C.O.R.N. Newsletter : 2019-08


    Author(s): Jim Noel

    It is spring and with it often comes wild swings. This is what we expect for the rest of April 2019.

    A parade of storms will begin later this Thursday into Friday and follow every 3-5 days. This will cause 2-3 inches of rain on average for Ohio the next two weeks as shown in the attached graphic. Normal rainfall is now almost 1 inch per week. Hence, slightly above normal rainfall is expected. The one exception could be northern and northwest Ohio where it is possible to see less rainfall depending on the exact storm tracks.

    We are also fast approaching our end of the freeze season typically in mid April up to around the 20th for much of the state. Some places in the north it can be late April. Right now, everything looks like a normal end to the freeze season. We do see the possibility of another freeze this weekend on Sunday AM especially north of I-70. A few more could happen into the next week or two before coming to an end.

    Temperatures are expected to overall be slightly above normal for the rest the rest of April but with wild swings. This should help bring 2-4 inch soil temperatures into the normal range, possibly a degree or so above normal. The exception would be northern Ohio where above normal ice levels this past winter on the Great Lakes will keep water temperatures on the Lakes lagging and may keep air temperatures closer to normal there.

    With all the storms lined up, we do expect a windy April as well. Winds of 30-40 mph with gust to 50 mph can not be ruled out Thursday or Friday this week with storm number one. 30-40 mph winds will also be possible with the storm later Sunday into next Monday and can not be ruled out with the third storm later next week.

    After a wetter April indications are for a warmer and not as wet May with the possibility of normal or even a bit below normal rainfall.

    Early indications for the summer growing season are normal or slightly above normal temperatures and possibly a bit wetter than normal though June could be a bit drier.


    Other early indications give the possibility of another wet harvest season.

  2. Modified Relay Intercropping: Now is the Time to Make Sure your Plan will Work

    Spring planting is just around the corner and so is modified relay intercropping planting of soybeans into growing wheat. This is a very versatile system working across multiple row spacing’s and planting dates. Eighteen years of MRI soybean planting have been done in Bucyrus with wheat yields averaging 75 bushels per acre and soybean yields of 33 bushels per acre. Over the past 3 years we have had outstanding double crop soybeans, but MRI has out yielded them by about 10 bushels per acre averaging 42 bushels per acre. One challenge though is that straw cannot be baled in the MRI system but can be in double cropping. The lower price of soybeans and higher price of straw is driving more producers to double crop soybeans.

    During these 18 years we have worked with multiple row spacing’s, seeding rates, and planting dates each with success and challenges.  The easiest systems we have worked in is wide rows, either 15 inch or twin row wheat, wheat rows are 8 inches apart on 30 inch centers leaving a 22 inch gap. These two systems require much less equipment modifications and prior planning than 10 inch rows. In order to plant MRI soybeans in 10 inch wheat rows you should have planned ahead last fall and left tram lines, wheel passes in the field, where your tractor and planter tires can run.

    Since your wheat is planted and row spacing is determined, we will focus on soybean management. We have seen soybean-planting dates from May 1stthrough mid-June with the most common planting date being late May through early June at Wheat Feekes growth stage 10.1 thought 10.5. The early May planting date only works in wide row wheat, this early planting date in 10-inch wheat leads to tall spindly soybeans that fall over after harvest. The best soybean yields have come from planting as close to Feekes 10.1 as possible, but planting much earlier than that often leads to tall soybeans that are clipped during wheat harvest. Some producers do prefer an early May/Late April planting date before wheat stem elongation, which allows for easier planting since the wheat is not damaged by planter tires driving over it. In order to manage the soybeans being as tall as the wheat at harvest producers are putting cutter guards on their grain head that pushes the soybeans down and protect them from the cutter bar. These producers are often also using special tires on their combines or at least using duals on the combine and straddling the soybeans rows. Early planted soybeans driven over at wheat harvest usually do not survive.

    When selecting soybean varieties look for the highest yielding conventional variety. We have seen the highest yields from the longest season varieties for your area. Short season varieties start flowering to soon and usually do not achieve full canopy closer. Usually during MRI planting higher seeding rates of 200,000 seeds per acre is recommended because mice and insects that live in the wheat field feed on young soybean plants. As we have improved our planting equipment, we have also been able to decrease our recommended seeding rates from 250,000 to 200,000 seeds per acre. In our studies with early June seeding rates we have seen seeding rates of 150,000 seeds per acre maximize yields. The most important part when lowering your seeding rates is to make sure you have good planting equipment that creates good seed to soil contact protecting the seedlings during germination. If this is your first year intercropping, now is the time to take your planter to the field and make sure it fits through your wheat rows and make adjustments so that the planter does not drive over the wheat. You may also need to make spreaders that push the wheat away from your row units if they barely fit in the row since the wheat will be thicker by Feekes 10.5.       

  3. Solvita ® CO2 Respiration Soil Health Test


    Image result for photo of solvita respiration testCo-Author:  Vinayak Shedekar, Postdoctoral Researcher OSU

    A measurement for determining soil health is the release of carbon dioxide (CO2) from the soil.  Carbon dioxide emissions from soil are primarily due to microbial respiration. The level of microbial activity is indicative of the amount of active organic matter that is being broken down and nutrients being released.  Some professional labs measure the COrelease in controlled environments over a 7 to 12 day incubation period.  It is possible to conduct similar assessment using  Solvita ® - a patented measurement system, which uses a gel probe impregnated with chemistry that is sensitive to specific gas molecules and changes color in proportion to their concentration.  The colors of the gel are visually compared to a color chart for interpretation.  The color chart is divided into graduated color codes from 0 to 5. Each increment on color palette indicates doubling of soil respiration.                 

    Figure 2:  Solvita paddle color chart.  After 24 hours, compare color change to data table.

    Image result for photo of solvita respiration testThe Solvita Field CO² respiration test is designed for testing fresh, undisturbed soil not processed in a lab.  A 3- inch tube of soil (use a bulb planter) is sealed intact in the sample jar with the gel probe.  After 24 hours, the cImage result for photo of solvita respiration testolor of the gel probe is compared to the color chart to make interpretations.  A digital color reader is also available through Sovita® to get a more accurate estimate of CO2 respiration.



    Another respiration test is the CO 2 burst method.  This is performed in a commercial lab where samples are shipped to the lab, then dried and sieved.  Soil is rewetted with a specific amount of water, which causes a burst of carbon dioxide.  This measures the soil microbe respiration potential under disturbed conditions.  The burst method is usually 2 – 4 times higher than the field respiration method.  The measurement is collected with analytical lab equipment.

    Caution should be used when interpreting the amount of nitrogen release estimated from respiration.  A grass sod may have high microbe respiration but low available nitrogen.  A soil nitrate test could accompany the Solvita test to gain confidence in available soil nitrogen.

    For more information:  https://solvita.com/

  4. 2018 County Yield Estimates Available

    The 2018 Ohio county estimates for crop yields were recently published by the USDA-National Agricultural Statistics Service.  This annual report provides a look back to the previous production year and give an average of planted and harvested acres as well as the county yield in bushels per acre and a total estimated production for the county.  The report additionally groups counties into nine reporting districts and provides an overall state yield estimate for corn and soybean.  Ohio county estimates for the 2018 wheat crop were released back in December of 2018.

    Western Ohio continues to lead the state in both corn and soybean yields and production.  The counties leading the corn yield estimates were Greene, Clinton and Auglaize Counties reporting 214, 213 and 210 bushels per acre, respectively.  The State corn yield estimate for Ohio is 187 bushels per acre with a total production estimate at 6.17 million bushels.  The counties leading the soybean yield estimates for 2018 were Mercer, Auglaize, and Van Wert Counties reporting 67.5, 66.3 and 65.7 bushels per acre, respectively.  The State soybean yield estimate for Ohio is 58.0 bushels per acre with a total production estimate at 2.88 million bushels.

    The Ohio county estimates are valuable to farmers, crop insurance, economists, and USDA.  Revisions to this data can be given at a later date by USDA.  The complete data can be viewed online in the searchable Quick Stats or the County Estimates reports.  Corn data is available from 75 Ohio counties whereas soybean data is available from 72 Ohio counties.  All the current data is available online at: https://www.nass.usda.gov/Statistics_by_State/Ohio/ or questions can be directed to the Ohio Field Office at 8995 East Main Street, Reynoldsburg, OH  43068 or call 614-728-2100.

  5. Fertilizer Certification for First Time Applicators

    Author(s): Les Ober, CCA

    If you apply, fertilizer to 50 acres of cropland where you do not use that crop exclusively for your own livestock feed you will need to certify with the Ohio Department of Agriculture. This includes broadcast and sidedress applications. Planter applications are exempt as long as you do not apply additional fertilizer utilizing another method of application. This applies to any Nitrogen, Phosphorus or Potassium application. If this applies to your farm and you do not currently have a fertilizer certification card from the ODA, you will need to obtain that license before you can apply fertilizer this spring.  Your options at this point are to schedule a test with ODA, take a three-hour class through OSU Extension or hire your fertilizer applied.

    On Wednesday April 10, 2019, The OSU Extension Office in Geauga County is offering the 3-hour required course for fertilizer certification at the home extension office in Burton, Ohio The class will start at 1:00 pm and will run until 4:00 pm. Burton is located in Geauga County approximately 20 miles east of Cleveland on State Route 87. The office is on the north side of town on the fairgrounds in the Patterson Center. Realizing this is a last minute notice we will take anyone that walks in the door just call and let us know if you coming, 440-834-4656. There is a $35.00 charge for the class.

    Les Ober, CCA

    Geauga County OSU Extension

    14269 Clairdon Troy Rd.

    Burton, Ohio 44021

    Phone: 440.834.4656


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)
Chris Zoller (Educator, Agriculture and Natural Resources)
Clifton Martin, CCA (Educator, Agriculture and Natural Resources)
Dennis Riethman (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)
Jeff Stachler (Educator, Agriculture and Natural Resources)
Lee Beers, CCA (Educator, Agriculture and Natural Resources)
Mark Badertscher (Educator, Agriculture and Natural Resources)
Mark Loux (State Specialist, Weed Science)
Mike Gastier, CCA (Educator, Agriculture and Natural Resources)
Peter Thomison (State Specialist, Corn Production)
Sam Custer (Educator, Agriculture and Natural Resources)
Sarah Noggle (Educator, Agriculture and Natural Resources)
Ted Wiseman (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.

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.