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Agronomic Crops Network

Ohio State University Extension


C.O.R.N. Newsletter: 2018-12

  1. Decent Spring Planting Conditions Ahead

    Author(s): Jim Noel

    A progressive weather pattern will continue over the next 2-3 weeks. This will allow for periods of dry conditions to be mixed with periods of wet conditions. This week should see many dry hours to allow for planting to be hit hard. While a cold and damp April put things behind schedule, we will continue to see things catching up to normal with mild and drier conditions.

    The outlook for the rest of May is slightly above normal temperatures with rainfall slightly above normal north and slightly below normal south.

    The outlook for summer continues to call for slightly above normal temperatures with slightly below normal rainfall. However, as is often the case, we expect high variability in summer rainfall this year with stretches of dry next to stretches of wet conditions. Northern areas will likely get clipped by some flooding events around the edge of the heat dome over the summer.

    Over the next 2-3 weeks, rainfall will average 1-3 inches with normal being about 2.5 inches. Some places will be a bit wetter and others somewhat drier than normal. However, everyone should see some rainfall for the rest of May. See the attached 16-day rainfall map attached for more info.

    Finally, soil temperatures have been quickly responding to the warmer air temperatures by finally returning to around normal values.



  2. Be Mindful of Honeybees and Other Pollinators During Planting

    The winter of 2017-2018 is destined to go down in Ohio beekeeping history as one of the worst on record.  In October, the OSU honey bee lab had 50 living colonies, but by the beginning of April, we were down to just 5 survivors. While some of these honey bee colonies died as a result of the exceptionally long, cold winter, more than half of our losses occurred before the first snow fell in November 2017.  In talking with other beekeepers around the state it has become clear that 90% losses were typical for many beekeepers this year.  To replace lost colonies we’ve spent $130 per hive to purchase boxes of bees imported to Ohio from Georgia or California.  These new colonies should thrive and grow on the bountiful dandelions, mints, mustards and fruit trees of spring.  With luck, the populations of colonies will soon be large enough that they will be able to make a honey crop off of clovers, black locust, alfalfa and soybean in the coming months.  Some beekeepers will then move their colonies into pumpkins or cucumbers later in the summer.

    But spring build-up of these young, expensive bee colonies is critical, and early May is the most important period.  Unfortunately, colony growth can be directly threatened by corn planting.  Insecticide seed treatments used on corn seed generate an insecticidal dust when they are planted.  Bees may encounter a cloud of insecticidal dust as they cross corn fields to visit the dandelions and blooming trees in field margins.  Insecticidal seed treatment dust can also settle on these flowers that bees are visiting. Insecticide dusts are particularly harmful for honey bees because they do not immediately kill the adult foraging bees that encounter the insecticide. Instead, the dust is packed up with the pollen by the forager and brought back to the colony where it is fed to young bees.  So it is the future workforce for the colony that is hit hardest by corn planting-related seed treatment dust.  

    Several years ago, in spring of 2015, we sampled pollen from ten bee yards in the counties west of Columbus. During corn planting, all colonies were bringing back pollen containing corn seed treatment insecticides. While no spectacular bee-kills were observed in our colonies, we did observe a significant increase in the number of dead bees appearing in front of colonies during the week of corn planting in 2015.

    Honey bee exposure to seed treatment dust during corn planting can be reduced by 1) starting with clean and weed-free fields that are uninteresting to honey bees; 2) following recommendations for using talc or other seed lubricants; 3) following proper planter clean-out and disposal procedures when finished to minimize escape of seed treatment dust.


  3. Soil Temperatures and Accumulated GDD

    Soil Temperatures and Accumulated GDD

    Average 2 inch soil temperatures and accumulated Growing Degrees Days (GDD) from select OARDC Weather Station locations are shown. Based on current accumulated GDD (Table 1) we would expect corn April 12 planting prior to April 30 to be emerged or emerging soon.

    Table 1. Weekly and Accumulated GDD values since April 12 from select OARDC weather locations. Corn emergence typically occurs between 100 and 120 GDD accumulation.



    OARDC Branch Location





    North Central-Fremont

    12-Apr to 6-May






    16-Apr to 6-May






    23-Apr to 6-May






    30-Apr to 6-May







  4. Corn, Soybean, and Alfalfa Yield Responses to Micronutrient Fertilization in Ohio

    Additional Authors: Stuti Sharma and Grace Looker

    Ohio farmers often wonder if micronutrient fertilization will increase grain yields. A recent study exhaustively compiled the last 40 years of Ohio State University micronutrient fertilizer trials in corn, soybean and alfalfa. A total of 194 trials (randomized and replicated) were found across 17 Ohio counties. In general, micronutrient fertilization rarely resulted in a statistically significant yield response. Manganese (Mn) fertilization or a blend of Mn with other micronutrients increased soybean yield in 9 out of 144 trials. Boron fertilization had no effect on corn grain yield in 8 out of 9 trials and actually decreased yield in one trial. Micronutrients had effect on alfalfa yields in 17 total trials.

    There is a large degree of uncertainty in using soil tests to reliably predict when a crop needs micronutrient fertilization. This is primarily because yield responses to micronutrient fertilization are uncommon, and without yield responses, soil test critical levels are difficult to develop. It is important to keep in mind that the probability of a yield response to micronutrients is much greater in scenarios where deficiencies are known or suspected to be more prevalent, such as in sandy, acidic, or peat soils. When considering micronutrient fertilization, it is always a good idea to leave an unfertilized strip as a check or control. This will allow you to compare areas that received a micronutrient fertilizer versus an area that did not. Yield monitors or weigh wagons can help you determine if the micronutrient fertilization increased yield and provided an economic benefit.

    The article can be found here:

  5. Kudzu Bug Monitoring Update

    Additional authors: Marcus McCartney

    The kudzu bug is an insect pest that is not currently known to exist in Ohio; however, since its introduction to the United States in 2009, the distribution has been rapidly expanding. It is now found in Kentucky, and the I-75 corridor connects Ohio to the Southeastern US where it is very prevalent.  The kudzu bug is a serious invasive pest of soybean causing a reduction to yield with heavy infestation. Both immature and adult kudzu bugs feed on soybean plants with piercing-sucking mouth parts (Figures 1 & 2). Adult kudzu bugs are globular and greenish-brown. In addition to soybean, the kudzu bug also feeds on the kudzu plant, an invasive weed.

    Despite the fact that the kudzu bug is not currently a pest in Ohio, it is important to monitor for its potential appearance; therefore, we have targeted locations in Ohio where kudzu grows. The monitoring device is a white PVC pipe wrapped in a sticky card and placed near either a building, in a soybean field or next to kudzu (Figure 3). The color white is believed to attract the kudzu bug. Overall, eight counties in Ohio will be actively monitoring for the kudzu bug this season including, Adams, Athens, Butler, Madison, Meigs, Montgomery, Ross and Washing (Figure 3). Monitoring traps will be deployed by the end of April / beginning of May and monitored until the end of June. Regular updates will be provided in the C.O.R.N. Newsletter and the information collected will allow us to provide timely updates to growers should this pest reach Ohio.

    While the cold weather pushed back the trap setting dates, Washington County indicated zero kudzu bugs on the trap for week ending May 4th (Figure 3). Numbers will be reported as the average number of kudzu bugs found on each trap followed by the total number of traps being monitored in each county.

    Figure 1. From left to right: left: adult image of kudzu bug (Emilie Bess, USDA APHIS PPQ,; right: adult kudzu bugs on underside of leaf with dime for size comparison (Jeremy Greene, Clemson University,

    Figure 2. From left to right: left: kudzu bug nymphs on plant stem (John Ruberson, Kansas State University,; right: kudzu bug eggs (Joe Eger, Dow AgroSciences,

    Figure 3. From left to right: Left: kudzu bug trap set up. Right: average number of kudzu bug / total number of traps located in each county participating in the kudzu bug monitoring (highlighted in red).

  6. Lady Landowners Leaving a Legacy

    Land is an important investment. One that is often passed down through generations. Farmland needs to be monitored and cared for to maintain the value and sustainability if it is to be enjoyed and profitable for future generations. Nearly 50% of landowners in Ohio are female. If you fall into this statistic and want to learn more about your land, farming and conservation practices and how to successfully pass it on to the next generation, this program is for you!

    Farming has changed dramatically over the last several decades. The thought of trying to understand it all can be overwhelming, especially if not actively farming. This series is designed to help female landowners understand critical conservation and farm management issues related to owning land. It will provide participants with the knowledge, skills and confidence to talk with tenants about farming and conservation practices used on their land. The farm management portion will provide an understanding of passing land on to the next generation and help establish fair rental rates by looking at current farm budgets.

    The series runs every other Thursday, June 14 through August 23 from 9:00-11:30 in the Champaign County Community Center Auditorium in Urbana, Ohio. It is $50 for the series. If you are only able to attend a couple of session, it is $10 per session but there is a lot of value in getting to know other participants in the series and talking with them each week. The registration flyer can be found at For questions or more information, please contact Amanda Douridas at 937-484-1526 or Please register by June 4. The detailed agenda is below.

    June 14- Building Soil Structure

    • Introductions
    • Soil Structure Discussion and Demo
    • Tillage Methods and Compaction (includes three demonstrations)
    • Soil Coverage Discussion and Demo

    June 28- Implementing Conservation

    • Conservation Activity
    • Aquifer Demonstration
    • Watershed Maps of Participants Farms
    • Explanation of Conservation Practices

    July 12- Value of the Land Beyond the Dollar

    • Land Value Diagram
    • Landowner/Tenant Relationship Panel
    • Wildlife Habitat Programs

    July 26- Transition and Succession Planning

    • Peggy Hall and Wright Moore Law Firm

    Aug 9- Leasing and Budgets

    • Good Leasing Contracts
    • Hunting Leases
    • Overview of Commodity Budgets

    Aug 23- Farm Visit

    Some activities developed by Women, Food and Agriculture Network for its Women Caring for the Land program.

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.


Aaron Wilson (Byrd Polar & Climate Research Center)
Amanda Bennett (Educator, Agriculture and Natural Resources)
Amanda Douridas, CCA (Educator, Agriculture and Natural Resources)
Bruce Clevenger, CCA (Field Specialist, Farm Management)
Chris Zoller (Educator, Agriculture and Natural Resources)
Dean Kreager (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 )
Jason Hartschuh, CCA (Field Specialist, Dairy & Precision Livestock)
Lee Beers, CCA (Educator, Agriculture and Natural Resources)
Les Ober, CCA (Educator, Agriculture and Natural Resources)
Mark Badertscher (Educator, Agriculture and Natural Resources)
Mike Gastier, CCA (Educator, Agriculture and Natural Resources)
Pierce Paul (State Specialist, Corn and Wheat Diseases)
Sam Custer (Educator, Agriculture and Natural Resources)
Sarah Noggle (Educator, Agriculture and Natural Resources)
Trevor Corboy (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.

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