threat to Field Crops?

    Are periodical cicadas a threat to field crops? The quick and dirty answer to this question is NO. Are they a thread to the health and welfare of anything? There is no quick and dirty answer to this question.

    The best way to answer the second question is to start by looking at what the periodical cicada is, what it feeds on, where one would expect to find them, and its life cycle.

    The periodical cicada or 17-year cicada is an insect with an extremely long life cycle that takes 17 years to get from the egg stage to the adult stage. Some people mistakenly refer to this insect as a locust. Unfortunately, locusts and cicadas are not one-in-the-same.  Locusts are a type of grasshopper (Order Orthoptera).  Cicadas (Order Hemiptera) are not grasshoppers. And the 2 look nothing like one another.

    (grasshopperDog-day cicada

    The periodical cicada feed mostly in their nymphal stages and are hosted by trees of many species. And since it takes 17 years of feeding by the nymphs, the trees have to be old and well established, minimally 20+ years old. Therefore, periodical cicadas are going to be found in and around long-standing woodlots, forests and landscapes (homes, parks, and cemeteries), especially those that have been established in or next to woodlots.  What does this preclude? We will not find periodical cicadas in crop fields, pastures, landscapes recently established on field crop ground, housing developments where all of the ground was excavated, or basically anywhere where there isn’t long established trees. There are also northern limits to their natural range (e.g. they do not exist very far into the state of Michigan).

    Revised map(

    The periodical cicada has three stages in its life cycle, eggs, nymphs and adults. Adults present themselves once every 17 years for about 4 to 6 weeks. In Ohio, the time period could start in early May in southern Ohio and mid- to late May in northern Ohio.  Not all parts of Ohio will experience periodical cicada. Besides being limited to places where older growth trees are established, there are different populations called Broods that emerge in different years. In Ohio this year, we are expecting Brood X periodical cicadas which are mainly distributed in mid- to western Ohio (see the map).  There is currently a Citizen Science projected called Cicada Safari with a reporting application for people to report where they run into populations (https://cicadasafari.org/).  This is a smart phone application for reporting to help the scientists verify the true distribution of this insect.

    periodical cicadas

    The main purpose of the adults is reproduction, find a mate, mate, and lay eggs for the next generation. This is when damage can occur to trees. Mated females jam their ovipositors (egg-laying structures) into small branches of trees. Multiple jabs can damage the stems to the point that they may die or at the very least be very easily broken called flagging.  Mature, healthy trees will easily grow through this damage. Very young trees and newly planted trees may suffer from the damage. Because of the way that orchard trees are pruned and managed, this could cause serious damage and crop loss.

    The eggs hatch a short time after they are laid. The newly hatched nymphs drop from the trees to the ground, dig in and find a tree root to attach to for feeding.  No research has been done to determine if the nymphal feeding causes and problems for the trees. And that is where they stay for 17 years.

    Are they a health concern for humans? No, they do not bite nor sting. Are they a threat to livestock or pets? They are not poisonous, however some dogs and cats stuff themselves with cicadas to the point that they vomit.

    If you want to learn more about the periodical cicada, see the following links:

    OSU Fact Sheet, Periodical and “Dog-Day” Cicadas: https://ohioline.osu.edu/factsheet/ENT-58

    Cicada Mania: https://www.cicadamania.com/

  3. Alfalfa Weevil Infestations Becoming Severe in Some Fields

    Alfalfa fields across Ohio have been observed with alfalfa weevil infestations, some with high numbers and severe feeding damage to the alfalfa.

    Accumulation of heat units (growing degree days or GDDs) for alfalfa weevil growth have progressed across Ohio and are now in the 325 to 575 heat unit range indicative of peak larval feeding activity (Figure 1). We are about 2 weeks ahead of GDD weevil accumulation last year.


    Figure 1: Accumulated growing degree days (base 48°F sine calculation method) for January 1- May 2, 2021 at several CFAES Ag Weather System (https://www.oardc.ohio-state.edu/weather1/) locations and additional NOAA stations around Ohio (data courtesy of the Midwestern Regional Climate Center (https://mrcc.illinois.edu).

    From the road, severe weevil feeding can look very much like frost injury (Figure 2). Do not be fooled, get out and scout! We have observed very minor frost injury to alfalfa from last week’s cold nights, so if you see “frost injury” in alfalfa, it is more likely to be severe alfalfa weevil feeding damage.  For more information on scouting and signs of damage, see the April 20 article in this newsletter: (https://agcrops.osu.edu/newsletter/corn-newsletter/10-2021/alfalfa-weevil-%E2%80%93-it%E2%80%99s-closer-you-think).

    For information on economic action thresholds and treatment options, visit our factsheet at https://ohioline.osu.edu/factsheet/ENT-32. It is a bit too early for early harvest as a control option in most of the state, so a rescue treatment will be warranted in fields with heavy weevil infestations now.

    If you are interested in a more detailed treatment of how growing degree days can be used in management decisions for alfalfa weevil, visit this website from the University of Kentucky, https://entomology.ca.uky.edu/ef127.

    alfalfa weevil

    Figure 2. Alfalfa with a “frosted” appearance due to leaves being skeletonized by heavy alfalfa weevil feeding (left image, center plot). Alfalfa weevil larvae feeding on alfalfa this past week in northwest Ohio (right image).

    Alfalfa weevil larvae

    Figure 3. Insect pressure can vary significantly between fields, with some in NW Ohio averaging between 3 and 10 larvae per stem. Larvae can be at different developmental stages. 

    Heavily skeletonized alfalfa

    Figure 4. Heavily skeletonized alfalfa stem with actively feeding larvae.

  4. CFAES Ag Weather System 2021 Near-Surface Air and Soil Temperatures/Moisture

    Soil temperatures continued to warm this week despite considerable variability in air temperatures (Fig. 1). Many locations throughout Ohio are now reporting daily average 2- and 4-inch soil temperatures in the mid-50s to low-60s. Daily maximum soil temperatures are routinely reaching 80°F with the increasing sun angle. Warming progress is likely to slow a bit this week. While daytime highs are expected in the 70s again on Tuesday, 50s and 60s are likely behind a cold front for the remainder of the week.

    Near-surface air and soil temperatures

    Figure 1: Daily average air temperature (dashed red), two-inch (green) and four-inch (blue) soil temperatures for spring 2021. Current daily average soil temperatures are noted for each location. Soil type and location of measurements (under sod or bare soil) are provided in the lower right corner of each panel. A map of all locations is in the bottom right.  Data provided by The College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES) Agricultural Research Stations located throughout the state.

    The weather pattern has become quite active over the last couple of weeks as well. Most of the state picked up at least 0.5” of rainfall, with two solid swaths of 2-3” amounts across northern and southern Ohio (Fig. 2 left; yellow shading). Additional rain was occurring at the time of this report, and an additional 1-2” are expected over the next 7 days. Figure 2 (right) shows the 2-week change in column (down to 1m) soil moisture (percentage), with improvements noted over the northwest counties (e.g., Paulding, Putnam, and Van Wert) and southeast of about I-71. Much of this rain fell after last week’s U.S. Drought Monitor, which currently depicts about 70% of the state with abnormally dry to moderate drought conditions. The recent wet conditions and forecast may lead to some improvement in the drought monitor over the next couple of weeks.    

    Precipitation Estimates

    Figure 2: (Left) Precipitation estimates for the last 7 days ending on 5/3/2021. Figure provided by the Midwestern Regional Climate Center (https://www.mrcc.illinois.edu). (Right) 2-week Difference in Column Relative Soil Moisture (%) as of 5/3/2021 according to NASA’s SPORT-LIS (https://weather.msfc.nasa.gov/sport/modeling/lis.html).  

    For more complete weather records for CFAES research stations, including temperature, precipitation, growing degree days, and other useful weather observations, please visit https://www.oardc.ohio-state.edu/weather1/.


  5. There's Still Time to Enter the National Wheat Yield Contest!

    Author(s): Eric Richer, CCA

    Many Ohio farmers are reporting good to excellent wheat ratings this spring. Couple good looking wheat with a nice run-up in price and this may be the year that you want to enter the National Wheat Yield Contest!

    The contest is a friendly competition that will help farmers stay focused on raising high quality, high yielding wheat while evaluating agronomic and economic decisions at the field level.  Each registered contestant must be a member of their state’s wheat growers association (in Ohio, www.ohiocornandwheat.org). Contestants can enter more than one variety but each variety has an entry fee of $125.

    Click here to review the rules and requirements for this year’s contest, and create your application to enter: https://yieldcontest.wheatfoundation.org/. May 15th at 5:00 pm EST is the last day to enter the contest.  The link to the rules and requirements can be accessed directly here: https://yieldcontest.wheatfoundation.org/Content/RulesPDF/NWYC%20Entry%20Harvest%20Rules.pdf

    In Ohio, each district’s 1st and 2nd place winners will be recognized at the 2022 Celebration of Ohio Corn & Wheat, and will receive recognition for themselves and their seed dealers.  The overall Ohio winner will a 1-year free lease on a seed tender from J & M Manufacturing.  The Ohio runner-up will receive free fungicide from BASF.  National winners traditionally receive a trip to the March 2022 Commodity Classic, which will be held in New Orleans, Louisiana.


  6. Science for Success: Answering Soybean Questions

    Author(s): Laura Lindsey


    science for success

    With funding from United Soybean Board, soybean agronomists across the U.S. are hosting a ‘Notes from the Field’ webinar series the first Friday of each month beginning May 7. Join research and extension specialists from Land Grant institutions for monthly informal discussion on production topics of timely relevance. Bring your questions!

    When-  May 7, June 4, July 9, and August 6 at 9:00 AM eastern time

    Want to plug in- Register to attend (via Zoom) for each monthly session and you will receive Zoom login information. Register at: https://ncsu.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJEkdeiqrTIqHNMYI3FuXRVPgsC87mavL6hs

    If you have any questions, please contact Laura Lindsey (lindsey.233@osu.edu or 614-292-9080).

  7. Overholt Drainage Workshop

    Author(s): Vinayak Shedekar

    Join OSU Extension for a webinar focused on drainage design, installation, and management including updates on on recently passed H.B. 340 – Ohio’s “petition ditch laws” that address the installation and maintenance of drainage works of improvement in Ohio. A panel of professional engineers representing state and federal agencies, drainage contractors, and tile manufacturers will discuss some standard practices, common issues, and troubleshooting associated with drainage design, installation, and repairs.

    2021 Overholt Drainage Workshop

    Drainage planning, design, installation, and management

    Wednesday, June 9, 2021 9AM to 12 Noon

    Registration: No cost to attend. Registration required. (Register Here)

    Or visit: https://go.osu.edu/drainageschool

    CEU credits available for CCAs and Professional Engineers



    How drainage design affects crop yield and economics?

    Larry Brown, Professor and Extension Agricultural Engineer, The Ohio State University

    Drainage law – recent updates to Ohio Drainage Law

    Peggy Kirk Hall, Field Specialist, Agriculture and Resource Law, The Ohio State University

    Designing drainage & associated practices - standards and good practices for design

    Justin McBride, Ohio Dept. of Ag. 

    Installing drainage & associated practices (safety, standards, and good practices for installation)

    Bob Clark II, Clark Farm Drainage, inc., New Castle, IN

    When drainage goes wrong: Drainage design & installation Panel 

    Moderator: Paul Chester, Retired NRCS Engineer

    Panelists: Justin McBride and Mark Seger, Ohio Dept. of Ag. 

    Greg Wells, Ohio NRCS; Bob Clark II, NLICA 

    Steve Gerten, Rick Galehouse, and Dave Schweiterman, OLICA 

Crop Observation and Recommendation Network

C.O.R.N. Newsletter is a summary of crop observations, related information, and appropriate recommendations for Ohio crop producers and industry. C.O.R.N. Newsletter is produced by the Ohio State University Extension Agronomy Team, state specialists at The Ohio State University and the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC). C.O.R.N. Newsletter questions are directed to Extension and OARDC state specialists and associates at Ohio State.


Amanda Douridas (Educator, Agriculture and Natural Resources)
Andrew Holden (Educator, Agriculture and Natural Resources)
Ann Chanon (Extension Educator, Agriculture and Natural Resources)
Barry Ward (Program Leader)
Brigitte Moneymaker (Water Quality Extension Associate)
Chris Zoller (Educator, Agriculture and Natural Resources)
Clint Schroeder (Educator, Agriculture and Natural Resources)
Curtis Young, CCA (Educator, Agriculture and Natural Resources)
David Marrison (Educator, Agriculture and Natural Resources)
Dean Kreager (Educator, Agriculture and Natural Resources)
Dennis Riethman (Educator, Agriculture and Natural Resources)
Elizabeth Hawkins (Field Specialist, Agronomic Systems)
Eric Richer, CCA (Educator, Agriculture and Natural Resources)
Gigi Neal (Educator, Agriculture and Natural Resources)
Glen Arnold, CCA (Field Specialist, Manure Nutrient Management )
Greg LaBarge, CPAg/CCA (Field Specialist, Agronomic Systems)
Harold Watters, CPAg/CCA (Field Specialist, Agronomic Systems)
Jason Hartschuh, CCA (Educator, Agriculture and Natural Resources)
John Barker (Educator, Agriculture and Natural Resources)
Jordan Beck (Water Quality Extension Associate)
Ken Ford (Educator, Agriculture and Natural Resources)
Lee Beers, CCA (Educator, Agriculture and Natural Resources)
Les Ober, CCA (Educator, Agriculture and Natural Resources)
Mark Badertscher (Educator, Agriculture and Natural Resources)
Mark Loux (State Specialist, Weed Science)
Mary Griffith (Educator, Agriculture and Natural Resources)
Matthew Schmerge (Educator, Agriculture and Natural Resources)
Mike Estadt (Educator, Agriculture and Natural Resources)
Nick Eckel (Educator, Agriculture and Natural Resources)
Rachel Cochran (Water Quality Extension Associate)
Sarah Noggle (Educator, Agriculture and Natural Resources)
Stephanie Karhoff (Educator, Agriculture and Natural Resources)
Taylor Dill (Educator, Agriculture and Natural Resources)
Ted Wiseman (Educator, Agriculture and Natural Resources)
Tony Nye (Educator, Agriculture and Natural Resources)
Trevor Corboy (Educator, Agriculture and Natural Resources)
Wayne Dellinger, CCA (Educator, Agriculture and Natural Resources)


The information presented here, along with any trade names used, is supplied with the understanding that no discrimination is intended and no endorsement is made by Ohio State University Extension is implied. Although every attempt is made to produce information that is complete, timely, and accurate, the pesticide user bears responsibility of consulting the pesticide label and adhering to those directions.

CFAES provides research and related educational programs to clientele on a nondiscriminatory basis. For more information, visit cfaesdiversity.osu.edu. For an accessible format of this publication, visit cfaes.osu.edu/accessibility.