C.O.R.N. Newsletter : 2019-15

  1. 2019 C.O.R.N. Articles Addressing Delayed Planting

    Author(s): Allen Geyer

    Below is a list of 2019 Ohio State University Extension C.O.R.N. newsletter articles addressing the topic of delayed planting.  This is a summary of articles published this season through the May 28 issue.

    Corn Related Articles

    Soybean Related Articles

    Forage Related Articles

    Manure Management Related Articles

    Herbicide Management Related Articles


  2. Prevented Planting...What's That Again?

    Wet conditions in Ohio and the Eastern Corn Belt has slowed (halted?) planting progress for Ohio producers. According to the May 20th Crop Progress Report by USDA National Ag Statistics Service, Ohio had only 9% corn planted. Surprisingly that was ‘double’ what was planted the week before and well behind the 5-year average of 62% planted. In 2018, Ohio was 69% planted by this report date.

    Certainly, the Prevented Planting (PP) crop insurance tool has become a hot topic this year. Many of you have had the chance to attend PP meetings or speak with your crop insurance agent. If not, we will try to briefly summarize your options and strongly suggest you talk to your agent or utilize one of the calculators (see associated “Decision Tools” article by Sam Custer) to determine which option best suits your farm operation.

    Your first option is to plant the corn crop by June 5, the final plant date for corn (or June 20 for soybeans). Up until the final plant date, you are eligible for your full guarantee at the level you have selected. For example, 80% coverage x 170 bu/ac APH x $4.00 = $544/acre. If you elect to plant corn after June 5, you will incur a 1% reduction in your guarantee up through June 25, at which time you can choose not to insure your corn crop or you can insure for the same guarantee as your prevent plant amount. For example, if you plant corn on June 8, the guarantee formula (170 APH, 80% coverage) would be: 80% x 170 bu/ac x $4.00 x 97% = $528/acre. Planting dates need to be recorded, as these rules apply on field-by-field and acre-by-acre basis.

    Secondly, you can elect to switch your intended corn acres to soybean acres. You will not have the option to file a PP claim (unless you arrive at June 20 unable to plant soybeans). You will be charged for the soybean insurance premium, not the corn premium. The decision tool referenced earlier will be helpful here as this is not an easy decision. June weather (local and regional), supply/demand economics, trade policy and input options increase the complexity.

    Your last option is to file for PP, assuming you did not get corn planted by June 5. The mechanics of PP deserve a review to ensure understanding. PP covers Yield Protection (YP), Revenue Protection (RP) and Revenue Protection with Harvest Price Option policies and references the February new crop corn pricing period (aka projected price). The projected price for 2019 corn is $4.00/bu and $9.54/bu for soybeans. A corn policy has a 55% PP guarantee (buy-up available to 60%) and soybeans a 60% guarantee (with buy-up available to 65%). In order to further be eligible for PP, at least 20 acres or 20% of that unit must not get planted (the lesser of the two). PP does not affect your yield history as long as you do not plant a second crop. So a quick example (80% coverage, 170 bu/ac APH) for prevented plant corn would be: 80% x 170 bu/ac x $4.00 x 55% = $299/acre.

    To be sure, there are costs besides the premium that are associated with PP. Are there ‘restocking fees’ associated with returned seed or other inputs? What are the year-long weed control costs? If utilizing cover crops, what will their cost be? What are my land costs or how do I address my land costs? Do I need to pay labor & management costs even though the land wasn’t ‘farmed’? And finally, are their opportunity costs (marketing) missed because of taking PP? We do not have space in this article to address these but they are things to be considering.

    The reporting of PP acres-should you elect that option-is quite simple. First, the total acres of PP corn that you can file in 2019 can be no greater that the greatest number of acres of corn you reported in any of the previous four years (2015-2018). To report Prevent Plant acres, you would first need to turn in a notice (starting June 6) to your insurance agent. Then report your PP to USDA Farm Service Agency to get it on your acreage report. Then you will need to work with your adjuster to finalize the claim, which will generally be paid within 30 days.

    Prevented planting insurance payments can qualify for a 1 year deferral for inclusion in income tax. You can qualify if you meet the following criteria:

    • You use the cash method of accounting.
    • You receive the crop insurance proceeds in the same tax year the crops are damaged.
    • You can show that under your normal business practice you would have included income from the damaged crops in any tax year following the year the damage occurred.

    The third criteria is the sometimes the problem. Most can meet the criteria, although if you want reasonable audit protection, you should have records showing the normal practice of deferring sales of grain produced and harvested in year 1 subsequently stored and sold in the following year.

    There are many additional questions that we could address in this article but these are the basic options to guide your thought process…unless Mother Nature just won’t cooperate!

  3. Prevented Planning Decision Tools

    Author(s): Sam Custer

    We have reviewed two prevented planting decision tools that can serve as a resource in your decision making process with your crop insurance agent. Both tools also provide resources for determining replant decisions.

    In a recent Farmdocdaily article Schnitkey, G., C. Zulauf, K. Swanson and R. Batts. “Prevented Planting Decision for Corn in the Midwest.” farmdoc daily (9):88, Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, May 14, 2019 they highlighted their decision tool.

    The farmdoc tool can be used to make calculations for expected returns from three options: 1. Take a prevented planting payment and not plant a crop to be harvested or grazed. 2. Plant corn. 3. Plant another crop.

    The farmdoc Prevented Planting Module is used to aid in making calculations for each alternative. The Prevented Planting Module is part of the Planting Decision Model, a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet within the FAST series available for download on farmdoc (here). The specific spreadsheet is available (here).

    Iowa State also has an article and tool that can be found at https://www.extension.iastate.edu/agdm/crops/html/a1-57.html.

    The Iowa State model can be used to determine three options also: 1. Go ahead and plant the original crop. 2. Plant an alternative crop 3. Abandon the acres, and plant a cover crop.

    The Iowa State model is designed specifically for Iowa but allows you to use your numbers. The farmdoc model contains Ohio data but also allows you to use your specific numbers.

  4. Corn vs. Soybeans in a Delayed Planting Scenario – Profit Scenarios

    Author(s): Barry Ward

    Wet weather and planting delays throughout much of Ohio and the eastern Cornbelt have many producers thinking about switching corn acres to soybeans or the taking the prevented planting option of their Multiple Peril Crop Insurance policy. Ohio had 9% of intended corn acres planted by May 19th which is far behind the 5 year average of 62%. Farms with pre-plant nitrogen or herbicides applied for corn production may have no option to switch to soybeans. Seed availability may also limit choice for some. Other factors, such as strict adherence to a crop rotation or landlord considerations may limit farmer choice when it comes to switching from corn to soybean plantings in a given year. Farm leases may contain specifications on crop rotations or even what crops may be grown. There may also be unwritten agreements between parties that limit the possibility of growing soybeans in successive years.

    Producers that don’t have these limitations may be considering the option of switching acres to soybeans and it will likely come down to expected profit. Field by field budgeting is recommended and with delayed planting the yield expectations change as we move later into the growing season. What will be the likely yields for a given farm for the two crop choices? A recent article, “Delayed Planting Effects on Corn Yield: A “Historical” Perspective” is a good starting point in evaluating potential yield loss due to late corn planting: https://agcrops.osu.edu/newsletter/corn-newsletter/2019-12/delayed-planting-effects-corn-yield-%E2%80%9Chistorical%E2%80%9D-perspective

    A recent article highlighting faculty in the College of Food, Agricultural and environmental Sciences always provides valuable insight into the possible yield swings related to late plantings of corn and soybeans: https://cfaes.osu.edu/news/articles/late-start-planting-might-not-hurt-yields-much

    Looking at some simple scenarios may get your budgeting process moving for your own fields. These scenarios are based on the 2019 crop enterprise budgets available online at: https://farmoffice.osu.edu/farm-management-tools/farm-budgets

    Scenario 1 – Yield prospects remain unchanged, new estimated revenue based on today’s markets:

    • Corn – 170.2 bu/a & 4.00/bu

    Returns Above Variable Costs     $293      

    • Soybeans – 51.5 bu/a & 7.90/bu

    Returns Above Variable Costs     $207         

    Price changes in the last 3 weeks have been favorable to corn and shows some advantage to corn with these assumptions using OSUE Enterprise Budgets.


    Scenario 2 – Corn yield 13% lower (per OSU Agronomy Guide, planting date 5-22 through 5-27), soybean yields remain unchanged, new estimated revenue based on today’s markets:

    • Corn – 148 bu/a & 4.00/bu

    Returns Above Variable Costs     $227    

    • Soybeans – 51.5 bu/a & 7.90/bu

    Returns Above Variable Costs     $207          

    The choice becomes closer as we see corn still outperforming soybeans (barely) in Returns Above Variable Costs.


    Scenario 3 – Corn yield 13% lower (per OSU Agronomy Guide, planting date 5-22 through 5-27), soybean yields 5% lower, soybean seed costs higher due to higher seeding rate (additional 30,000 seeds per acre planted) for late planted soybeans, new estimated revenue based on today’s markets:

    • Corn – 148 bu/a & 4.00/bu

    Returns Above Variable Costs     $227       

    • Soybeans – 48.9 bu/a & 7.90/bu

    Returns Above Variable Costs     $175          

    This choice again favors corn as the lower soybean yield due to late planting and additional seeding costs make the choice of corn somewhat stronger compared to Scenario 2.

    The recent announcements of another round of Market Facilitation Payments and changes to Prevented Planting Coverage due to the pending Disaster Aid Bill may add further complexity to this choice.  As planting is delayed further into June the potential lower yields of both corn and soybeans due to a later planting window will tend to favor soybeans. These simplified scenarios are just examples and farmers should budget for the different yield, price and cost combinations based on their own numbers.










  5. Forage Options for Prevented Planting Corn and Soybean Acres

    Author(s): Stan Smith

    Image caption: Grazing oats planted on Prevented Planting acres in very late fall is an excellent alternative for harvesting this cover crop.

    Today, as we sit here on May 28, we know three things for certain:

    • Ohio has the lowest inventory of hay since the 2012 drought and the 4th lowest in 70 years.
    • Ohio’s row crops will not get planted in a timely fashion this year.
    • Despite improvement in the grain markets over the past week or two, for those with coverage, Prevented Planting Crop Insurance payments may still yield more income than growing a late planted corn or soybean crop this year.

    Prevented planting provisions in the USDA's Risk Management Agency (RMA) crop insurance policies can provide valuable coverage when extreme weather conditions prevent expected plantings. On their website, RMA also says "producers should make planting decisions based on agronomically sound and well documented crop management practices."

    Today, insured corn and soybean growers throughout Ohio find themselves at the crossroads of a decision that pits the overwhelming desire to want to plant and grow a crop against the reality that financially and agronomically it might be a more sound alternative to accept a Prevented Planting insurance payment. Adding further support to the notion that today one might be better off not planting the corn or soybean crop is the opportunity to plant a 'cover crop' in those insured but unplanted acres and utilize it for cattle feed late this fall.

    Let's start at the beginning. To an insured crop producer, what is Prevented Planting?

    RMA says "Prevented Planting is a failure to plant an insured crop with the proper equipment by the final planting date designated in the insurance policy’s Special Provisions or during the late planting period, if applicable." The most common cause for the failure to plant a crop in a timely fashion is adverse weather. An insured producer in Ohio can elect to receive a Prevented Planting payment for corn on June 6th and/or June 21st  on soybeans if adverse weather has prevented the crop from being planted by then.

    You may ask why I'm discussing this in a beef cattle publication. Once the decision to apply for Prevented Planting (PP) has been made, cover crops - including those a cow can eat - may be planted on those PP acres and hayed or grazed without affecting the PP payment beginning November 1. It may take some creativity to turn cover crops into feed beginning November 1, but considering that inventory of quality hay in Ohio is so low right now, it merits consideration.

    Before we go further, if you’re considering planting a cover crop that you might hay or graze on PP acres, check with your crop insurance agent and Farm Service Agency for any restrictions or timing issues you might need to consider.

    While there are a variety of cover crops that might be planted and make feed yet by fall, I suggest spring oats be considered as a viable, affordable and productive alternative. Not only are there plenty of jobs on the farm aside from planting cover crops that need immediate attention, soil conditions across much of Ohio remain too wet for planting them today, most fields are plagued with weeds that have yet to be controlled, and in many cases fields are still rutted from last fall's harvest. And, if forage and not grain is the goal, plenty of time remains to get oats planted.

    Over the years we’ve found it’s not important to rush to get spring oats planted in order to grow lots of high quality forage late in the summer. In fact our experience has been that we get a greater yield and higher quality feed if we wait until the end of July or early August to plant oats for forage. Without getting into a science lesson, it seems the oats prefer the cooler average daily temperatures we typically experience beginning in August, and they are more likely to not push out a seed head, but remain vegetative until extremely cold temperatures shut them down completely sometime in December.

    Not only does an August 1 planting date seem to offer more yield and higher quality oats, but it will also allow ample time for fields to dry, ruts from last fall to be repaired, manure to be hauled, and weeds to be controlled. Based on our experience beginning in 2002 in Fairfield County with oats planted mid to late summer, if you can utilize a forage for  haying or grazing late this fall or early winter, oats appear to be the most productive, highest quality, least cost, single harvest alternative available to Ohio livestock producers for planting during the summer months. In fact with some timely rainfall, when planted most any time before late August, there’s an opportunity to ‘create’ on a dry matter basis anywhere from two to five tons of forage while investing little more than the cost of 80-100 pounds of oats and 40 pounds of nitrogen.

    Based on experiences with summer planted oats, Curt Stivison, who initiated this work in Ohio, and I offer these suggestions:

    * Optimum planting date for oats from the perspective of forage yield is not until the first of August. Early August plantings also have resulted in the highest total amount of TDN produced per acre. Later plantings will be slightly higher in quality, but typically not enough so to offset the yield advantage of an August 1 planting. While being more conducive to a mechanical harvest in early Fall, planting in early to mid July reduces both yield and quality. The earlier oat plantings also have exhibited more susceptibility to rust.

    * Regardless the planting date, or variety, no-tilled seeding rates of from 80 to 100 pounds of oats have consistently resulted in optimum forage yields.

    * Optimum nitrogen application rate has been 40 to 50 pounds per acre. This application not only produces the highest yields, but at current values of nitrogen, it’s also the most cost effective rate. Higher rates of nitrogen actually depressed yields in our 2008 plots.

    * Over the years, many growers have been successful using bin run ‘feed’ oats originating in Canada. Most of the concerns with utilizing ‘feed’ oats are obvious: no germination test, and the potential for bringing some weed seed onto the farm. Another problem we experienced once was that a few of the Canadian oats in the “feed bin” were apparently winter oats. After getting started in the fall, they went dormant over winter, and then elongated in the spring much like winter wheat does after breaking dormancy.

    * The optimum combination of productivity and quality of August planted oats arrives 60 to 75 days after planting. Apparently due to the heat, oats planted in July mature more quickly and thus, rapidly decline in quality beginning 50 to 60 days after planting in most years.

    * Oats harvested 50-60 days after planting and while still in the boot stage of maturity may offer some regrowth that could be grazed.

    * A weed control application of glyphosate is a necessary and cost effective practice prior to oat planting.

    An additional advantage observed when using oats for an annual forage crop is the opportunity to capture the total tonnage produced with a single cutting harvest if grazing is not an option. Crops that require multiple mechanical harvests increase costs of production significantly.

    As oat forage harvest options typically beginning November 1 are considered, grazing provides the most effective and affordable alternative. In 2002, locally one family strip grazed oats all winter and actually began the calving season on them before the oats ran out in mid March.

    Dry baling oats in the fall has been done around Ohio, but it’s a challenge considering that oats will dry less than half as fast a grass hay. Cut in November, oats typically require at least two weeks or more to cure. Wet wrapping them is an expensive alternative. Using an in-line bale wrapper/tuber is a little less expensive per ton than individually wrapped bales if the equipment is available locally.

    Oats won’t die until temperatures have been in the mid 20’s for several hours. That means they’ll still be green and alive in December most years in Ohio. When they finally freeze, and if it’s not a wet winter, growers may be able to let them die and dry while standing, get a few days of dry frozen weather in January, mow them, rake them and quickly bale them after they’ve essentially cured while still standing.

    In Canada, growers have sprayed their oats with glyphosate and let them dry out while standing. Then, after a few weeks and at a time when they get a dry week, they mow, rake and bale them all in a day or two. Locally, that’s been done once that I know of which allowed the oats to be baled in late December and January.

    If grazing the standing oats is not an opportunity, while not presently approved by RMA as an alternative for cover crops grown on Prevented Planting acres, perhaps chopping and ensiling oats is the best alternative for harvest. This offers several advantages over baling or wet wrapping. Obviously the issue of curing the plants for dry harvest becomes a moot point. Chopping and ensiling into either a permanent structure or bags is also likely less expensive than wet wrapping individual bales. Perhaps even better, as detailed by Francis Fluharty a few years ago, chopped forages are 30 to 60% more digestible than long stem forages.

    Admittedly chopping and ensiling is likely more expensive than rolling dry hay, but when you consider you get essentially no storage losses, the timeliness of harvest which is afforded, and the more digestible feed which results, it’s a good alternative. And if you’re able to bunk feed the chopped and ensiled oats, there will be no “bale ring” feeding losses to be experienced.

    Keep in mind, if you plan to accept a full Prevented Planting Crop Insurance payment, cover crops can't be hayed or grazed until November 1. For more information on making the Prevented Planting decision, you may review this recent post from the University of Illinois farmdocdaily entitled Prevented Planting Decision for Corn in the Midwest.

    During the winter of 2013 Ohio Forage and Grassland Council Annual Meeting, I was invited to share the presentation found here on YouTube: https://youtu.be/yW124VH6R6M, which includes a number of photos, about our past experience of growing oats late in the summer for forage. Oats, planted late in the summer, could indeed offer a productive and high quality forage alternative on insured Prevented Panting acres!

    For additional information on beef cattle production in ohio, visit: http://u.osu.edu/beef/


  6. More on Switching Corn Hybrid Maturities

    Author(s): Peter Thomison

    Corn GDD Tool to Identify "Safe" Hybrid Maturities for Late Planting.  Dr. Bob Nielsen at Purdue University has written an article describing a powerful decision aid, U2U Corn GDD Tool, which can be used to identify "safe" hybrid maturities for late planting. The GDD Tool is currently available for Ohio and it can estimate county-level GDD accumulations and corn development dates based on current and historical GDD data plus user-selected start dates, relative hybrid maturity ratings, GDDs to black layer, and freeze temperature threshold values. The article can be found here: (http://www.kingcorn.org/news/timeless/HybridMaturityDelayedPlant.html ).

    Silage Corn.  Although corn for silage responds to timely planting, it is more tolerant of late planting than is corn planted for grain. Silage growers can generally continue to plant adapted hybrid maturities for silage purposes until late June because silage harvest typically occurs several weeks before physiological maturity. Penn State University researchers have reported yields of more than 20 tons/acre with mid-June plantings in some years. Their studies indicate that corn silage can produce reasonable forage yields in many areas, even when planted in late June. Penn State University studies have shown that energy levels are reduced in later-planted silage, presumably because of lower starch levels due to reduced grain fill.

    “Ultra-early” Hybrids.  Results of past OSU research indicate that some 100-104 day hybrids are available with yields comparable to hybrids of commonly grown maturities in early and late planting environments. The 100-104 day hybrids showed greater yield potential than the hybrids with maturity ratings less than 100 days (ultra-early hybrids). Grain moisture of the early 100-104 day hybrids were 3 to 5% lower than commonly grown maturities. At test sites with the highest level of stalk lodging, most of these early hybrids showed levels of stalk lodging comparable to those of the commonly grown hybrid maturities. However, our knowledge of early hybrid performance across Ohio production environments is limited. Some shorter season hybrids may not be suitable in terms of their stress tolerance and disease resistance.

    Table 1 provides a comparison of grain moisture content at harvest in hybrids ranging from 102 to 113 days relative maturity (days relative maturity) planted in late April/ early May and in early/mid June (unpublished OSU research, 2009-2010).

    Table 1.  Effects of planting delays and hybrid maturities on corn grain moisture at harvest. * number in parentheses indicates number of studies



    Hybrid Maturity (days)


    Planting Date







    -----% harvest moisture----


    S. Charleston 2009 (3)*


    Late April/Early May





    Early/Mid June






    S. Charleston 2010 (3)


    Late April/Early May





    Early/Mid June






    Hoytville 2010 (1)


    Late April/Early May





    Early/Mid June


















    Nielsen, R.L. 2019. Hybrid Maturity Decisions for Delayed Planting. Corny News Network, Purdue Univ. http://www.kingcorn.org/news/timeless/HybridMaturityDelayedPlant.html [URL accessed May 2019]

  7. Delayed Soybean Planting - A Yield Perspective

    Author(s): Laura Lindsey

    Across the state, soybean planting is still on-hold due to continued wet weather. A few weeks ago, I wrote an article on recommendations for June-planted soybeans: https://agcrops.osu.edu/newsletter/corn-newsletter/2019-12/recommendations-late-planted-soybeans You can also find recommendations for late-planted soybeans in the Ohio Agronomy Guide available to download as a pdf here: https://stepupsoy.osu.edu/soybean-production/ohio-agronomy-guide-15th-edition (click on the picture of the guide to download).

    I think June-planted soybeans still have a great deal of yield potential; however, it will depend on how the rest of the year turns out. (Will there be water limitations during pod-setting and seed fill? Will we have an early frost?)








    Figure 1. Effect of soybean planting date on soybean grain yield at the Western Agricultural Research Station (WARS) (Clark County) in 2013 and 2014 and the Northwest Agricultural Research Station (NWARS) (Wood County) in 2014.

    In Clark County at the Western Agricultural Research Station (WARS), we have observed a 0.6 bu/acre/day reduction in soybean yield (see Figure 1). Soybeans planted on July 2, 2013 yielded close to 60 bu/acre and soybeans planted on July 1, 2014, yielded close to 50 bu/acre. Interestingly, in Wood County at the Northwest Agricultural Research Station (NWARS) in 2014, yield was just over 50 bu/acre regardless of planting date, which spanned from May 8 to June 18. I’ve summarized some of our other late-planted soybean yield data in the table below.

    Planting date


    Average yield


    June 1, 2011 (performance trial)

    Preble County


    June 1, 2016 (relative maturity trial)

    Clark County


    June 3, 2011 (performance trial)

    Mercer County


    June 4, 2011 (performance trial)

    Delaware County


    June 4, 2017 (performance trial)

    Sandusky County


    June 5, 2011 (performance trial)

    Erie County


    June 6, 2017 (relative maturity trial)

    Wood County


    June 6, 2011 (performance trial)

    Henry County


    June 7, 2011 (performance trial)

    Fayette County


    June 7, 2011 (performance trial)

    Mercer County


    June 8, 2017 (relative maturity trial)

    Clark County


    June 9, 2016 (relative maturity trial)

    Wayne County


    June 9, 2017 (relative maturity trial)

    Wayne County


    June 13, 2016 (relative maturity trial)

    Wood County


    June 26, 2018 (double crop trial)

    Clark County


    June 29, 2018 (double crop trial)

    Wayne County


    June 29, 2017 (double crop trial)

    Clark County


    July 11, 2016 (double crop trial)

    Clark County



  8. Current Weed Issues I: Controlling Weeds in Prevented Planting Areas

    Author(s): Mark Loux

    As we get closer to decisions about cropping versus prevented planting, weed control may be one of the factors to consider.  The season-long weediness of bare areas that occur in some crop fields from flooding and crop loss give a good idea of what can be in store on prevented planting acres.  Some observations follow on all of this. 

    The goals for unplanted acres are really to: 1) prevent annual weeds from going to seed and increasing the soil seedbank – anything that goes to seed will have to be dealt with in the future; and 2) treat any perennial weeds in the appropriate growth stage to reduce their population.  Winter annual weeds have already gone to seed or are in the process of doing so.  Summer annuals will keep emerging in a bareground area for much of the summer, depending upon rain.  At some point later in the season, though, newly emerging summer annuals will run out of time to mature and develop much seed before frost, and the overall goal is to control them from now until then.

    Control can be accomplished with multiple passes of mowing, tillage, or herbicide, or a combination of these.   Assume a cost for at least two passes for the sake of any calculations used to determine whether to plant a crop or go with prevented planting.  Weeds that survive/regrow following tillage or mowing become more difficult to kill with herbicides, so where a combination of these methods are used, herbicide may be best used in the first pass.  Tillage is best used for relatively small weeds, because large ones are difficult to completely uproot.  A single mowing may be best used later in the season, when any weed regrowth will be taken care of by frost before seed can be produced.   

    Where foliar-applied herbicides will be used for control, we would suggest one application fairly soon, while weeds are small enough to be controlled, followed by a second one later in summer as needed.  The most cost-effective approach is probably glyphosate plus 2,4-D, although other growth regulator herbicides that contain dicamba or clopyralid can be added also.  This approach may not kill large marestail, but can stop most of the seed production.  Gramoxone or glufosinate could be substituted for glyphosate in some fields, but mostly where weeds are still small, and large grasses can be a problem.

    Planting a cover can help suppress weeds and reduce reliance on herbicides alone.  This will most likely not eliminate the need for herbicides, and a burndown treatment or tillage will be necessary to allow planting.  Planting a grass cover will allow use of growth regulator herbicides to control broadleaf weeds.   If the field was previously treated with residual corn or soybean herbicides but then not planted, check to make sure it’s safe to plant the intended cover after use of those herbicides.   A

    A common question in this situation is whether residual herbicides can be used to replace or minimize the need for foliar-applied herbicide, or extend the time until they are needed.  In our opinion, it is difficult to make the case to spend money for residual herbicides here, because the ones we use on corn and soybeans struggle to provide enough control in a bare ground situation, and most are not labeled for use in noncrop areas.  The herbicides used in industrial vegetation situations that will provide enough control will also persist long enough to mess up crop rotations.  The goal for residual herbicide use would be a minimal investment for herbicide(s) that provide broad spectrum control for a month or more.  The only possibilities we could find that have labels for true noncrop areas are pendimethalin, Valor, and Surflan.   

  9. Current Weed Issues II: Revised Herbicide Management Strategies for Late Planting

    Author(s): Mark Loux

    We’re running about a month behind in many cases, and with respect to weeds we are a month later than normal in implementing herbicide programs.  The most important thing to know about this is that we are well into the period of summer annual weed emergence, most of which occurs between early May and the end of June, which overall shortens the period of weed control that we need and allows earlier application of POST herbicides.  There are some advantages to this - here’s what it means for those fields just planted or that will still be planted within the next couple weeks:

    Because we are this late, the burndown has become a major part of what is usually our in-season herbicide program, and is taking care of a good portion of the summer annuals that residual and POST herbicides would usually control.  The big glaring issue at this time is nasty burndown situations, and we provided some suggestions for this in previous articles.  Lots of pretty yellow fields due to cressleaf groundsel.  Keep in mind that this and other winter annuals that have flowered are ending their life cycles, so they have died or started dieing on their own anyway.  Focus should be more on the large giant ragweed, lambsquarters, marestail, etc that are present.  We are also late enough that waterhemp is part of the burndown mix in come fields.  Don’t skimp.

    Herbicide programs do not have to last as long in crops planted late.  When we plant in early May, we need an herbicide program that controls weeds from then until the end of June or so, which is in part why we use residual herbicides and frequently apply POST herbicides 5 to 6 weeks after planting.  Applying the POST too early in a crop planted in early May introduces the risk of poor control of weeds that emerge soon after that application, before the crop is developed enough to control them on its own.  This is much less of an issue with a late-planted crop.  Since summer annual weed emergence tapers off as we move through June, the POST herbicides can be applied much sooner after planting without sacrificing control.  Planting soybeans this late can therefore allow earlier POST applications when weeds are small – more like 3 weeks after planting.  This can help minimize carryover concerns with fomesafen, and also provide a wider window to look for the right conditions to apply dicamba (see below). 

    In studies of reduced-rate POST applications that we conducted a couple decades ago, planting soybeans in late May or early June allowed us to use earlier POST applications (e.g 21 days after planting) at lower rates and still maintain control.  There were just fewer weeds emerging after planting and the duration of weed emergence after planting was also shorter.  It was not possible to achieve this in early-planted soybeans – we needed either two applications at reduced rate or a later application at full rates for control. 

    One issue with later POST sprays is the potential for herbicide carryover from products such as mesotrione and fomesafen (Flexstar, etc), among others.  Fomesafen carryover has been rare in the state but risk increases with later applications, especially if rainfall subsequently becomes limiting.  Where glyphosate and fomesafen are being combined in a late POST application to control ragweeds, it may become necessary to replace the fomesafen with lactofen (Cobra/Phoenix) as applications move into July.  Our research indicates that the lactofen products are less effective than fomesafen in this mix by about 10 to 20%.

    Another concern would be POST applications of dicamba on Xtend soybeans shifted later into the hotter weather that occurs as we move from June into July.  The consensus of the weed science community is that both of the approved dicamba formulations have potential to move via volatilization, and the risk of this would increase with increasing temperatures and increased frequency and duration of inversions.  The current long-range forecast also indicates a trend for hotter than normal temperatures as we move into mid-summer.  Current labels allow application through 45 days after planting or prior to the R1 stage, whichever occurs first.  For soybeans planted early, the 45-day limit is often the main determinant, but later planted soybeans progress through growth stages more rapidly so the R1 stage may be the more frequent limitation.  Movement of dicamba onto other types of soybeans later in summer also has increased potential to reduce yield, since long-term effects of exposure to dicamba are more severe when soybeans have flowered.  Bottom line here is that there is less weather and time suitable for dicamba application with late-season applications, and movement and injury that does occur can have more substantial impact.  Planting within the next couple weeks and looking for the right conditions to spray starting about June 21 would provide more flexibility with regard to weather and weed size than deciding to wait until about July 10 to spray when it’s hotter and weeds are already large. 

    Can residual herbicides be omitted in late-planted soybeans?  Maybe.  Reduced weed populations could make this more feasible, but we really hesitate to recommend it.  Omitting residuals is never the right thing to do in fields with a history of weed control problems or high weed populations, or those with waterhemp and Palmer amaranth.  One advantage of omitting residuals would less risk of antagonism with burndown herbicides in mixtures.  Applying certain soybean residuals in June can increase risk of carryover.  The effectiveness of current soybean herbicide-tolerance trait systems makes this more of a possibility, but lack of residuals generally increases risk of problems and selection for resistant weeds, and makes timing of POST herbicides more critical.  The latter point is important because with a compressed season, applicators can be required to cover a lot of acres within a short period of time.  Keeping residuals in the program allows for more flexibility overall.

    In late-planted corn, residual herbicides may be effective enough to reduce need for POST herbicides.  Or the residuals could be applied early POST, after the rush to plant is over (keeping rotation guidelines in mind).  Some corn fields are already in this situation, planted without any herbicide applied yet.  The table below shows restrictions on POST use of residual corn herbicides (source – U of Illinois).  This information can also be found in the herbicide descriptions in the Weed Control Guide , and is also summarized in this PSU newsletter article and this table from the MSU weed control guide.  Reminder that use of 28% UAN as a spray carrier is prohibited for POST application of herbicides with the exception of Degree Xtra.






  10. Forages Continue to Mature

    Author(s): Mark Sulc, , Jeff Stachler

    Forage stands that have survived this year continue to advance in maturity. Some producers in northeast Ohio were able to harvest last week, and many wet-wrapped the forage. Unfortunately, in other parts of Ohio, the rains have continued, and the forecast is not good for drying conditions this week. Although forages are ready for harvesting (see table below), keep in mind that harvesting when the soil is too wet and soft will do non-reversible compaction damage to the stand and will lower the productivity the rest of this year and into future years.

    Below is the update on the neutral detergent fiber (NDF) levels of alfalfa standing in the field. A short video describing the method we used to estimate NDF in the field can be found at the following website: https://forages.osu.edu/video. Look for the title “Estimating Alfalfa Quality in the Field”. Keep in mind that this method is for pure alfalfa stands.

    Grasses will raise the NDF content. In central Ohio, grasses were fully headed this week. Pure grass stands and grass-alfalfa mixtures should be harvested first when the opportunity presents itself.

    The following shows our NDF estimates in alfalfa fields from several counties in the past two days:



    Minimum %NDF

    Maximum %NDF

    Average %NDF
















  11. Speeding Up Hay Drying

    Author(s): Mark Sulc

    Author’s note: Most of this article is adapted with permission from an article published in Farm and Dairy on 2nd June 2010, available at http://www.farmanddairy.com/top-stories/make-hay-when-sun-shines-but-tak.... It certainly applies this year.

    Many forage producers across Ohio have suffered severe forage stand losses; however, there are areas where the stands have survived and those are ready for harvest. Unfortunately, recent and forecasted rains are preventing the first harvest of many of those acres. Despite the need to harvest now for quality forage, I strongly urge patience in waiting for soils to firm up before attempting to make our first cutting of hay, because harvesting on soft soils does long-term damage to future productivity.

    Once the soils are firm enough, there are several proven techniques that can speed up the hay drying process to take the most advantage possible with any sunny days we do get.

    Haylage vs. hay.  Consider making haylage/silage or balage instead of dry hay. Since haylage is preserved at higher moisture contents, it is a lot easier to get it to a proper dry matter content for safe preservation. Proper dry matter content for chopping haylage can often be achieved within 24 hours or less as compared with 3 to 5 days for dry hay.

    Proper dry matter content for silage ranges from 30 to 50% (50 to 70% moisture) depending on the structure used. Wrapped balage should be dried to 40 to 55% dry matter (45 to 60% moisture). Compare that to dry hay that should be baled at 80 to 85% dry matter (15 to 20% moisture), depending on the size of the bale package. The larger and more dense the dry hay package, the dryer it has to be to avoid spoilage.

    Mechanically condition the forage.  Faster drying of cut forage begins with using a well-adjusted mower-conditioner to cause crimping/cracking of the stem (roller conditioners) or abrasion to the stems (impeller conditioners). At least 90% of the stems should be cracked or crimped with roller conditioners or should show some mechanical abrasion when using impeller conditioners.

    Some excellent guidelines for adjusting these machines can be found in an article by Dr. Ronald Schuler of the University of Wisconsin, available online at fyi.uwex.edu/forage/harvest/.

    Maximize exposure to sunlight.  I once heard someone say "You don’t dry your laundry in a pile, so why do you expect to dry hay that way?" Exposure to the sun is the single most important weather factor to speed drying. The trick is to expose to sunshine as much of the cut forage as possible.

    The swath width should be about 70% of the actual cut area. The mowers on the market vary in how wide a windrow they can make, but even those that make narrow windrows have been modified to spread the windrow wider. Details can be found in articles at the Univ. of Wisconsin website mentioned above (see especially “Getting the Most from the Mower Conditioner” by Kevin Shinners).

    Another way to spread out and aerate the crop for faster drying is with a tedder. Tedders are especially effective with grass crops but can cause excessive leaf loss in legumes if done when the leaves are dry. Tedders can be a good option when the ground is damp (as this year), because the crop can be mowed into narrow windrows to allow more ground exposure to sunlight for a short time, and then once the soil has dried some the crop can be spread out with the tedder.

    When making haylage, if drying conditions are good, rake multiple wide swaths into a windrow just before chopping. For hay, if drying conditions are good, merge or rake multiple wide swaths into a windrow the next morning when the forage is 40 to 60% moisture to avoid excessive leaf loss.

    Research studies and experience have proven that drying forage in wide swaths can significantly speed up drying. Faster drying in wide swaths results in less chance of rain damage and studies by the University of Wisconsin showed that wide swaths (72% of the cut width) result in lower NDF and higher energy in the stored forage.

    Consider desiccants.  Desiccants are chemicals applied when mowing the crop that increase the drying rate. The most effective desiccants contain potassium carbonate or sodium carbonate. They are more effective on legumes than grasses and most useful for making hay rather than silage or balage. Desiccants work best under good drying conditions, but don't help much when conditions are humid, damp, and cloudy. Consider the weather conditions before applying them. 

    Consider a preservative.  Sometimes the rain just comes quicker than we have time for making dry hay. As mentioned above, making haylage helps significantly with this. A second option is to use a preservative. The most effective preservatives are based on proprionic acid, which is caustic to equipment, but many buffered proprionic preservatives are available that minimize that problem.

    Preservatives inhibit mold growth and allow safe baling at moisture contents a little higher than the normal range for dry hay. Carefully follow the preservative manufacturer’s directions and application rates for the hay moisture content at baling.

    Watch wet bales carefully!  If hay is baled at higher moisture contents that are pushing past the safe limits, keep a close watch on them for two to three weeks. Use a hay temperature probe and monitor the internal temperature of the hay during the first three weeks after baling.

    Every year someone’s barn burns down because of spontaneous combustion of wet hay. So if hay is on the wetter side, keep it outside or in a well-ventilated area. Don’t stack wet hay, because that prevents the heat and moisture left in the hay from escaping.

    It is normal for hay to go through a “sweat” in the few days after baling. Internal temperatures of 110 F in the first five days after baling are quite common in our region and are not a big concern.

    Hay bale temperatures of 120 to 130 F will likely result in mold growth and will make the protein in the hay less available to animals. While those temperatures are not high enough to cause hay fires, the concern is if the mold growth continues and pushes temperatures upward into the danger zone.

    If the temperature in the hay continues to rise, reaching 160 to 170 F, then there is cause for alarm. At those elevated temperatures, other chemical reactions begin to occur that elevate the temperature much higher, resulting in spontaneous combustion of the hay in a relatively short period of time.

    Hay fires can be avoided by careful attention to the management practices outlined above along with cooperation from the sun. Let’s hope for plenty of sunshine soon!

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.


Chris Zoller (Educator, Agriculture and Natural Resources)
David Marrison (Educator, Agriculture and Natural Resources)
Greg LaBarge, CPAg/CCA (Field Specialist, Agronomic Systems)
Les Ober, CCA (Educator, Agriculture and Natural Resources)
Mike Estadt (Educator, Agriculture and Natural Resources)
Mike Gastier, CCA (Educator, Agriculture and Natural Resources)
Ted Wiseman (Educator, Agriculture and Natural Resources)
Tony Nye (Educator, Agriculture and Natural Resources)


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