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Agronomic Crops Network

Ohio State University Extension


C.O.R.N. Newsletter: 2015-04

  1. This Winter: Below Normal


    For this winter through February 16, temperatures were about 1 degree below normal in northern Ohio and normal in southern Ohio. The cold since then will cause these number to drop a little for the 3 month period.

    Precipitation for winter through February 16 was 80-100 percent of normal and snowfall was near to slightly below normal except near Lake Erie.

    February will end on a colder and drier note through February 28.

    Looking ahead to March, the weather pattern will change from colder than normal and drier than normal to a normal to warmer than normal pattern and wetter.

    The spring outlook calls for near normal temperatures and precipitation.

    The outlook for summer calls for near normal to warmer than normal temperatures and near to slightly below normal precipitation.

    You can view the latest 16-day rainfall outlook at the National Weather Service Ohio River Forecast Center at:
    The temperature departures from normal through March 8 are:

    The rainfall departures from normal through March 8 are:

    The temperature departures from normal through March 22 are:

    The rainfall departures from normal through March 22 are:

  2. Naked Soybeans in Ohio?

    Author(s): Anne Dorrance

    At several meetings and based on a few emails this winter it is very clear that Ohio soybean farmers are examining their budgets and looking for ways to cut costs in 2015.  Planting naked seed, no fungicide seed treatment, is one place that some producers are contemplating.  There is plenty of concern if this is really a good choice to reduce costs.  It is true that soybeans do not always need a fungicide seed treatment.  However, on our soils with poor drainage where replanting is relatively common, replanting costs today are much higher than our estimates of $80/acre from 10 years ago. Basically seed treatments are an insurance policy to protect that young seed/seedling until it is out of the ground and growing.  Things to consider for seed treatments:

    1. Farm has a history of replanting.  No Question use fungicide seed treatments.  Even at the older estimates of replanting associated costs:  one replant will pay for more than 10 years of a seed treatment.
    2. Farm drainage system has not been updated or field is slow to drain after heavy rains.  More often than not, seed treatments will protect and have added yield benefits compared to non-treated seed.
      All of the soil borne pathogens that can infect soybean require high moisture.  With a properly designed, well maintained drainage system, the amount of time a field is saturated is greatly reduced.  If the system is poor, old, or not functioning well, the time the field is saturated is much longer which amounts to more seeds/seedlings becoming infected when those heavy rains do occur.
    3. Reduce seeding rates in 2015.  This is another place where seed treatments are beginning to play a larger role, with reduced seeding rates, every seed becomes important and seed treatments can have a large contribution to maintaining early plant populations.  In some of our seed treatment studies, the treated seed is emerging at greater than 90% of the seed we planted compared to nontreated seed which may be less than 50%.
    4. Fields with numerous pathotypes (races) of Phytophthora sojae that causes early season damping-off.  We have shown over a number of studies that if you are totally dependent on the partial resistance portion of the resistance package, seed treatments are needed to protect the plants until they are up and out of the ground. 
    5. Early planting and very cool spring.  The cooler the spring, the longer the seed/seedling will sit below ground giving these soil borne pathogens more time to feed.  For those first fields, seed treatments can provide the protection, especially when it takes 2 to 3 weeks for them to emerge.

    There are some field conditions when a seed treatment is not needed in Ohio.  These are also the conditions you need if you are not going to treat your seed, so you won’t pay that penalty (replant) down the road.

    1. Planting into warm, well-drained soil.  Those perfect planting conditions when the seed will probably emerge 2 to 3 days after you plant it.  Or it feels like that.
    2. No heavy rains are predicted for the region for the 2 weeks following planting.
  3. 2015 Conservation Tillage Conference, CCAs and continuing education

    The Conservation Tillage and technology Conference annually attracts 900 attendees, who say this is one of the best crop production conferences in Ohio. The program this year will be held March 3rd and 4th, in Ada Ohio on the Ohio Northern University campus. Certified Crop Advisers can attend the sessions for continuing education credits again this year. Registration information is posted on the Conservation Tillage Conference website: for everyone – farmers and their crop advisors.

    The CTC is an annual 2-day educational program with about 60 speakers in four concurrent sessions. Session titles this year are:

    Corn University

    Soybean School

    Cover Crops & Soil Health

    Nutrient Management

    Big Data

    Precision Seeding and Placement

    Advanced Scouting Techniques – by CCAs and for CCAs

    Solving the P (and N) Problem

    A listing of approved CCA CEUs along with the CCA agenda can be found on the Agronomic Crops website: CCAs should look over the agenda for the excellent program but can also to find those elusive Soil & Water sessions as well as numerous Nutrient Management credits. This year on Tuesday March 3rd we provide 9.5 CM, 6.0 NM, 2.5 PM and 6.0 SW continuing education credits.For Wednesday the 4th we have 10.0 CM, 5.5 NM, 1.5 PM and 6.0 SW CEUs.

    A total of 49 CEUs over the two days – split into four concurrent sessions.

    For easier tracking of CEUs the sign in sheet will now contain a QR code so those CCAs with smart phones will be able to scan the QR code to report their CEUs. This means that if they are scanning the QR code, they will not have to fill out the sign-in sheet and their CEUs will be recorded within hours of completing the class. With 4,000 records from past conferences, it took me a while to get through them for posting, so this helps us all. The app can be located by searching on the term: “Certified Crop Adviser” in the Apple or Android app store. A link can also be found here for more information: Because of the high number of CEUs at this program we are asking all CCAs with a smartphone to use this method for reporting.

  4. 2015 Overholt Drainage School will be held March 16-20

    Author(s): Larry Brown

    The 2015 Overholt Drainage School will be held March 16-20 at the Defiance County Emergency Management Agency Building on ST RT 15 (22491 Mill Street, Defiance, OH 43512).  This year’s program includes three sessions: 1) Agricultural subsurface drainage: System design and installation; 2) Drainage water management: Controlled drainage system design and installation; and 3) Concepts in Water Table Management with Subirrigation: Aspects of Design, Benefits, Installation, Management. The Overholt Drainage School is designed and taught to provide continuing education for land improvement contractors, soil and water conservation technicians, farmers, engineers, crop consultants, educators and others interested in advancing their knowledge of basic concepts, principles, and skills related to the purpose, design, layout, construction, and management of Soil and Water Conservation Systems. The School has been taught for over 50 years. The brochure and registration can be downloaded from the Soil & Water section of the Agronomic Crops Team website:  Space is limited so register early. If you have any questions, or would like to access the link to on-line credit card payment, please contact Larry Brown at, or call 614-292-3826.

  5. Is It Too Early to Apply N to Wheat? - Yes

    Each year producers ask the question when is the best time to apply N to wheat? Also, is it ok to apply N on frozen ground?

    For any N application the question to ask is, “When does the crop need N?” Wheat does not require large amounts of N until stem elongation (Feekes Growth Stage 6), which is the middle or the end of April depending on the location in state. Ohio research has shown no yield benefit from applications made prior to this time period. Soil organic matter and/or N applied at planting generally provide sufficient N for early growth until stem elongation.

    Nitrogen applied prior to rapid utilization has the potential to be lost and unavailable for the crop. Nitrogen source will also affect the potential for loss. Urea-ammonium nitrate (28%) has the greatest potential for loss, ammonium sulfate the least, and urea would be somewhere between the two other sources.

    Ohio research has shown yield losses from N applied prior to green-up regardless of the N source. The level of loss depends on the year.  This same research has not observed a yield increase from applications made prior to green-up compared to green-up or Feekes Growth Stage 6 applications. 

    There is a legitimate concern that wet weather may prevent application of N at early stem elongation. Ohio research has shown a yield decrease may occur when N application is delayed until Feekes Growth Stage 9 (early boot). Thus a practical compromise is to topdress N any time fields are suitable for application after initial green-up to early stem elongation. There is still a potential for loss even at green-up applications. To lessen this risk a producer may want to use a N source that has a lower potential for loss such as urea or ammonium sulfate. ESN (polymer-coated urea) would be another option but it needs to be blended with at urea or ammonium sulfate to insure enough N will be available for the crop between Feekes GS 6 – 9. The source of N becomes less important as the application date approaches stem elongation. The percentage of urea and/or ammonium sulfate would need to be increased with ESN for application times closer to Feekes GS 6.

    A split application of N may also be used to spread the risk of N loss; however, research has not shown a yield increase from this practice. The first application should be applied no sooner than green-up. A smaller rate should be applied with the first application since little is needed by the crop at that time and the larger rate applied closer to Feekes GS 6.

    In summary, a producer may get away with applying N prior to green-up on wheat. However university data has not shown a yield advantage for these early applications, but results have shown in certain years a major N loss and yield reduction from applications prior to green-up. Why take the risk, just wait until green-up; the wheat does not need most of the N until April and May anyway.

  6. New Weed Science resources

    Author(s): Mark Loux

    A couple of new resources on weed identification and herbicide site of action from OSU weed science:

     - We have developed an iBook for weed ID, “The Ohio State University Guide to Weed Identification”.  This is a really nice resource to download onto an iPad or Mac computer for use in weed ID in the field or wherever.  It will not run on iPhone or other platforms.  The first edition of this is currently free on iTunes, but we will charge for the subsequent editions that will contain even more weeds.  Go to iTunes, and then search “weed identification” and it should come up. 

     - A collection of our time-lapse videos demonstrating herbicide mechanism of action is available on YouTube.  These are labeled with herbicide site of action number.  Search for “Ohio State Weed Science” in Youtube or use this link:

  7. Minimizing pollen contamination of non-GMO Corn

    Author(s): Peter Thomison

    As the commodity price for corn has dropped during the past two years, there has been greater interest among some growers in producing non-GMO corn for a premium. According to the USDA-ERS ( 86% of Ohio’s corn acreage in 2014 was planted to transgenic (GMO) corn. With GMO corn plantings so prevalent across the state, corn growers interested in obtaining non-GMO corn premiums need to develop plans to minimize pollen contamination of non-GMO corn. Pollen from corn containing transgenic traits may contaminate (by cross-pollination) nearby non-GMO corn. Ohio growers of identity preserved (IP) non-GMO corn should become more familiar with planting practices that limit pollen drift from nearby GMO corn fields. Several methods, including isolation and border rows, planting dates, and hybrid maturity, are effective in limiting exposure of non-GMO corn fields from pollen of GMO fields. For more details concerning these methods, consult Extension Fact Sheet AGF-135, Managing "Pollen Drift" to Minimize Contamination of Non-GMO Corn; it’s available online at

    Once released from the anthers into the atmosphere, pollen grains can travel as far as ½ mile with a 15 mph wind in a couple of minutes (Nielsen, 2003). However, most of a corn field's pollen is deposited within a short distance of the field. Past studies have shown that at a distance of 200 feet from a source of pollen, the concentration of pollen averaged only 1% compared with the pollen samples collected about 3 feet from the pollen source. The number of outcrosses is reduced in half at a distance of 12 feet from a pollen source, and at a distance of 40 to 50 feet, the number of outcrosses is reduced by 99%. Other research has indicated that cross-pollination between corn fields could be limited to 1% or less on a whole field basis by a separation distance of 660 ft., and limited to 0.5% or less on a whole field basis by a separation distance of 984 ft. However, cross-pollination could not be limited to 0.1% consistently even with isolation distances of 1640 ft.

    For more on growing non-GMO corn successfully, check out the following references:

    Brittan, K. 2006. Methods to Enable the Coexistence of Diverse Corn Production Systems. University of California Cooperative Extension Agricultural Biotechnology in California Series Publication 8192. Online at [URL verified 2/22/15]

    Nielsen, Bob. 2010. Tassel Emergence & Pollen Shed. Purdue Univ. Online at [URL verified 2/22/15]

    Riddle, J. 2012. GMO contamination prevention - What Does it Take? Univ. of Minnesota SW Research and Outreach Center. online at [URL verified 2/22/15]

    Thomison, P. 2002. Managing "Pollen Drift" to Minimize Contamination of Non-GMO Corn. Extension Fact Sheet AGF-135. online at [URL verified 2/22/15]

  8. GAP Required in 2015


    GAP (Good Agricultural Practices) for tobacco producers will be required again for the 2015 crop.  The status of contracts for the 2015 season is leaving many producers a little uneasy at this point with Philip Morris International (PMI), basically backing away from purchasing tobacco directly from producers. PMI will have Universal as their purchasing agent, and plan to keep PMI Maysville receiving station open while closing some other stations. The contract status also has some other issues with the number of pounds of tobacco produced in 2014 well above the number of pounds needed by the purchasing companies.  Regardless of all of this, GAP is still required for 2015 and the training sessions are already started throughout the Burley Belt.  For a complete list of GAP sessions to be offered, growers are recommended to log onto the GAP Connections web page often, as sessions are still being added. The address is

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.


Glen Arnold, CCA (Field Specialist, Manure Nutrient Management )
Greg LaBarge, CPAg/CCA (Field Specialist, Agronomic Systems)
Mark Badertscher (Educator, Agriculture and Natural Resources)
Mike Gastier, CCA (Educator, Agriculture and Natural Resources)
Nathan Douridas, CCA (Farm Science Review Farm Manager)
Sam Custer (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.

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