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Agronomic Crops Network

Ohio State University Extension


C.O.R.N. Newsletter: 2017-40

  1. Selecting Corn Hybrids for 2018: Some Considerations

    Corn Harvest
    Author(s): Peter Thomison

    Hybrid selection is one of the most important management decisions a corn grower makes each year. It’s a decision that warrants a careful comparison of performance data. It should not be made in haste or based on limited data. Planting a marginal hybrid, or one not suitable for a particular production environment, imposes a ceiling on the yield potential of a field before it has been planted. In the Ohio Corn Performance Test (OCPT) ( it is not unusual for hybrid entries of similar maturity to differ in yield by 50 bu/A or more, depending on test site. Another consideration in hybrid selection which has received more attention recently as commodity prices have dropped are seed costs which increased an average of 11% per year from 2006 and 2014, much higher than the rates for fertilizers and pesticides ( Since 2014, per acre seed costs have decreased slightly (USDA Economic Research Service), from $102 per acre in 2015 to $99 per acre in 2016, a decrease of $3 per acre.

    Growers should choose hybrids best suited to their farm operation. Corn acreage, previous crop, soil type, tillage practices, desired harvest moisture, and pest problems determine the relative importance of such traits as drydown, insect and disease resistance, herbicide resistance, early plant vigor, etc. End uses of corn should also be considered - is corn to be used for grain or silage? Is it to be sold directly to the elevator as shelled grain or used on the farm? Are there premiums available at nearby elevators, or from end users, for identity-preserved (IP) specialty corns such as food grade or non-GMO corn? Capacity to harvest, dry and store grain also needs consideration. The following are some tips to consider in choosing hybrids that are best suited to various production systems.

    1. Select hybrids with maturity ratings appropriate for your geographic area or circumstances. Corn for grain should reach physiological maturity or "black layer" (maximum kernel dry weight) one to two weeks before the first killing frost in the fall. Grain drying can be a major cost in corn production. Use days-to-maturity, growing degree day (GDD) ratings, and harvest grain moisture data from performance trials to determine differences in hybrid maturity and drydown. One of the most effective strategies for spreading risk, and widening the harvest interval, is planting multiple hybrids of varying maturity.

    2. Choose hybrids that have produced consistently high yields across a number of locations. Choosing a hybrid simply because it contains the most stacked transgenic traits, or possesses appealing cosmetic traits, like “flex” ears, will not ensure high yields; instead, look for yield consistency across environments. Hybrids will perform differently based on region, soils and environmental conditions. Growers should not rely solely on one hybrid characteristic, or transgenic traits, to make their product selection. Most of the hybrids available to Ohio growers contain transgenic insect and herbicide resistance. In the 2017 OCPT over 90% of the hybrids tested contained transgenic traits. However, recent OCPTs reveal that some non-transgenic hybrid entries have yield potential comparable to the highest yielding stacked trait entries. Nevertheless, when planting fields where corn rootworm (RW), European corn borer (ECB) and Western Bean Cutworm (WBC) are likely to be problems (in the case of RW - continuous corn and in the case of ECB and WBC - late plantings), Bt traits offer outstanding protection and may mitigate the impact of other stress conditions. For more on Bt traits currently available, check out the most recent version of the “Handy Bt Trait Table” from Michigan State University (

    3. Plant hybrids with good standability to minimize stalk lodging (stalk breakage below the ear). This is particularly important in areas where stalk rots are perennial problems, or where field drying is anticipated. There are hybrids that have outstanding yield potential, but may be more susceptible to lodging problems under certain environmental conditions after they reach harvest maturity. The potential for stalk lodging increases at higher plant populations (usually above 32,000 -33,000 plants per acre) but many hybrids can tolerate higher final stands. Corn growers should consult with their seed dealer on hybrid sensitivity to stalk lodging, root lodging and greensnap (pre-tassel stalk brakeage caused by wind). Greensnap is relatively rare in Ohio but may cause major yield losses in some hybrids as the result of strong windstorms in late June and July.

    4. Select hybrids with resistance and/or tolerance to the most common stalk rots, foliar diseases, and ear rots. These include northern corn leaf blight, gray leaf spot, Gibberella, Anthracnose and Diplodia stalk rots and Gibberella and Diplodia ear rots. More rust on corn was reported in 2017 than normal, including both common rust and southern rust. The latter is rarer but the more damaging of the two major rust diseases that affect corn in Ohio ( Corn growers should obtain information from their seed dealer on hybrid reactions to specific diseases that have caused problems or that have occurred locally.

    5. Never purchase a hybrid without consulting performance data. Results of university/extension, company, and county replicated hybrid performance trials should be reviewed before purchasing hybrids. Because weather conditions are unpredictable, the most reliable way to select superior hybrids is to consider performance during the last year and the previous year over as wide a range of locations and climatic conditions as possible. Hybrids that consistently perform well across a range of environmental conditions, including different soil and weather conditions, have a much greater likelihood of performing well the next year, compared to hybrids that have exhibited more variable performance. To assess a hybrid’s yield averaged across multiple Ohio sites and years, consult the sortable “Combined Regional Summary of Hybrid Performance” tables available online .

  2. 2017 Ohio Corn Performance Test: Regional Overviews

    In 2017, 205 corn hybrids representing 25 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 2017 Ohio growing season was characterized by one of the warmest springs on record (the month of April was the warmest on record). Precipitation at test sites in April was near normal but 1 to 4 inches above normal at most test sites in May and June. Temperatures in July were near normal but rainfall was considerably above normal at most sites especially those in Northwest, Southwest, West Central, and Central Ohio. Rainfall at the Hebron site was 12 inches above normal whereas that at Wooster it was slightly less than one inch above normal. The impact of drier than normal conditions in August and September were mitigated by below average temperatures. Foliar diseases and insect pests were generally not a major factor. However, rust, primarily common rust, was evident at several locations. Warm, dry conditions during the latter half of September through mid-October promoted crop maturation, which was important for late plantings and dry down, but persistent rains in November delayed harvest of late planted sites.

    Despite excessive rainfall, which resulted in planting delays at several sites, as well as periods of dry weather during grain fill, OCPT corn yields generally exceeded those of recent years. Averaged across hybrid entries in the early and full season tests, yields were 268 bu/A in the Southwestern/West Central/Central region, 235 bu/A in the Northwestern region, and 233 in the North Central/Northeastern region. Yields at individual test sites, averaged across hybrid entries in the early and full season tests, ranged from 195 bu/A at Hoytville to 283 bu/A at Hebron. Lodging was largely absent across sites except at Van Wert and Upper Sandusky where some hybrids lodged as a result of heavy rains and strong winds in early November. Performance data for Washington Court House in the SW region and Bucyrus (Full Season) in the NE region are not presented due to variable field conditions that resulted in erratic stands, uneven growth and inconsistent yields.

    Tables 1 and 2 provide an overview of 2017 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: . A bulletin containing the results, 2017 Ohio Corn Performance Test, is also published as an insert in Ohio’s Country Journal.

    As you review 2017 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. Look for consistency in a hybrid's performance across a range of environmental conditions. Consider the table providing a “Combined regional summary of hybrid performance” which indicate the performance of hybrids common to eight statewide test sites and the six tests in western Ohio. 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.

  3. Update on required dicamba training for 2018

    Author(s): Mark Loux

    Following a summer of many instances of off-target movement of dicamba across the country from use in Xtend soybeans, the labels for Engenia, XtendiMax, and FeXapan were modified in an attempt to reduce future problems. These products became restricted use pesticides, and an additional requirement is that anyone applying these products must attend annual dicamba or group 4 herbicide-specific training, and have proof that they did so. Details are still being worked out on this training for Ohio, but it will not be conducted by OSU Extension, or accomplished through OSU winter agronomy or pesticide recertification meetings. At this point, as far as we know it appears that it will be conducted by Monsanto, BASF, and DuPont at meetings held specifically by them for this purpose, and also possibly through an online training module. Final details and meeting schedules are not likely to be in place until after the first of the year. We will pass on information as we get it from ODA and companies, and applicators will undoubtedly receive this information from multiple other sources as well.

    OSU, Purdue, and U. of Illinois have put together a fact sheet on stewardship of dicamba, which is available here, or at our website – This is not meant to be an all-inclusive list of application requirements from labels, but it also contains some suggestions on stewardship that are not part of labels. Unlike the three companies selling these products, whose position is that applicator error was responsible for most off-target problems in 2017, university weed scientists concluded that volatilization of dicamba caused many of them. And we are not convinced that the label changes adequately address the potential for volatilization to occur, or provide conservative enough guidelines to help applicators assess how and where (and more important – where not) to apply dicamba in Xtend soybeans. OSU’s position on the use of dicamba in Xtend soybeans has not changed over the past year. We feel that off-target problems could be greatly minimized by restricting dicamba use to early-season, as a component of no-till burndown treatments. Dicamba has utility for control of marestail in the burndown, and there is just less emerged vegetation to damage earlier in the season should off-target movement occur. This is not to say there is no risk of movement or damage when used early-season. Just because risk to non-Xtend soybeans or other crops is low because they have not emerged yet, does not mean there is not risk to nearby fruit trees, vegetables, ornamentals, etc. However, postemergence use of dicamba accounted for most of the off-target problems in 2017, and we would expect a similar trend in 2018.

  4. Agricultural Data Coalition

    As farmers wrap up harvest and begin thinking about the 2018 cropping season, data organization and archiving may be a topic of interest. There are many data repositories provided by the private sector and we know that farmers are beginning to reap the benefits of historical agricultural data. As the industry moves towards adoption of AgTech, many are beginning to see evidence of how historical data may inform the creation of prescriptions to guide and optimize crop production inputs. We know that many farmers have bought into AgTech, and have few concerns with sharing their data, while others remain somewhat reluctant to upload their data to cloud service providers.

    Unfortunately, many farmers find themselves sitting on the sidelines when it comes to uploading their data to some service providers. In response to numerous concerns expressed by farmers, the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) adopted the following data privacy and security policy. Proprietary data collected from farming and agricultural operations is valuable, should remain the property of the farmer, and warrants protection. AFBF supports:

    • requiring companies that are collecting, storing, and analyzing proprietary data to provide full disclosure of their intended use of the data;
    • compensation to farmers whose proprietary data is shared with third parties that offer products, services or analyses benefitting from that data;
    • utilizing all safeguards to ensure proprietary data is stored at an entity that is not subject to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request; and
    • the right of a producer who no longer wishes to participate in aggregated data sharing with a private company, to remove their past aggregated data from the company’s database and revoke that company’s ability to sell or use that data in the future.

    A little over two years ago, several public and private sector partners came together to begin addressing data privacy and security concerns. Today, the Agricultural Data Coalition (ADC), a non-profit organization, provides a cloud-based data repository designed and built to address farmers’ data concerns. During 2018, the ADC will form a farmer-owned, for-profit cooperative to license to the ADC’s data repository. Keeping the AFBF principles in mind, the ADC is unique because:


    • Coalition includes universities, industry, and agricultural service providers to support farmers and advance collaboration in the new era of data driven agriculture;
    • Farmers save time and money by having all their data in a single, secure and transparent repository;
    • A farmer using ADC can permission and share data with one or more advisors or ag tech providers in support of prescriptive agriculture; and
    • Permissions can be managed for files, folders, time interval or project; so that grower maintains full control of their data assets.

    Key benefits of the ADC non-profit structure include:

    • Platform and related infrastructure for the collection of agricultural-related data and its use for non-commercial research and development with data owner permission;
    • Conduct, support and facilitate collaborative data research and educational activities that benefit and enhance the use of agricultural data and its range of applications;
    • Educate the agricultural industry and the public about the value of agricultural data and its impact or potential; and
    • Educate the agricultural industry about the operability of agronomic, machine and other agricultural-related data.

    Agricultural professionals interested in learning more about the ADC can go to to subscribe to the newsletter, to become a member of the non-profit, or to create an account and begin storing and protecting their data.

  5. Nutrient Management Plan Writers Are Still At Work In The Western Lake Erie Basin In 2018

    Western Lake Erie Basin HUC 8 Watersheds in Ohio
    Author(s): , Sarah Noggle

    Nutrient Management Plan Writers are still working for the 2018 year in the Western Lake Erie Basin to write free plans for non-CAFO farmers. Our goal is to complete 65,000 acres for NMP’s in 2018. These plans are written free of charge to farmers and require a small amount of your time and effort. As the plan writer we gather information that is pertinent to your farm such as your crop rotations, tillage practices, current (within three years) soil test results, yield goals, conservation goals, where water is and more. Then we take that information and work it into several computer programs to complete a NMP or CNMP for your farm. These plans may be required for many financial institutions when building new livestock structures. They may also help with your plan to apply for EQIP funding through NRCS and serve as affirmative defense through SWCD. The NMP may help you reduce your fertilizer cost and provide 4R recommendations for nutrient stewardship practices for your farm.

    All four NMP Writers are available to work with anyone from the WLEB and if you would like to discuss a NMP or CNMP for your farm please contact one of us at our offices:

    Jessie Schulze – Defiance County – 419-782-4771 –

    Linda Lauber – Fulton County – 419-337-9210 –

    Tony Campbell – Paulding County – 419-399-8225 –

    Brittany Sieler – Wood County – 419-354-9050 –

    You can also contact any of your county Extension Ag Educators who can forward the information to us.

  6. 2017 Ohio Soybean Performance Trials - Sortable Tables Online Now

    Author(s): Laura Lindsey

    Results of the 2017 Ohio Soybean Performance Trials are now available online as sortable tables:

    New for 2017- A link was added to the top of each table to download the data to a spreadsheet.

  7. Soil Health Workshop

    The two-day Soil Health Workshop provides farmers and landowners with an in-depth look at factors that contribute to long-term soil health. Topics discussed in the workshop include an overview of soil biology and ecology, how to select and manage cover crops for your farm, nutrient recycling and water quality, and more. The workshop combines experience and information from USDA-NRCS, the Putnam Soil and Water Conservation District, and OSU Extension. All materials, including the Cover Crops Field Guide, and lunch are included in the registration fee of $10. Please contact Beth Scheckelhoff at or by phone at 419-523-6294 for additional information. Registration form can be obtained at

    January 4 and 5

    Putnam County Extension Office – 1206 East Second St., Ottawa, OH

    $10 registration fee

    See registration flyer here.

  8. CCA Pre-Exam Training January 10 & 11

    The Certified Crop Adviser (CCA) Exam Training program, sponsored by the OSU Agronomic Crops Team, will be offered at the Shelby County Extension Office, 810 Fair Rd, Sidney, Ohio 45365 on January 10 & 11, 2018 beginning at 9:00 a.m. on the 10th and adjourn by 5:00 p.m. on the 11th. The price for the Pre-Exam preparation class is $250. Secure on-line registration via credit card, debit card or check is available at: This is an intensive two-day program somewhat directed toward the local exam.

    Course contact:


    Harold Watters, CPAg, CCA

    Ohio State University Extension

    1100 S. Detroit St

    Bellefontaine, OH 43311

    Phone 937 604-2415 cell, or by email: for more information.


    We will provide at the program on January 10 & 11- lectures, discussion, presentations, and several publications and handouts to study. Meals, snacks, drinks will also be provided on site during the class.

    Not covered directly in the class is the international exam. We recommend this very good study resource for the international exam, “Preparing for the International CCA Exam”. To order: This guide is divided into four main categories; Nutrient Management, Crop Management, Pest Management, Soil/Water Management with subject matter and questions/answers at end of each chapter.

    For more information on the Certified Crop Adviser program:

    Final February 2018 CCA Exam Registration date is December 8th.

    Know someone looking to be certified as a CCA or are you interested in a specialty certification? Registration is open through December 8, 2017 for the International and all local board exams, as well as the 4R NMS, Resistance Management, and Sustainability exams. Register today at:

  9. 2018 West Ohio Agronomy Day


    The 2018 West Ohio Agronomy Day will be held on Monday, January 8th at St. Michael’s Hall in Fort Loramie. A light breakfast will be available starting at 8 a.m. with a market update at 8:30 a.m. At 9 a.m. the one-hour Fertilizer Applicator Recertification Training will begin. The Private Pesticide Applicator Recertification (Core and Categories 1, 2, and 6) and Commercial Pesticide Applicator Credits (Core and 2C) along with other topics will fill the day from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Certified Crop Adviser CEUs are also available.

    The evening portion of the 2018 West Ohio Agronomy Day will be held on Tuesday, January 16th at the VFW Post 4239, north side of Sidney at the intersection of I-75 and CR 25A. (Look for the tank!) This program will begin at 5:00 p.m. with a light supper and a market update. We will be providing only Private Pesticide Applicator Recertification credits (Core and Categories 1, 2, and 6) and the one-hour Fertilizer Applicator Recertification Training. These trainings will be held from 5:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. and will be conducted by OSU Extension personnel.

    For more information, visit At this site there are (tentative) schedules for each program as well as links to register for each program.

    You can also register by contacting the Shelby County Extension office at 937.498.7239 or by emailing Debbie Brown at by December 28th. Be sure to indicate which program you wish to attend and whether you’re coming for Pesticide Applicator Recertification ($30), Fertilizer Applicator Recertification ($10) or just for the Fun, Food, Fellowship, and Lots of Information!! ($10).

  10. Soybean Inputs – Focus on Payback


    The public is invited to attend an educational meeting on tips for better soybean profits in 2018.  The same program will be conducted on two dates.  January 9, from 8:30 -10:30 am at the Wood County Extension, 639 Dunbridge Road, Bowling Green.  And January 11, 6:30 – 8:30 pm at the Hancock County Extension, 7868 County Road 140, Findlay.  No cost, but registration is needed for handout materials by contacting either:  Alan Sundermeier (419) 354-9050, or Ed Lentz (419) 422-3851,  Program includes University research results and recommendations on soybean seeding rate, seed treatment, fungicide, variety selection, fertility and weed management.

  11. Northwest Ohio Corn & Soybean Day to be held in Archbold – January 19th

    Learn about precision nutrient placement at this year’s NW Ohio Corn-Soybean Day in Archbold
    Author(s): Eric Richer, CCA

    The annual Northwest Ohio Corn & Soybean Day is scheduled for Friday, January 19th in Founders Hall at Sauder Village in Archbold from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The program has a variety of speakers, a farmer/retailer re-certification credits and nearly 30 exhibitors sharing information on management practices for the 2018 crop production season. This year’s Corn/Soybean Day offers the three-hour Pesticide applicator re-certification (CORE, 1, 2, 6) plus one hour of re-certification for fertilizer applicators (15) as well as 4 hours of Certified Crop Advisor (CCA) credits.

    Topics and speakers for the day include:

    Palmer, Dicamba and New Traits

    Dr. Mark Loux, OSUE State Weeds Specialist

    Economic Impact of the Clemens Processing Plant

    Garth Ruff, OSU Extension, Henry County

    Right Placement: Precision Nutrient & Sprayer Application

    Dr. John Fulton, OSUE State Precision Ag Specialist

    Ohio Farm Bureau Update

    Adam Sharp, Executive Vice President, Ohio Farm Bureau

    Rotation and Cover Crops – Impacts on Nutrient Management

    Dr. Emerson Nafziger, University of Illinois, Corn Production Specialist

    A Phytopthora and Pythium Primer

    John Schoenhals, OSU Extension, Williams County

    Fumigation Update

    Bruce Clevenger, OSU Extension, Defiance County

    The following continuing education credits for pesticide and fertilizer applicators are offered throughout the day:

    • Private Pesticide Applicator Re-certification: 3 hours in categories Core, 1, 2, and 6.
    • Commercial Pesticide Applicator Re-certification: 3 hrs in categories Core, 2A, 2C, 10C
    • Fertilizer Applicator Re-certification (Private & Commercial): 1 hr category 15p/15c
    • Michigan: 4 hours
    • Certified Crop Advisors: 5 hours CM, IPM, NM, and PD

    Pre-registration is $35 and should be postmarked by January 10th. The first 25 individuals pre-registered will receive an OSU seed depth gauge. Later registrations and at the door registrations are $50, space permitting. Registration includes coffee/rolls, lunch, and speaker materials. A more detailed agenda, list of sponsors and registration information can be found at Contact Eric Richer, Extension Educator, Agriculture & Natural Resources, 419-337-9210 or for more information.

  12. All-Ohio Chapter Soil & Water Conservation Society Annual Conference January 19, 2018


    “Addressing Water Quality Concerns in Drainage Improvement Projects” will be the theme of the SWCS conference on Friday, January 19, 2018 from 9:00 am – 4:00 pm at the Der Dutchmen Restaurant in Plain City, Ohio. Topics include: Ditch Improvement projects panel, Using Bio-Indicators to Assess Stream Water Quality, Two-stage Ditches, Woodchip bioreactors, Phosphorus filters. The public is invited. Register by January 15. Questions call Kevin King at 567-224-9217.

    See registration flyer here

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 Bennett (Educator, Agriculture and Natural Resources)
Amanda Douridas, CCA (Educator, Agriculture and Natural Resources)
Ed Lentz, CCA (Educator, Agriculture and Natural Resources)
Elizabeth Hawkins (Field Specialist, Agronomic Systems)
Eric Richer, CCA (Field Specialist, Farm Management)
Garth Ruff (Educator, Agriculture and Natural Resources)
Glen Arnold, CCA (Field Specialist, Manure Nutrient Management )
Greg LaBarge, CPAg/CCA (Field Specialist, Agronomic Systems)
Jason Hartschuh, CCA (Field Specialist, Dairy & Precision Livestock)
Laura Lindsey (State Specialist, Soybean and Small Grains)
Lee Beers, CCA (Educator, Agriculture and Natural Resources)
Mike Gastier, CCA (Educator, Agriculture and Natural Resources)
Peter Thomison (State Specialist, Corn Production)
Sam Custer (Educator, Agriculture and Natural Resources)
Sarah Noggle (Educator, Agriculture and Natural Resources)
Tony Nye (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 For an accessible format of this publication, visit