Those Last-Minute Items on the ‘To-Do’ List Before the Planting Rush

We all have those “I wish I had done list” – we won’t discuss how long ours are after one of these rush seasons.  Soil temperatures are:

County Research Branch Temperature (F) on April 11
Jackson Jackson 60.0
Noble Eastern 58.4 
Piketon Piketon 54.2
Clark Western 58.1
Huron Muck Crops 56.5
Ashtabula Ashtabula 52.4
Sandusky North Central 52.3
Wood Northwest  53.8
Wayne OARDC, Wooster 49.9

So while you are waiting, here a few of the more common problems that end up costing yield down the road.

1. Double check your varieties and their traits.

a. Herbicide resistance is one of the most common, we don’t see it as often, but there is a growth in the non-glyphosate arena so to avoid a mis-application double check the bags labels.

b. SCN resistance – for your fields with a history of SCN or those with SCN plus sudden death syndrome, make sure your varieties with the SCN resistance package gets planted there.

c.  The same goes for Phytophthora resistance, here double check the companies fine print to determine what the partial resistance levels are (also called field resistance, tolerance etc.). Those Rps genes are good, but there is enough within field diversity in our fields in Ohio that they will not provide total protection.  Put the varieties with the “best” resistance scores on your worst fields.  Remember, especially if buying from multiple companies – every company scores a bit differently.

d. Seed treatments – for fields with a history of replanting or poor drainage, does your seed treatment have a broad mix of fungicide active ingredients? There are not too many cases were insecticide treatment pays off in Ohio but do you have history of early-season bean leaf beetles?

2. Field preparation—What does your field look like?

a. Seedcorn Maggot – One of the few times an insecticide seed treatment will pay off is when you are tilling under a green cover crop and plant within 5-7 days. The decaying organic matter will attract seedcorn maggots, and which can decrease plant stand and emergence.

b. Slugs – While there are many benefits to no-till, the residue left on the soil does promote the presence of slugs. Springs with a lot of moisture and prolonged warm temperatures (mid-60’s to 70’s) also favors higher populations of slugs. Over the next few weeks (late April/early May) is a great time to search for slugs.  Adults and perhaps even eggs can be found at this time in crop residue

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.