Corn Newsletter : 2018-03

  1. Winter has seen wild swings in the weather

    Author(s): Jim Noel

    The winter has seen wild swings in the weather and climate from cold to warm to cold.

    The outlook for February calls for this wild swing pattern to continue with periods of cold and mild along with periods of wet, snow and dry. The end result should be temperatures slightly colder than normal for February and precipitation at or above normal. Over the next two weeks precipitation liquid equivalent should average 1.5-2.5 inches over Ohio. Normal is about 1 inch in this period. See attached graphic for details.

    La Nina continues in the eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean with cooler than normal waters. This tends to lead to more challenging years in the Ohio Valley for agriculture.


    The outlook for March through May planting season continues to calls for a gradual switch from cooler than normal to start to warmer than normal by later May. It also overall suggests wetter than normal with a possible switch to drier than normal by May or June.

    The outlook for summer growing season calls for warmer and drier than normal from the latest climate models.

  2. 2017 eFields Research Report Highlights OSU Efforts to Improve Decision Making for Farmers

    Article submitted by Elizabeth Hawkins on behalf of the Digital Ag Team and contributors to eFields

    eFields is an Ohio State University program dedicated to advancing production agriculture through the use of field-scale research. Investigations are designed to answer questions that matter to farmers and insights from these studies are used to help farmers and their advisors understand how new practices and techniques can improve farm efficiency and profitability. Projects focus on precision nutrient management strategies and technologies to improve efficiency of fertilizer placement, enhance placement of pesticides and seed, automate machinery, and to develop analytical tools for digital agriculture.


    The 2017 eFields Research Report is now available. This report highlights 39 on-farm research projects that were conducted on over 3,000 acres across Ohio. In addition to the study design and yield results, each project report outlines the county where the research trial was located, general information about farm management practices at that location, and county-level weather information for the season. This information helps make it possible to identify research trials and results that align most closely with your operation.

    Some highlights of the 2017 report include high speed planting, soybean seeding rate trials, and the sidedressing of corn with manure using a drag hose. Excerpts from these three studies are provided as examples of what you can find within the eFields report.


    In order to better understand the capability of today’s high speed planters to accurately and precisely place seed, we tested a 16-row Case IH 2150 planter at five different speeds ranging from 5 to 17 mph. We measured and compared average singulation, average emergence, and yield. Check out the results on pages 20-21 of the report.


    With the need to find ways to apply manure more responsibly, OSU Extension has been evaluating methods to use liquid manures to side-dress corn. Trials conducted in Darke and Fulton counties are highlighted in the 2017 eFields Report. Liquid swine and dairy manure sidedress treatments were compared to commercial nitrogen sources. See if it worked on pages 44-47.


    Soybean seeding rate trials were planted at 13 on-farm locations across Ohio. Target seeding rates ranged from 60,000 - 240,000 seeds/acre. Information from these trials will be used to improve recommendations for variable-rate seeding prescriptions. Interested to see how your county compares to others? Check out the results on pages 76-89 of the report.


    You can download the full report at: or request a printed copy by contacting: or your local Extension office.

  3. Soil Infiltration

    Infiltration is the downward entry of water into the soil. Infiltration rate is expressed in inches per hour. Rainwater must first enter the soil for it to be of value. Water moves more quickly through the large pores of a sandy soil compared to slower movement through a clay soil with small pores. Infiltration is an indicator of the soil’s ability to allow water movement into and through the soil profile. Soil temporarily stores water, making it available for root uptake, plant growth and habitat for soil organisms.

    Infiltration is affected by crop and land management practices that affect surface crusting, compaction, and soil organic matter. Without the protective benefits of vegetative or residue cover, bare soil is subjected to the direct impact and erosive forces of raindrops that dislodge soil particles. Dislodged soil particles fill in and block surface pores, contributing to the development of surface crusts that restrict water movement into the soil.

    Soil organic matter affects infiltration through its positive affect on the development of stable soil aggregates, or crumbs. Highly aggregated soil has increased pore space and infiltration. Soils high in organic matter also provide good habitat for soil biota, such as earthworms, that through their burrowing activities, increase pore space and create continuous pores linking surface to subsurface soil layers.

    Farming practices that lead to poor infiltration include:

    • Incorporating, burning, or harvesting crop residues leaving soil bare and susceptible to erosion,

    • Tillage methods and soil disturbance activities that disrupt surface connected pores and prevent accumulation of soil organic matter,

    • Equipment and livestock traffic, especially on wet soils that cause compaction and reduced porosity.

    When no more water will drain from the large soil pores, which occurs within one or two days after rainfall , the moisture level is described as being at field capacity. Much of the moisture held in the soil at this level is available for uptake by growing plants. Soil moisture is considered low when it is present only in very small pores. Because water in small pores is held tightly, the energy available to roots for removing water is not sufficient to extract it at the rate that it is being transpired. When this condition exists, the plant leaves wilt or curl, and this soil moisture level is called the wilting point. The amount of soil water between field capacity and the wilting point is the available water-supplying capacity of the soil.

    Available water-supplying capacity is designated as inches of water per inch of soil, or as a percent by weight. This water is available to plants when root development and aeration are adequate for optimum plant growth. An acre inch of water is approximately 27,000 gallons. Soils have available water capacities of from 4 to 8 inches in 4 feet of soil.

    As shown in Chart # 1, Hoytville soil is fine textured with durable structure and contains considerable clay and organic matter. This fine textured soil can maintain a high infiltration rate at the soil surface compared to medium texture soil with weak structure. Raindrop impact can greatly reduce water infiltration by breaking down soil structure.


    Chart # 1: Ohio Agronomy Guide – 15th Edition Soil texture and rate of infiltration

    A single ring infiltrometer method was used to measure infiltration in a Hoytville clay soil in Wood County , Ohio. The 2nd test represents the infiltration capacity of soil after a one inch rainfall event. As shown in Chart #2, conventional tillage in a corn / soybean rotation field resulted in very slow water infiltration. A 3 crop rotation of corn /notill soybean / notill wheat improved infiltration. Adding clover  to the rotation greatly improved water infiltration.


    Chart # 2


    Best management practices to improve soil infiltration include: reduced tillage, avoid soil compaction, crop rotation, and keeping the soil covered with residue and cover crops. A soil with good infiltration can utilize and store plant available water and reduce water runoff which causes flooding.


    USDA Soil Infiltration

    Soil Quality Indicators – Infiltration

    Infiltration test

    Ohio Agronomy Guide – 15th Edition

  4. CORN Newsletter Reader Survey

    We want to thank all our readers for their interest in the CORN newsletter over the years. It has been several years since we have conducted a reader survey. We are asking readers to complete this survey to provide important information about the future content of the newsletter. Our goal is to provide farmers and consultants with accurate, researched based information that helps improve farm efficiency, profitability and sustainability. Completion is voluntary. All survey responses are anonymous and cannot be linked to respondents. Only summary data will be reported.

    If you receive the newsletter through an email subscription then you should have received an email about the survey with a personalized link. Please use this email to complete the survey. If you do not receive the CORN newsletter through email, we ask that you complete the survey by going to: .

    Thank you for your time and feedback as we strive to meet the needs of our readers.

  5. 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. 


  6. Taking Your Farm a Different Direction Workshop – Feb 27

    Author(s): Eric Richer, CCA

    Do low commodity prices have you concerned about your farm’s economic sustainability? Does your ‘sharp pencil’ have you considering alternative agricultural enterprises to complement commodity corn, soybeans, wheat and livestock? Then consider attending the “Taking Your Farm a Different Direction” workshop on February 27th in Fulton County. Some topics include re-visiting contract and niche swine production opportunities with Garth Ruff, OSUE Henry Co.; Ag Tourism on Your Farm with Rob Leeds, OSUE Delaware Co.; Transition to Organic Grains with Jeff Dean, organic farmer from Sandusky County; and non-GMO and organic grain and poultry production with speakers from local agribusinesses. If any of these topics are of interest to you, please consider attending. The workshop will occur at the Robert Fulton Ag Center, 8770 State Route 108, Wauseon, OH 43567. Cost of the program is $10 per person and includes lunch. The time of the program is from 8:30 am to 3:30 pm on Thursday, February 27th. Certified Crop Advisor (CCA) credits applied for. To RSVP call 419-337-9210, email or check us out at


    The message is clear: farms must know their costs of production for corn, soybeans, hay, milk, meat, and any other commodities they produce. Why? To make informed marketing, production, and financial management decisions that contribute to the overall profitability of the whole farm business.

    To help Ohio’s farm families achieve financial success in today’s challenging marketplace, the Ohio Farm Business Analysis Program is expanding our capacity to serve farmers across Ohio. Thanks to a USDA/NIFA grant, four additional Farm Business Analysis Technicians are ready to help farmers complete analysis of their 2017 business year.

    Farm business analysis is a tool that can be applied to any farm, regardless of size, crop, or livestock enterprise. Financial management is critical to the success of every farm business, and with analysis, farms are able to better understand the numbers behind their profits or losses.

    To complete a farm’s analysis, we start with beginning and ending balance sheets from the most recent business year. To fill in the year between the balance sheets, we provide input forms that cover all income, expenses, capital purchases, sales, and enterprise information.

    Farmers complete a whole farm analysis and may choose to do enterprise analysis. They receive their farm’s analysis and enterprise summaries that include their costs of production per acre, per unit (bu, ton, cwt, head) as well as machinery costs per acre. At the conclusion of each year’s analysis, farmers receive Ohio summary data, along with personalized benchmark reports that help them quickly identify areas of strength and concern.

    All farm data is treated and handled with the utmost care to preserve confidentiality. Farms that complete analysis also contribute to the database of Ohio farm financial and production data. Ohio farm data is used for teaching, research, extension education and policy decision making.

    1. better serve Ohio’s farmers, the Farm Business Analysis Program has added four new Farm Business Analysis Technicians serving central and western Ohio. These technicians work out of the County Extension Offices in Defiance, Licking Miami and Pickaway counties, and will also work with farms in surrounding counties. We welcome these new technicians and encourage you to contact the technician nearest your farm to get started on Farm Business Analysis:

    Defiance County 419.782.4771 Clint Schroeder

    Licking County 740.670.5315 Dave Grum

    Mahoning County 330.533.5538 Cristina Benton

    Miami County 937.440.3945 Sharon Harris

    Pickaway County 740.474.7534 Trish Levering

    Thanks to the USDA-NIFA Farm Business Analysis grant, the cost for a farm to complete an analysis for the 2017 business year is $100. To learn more about farm business analysis, contact Dianne Shoemaker or Haley Shoemaker at 330-533-5538 or email at or See past farm business summaries at


    Author(s): Ed Lentz, CCA

    Dr. Ed Lentz will be present two soil fertility programs based on his research and research from other university specialists at the Hancock County Agriculture Service Center, 7868 County Road 140, Findlay, OH 45840. Times and programs are as follows:

    Spring Nitrogen, Sulfur, and Other Nutrient Decisions for High Yield Wheat – February 13, 10:00 – 11:30 a.m.

    Nitrogen Stabilizers, Starters, Micros, Sulfur and Nutrient Enhancers -- How Important Are They for Corn Production? – February 20, 6:30 – 8:00 p.m.

    Programs are free to the public. Certified Crop Advisers will receive 1.5 CEU hours in nutrient management at each program. Please register for the one or both programs by calling the Hancock County Extension Office, 419/422-3851 or

  9. Northeast Ohio Agronomy School Slated for February 21, 2018

    Author(s): Lee Beers, CCA

    The OSU Extension offices in Northeast Ohio are pleased to be offering the “2018 Northeast Ohio Agronomy School” on Wednesday, February 21, 2018 from 9:30 to 3:30 p.m. at the Williamsfield Community Center located at 5920 State Route 322 in Williamsfield, Ohio. With profit margins decreasing it will be vital for crop producers to get the biggest bang from the dollars they invest in land rental, seed and fertilizer, technology, chemicals, and crop protection in 2018. A full day of topics with six different speakers has been planned for producers to learn more about the major issues impacting corn and soybean production in northeast Ohio.


    Morning Session- Jeff Stachler, OSU Extension Educator for Auglaize County will “ZOOM” in via the internet to help farmers learn how to control troublesome weeds. Learn more about controlling marestail, lambsquarter, common ragweed, redroot pigweed, and grasses. Discussion will also be held on waterhemp, one of Ohio’s newest weeds, which is heading its way east across Ohio. Alan Sundermeier, OSU Extension Educator in Wood County will then help producers learn about Ohio’s Soil Health Initiative. Learn what makes up a healthy soil and how can farmers can measure it. This interactive session will demonstrate water holding capacity, compaction, and biological attributes of soil. Techniques for improving soil productivity will also be discussed. To cap off the morning, David Marrison, OSU Extension Educator for Ashtabula County will help provide tips for making higher profits from your crop enterprise. Learn how to analyze your farm’s financial situation, how to create effective crop budgets and how to examine your cost of production. This session will also examine the new tax legislation and how it will impact agriculture.

    Lunch- As always, a hearty farmer lunch prepared by Lahti Catering means attendees will not go away hungry! This lunch is sponsored by W.I. Miller & Sons of Farmdale, Ohio and each of our program sponsors will provide a short industry update during lunch.

    Afternoon Session- To kick off the afternoon session, Dr. Scott Shearer, OSU Associate Professor in Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering will help farmers examine the impacts of soil compaction. Increasing production costs and tighter profit margins are causing many to question the value of new tire or track technologies. This presentation will provide farmers with a foundation for considering the value of these technologies along with field data from studies including grain carts and planters. Dr. John Fulton, OSU Associate Professor in Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering Technology will then help producers learn how to use precision ag on their small & medium crop farms without breaking the bank. This presentation will cover the basic precision technologies available while discussing potential value. To close out the day, Lee Beers, OSU Extension Educator for Trumbull County will address some of the more volatile issues which producers are sure to face 2018. This presentation will include a discussion on Dicamba and much more.

    Sponsors & Credits- This workshop is sponsored by the OSU Extension offices in Ashtabula, Trumbull & Geauga Counties with support from W.I. Miller & Sons, Centerra Coop, Doebler’s Hybrids, Pioneer Seeds & the Ohio Soybean Council. Certified Crop Advisor and Private & Commercial Pesticide Credits have been applied for.

    Registration-The registration fee for this workshop is $15 per person and includes refreshments, lunch, speaker travel expenses, and program handouts. 2018 Weed Control Guides will be on sale for $16 at the workshop as well as the Ohio Agronomy Guide for $17. Pre-registration is required by February 13, 2018. Make checks payable to OSU Extension, and mail to Ashtabula County Extension office, 39 Wall Street, Jefferson, OH 44047. A registration flyer can be found at: (or by clicking on the picture below.) More information can be received by calling the Ashtabula County Extension office at 440-576-9008.


  10. Considering Organic Production?

    Author(s): Amanda Douridas

    Are you looking for a way to increase profitability on your farm? Or are you looking to make some production changes that might offer more sustainability in the long run? Transitioning to organic production may help a farm achieve these goals. There are costs and challenges to making the three year transition on a crop or livestock farm and a lot of careful consideration should be given before making the switch.

    One of the best ways to learn is from those who have been through the process before. Join a panel of organic crop and livestock farmers to learn the ins and outs of transitioning and maintaining organic crops and livestock herds.

    The panelists include:

    Ron Burns- corn, soybeans, wheat
    Doug Yoder- corn and wheat
    Wesley Krabill- corn and soybeans
    Kevin Bell- row crops, hay, pasture, beef cattle

    This will be an informal setting where the panelists will share their experiences and farmers can ask questions they have about organic production. The event will take place on February 21, 2018 in Conference Room B of the Champaign County Community Center, 1512 South US Hwy 68, Urbana.

    Dinner, sponsored by Kalmbach Feeds and Crop Production Services, will be available at 6pm and the program will begin at 6:30. Please RSVP by Feb 19 to 937-484-1526 or

  11. Crawford Agronomy Night March 1st

    The Crawford County Agronomy night with pesticide and fertilizer recertification will be held on March 1st, at the Wayside Chapel Community Center 2341 Kerstetter Rd Bucyrus Ohio 44820. The program will start at 3:30pm and run until 9:00pm. We will have special guest speakers, Dr. Pierce Paul covering corn and wheat diseases; Tunsisa Hurisso with the OSU Soils lab covering Soil carbon, microbes, and nitrogen; Poet will also be providing a corn market update; Other topics coved by local educators: Weed management programs for your farm, Managing herbicide drift and carry over, and Toxic plants and Livestock. All pesticide categories can be covered if needed. Attendees who need credits can attend for $50, you may also attend for education only for $20 Supper is included. For more information click on the picture below, visit or call 419-562-8731.

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.


Amanda Bennett (Miami County)
Amanda Douridas (Champaign County)
Andy Michel (State Specialist, Entomology)
Bruce Clevenger, CCA (Defiance County)
Cindy Meyer (Butler County)
Clifton Martin, CCA (Muskingum County)
Debbie Brown, CCA (Shelby County)
Elizabeth Hawkins (Field Specialist, Agronomic Systems)
Eric Richer, CCA (Fulton County)
Garth Ruff (Henry County)
Glen Arnold, CCA (Field Specialist, Manure Nutrient Management )
Greg LaBarge, CPAg/CCA (Field Specialist, Agronomic Systems)
Jason Hartschuh, CCA (Crawford County)
Jeff Stachler (Auglaize County)
Jim Noel (National Weather Service)
Lee Beers, CCA (Trumbull County )
Mark Badertscher (Hardin County)
Mike Gastier, CCA (Huron County)
Pierce Paul (State Specialist, Corn and Wheat Diseases)
Rory Lewandowski, CCA (Wayne County)
Sam Custer (Darke County)
Sarah Noggle (Paulding 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