C.O.R.N. Newsletter : 2014-40

  1. 2014 Ohio Corn Performance Test: Regional Overviews

    In 2014, 209 corn hybrids representing 28 commercial brands were evaluated in the Ohio Corn Performance Test (OCPT). Four tests were established in the Southwestern/West Central/Central (SW/WC/C) region and three tests were established in the Northwestern (NW) and North Central/Northeastern (NC/NE) regions (for a total of ten test sites statewide).  Hybrid entries in the regional tests were planted in either an early or a full season maturity trial. These test sites provided a range of growing conditions and production environments.  

    The 2014 growing season was generally characterized by favorable conditions for corn growth and development although temperatures and rainfall were variable across test sites. Wet soil conditions delayed planting until May 20.Temperatures were slightly above normal in May and June and below normal to near normal in July through September at most sites. Lower than normal temperatures combined with late planting reduced growing degree day (heat unit) accumulation at several test sites. Rainfall was above average during the early-mid vegetative stages in May and June and below average in July to September. Timely rains in July and August and moderate temperatures limited stress and contributed to high yields at most sites. Slow crop maturation and dry down, combined with persistent rains and saturated soils delayed harvest and resulted in higher than normal grain moisture and lower test weights. Stalk lodging was not a problem for most of the hybrids evaluated. It was most pronounced at Bucyrus but averaged less than 10%. Disease and insect pests were not a significant factor at most test sites. Symptoms of northern corn leaf blight and gray leaf spot were severe but usually appeared late in the season.  At Greenville, gray leaf spot may have reduced yields of some hybrids. Low levels of moldy grain were observed for some hybrids at Hebron. 

    Despite later than normal planting dates, high yields were achieved at most test locations due to ample and timely rainfall and moderate temperatures which created near stress-free growing conditions. Averaged across hybrid entries in the early and full season tests, grain yields were 244 bu/A in the Southwest and West Central region, 243 bu/A in North Central and Northeast region, and 201 bu/A yields in the Northwest region. Performance data for Upper Sandusky in the NW region are not presented because excessive rainfall shortly after planting combined with a dry July and August resulted in uneven crop growth and inconsistent yields. The Hoytville location in NW Ohio was the only test site that averaged less than 200 bu/A. Lower yields were due in part to soil crusting (caused by hard rains after planting which reduced plant population) and a very dry August (0.75 inches of rainfall).

    Tables 1 and 2 provide an overview of 2014 hybrid performance in the early maturity and full season hybrid trials by region. Averages for grain yield and other measures of agronomic performance are indicated for each region. In addition, the range in regional test site averages is shown in parentheses. Complete results are available online at: http://oardc.osu.edu/corntrials/

    As you review 2014 test results, it’s important to keep the following in mind. Confidence in test results increases with the number of years and the number of locations in which the hybrid was tested. Avoid selecting a hybrid based on data from a single test site, especially if the site was characterized by abnormal growing conditions (like drought stress and record high temperatures). Look for consistency in a hybrid's performance across a range of environmental conditions.  Differences in grain moisture percentages among hybrids at harvest can provide a basis for comparing hybrid maturity.  Yield, % stalk lodging, grain moisture, and other comparisons should be made between hybrids of similar maturity to determine those best adapted to your farm. Results of the crop performance trials for previous years are also available online at: http://www.ag.ohio-state.edu/~perf/archive.htm  

    Table 1.   A regional overview of the early maturity 2014 Ohio Corn Performance Test.





    Grain Yield








    Final Stand


    Test Wt.












































    Table 2.  A regional overview of the full season 2014 Ohio Corn Performance Test.





    Grain Yield








    Final Stand


    Test Wt.













































  2. Post-Harvest Guidelines for Yield Monitors

    Author(s): John Fulton

    The end of harvest marks a good time to implement good management practices for yield monitors including taking steps to winterize components.  Yield monitors continue to increase and in most cases are standard options on today’s combines with the yield mapping data being important information for precision agriculture services offered across the agriculture industry.  A good post-harvest combine maintenance plan should include provisions for looking over yield monitor components and possibly storing devices in conditioned locations to reduce warming and cooling cycles potentially generating condensation and ultimately unneeded corrosion or damage of electronics.  

    Quality yield data is important today so properly cleaning and maintaining yield monitor components such as the moisture and mass flow / volumetric sensors is important.  The buildup of debris or warn parts will lead to inaccurate measurements by these sensors.  The accuracy of yield map data is dependent upon one’s ability to maintenance and properly calibrate grain yield monitors.  Poorly maintained and calibrated yield monitors can lead to inaccurate data and thereby improper farm management decisions.  This point is especially important for farmer’s conducting on-farm research since yield maps are only as accurate as the data collected to create them.

    The following provides a suggest list of tips for post-harvest tasks regarding yield monitors on combines.  You can also visit http://fabe.osu.edu/precisionag for additional Precision Ag information.

    1. DATA CARD:

    –      Take the time to create a backup copy of your raw yield data from the season.  This step should be taken before uploading yield data to a Farm Management Information System (FMIS) or providing to your trusted data consultant.  Make sure to place this backup copy in a secure and safe location at your house or office.

    –      Cleanup the data card and delete old data to provide sufficient space for the upcoming season.


    –      If you have not already completed, write down field notes from the growing season and during harvest.  We tend to forget information about field conditions and yield monitor operation that can influence the resulting yield maps.  This information will be important when analyzing or using to generate prescription maps.

    –      A good practice is also documenting all your final calibration factors.  This information can be useful for the next growing season to compare if your factors significantly change possibly indicating a yield monitoring issue.

    –      Document all your load weights used for calibrating your yield monitor.  Again, this information could be useful during post-season analysis.

    3.       DISPLAY: 

    –      Check the expiration dates for any subscription services you are purchasing such as for your GPS.  You might want to take care of subscriptions during the winter months.

    –      After making sure all data is stored to a data card or uploaded to another storage location, turn off and consider storing inside for the winter.

    –      Take a few minutes and check all in-cab cabling and connections for any damage.

    4.       GPS RECEIVER:

    –      Suggest taking off the combine and storing inside if you are not storing the combine in a conditioned space.

    –      Ensure any correction subscriptions will be renewed so ready for spring work.

    5.       MOISTURE SENSOR:

    –      Remove sensor from housing and clean of debris, dirt, and grain.

    –      Inspect for any excessive wear or damage of plates / fins.  If damaged, suggest replacing over the winter.

    –      Look over the wiring harness and other electronic devices (e.g. electronic control units – ECU) connected to the moisture sensor for wear or damage.

    6.       MASS FLOW SENSOR:

    –      Make sure there is no material built up on the impact plate

    –      Inspect for excessive wear and replace impact plate if needed.

    –      Suggest making sure debris and dirt is cleaned from the area where the sensor is mounted since debris can attract rodents.

    –      Look over wiring harness.


    –      Check for excessive wear of the elevator chain and paddles; replace if needed.

    –      Ensure the elevator chain tension is adjusted properly.

    –      Check both top and bottom bearings on the clean grain elevator.

    –      Is possible, engage separator to ensure the yield monitor system is reading the correct elevator speed.

  3. 2014 Soybean Seed Treatment and Foliar Trials Available Online

    The purpose of the Ohio Soybean Seed Treatment and Foliar Trials are to evaluate soybean seed treatments and foliar products for stand and yield.  This evaluation gives soybean producers comparative information for selecting soybean seed treatments and foliar products for the unique production systems.  All entries were submitted voluntarily by companies.  Application protocol and product rate were provided by the company.  Please keep in mind that our trials are conducted in overall high-yielding environments with well-drained soil and limited pest pressure.

    During 2014, the soybean agronomy team evaluated sixteen soybean seed treatments at six locations in Ohio.  Seed treatments included biologicals, fertilizers, inoculants, growth regulators, fungicides, and insecticides.  Companies designated their product to be applied to treated or untreated seed.  Treated seed was treated with Acceleron (metalaxyl + pyraclostrobin + fluxapyroxad + imidacloprid).  There were two controls of treated seed (treated check) and untreated seed (untreated check).  Results of the seed treatments applied to treated seed should be compared to the treated check while products applied to untreated seed should be compared to the untreated check.  Results of the 2014 Ohio Soybean Seed Treatment Trial can be found here: http://stepupsoy.osu.edu/node/15/current-soybean-research-projects 

    Last year we also evaluated five foliar products at two locations in Ohio.  Foliar products included fungicides, fertilizers, and growth regulators.  Results of the 2014 Ohio Soybean Foliar Treatment Trial can be found here:http://stepupsoy.osu.edu/node/15/current-soybean-research-projects

  4. Post-Harvest Tips for Combines

    Author(s): John Fulton

    As the harvest season comes to a close, now is a good time to clean and look over you combine before parking for the winter.  A good post-harvest combine maintenance program can provide significant savings and make sure you are prepared for 2015. Many times, proper inspection and maintenance after fall harvest will reduce time and resources required at a later date to fix the combine and headers.  The basics of winterizing a combine involves cleaning it followed by changing the oil and filters, checking the cooling system, cleaning and possibly changing the air filters, filling with fuel and adding a fuel stabilizer, and finally greasing and lubricating before putting in the shed.  Plan on at least a good half day for conducting post-harvest maintenance and repairs.

    The initial starting point for combine maintenance should be reviewing the operator’s manual.  Regardless of the manufacturer, the operator’s manual will contain the necessary checklist of maintenance points and needs.  Second, develop a to-do and replacement list based on harvest notes and performing a quick look over of the combine.  The next step should include giving the combine a good cleaning before performing any maintenance.  Cleaning should start with blowing all debris and dust plus cleaning out augers, conveyors and the cab.  Washing the exterior can also be beneficial but keep water away from bearings and bushings.  Once this step is complete, inspect the combine inside and out noting needed repairs and maintenance.  The final steps involve repairing, greasing and lubricating.  A suggested checklist and order of priority is provided at the end of this article.

    In the end, you should have your combine ready for the next time you take it to the field.  Performing these steps today better protects the combine during the winter and reduces any corrosion.  You might also take the time now to develop a 5 to 10 point checklist to look over other farm equipment this winter.  Farm machinery requires maintenance both on and off the field to keep it running smoothly year after year. Caring for equipment is one way to ensure efficient fieldwork and less downtime.

    Check list for Post-harvest Combine Maintenance
    1. Consult operators manual for post-harvest maintenance and check point
    2. Conduct a quick look over of the machine and develop a to-do list
    3. Blow off dirt and debris both on the outside and inside. Do not forget, harvest debris can attract rodents that can chew on wires and other electrical components.
      • Make sure to blow out radiator and other heat exchangers
      • Give the inside of the cab a good cleaning looking over door weather stripping, seats and other in-cab parts.  Consider placing something to deter rodents in the cab.
    4. Only wash the outside trying to keep water off bearings and other moving parts.
    5. Might take time to touch up scratches and worn areas with paint.
    6. Open inspection plates and look over components
    7. Open concaves and sieves and look over for any issues
    8. Check bearings for any corrosion, spun on a shaft, or they are loose. Replace all questionable bearings.
    9. Change oil and filters while lubricating all grease fittings.
    10. Check all lights and make sure they are functioning properly
    11. Check cooling system protection level for your climate, replacing coolant if needed. Also, to protect against corrosion, check supplemental coolant additive (SCA) level and add if necessary for your model.
    12. Check all augers and conveyors for wear and damage.  Suggest quickly replacing needed components as soon as possible.
      • Check walkers and their bearings for damage, cracks or wear.
      • The same goes for the rotors while also evaluating alignment and bearings.
      • Check over the straw chopper and ensure it is balanced properly without excessive vibration.
    13. Check and tighten all belts while inspecting for any cracks and dry rot symptoms.
    14. Check feeder house chains and elevator chains for proper tightness and wear.
    15. Look over the feeder house paneling especially the floor for excessive wear.
    16. Check fountain and unloading augers for damage and any wear.
    17. Finally, grease all fittings and lubricate chains and other maintenance points outlined in the operator’s manual.
    18. Fill with fuel and consider adding a fuel stabilizer for winter storage.
  5. Drought-Tolerant Corn Hybrids: What is the Fit for Ohio?

    Drought events are predicted to increase with rising global temperatures and altered rainfall patterns. It is important that agronomists investigate ways to maximize water use to help reduce grain yield losses from drought events. If Ohio corn yields had been reduced 10% in 2013 due to drought, then the economic loss for growers would have exceeded $250 million. Ohio producers have begun using drought-tolerant corn hybrids that were developed for use in the Western Corn Belt to manage for drought events, but limited research has been conducted on these hybrids in the Eastern Corn Belt. Drought tolerance can be thought of as the ability of a plant to produce greater yields under water stress conditions when compared to other plants under the same conditions. Since growing conditions are very different in Ohio than in the Western Corn Belt, the management practices that maximize grain yield and minimize environmental effects need to be determined for these corn hybrids. Drought-tolerant hybrids may respond to planting delays and higher plant populations (the number of plants per unit area) differently than susceptible hybrids. Under non-water stressed conditions, these corn hybrids may produce less grain yield that their susceptible counterparts (resulting in a yield penalty). Because water use efficiency and nitrogen use efficiency are related, these drought-tolerant hybrids may require a different amount of nitrogen (N) to maximize yield, which could influence environmental losses of N.

    There has been little research on the modern drought-tolerant corn hybrid physiology, and measuring physiological characteristics such as net photosynthesis, stomatal conductance and chlorophyll fluorescence ratios may help identify the drought-tolerance mechanism(s) in these hybrids. Two field experiments were developed to investigate these problems. The first examined N use efficiency and minimum N required to maximize grain yield for four hybrids (two drought-tolerant hybrids and two non-tolerant hybrids) at two Ohio locations over two years. The second investigated how the same hybrids responded physiologically to increasing plant density, or plants per unit area (five different levels), and planting date (early versus late) at three Ohio locations over three years. The research was supported in part by an OSU-Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center SEEDS Grant and a Pioneer Crop Management Research Award and the experiments were conducted at OSU research farms near S. Charleston, Hoytville, and Apple Creek, Ohio.

    The drought-tolerant hybrids had similar ear-leaf N uptake and yield response to N application as compared to the susceptible hybrids. At most planting dates and locations, there was no yield difference between the drought-tolerant and susceptible hybrids. In three of the 12 environments (for 2012-2103), a 5-10% yield advantage occurred with the drought-tolerant hybrids. In one of the environments a 2% grain yield penalty was observed in the drought-tolerant hybrids compared to the susceptible hybrids. At some of the locations, the photosynthetic rates in the drought-tolerant hybrid were similar to the susceptible hybrid, but the same plants had reduced stomatal conductance indicating water use efficiency may have been increased. In the vegetative stages, chlorophyll fluorescence ratios tended to be greater in the drought-tolerant hybrids, which could indicate less plant stress in the vegetative stages. All hybrids exhibited a similar grain yield response to population density, and planting date, which indicates the drought-tolerant corn hybrids can be managed in Ohio environments using current production recommendations.

    These results help to identify improved water use efficiency and less plant stress during vegetative growth as two possible mechanisms for greater drought tolerance. Additionally, they provide Ohio producers with recommendations based on research conducted in multiple locations and years on how to utilize these tools to manage for climate change and remain competitive in a global economy. Future research should investigate if the physiological characteristics observed are similar in other corn hybrids. Additionally, the effect on grain quality is currently under investigation to see if the differences observed physiologically altered protein, oil, and starch content in the grain.

  6. West Ohio Agronomy Day


    West Ohio Agronomy Day will be held on Monday, January 12th at St. Michael’s Hall, 33 Elm Street, Fort Loramie.  Registration will begin at 8:00 a.m.; breakfast sandwiches, donuts, orange juice, and coffee will be available.  A Grain Market update from Jerry Meyer (Cargill) and John Leighty (Trupointe) will be held at 8:30 a.m.  The programs dealing with Private Pesticide Applicator Recertification Credits for farmers, Continuing Education Units for Certified Crop Advisors, and Fertilizer Certification Training for those with Pesticide Applicator Licenses then begin at 9:00 a.m. 

    Once again, Purdue’s Dr. Fred Whitford (AKA “Fred from Purdue”) will be with us, this time talking about “Adjuvants and the Power of the Water Droplet.”  This year’s line-up will also see Dr. Andy Michel from OSU talking about “Insects in Soybeans and Corn – What, When, Controls;” OSU’s Soil Scientist Dr. Steve Culman presenting on “Soils, Soil Testing, Interpreting a Soil Test; How Phosphorus Reacts in the Soil;” and OSU Corn Specialist Dr. Peter Thomison talking about “Corn:  An Overview of Crop Inputs and their Relative Importance.”

    Additional topics to be addressed include weed management, fumigation, solar energy, and managing pests of livestock and forages.  Private Pesticide Recertification Credits are available in CORE and Categories 1, 2, and 6.  Up to five (5) CCA credits are also available.

    The same program/same categories will be held that evening beginning at 5:30p for those not able to attend during the day.  A light supper and the marketing update begin at 5p. 

    Farmers who want to recertify their private pesticide applicator’s license should go online at http://pested.osu.edu either to register with a credit card or to download the form to pay by check. Forms may also be picked up at any Ohio Extension office.  If not registered online, the completed form can be submitted with the $35 fee on January 12.  However, pre-registration is needed by January 2nd in order to ensure enough food.                              

    For those just wanting to attend for the information (and the fellowship!), the cost is $10 if signed up by January 2nd, to be paid at the door on January 12 ($15 for “walk-ins”).  A single call to 937-498-7239 or email to brown.1522@.osu.edu saves you Five Bucks!

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.


Andy Michel (State Specialist, Entomology)
Glen Arnold, CCA (Field Specialist, Manure Nutrient Management )
Harold Watters, CPAg/CCA (Field Specialist, Agronomic Systems)
Jason Hartschuh, 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)
Mike Gastier, CCA (Educator, Agriculture and Natural Resources)
Nathan Douridas, CCA (Farm Science Review Farm Manager)
Sam Custer (Educator, Agriculture and Natural Resources)
Sarah Noggle (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.