C.O.R.N. Newsletter : 2018-05

  1. Spring Planting and Summer Growing Outlook

    Author(s): Jim Noel

    La Nina, cooling of the eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean waters, remains in place and is classified as a weak La Nina. This means many other things will ultimately impact our weather and climate since it is weak but it will contribute to our pattern. Indications are this could linger into spring and possibly summer before ending. Regardless of when it ends, it tends to impact weather patterns in the atmosphere longer, sometimes up to three to six months later. So there will be a contribution to our climate pattern into at least the planting season if not growing season.

    December to February will go down as slightly warmer and wetter than normal. Even though we had really cold periods in there, the very warm second half of February wiped all the winter cold away. Snowfall will go down in many areas as not too far from normal, a bit above or below depending on where you live. The main snow message was the snow kept coming and going away during winter.

    The outlook for the rest of March is near normal temperatures and slightly wetter than normal. We do not expect March to see the really warm weather we saw in February. We will see more common periods of mild and cold.

    The outlook for April calls for cooler and wetter than normal conditions with the last freeze normal or slightly later than normal. Expect 4 inch soil temperatures to track normal or slightly behind schedule.

    After a slightly cooler and wetter spring (delayed planting?), there is growing risk of a turn to hotter and drier, during the summer growing season. However, within that preferred pattern, there is the risk of complexes of storms to provide intense short-term heavy rainfall and floods within a drier than normal pattern.

    What this all means is this year the risk will be elevated for extreme weather and climate shifts which challenge outdoor activities such as gardening and farming. Research NOAA/NWS/Ohio River Forecast Center has done with Ohio State University and published at the National Weather Association Annual Meeting in 2008 showed La Nina years tend to be some of the most challenging for crops in Ohio. See attached graphics for corn and soybean crop yields during La Nina years. Often times corn and soybean yields end up being at or below trend line. Corn is impacted more than soybeans.

  2. Soybean Planting…How Early Is Too Early?

    Author(s): Laura Lindsey

    Soybean planting date is absolutely critical to maximize yield (in most years and environments). Over the past few years, we’ve participated in a North Central Soybean Research Program (NCSRP) funded project with the goal of identifying causes of the “soybean yield gap.” (What factors are reducing soybean yield?) Across the Midwest, planting date was the most consistent management factor that influenced soybean yield.

    Figure 1 shows the relationship between soybean yield and planting date (Panel A = primarily northern Ohio excluding northwest Ohio; Panel B = primarily central and southern Ohio). In northern Ohio, soybean yield was reduced by 0.5 bushel/acre/day for every day planted after the end of April. In central/southern Ohio, soybean yield was reduced by 0.15 bushel/acre/day for every day planted after the end of April. For additional information on this project, see https://stepupsoy.osu.edu/soybean-production/soybean-yield-gap-research.

    Figure 1. Producer soybean yield plotted against planting date in nine environments. (Ohio consists of primarily environment A and B.)

    Small plot research conducted in Ohio shows a similar relationship (Figure 2). In Clark County (WARS location), soybean yield was reduced 0.6 bushel/acre/day for each day planted after the initial planting date. However, in Wood County (NWARS), soybean yield was the same regardless of planting date. Planting date is important and usually influences soybean yield, but not necessarily in every environment and year. For more information on this research see: https://stepupsoy.osu.edu/soybean-production/soybean-fertility-0/starter-fertilizer

    Timely planting is important for canopy closure which increases light interception, improves weed control, and helps retain soil moisture.

    Figure 2. Effect of soybean planting date on soybean grain yield at the Western Agricultural Research Station (WARS) in 2013 and 2014 and the Northwest Agricultural Research Station (NWARS) in 2014.

    In both datasets, you’ll notice the first planting date is end of April/early May. We do not have any data for planting soybeans in February or March. In our research, soil temperature was at least 50°F at planting. Planting too early (before field conditions are adequate) is risky. Factors such as damping-off and pressure from bean leaf beetle are concerns to keep in mind, as well as the possibility of a late spring frost. (Our early May planted soybeans in Wayne County in 2013 were damaged by bean leaf beetle and two frosts in mid-May.)

    Still curious about planting in February or March? Try it on 1-2 acres and see what happens. Soybean plants are incredibly resilient, but save the majority of your acres until soil temperature is at least 50°F with adequate soil moisture.


    Hankinson, M.W.; L.E. Lindsey, and S.W. Culman. 2015. Effect of planting date and starter fertilizer on soybean grain yield. Crop, Forage, and Turfgrass Management. doi:10.2134/cftm2015.1078

    Rattalino Edreira, J.I., S. Mourtzinis, S.P. Conley, A.C. Roth, I.A. Ciampitti, M.A. Licht, H. Kandel, P.M. Kyveryga, L.E. Lindsey, D.S. Mueller, S.L. Naeve, E. Nafziger, J.E. Specht, J. Stanley, M.J. Staton, and P. Grassini. 2017. Assessing Causes of Yield Gaps in Agricultural Areas with Diversity in Climate and Soils. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology. 247:170-180.

  3. Deciphering preplant dicamba labels and tank mixtures

    Author(s): Mark Loux

    Dicamba can have a good fit in spring preplant burndown programs, especially for control of overwintered marestail in fields not treated the previous fall. We typically recommend a preplant burndown that includes at least two herbicides with substantial activity on marestail in this situation, such as Sharpen + 2,4-D or Gramoxone + 2,4-D + metribuzin. Dicamba is the most effective burndown herbicide on glyphosate-resistant marestail in the spring though, and in our research has usually killed or at least stopped emerged marestail in their tracks without help from other herbicides. We have occasionally observed larger marestail plants escape complete control, due partly to what appears to be antagonism from other herbicides in the mix. Low rates of dicamba added to other less than effective burndown mixtures can also improve control to adequate levels.

    With regard to use of dicamba in burndown programs, there are distinctly different situations which define how it can be used and what can be mixed with it. Dicamba has been approved for preplant use prior to any type of soybean for a long time, but the restrictions on use can make it difficult to easily integrate into burndown treatments. For most of the 4 lb/gallon dicamba products that have this label, the wording is as follows (from Clarity label here): “Following application of Clarity and a minimum accumulation of one inch rainfall or overhead irrigation, a waiting period of 14 days is required for 8 fluid ounces per acre or less, and 28 days for 16 fluid ounces per acre. These intervals must be observed prior to soybean planting or crop injury may occur”. Restating – you can apply up to up to 8 fluid ounces per acre of Clarity prior to planting soybeans (any type), but following application, one inch of rain or irrigation must occur, and then you must wait another 14 days to plant. The Engenia, FeXapan, and XtendiMax labels carry these same restrictions and wording, with rates adjusted to account for different product loading. This restriction ensures that enough soil moisture exists and time elapses to allow for dissipation of dicamba to levels too low to injure soybeans. There is at least one product, Spitfire, a premix of 2,4-D and dicamba, with a more liberal restriction at the low end of the rate range. For Spitfire rates of 1 to 1.25 pints/A, the label allows a wait of 7 days to plant following application and the accumulation of ½ inch of rain or irrigation. The 7-day wait starts after the ½ inch of water occurs.

    This use of the older dicamba products can allow for a lot of flexibility in tank mix partners. The Clarity label states” “Clarity herbicide may be tank-mixed with other herbicides registered for early preplant use in soybeans including burndown herbicides such as glyphosate and 2,4-D and residual herbicides….”. So the assumption for most of the dicamba products labeled for this use is that any product can be mixed with them as long as that product has a preplant soybean label, and there is no specific prohibition mentioned. There are exceptions – as far as we can tell the Spitfire label has a somewhat incomplete list of approved tank mix partners, and does not have a statement similar to that mentioned above. This non-Xtend soybean part of the XtendiMax/FeXapan labels does not mention tank mixing at all. And the Engenia label refers the user to the list of approved tank mix options at the Engenia website, the same list that pertains to use in Xtend soybeans.

    We assume the preplant use discussed above pertains to any type of soybean, including Xtend soybeans, as long as the restrictions on rate, rain/irrigation, and waiting period are met. There is not a less restrictive way to use dicamba on non-Xtend soybeans. With regard to Xtend soybeans, it is possible to apply the approved dicamba products, Engenia, XtendiMax, or FeXapan, anytime prior to planting without a waiting period regardless of product rate (within the specified range), and then also at or after planting as well. These are the only three dicamba products that are approved for this less restrictive type of use. Since the use is specific to these products and Xtend soybeans, the user is required to consult the individual product labels and websites for approved tank mixes, nozzles, etc. Furthermore, all of the stewardship guidelines and restrictions on application listed on labels and covered in the dicamba training sessions apply here. Tank mix options are generally not as numerous, since every individual tank mix partner must be on the approved list. Just for the sake of example, the Engenia and XtendiMax list of approved partners does not currently include Canopy, Cloak, Fierce or Fierce XLT. The FeXapan list includes Canopy and Canopy Blend, but not Cloak or the Fierce/Fierce XLT. Many of the other commonly used preplant/preemergence soybean herbicides are approved though.

    We have received a few phone calls on this situation, and the confusion tends to be mostly with regard to Xtend soybeans, and the ability to tank mix. The question that needs to be addressed in each situation is – which dicamba product is being used and what label are you working from? Here’s our take:

    1) When using an older dicamba product such as Clarity on Xtend or any other type of soybean, and following the more restrictive label (inch of rain and 14 days), tank mix partners can include essentially any other preplant soybean herbicide if there is a statement on the label to this effect. If there is no such statement, then partners include only the specific herbicides listed on the label.

    2) When using one of the new dicamba products, Engenia, FeXapan, or Xtendimax, it appears to us that tank mix partners have to be approved and listed on the respective websites, regardless of whether the more restrictive label for non-Xtend soybeans or the less restrictive label for Xtend soybeans is being followed. The Xtendimax and FeXapan labels are not completely clear on this though, with regard to the more restrictive use (14 day wait) on non-Xtend soybean.

  4. Get Your Fertilizer Certification...Before Planting Begins

    Author(s): Eric Richer, CCA

    Ohio is now seeing full implementation of Ohio’s Agricultural Fertilizer Applicator Certification regulation. The regulation was result of Senate Bill 150, which can be found at http://codes.ohio.gov/orc/905.322 and http://codes.ohio.gov/orc/905.321. The 2014 regulation required farmers to complete a fertilizer certification program if they applied fertilizer to more than 50 acres of land in agricultural production primarily for sale. Exemptions included fertilizer applied through a planter, individuals whose crops remained on the farm for their livestock and not sold, or fertilizer applied by a commercial applicator.

    Farmers were given three years to complete the certification training. Training included a two-hour program if a farmer already had a Private Pesticide Applicator License, otherwise, a farmer had to complete a three-hour program. Key components of the training were to know the potential causes for algal blooms and management practices to reduce phosphorus losses from farm fields. Training was provided primarily by County Extension Agriculture & Natural Resources Educators of the Ohio State University.

    In three years, 17,493 Ohioans completed the Fertilizer Certification program. The three-year window to complete the initial certification program ended September 30, 2017. Any farmer applying fertilizer that has more than 50 acres of cropland without an Agricultural Fertilizer Applicator certificate after September can be fined and/or charged with a misdemeanor offense. Farmers that still need certification have two options: complete a three-hour training program or pass a state test.

    If you do not have the Fertilizer Certification and wish to test for it, you can visit the Ohio Department of Agriculture webpage to get more information about when and where to test.

    If you would prefer to attend an approximately 3 hour training session in lieu of taking the test, you can attend one of the following upcoming Fertilizer Certification programs listed below. Most cost $35. Please make the appropriate contacts as registration process and fees vary by location.

  5. Soil Health Workshop - Archbold

    Author(s): Garth Ruff

    Are you interested in learning about cover crops and soil health? If so, consider attending a Soil Health Workshop on March 28th with OSU Extension, NRCS, and Henry SWCD. Jim Hoorman and Alan Sundermier will be presenting a variety of topics including:

    • Biology of Soil Compaction

    • Economics of Cover Crops

    • Keeping Nutrients out of Surface Water

    • Managing Grasses and Brassica Cover Crops

    • Managing Pests: Voles & Slugs

    • Maximizing Mycorrhizae in Your Cropping System

    • Open Discussion: Using & Managing Cover Crops

      The workshop will take place at Northwest State Community College Room C200 22600 St. Rt. 34 Archbold, Ohio 43502. There is no cost to attend the program and lunch will be provided. Please RSVP to the Henry County Extension office at 419-592-0806, by March 21st.

  6. Malt Barley Workshop - March 15th

    OSU Extension Union County is hosting a half day workshop for growers interested in learning about malting barley. Malting barley acres have increased in Ohio with a growing craft brewery industry. While new markets exist for Ohio grown barley, malting barley markets have different quality and protein standards than feed-grade barley traditionally grown in Ohio making it a very different crop to manage. This workshop offers an opportunity to learn more about managing malting barley.

    Pre-registration is required. For registration and other event details click here. The agenda includes the following topics:

    • 1:00p-1:45p Brad Bergefurd, OSU Extension Educator, Scioto County and South Centers: Development of the Ohio malting barley and hops industry to meet needs of a rapidly growing craft brewing industry.

    • 1:45p-2:30p Laura Lindsey, OSU Assistant Professor, Soybean and Small Grain Production: Agronomic Management of Ohio Winter Malting Barley

    • 2:30p-3:15p Eric Stockinger, OSU Associate Professor, Horticulture and Crop Science, OSU/OARDC: Identifying and developing winter malting barley adapted to the Great Lakes, Midwestern, and Northeastern State regions

    • 3:15p-3:30p Break

    • 3:30p-4:15p Pierce Paul, OSU Professor, Plant Pathology, OSU/OARDC: Barley Diseases and Management

    • 4:15p-5:00p Mark Loux, OSU Professor, Horticulture and Crop Science: Weed Management in Barley

Upcoming Events

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)
Bruce Clevenger, CCA (Educator, Agriculture and Natural Resources)
Elizabeth Hawkins (Field Specialist, Agronomic Systems)
Eric Richer, CCA (Educator, Agriculture and Natural Resources)
Garth Ruff (Educator, Agriculture and Natural Resources)
Glen Arnold, CCA (Field Specialist, Manure Nutrient Management )
Greg LaBarge, CPAg/CCA (Field Specialist, Agronomic Systems)
Harold Watters, CPAg/CCA (Field Specialist, Agronomic Systems)
Jason Hartschuh, CCA (Educator, Agriculture and Natural Resources)
Jeff Stachler (Educator, Agriculture and Natural Resources)
Jim Noel (National Weather Service)
Lee Beers, CCA (Educator, Agriculture and Natural Resources)
Mark Badertscher (Educator, Agriculture and Natural Resources)
Mary Griffith (Educator, Agriculture and Natural Resources)
Mike Gastier, CCA (Educator, Agriculture and Natural Resources)
Sam Custer (Educator, Agriculture and Natural Resources)
Sarah Noggle (Educator, Agriculture and Natural Resources)
Steve Culman (State Specialist, Soil Fertility)


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 cfaesdiversity.osu.edu. For an accessible format of this publication, visit cfaes.osu.edu/accessibility.