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Corn Newsletter : 2018-30
Tropical Moisture Invades OhioAuthor(s): Aaron Wilson
It was quite the wet week across the state of Ohio! Scattered thunderstorms throughout the week brought isolated 1-2” rainfall amounts. The big story began on Friday night, as a stalled out front provided a path for the remnants of Tropical Storm Gordon to move through the region, bringing steady to moderate rain and gusty winds from Friday night through Monday morning.
While rainfall was certainly heaviest across the southern counties of Ohio this weekend, almost the entire state picked up appreciable amounts of rain. Figure 1 shows estimated precipitation totals between Friday morning and Monday morning (September 7-10), showing many areas exceeding 2” of rain for the 72-hour event. Preliminary isolated totals of 7.44” and 6.35” occurred in northwest Montgomery County and northern Scioto County, respectively. Combined with rainfall from earlier in week, these rainfall totals represent 3-6 times the normal rainfall for a typical week in early September. With farmers throughout the state eager to continue or begin harvest, the big question is, how soon will we dry out?
The immediate forecast looks favorable. In the wake of this past weekend’s rainfall, high temperatures are expected to moderate from the low to mid 70s into the low to mid 80s by week’s end. Dew point temperatures in the 50s and low 60s means dry air will prevail, with partly to mostly sunny skies throughout the week. These weather conditions should help fields dry out throughout the state.
The 8-14 day projection (September 17-23) provided by the Climate Prediction Center, which includes Farm Science Review week near London, Ohio, suggests both near-normal temperatures and precipitation across Ohio. Normal high (low) temperatures throughout the state during mid-September range from the low 70s (upper 40s) across the north to upper 70s (mid to upper 50s) across southern Ohio, with anywhere from 0.5” to 1” of weekly rainfall.
However, there is some uncertainty in the forecast given the eventual path of another tropical cyclone currently moving toward the southeast U.S. coast. At the time of this article, Hurricane Florence has reached Category 4 (sustained winds of 130 mph) and is expected to come ashore near Wilmington, NC late Thursday (September 13). While the storm will weaken after moving inland, wind damage and a tremendous amount of rain are expected across the Carolinas and mid-Atlantic regions. Whether Florence will have a large impact on weather conditions in Ohio beyond this weekend is still uncertain, but the situation should be monitored over the next several days. If Florence does make it far enough inland to affect Ohio, the areas to watch right now are the southern and eastern counties. With the ground already saturated from this past weekend’s rainfall, additional heavy rain could quickly deteriorate field conditions once more and stall harvest activities further during the third week of September.
Here is the link to the Midwestern Regional Climate Center.
Northwest Ohio Field-Scale Barley Yield Results
Many growers have heard the discussions of growing winter barley. Small plot data is available from Ohio Agriculture Research and Development Stations (Western, Wooster, Northwest), but little field-scale data has been published. While growing a newly re-introduced crop could be a consideration on your farm, it may not be for everyone. This article is not intended to endorse growing barley or review best management practices for growing winter barley. The intent here is to simply present the one-year, simple averages of several test fields in the upper Northwest region of the state. For information on management, visit https://stepupsoy.osu.edu/winter-malting-barley and search for the Extension publication Management of Ohio Winter Malting Barley.
Throughout the 2018 growing season, we had the opportunity to work with eight growers across nine field-scale, test sites for growing winter malting barley in Northwest Ohio. Growers were from Defiance, Fulton, Hancock, Henry, and Paulding Counties. Each planted small fields of barley that averaged 23 acres in size (range 7 to 63 acres). The variety Puffin was planted on all sites, and two of the sites included the variety Scala in the discussion. These two varieties are both over wintering, two-row malt quality barleys. These growers agreed to share their yield and quality results while participating in simple field-scale research project with these objectives:
1) Determine the field-scale, simple averages for yield (grain & straw), harvest date and quality characteristics for barley grown in Northwest Ohio.
2) Compare the yield and plant/harvest dates for the same variety soybean as a i) first crop system, ii) double crop after barley system and iii) double crop after wheat system.
Based on discussions with Extension state specialists and other regional agronomists, the growing conditions in 2018 were regarded as average or slightly above average for growing winter malting barley. The average dry grain yield (adjusted to 13.5% moisture) across the nine Northwest Ohio sites was 86.5 bushels per acre with a range of 57.9 to 105.6 bushels per acre for Puffin. The average delivered moisture was 13.4% (range of 12.9 to 14.7%). The average harvest date for barley on these sites was June 26th (range of June 25-June 29).
Two of the cooperators also had Scala two-row barley planted in adjacent fields. The average dry grain yield for Scala was 90.5 bushels per acre (range of 86 to 95 bushels per acre). For the purposes of clear discussion and analysis, the remainder of the data was taken on Puffin barley sites only.
Additionally, at six of the nine sites, the cooperators baled the barley straw. A representative sample was weighed at each site, and the calculated average yield of the straw was 1.01 ton/acre (range of 0.64 to 1.36 ton/acre). As a management note, all cooperators felt strongly that in 2018 removal of the straw made for more effective double crop soybean planting.
Samples of barley from each site were graded on protein, test weight, plumpness, germination, deoxynivalenal (a.k.a. vomitoxin or DON) and other quality metrics. Table 1 (below) includes the means and quality metrics from the nine test sites.
Table 1. 2018 Barley (Puffin) Quality Test Data for 9 sites in Northwest Ohio
Protein (%) – 9.5-12.5% preferred
Test Weight (lbs) – 48 lb/bu standard
Plumpness (%, over a 6/64" screen) – greater than 90% preferred
Thin (%, through a 5/64" screen) – less than 3% preferred
Germination (%) – greater than 95% preferred
RVA (malt quality indicator, greater than 120 preferred)
DON (ppm) – less than 1 ppm required
All quality tests conducted at Hartwick College Center for Craft Food and Beverage in Oneonta, NY.
Seven out of nine sites met malt quality. Of the two sites that did not produce malt quality barley, one site had high DON (1.2 ppm) and another site had low plumpness (58.7%) and high thin (6.7%) results. All sites produced barley in the acceptable protein levels for malting (9.5-12.5%).
Wheat Yield Comparison
Four cooperators (subset of the original nine sites) in the study had adjacent fields of soft red winter wheat within ½ mile of the barley test site. The comparison of barley and wheat yields at these four sites is worth reviewing, as there was no statistical yield difference. Table 2 summarizes the yield and harvest date of these four sites. In 2018 at these sites, barley harvest occurred six days earlier on average than wheat harvest.
Table 2. 2018 Barley and Wheat Yield Comparison on 4 Sites in NW Ohio
Barley Harvest Date
Barley Yield (bu/ac)
Wheat Harvest Date
June 30-July 6
Wheat Yield (bu/ac)
No significant difference in yield; LSD 11.7 bu/ac at p value <0.05
Additionally, three of these cooperators harvested wheat straw. At these three sites, the barley straw yielded 1.01 ton/acre and the wheat straw yielded 1.28 ton/acre. There was not a statistical difference in straw yield (LSD .27 ton/acre at p value < 0.05).
Soybean Planting Dates
One of the notable considerations for planting barley—especially for Northern Ohio—is the possibly of planting double crop soybeans 6-10 days earlier than one would normally plant after wheat. Seven cooperators participated in this portion of the research by planting the same brand and variety (avg. 3.1 maturity) of soybean as a first crop (adjacent or same field) and double crop after barley. Four cooperators also planted the same soybean after wheat. In 2018, for these sites, double crop soybeans were planted six days earlier on average behind barley than behind wheat. Table 3 summarizes the average plant date and rate for soybeans in each of the systems as reported by cooperators.
Table 3. 2018 Average Soybean Plant Date and Rate
First Crop Soybeans
Double Crop after Barley
Double Crop after Wheat
Summary and More to Come
In summary, much is yet to be learned on barley production in Northwest Ohio. While this article contains just one year of data from nine field-scale sites, it will start to answer the question of whether winter barley is a viable option for farmers in Northwest Ohio. This year showed no statistical difference in grain or straw yield for barley versus wheat. A future CORN article will capture the soybean yield and economic data averaged from these sites. The authors wish to thank the cooperators from Defiance, Fulton, Hancock, Henry, and Paulding Counties who participated in this research study. Send questions related to this data set to email@example.com.
Farm Science Review is September 18, 19 & 20Author(s): Harold Watters, CPAg/CCA
The Farm Science Review this year is September 18, 19 and 20 at the London, Ohio location. The parking lots have been reworked, seeded and improved over the past year with more gravel areas added. Drainage has also been improved in the exhibit area to hasten water removal – all to give you a better experience. Tickets can be purchased from your local Extension office and from many ag retailers, or go on-line to the FSR website: https://fsr.osu.edu/onlineticketform. A repeat this year, the Farm Science Review app will help you find and locate what it is you are looking for – look for “Farm Science Review 2018” on Google Play or the Apple App stores.
The Agronomic Crops Team will once again be welcoming visitors on the east side of the grounds just as you enter the exhibit area. We will be in the agronomy plots – there to catch your eye and stir conversation. We have had the same issues you have this year with the very warm conditions – both very wet and very dry conditions, pounding rains, delays in planting, bugs and disease. Lots to talk about.
Many farmers arrive early to Farm Science Review to beat the traffic. Stop in for coffee and a donut at the Agronomy Plot tent. Walk and Talks are offered every morning from 9 a.m. until noon – these include short walks through the plots to highlight some of the research we do across the state and to answer your questions. Other more formal talks we will have from 12:00 until 3:30 p.m. include “Herbicide Mode of Action,” “Grazing Annuals,” “The New Tri-State Fertilizer Recommendations,” “The New Ohio P Risk Index,” “Grid Sampling” and even “Climate Change Impact on Agriculture.”
The Agronomic Crops Team also supports the work of Certified Crop Advisers (CCA) in the state. With so many farmers and their advisers coming to Farm Science Review, we will have several places across the grounds for the CCA to get continuing education credits (CEUs) – all for the price of the $7 admission.
- Areas to look for CEUs are in the:
- Agronomy Plots at the east end of the exhibit area
- At the Small Farms Centers in the northwest corner of the grounds
- And up the road toward the grain bins at the Gwynne Conservation area.
- CEUs across these four areas include Nutrient Management, Crop Management, Pest Management and Soil and Water credits. All these are listed in the program (pages 8, 11 and in the centerfold) that you can pick up as you enter the grounds. Information on CEUs is also available on the Farm Science Review 2018 app.
Keep up with us at http://agcrops.osu.edu.
- Areas to look for CEUs are in the:
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.
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.