Corn Newsletter : 2018-02

  1. Reminders about dicamba training

    Author(s): Mark Loux

    Following the problems with off-target movement of the new dicamba formulations, XtendiMax, Engenia, and FeXapan, last summer, the USEPA mandated a number of label changes, and also designated these products as restricted use pesticides. The labels now contain additional restrictions on application, and also mandate that anyone applying these products must participate in annual training on their use. ODA will be enforcing the new dicamba restrictions and has sent out a letter to all private applicators with category 1 (grain and cereal crops) on their license to notify them of the new requirements. Dicamba-specific training dates and locations can be found at the OSU Pesticide Education website, – the list will be updated frequently. Any of the dicamba-specific training dates listed on the website will meet the training requirement to apply Xtendimax, Engenia, or FeXapan, regardless of which company (BASF, Monsanto, Dupont) sponsored the meeting. In other words, only one training session from any company has to be attended regardless of which product an applicator is using. Ohio is accepting training that an applicator attends in all states bordering us, but the reverse is not necessarily true – Indiana and Kentucky are not accepting training attended here in Ohio. More information can also be found on the ODA Pesticide and Fertilizer Regulation website -

  2. Soil Aggregate Stability – a soil health physical indicator

    A suite of soil health measurements are becoming available which are not part of the traditional soil chemical tests. Soil aggregate stability is an important physical indicator of soil health, which protects organic matter accumulation, improves soil porosity, drainage and water availability for plants, decreases soil compaction, supports biological activity, and nutrient cycling in the soil. Aggregates are primary soil particles (sand, silt, clay) held together in a single mass or cluster, such as a crumb, block, prism or clod using organic matter, calcium and metals as cementing materials. Soil aggregates are formed by natural forces (such as alternate wetting-drying) and organic substances derived from root exudates, roots, soil animals and microbial by-products which cement primary particles into smaller aggregates (micro-aggregates) or smaller aggregates into larger particles, such as macro-aggregates.

    Micro-aggregates are 20–250 μm in size and are composed of clay microstructures, silt-size micro-aggregates, humic materials, organic-metal bridging, and mycorrhizal fungus hyphae: these particles are stable in nature. Roots and microbes combine micro-aggregates to form soil macro-aggregates. Macro-aggregates are linked mainly by particulate organic matter, fungi hyphae, roots fibers, and polysaccharides and are less stable than micro-aggregates. Macro-aggregates are greater than 250 μm in size and give soil its structural stability, and allow air circulation and water infiltration and drainage. Compacted soils have more micro-aggregates than macro-aggregates.

    Recent research studies have suggested that polysaccharides like glomalin acts like a glue to cement micro-aggregates together to form macro-aggregates and improve soil structure. Soils composed mainly of micro-aggregates prevent water infiltration due to the lack of and/or reduced macro-pores in the soil, so water tends to pond on the soil surface. Farm fields that have been excessively tilled tend to crust, seal, and compact more than no-till fields with surface crop residues and a living crop with active roots to promote fungal growth and glomalin production.

    Aggregate stability refers to the ability of soil aggregates especially macro-aggregates to resist disintegration when disruptive forces associated with tillage and water or wind erosion are applied. Wet aggregate stability suggests how well a soil can resist raindrop impact and water erosion, while size distribution of dry aggregates can be used to predict resistance to abrasion and wind erosion. The loss of these physical properties through soil destructive events (tillage) can turn a great soil into a problematic compacted soil of low crop productivity.

    Table 1: Soil aaggregate stability test results (2017 Wood County, Ohio for same soil health qualitative rating)


    Picture: Vinayak Shedekar (OSU Soil Health Center)

    The Cornell aggregate stability test is measured by the fraction of dried aggregates that disintegrate under a controlled, simulated rainfall event similar in energy delivery to a hard spring rain; the value is presented as a percent, and scored against a distribution observed in regional soils with similar textural characteristics.

    The Woods End lab test uses the Solvita Volumetric Method for aggregate stability. Results range from 0 to 80%, the high value being rare. Water stable aggregates result from the quantity of favorable soil texture (clay) combined with the quality of the biology system, which aids binding soil particles in a sponge-like network. VAST (Volumetric Aggregate Stability Test) measures this volumetrically in re-wetted soil that has not been machine-ground.

    The Ohio State University Soil health test uses comprehensive wet sieving (5, 2, 1, 0.5, 0.24, 0.125, 0.053, and <0.053 mm, respectively) method to measure soil aggregate stability. Soil aggregate stability below 25% is considered poor physical quality, 30 to 50% is considered low to medium physical quality, 50 to 75% medium to good physical quality, and above 80% is considered excellent physical quality, scaled over similar textured soils.

    These labs conduct aggregate stability testing: Comprehensive Assessment of Soil Health – Cornell University Woods End Laboratories Soil Health Assessment Center – University of Missouri – Ohio State University Soil Health Center, Piketon, Ohio.

    More information on aggregate stability can be found at:

    Sundermeier et al. (2011) Continuous no-till impacts on soil biophysical carbon sequestration. Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J. 75:1779–1788. The Biology of Soil Compaction NRCS Soil Quality Indicators: Aggregate Stability

  3. What’s Limiting Soybean Yield? Take Soybean Production Survey and Receive $40

    Author(s): Laura Lindsey

    To participate in this research, please see the online survey:

    I am continuing a third year of a StateWide Project aimed at generating some baseline producer data on current soybean management practices in Ohio’s production systems. This project is funded by the Ohio Soybean Council and the North Central Soybean Research Program (NCSRP). The project goal is to identify the key factors that preclude the state’s soybean producers from obtaining yields that should be potentially possible on their respective individual farms. The term used for the difference between what yield is possible on your farm each year and what you yield you actually achieve is called a “Yield Gap”.

    We are therefore asking Crop Producers in Ohio to provide us with yield and other agronomic data specific to their soybean production fields. With that data, we could then conduct an indepth analysis of what onfarm factors might be causing a Yield Gap on producer farms. We intend to provide annual reports to all crop producers informing them of what factors we may have identified that, based on our analysis of the data collected from farms, are likely limiting you from achieving soybean yields closer to yield potential that is likely possible on your farms! Click here for the latest report!

    Specifically, we are requesting yield and other data specific to four 2017 fields of soybean that YOU grew on your farm. If you cannot recall or do not have data for any given cell on the Survey Form, leave them blank.

    We look forward to receiving your data. Keep in mind that all data submissions will be kept strictly confidential. At the end of the survey, you will be asked for your name, email, and mailing address. This entry is optional, but will be used to email preliminary results and mail a check ($10/field) for your time and help filling out the survey.

  4. Customizing your Weed Management Program

    Two similar advanced weed management program are planned for February 13th  in Marion and 14th in Willard. They will both feature Mark Loux and Bruce Ackley with hands on weed identification. They will also be covering weed biology and making a cost effective weed control program that fits your farm. These will be hands on programs working with green house grown weeds, for weed identifiaction at various growth stages. The Willard Program will have an hour after lunch focusing on sprayer clean out and effects of spray nozzles. The Willard program will also offer pesticde recertification credits and CCA credits. Please call the respective program sponsors on the fliers below for more information and to registure by Wednessday this week. 


  5. Northern Ohio Crops Day

    Author(s): Allen Gahler

    The annual Northern Ohio Crops Day, held annually in February at Ole Zim’s Wagon Shed near Gibsonburg, Ohio in Sandusky County is returning to its roots in 2018 with an in-depth agronomy program.

    Progressive producers will want to mark February 8, 2018 at 8:30 a.m. on their calendar for a program packed full of speakers and topics on the latest issues in agronomy, including a budgeting and cropland values update by Barry Ward, pigweed ID and control strategies by Dr. Mark Loux, and a discussion on weather trends and their impact by OSU Extension climatologist Aaron Wilson.

    Additional topics will include soybean disease management by Anne Dorrance, soil fertility, nitrogen use in on-farm research trials, and getting the most out of Precision Ag technology. For complete agenda and details visit

    There is a $20 registration fee for the program, and pre-registration is required by calling the Sandusky County Extension office at 419-334-6340 or by emailing Allen Gahler at CCA credits will be available, but there will be no pesticide or fertilizer certification credits offered this year. Registration is open at 8:00 a.m. with morning refreshments and time to visit with local sponsors, and the program beginning at 8:30. Lunch will be served by the Ole Zims staff. Sponsors include several local ag businesses, and plenty of time will be available for participants to visit their display tables.

  6. Soil Health Workshop – February 6, 2018 Sandusky County , Ohio

    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 Ottawa County Soil and Water Conservation District, and OSU Extension. All materials, including the Cover Crops Field Guide, and lunch are included. There is no fee to attend. Registration is needed by contacting Mike Libben, Ottawa SWCD by phone at 419-898-1595 or .

    February 6, 2018, 8:00 am -4:00 pm.

    Luckey Farmer’s General Office, 1200 W. Main Street, Woodville, Ohio 43469.

  7. 2018 Central Ohio Agronomy School “The Nuts & Bolts About Corn & Soybean Production”

    Author(s): John Barker

    The 2018 Central Ohio Agronomy School will be held on Monday evenings, beginning on Monday February 5 through Monday March 5, from 6:30 –9:00 p.m. in the conference room of the Ag Services Building, 1025 Harcourt Rd. Mt. Vernon, Ohio 43050. This five-week program will provide the attendees with the most comprehensive, up-to-date crop production and agricultural technology information available today. This school is designed with everyone in mind; part-time or full-time producer, beginner or CCA agronomist. Within each subject area we will teach the basic concepts and progress to the most advanced agronomic principles.

    Topics include:

    February 5Dr. Robert Mullen, Agrium-Potash Corp.

    Fertilizer Outlook for 2018

    The Phosphorus Situation in Ohio

    Sulfur – Fact or Fiction

    February 12Frank Gibbs, USDA NRCS Soil Scientist (Retired)

    Building Soil Health - What are the Benefits?

    Aaron Wilson, Byrd Polar and Climate Research Center

    Ohio Changing Weather Patterns.

    2018 Weather Outlook.

    February 19Matt Bennett, Precision Planting

    Farming by the Foot, not the Field

    Mike Hannewald, Beck’s

    Multi Hybrid Planting

    February 26 - Dr. Mark Loux, OSU Extension

    Weed control update for 2016

    Palmer Amaranth – We Have It, How Do We Control It?

    Palmer, Waterhemp and Pigweed Identification With Real Plants

    March 5Peggy Hall, OSU Agricultural Law

    Legal Issues Facing Agriculture

    Barry Ward, OSU Extension

    Farm Economics Outlook for 2018

    March 12 - Weather Make Up Date


    This school will provide:

    12.5 continuing education credits (CEU’s) for Certified Crop Advisors,

    N.M. 2.0, P.D. 2.5, P.M. 4.0, C.M. 3.0, S&W 1.0.

    4.5 hours of Commercial Pesticide Credits

    Core– 1.5 Hours, 2C – 2.5 Hours, 2A –.5 Hours.

    4.5 hours of Private Pesticide Recertification Credits

    Core - 1.5 Hours, Category 1- 2.0 Hours, Category 2 - .5 Hours 2, Category 6 - .5 Hours

    Registration costs vary due to CUE credits and pesticide applicator credits.

    This program is sponsored by The Ohio State University Extension, Advantage Ag & Equipment, AgInfoTech, B&B Farm Service, Beck’s, Central Ohio Farmers CO-OP, Channel, Cubbage Electric, Farmcredit, First-Knox National Bank, Ohio Soybean Council and Seed Consultants.

    For more information contact the OSU Extension Office in Knox County (740-397-0401). The following links will provide more information for this program. or

  8. Northern Ohio Hay Production Day

    Author(s): Allen Gahler

    Hay and forage producers across Northern Ohio will have an opportunity to brush up their knowledge and skills on alfalfa production, learn about alternative forages, and discuss hay marketing strategies on January 30 at the OARDC North Central Ag Research Station near Fremont.

    Topics to be covered include Alfalfa stand establishment, fertility/foliar fertilizers, alfalfa varieties, cutting management, weed and pest management, forage quality and marketing, and the use of cover crops and annuals for double cropping forages.

    The program is sponsored by OSU Extension Sandusky County, and presenters will include Allen Gahler, OSU Extension Sandusky County, Jason Hartschuh, OSU Extension Crawford County, and Rory Lewandowski, OSU Extension Wayne County.

    The program will run from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. and the station is located at 1165 County Rd. 43, Fremont, OH. Cost: $20 per person, and please RSVP to Sandusky County Extension by January 25. To RSVP or for more information, call 419-334-6340 or email Lunch, refreshments, and publications will be provided.


  9. Coshocton/Muskingum Agronomy School

    The 2018 Agronomy School for Coshocton and Muskingum Counties will be on Wednesday, January 31, 2018 at Dresden United Methodist Church, 1014 Main St, Dresden, OH 43821. Topics will include disease and pest management, managing harvest data, nutrient management and water quality, and industry outlooks. Certified Crop Advisor continuing education credits are available and participants will be provided with a copy of the new Ohio Agronomy Guide, 15th edition. Registration and light refreshments begin at 9:00 am with introductions at 9:15 am.

    The registration flier is available at

    Cost: $30 per person. Payment may be received by check through the mail and should be sent to the Muskingum County Extension Office, 225 Underwood Street, Zanesville, OH 43701. Make checks payable to Ohio State University Muskingum County.

    Additionally, payment and registration may be completed online with a credit card at

    The 2018 Coshocton Muskingum Agronomy School is sponsored by the OSU Extension Offices of Coshocton and Muskingum Counties with additional support from the Ohio Soybean Council. Please contact Clifton Martin, ANR Extension Educator Muskingum County, at 740-454-0144 or with any questions.

About the C.O.R.N. Newsletter

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.


Alan Sundermeier, CCA (Wood County)
Debbie Brown, CCA (Shelby County)
Glen Arnold, CCA (Field Specialist, Manure Nutrient Management )
Greg LaBarge, CPAg/CCA (Field Specialist, Agronomic Systems)
Harold Watters, CPAg/CCA (Field Specialist, Agronomic Systems)
John Schoenhals, CCA (Williams County)
Lee Beers, CCA (Trumbull County )
Mark Badertscher (Hardin County)
Mark Loux (State Specialist, Weed Science)
Mary Griffith (Madison County)
Sam Custer (Darke County)


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