Corn Newsletter : 2019 - 30

  1. The Agronomic Crops Team will welcome you to the Farm Science Review

    Hail Implementation Crew

    The Farm Science Review this year is September 17, 18 and 19th at the London, Ohio location at the intersection of US 40 and State Route 38. Things at the site actually look pretty good – crops were almost planted on time, grass was mowed pretty much on time, the parking lots have settled since the 2017 fiasco – and more gravel is in place just in case. Tickets can be purchased from your local Extension office, from many ag retailers or on-line at the FSR website: Map Your Show will help you find and quickly locate what it is you are looking for –

    The Agronomic Crops Team will once again be welcoming visitors on the east side of the grounds just as you enter the exhibit area between Gates B & C. We will be in the agronomy plots – there to catch your eye, to stir conversation, or maybe to lament the happenings of this year. We have had the same issues as you this year with the too wet conditions, the very warm conditions, and now the too dry conditions.

    • Many farmers arrive early to Farm Science Review to beat the traffic. Stop in for coffee, and a donut in the Agronomy tent at Gate C.
    • Walk and Talks are offered every morning from 9 a.m. until noon – short walks through the plots to highlight some of the research we do across the state and to answer your questions. Want to know about cover crops, special foliar applications to soybeans, what happens when hail hits, or nitrogen isn’t applied to corn – stop in.
    • Formal presentations are scheduled from 12 to 3:30 PM each day. They include Phosphorus Management, 2019 Weather Review and Future, New Tri-state Fertilizer Recommendations, Grazing Annuals, Herbicide Mode of Action choices and more; check the schedule in the program.
    • We have an industrial hemp planting on our north side at Gate B, stop by and ask about this new crop for Ohio. We have an expert to be with us all three days - Craig Schluttenhofer of Central State University who brings experience with the crop to us from his work in Kentucky.
    • Pesticide, Fertilizer re-certification credits, and CCA CEUs will also be available with many of the talks. See the complete schedule here:
  2. Late Season Foliar Diseases Have Started in Soybeans

    Despite the late planting dates, we did not escape many of the late season diseases that attack soybeans.

    Sclerotinia stem rot – we found this disease in our research plots today in a field that was planted on June 19th.  Sclerotinia is caused by a fungus that survives from season to season and over several years from sclerotia.  The infections actually occurred during flowering when the canopy was closed, and cool nights can really enhance and favor this disease.

    Sclerotinia Stem Rot

    Sudden Death Syndrome – this disease is also beginning to develop and symptoms typically start just after soybean growth stage R5. Symptoms include irregular yellow spots, which turn brown or necrotic between the veins.  Interestingly the veins are surrounded by green.  The center of the stem or pith is bright white in this disease.  This is a fungal pathogen and infections most likely occurred shortly after planting.  Even though we planted in mid-June, soil temperatures were still relatively cold this year and I won’t relive how much rain we had, but suffice it to say, this field received over 3” the weekend after we planted.  These conditions greatly favor infections.  Note in the picture the resistant cultivar.

    Sudden Death Syndrome

    Diaporthe stem canker (northern and southern) have both been problems, but I have not received any samples to date.  On susceptible cultivars the plants will die early in patches.  For Northern, there is a canker at the third node which girdles the plant.  For Southern, there can be several reddish cankers on the stem and the internal tissue is a reddish brown. 

    Diaporthe Southern Stem Canker

    Phytophthora stem canker – we are finding this way too often this year and in places that have not reported it very frequently.  The plants will wilt first, turn yellow, and a chocolate brown canker will form from the bottom of the plant to almost mid-height.  The key difference between this and Northern Diaporthe stem canker is the length of the canker and where it originates.  If the canker begins below ground, it is Phytophthora.

    Phytophthora Stem Canker

    Another look alike symptom on soybean leaves that you might be seeing is potash deficiency. We have had a number of calls late this summer asking what might be causing discoloration of soybean leaves – see the photos of a leaf and of the field edge. What appears to be happening is #1 – it’s dry, or root systems are compromised is some other way (think excessive wetness and compaction) or #2 the symptoms tend to be at the edge of the field. Here the guess is that with larger high capacity fertilizer applicators, we may not be getting that full rate all the way to the edge of the field. As a result, we run low on K there when we likely have adequate amounts across the rest of the field.

    Potash Deficiency

  3. Sorting Out the Soybean Herbicide Resistance Traits

    Author(s): Mark Loux

    The world of soybean herbicide resistance traits has gotten more complex over the past several years.  The good news is that we have new options for control of herbicide-resistant weeds, although it can be a little difficult to sort out which one is best for a given situation and whether the possible downsides of certain traits are tolerable.  The following is a quick rundown of what’s available and some things to consider when selecting seed.  This is not meant to be an extensive evaluation/description of these systems because including all the possible configurations of herbicide use and the stewardship stuff would probably kill the possibility that anyone reads the rest of the article.  We also do not attempt to include all of the possible seed trade names.  For ratings of herbicide effectiveness on certain weeds, check the tables in the “Weed Control Guide for Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois”.

    Roundup Ready (RR1, RR 2 Yield, etc.) – the original herbicide resistance trait.  Resistant to glyphosate which can be applied anytime up through R2

    LibertyLink – resistant to glufosinate (Liberty, Interline, etc.) which can be applied anytime up to R1.

    LL-GT27 (Freedom Plus, etc.) – resistant to glyphosate, glufosinate, and isoxaflutole (Balance), although there is currently no isoxaflutole product approved for use in these soybeans. 

    Enlist – resistant to glyphosate, glufosinate, and 2,4-D.  Enlist One (2,4-D choline) and Enlist Duo (2,4-D choline + glyphosate) are the only 2,4-D products approved for preemergence and postemergence use on this soybean, outside of the typical use of 2,4-D ester 7 or more days ahead of planting that works on any soybean.  These products can be used any time before or after planting Enlist soybeans without a waiting period as well as postemergence through R2

    Roundup Ready Xtend – resistant to glyphosate and dicamba.  XtendiMax, FeXapan, and Engenia are the dicamba products approved for preemergence and postemergence use on this soybean.  These products can be applied any time before or after Xtend soybean planting without a waiting period, as well as postemergence (prior to R1 and no later than 45 days after planting).

    Note:  Dicamba and 2,4-D are different herbicides.  Dicamba cannot be applied to Enlist soybeans and 2,4-D cannot be applied to Xtend soybeans.  Just like glyphosate cannot be applied to LibertyLink soybeans and glufosinate cannot be applied to Roundup Ready soybeans.  Seems obvious but it’s a surprisingly frequent question.

    All of these soybean herbicide trait systems have utility in certain situations.  Factors determining this are the resistant weeds present and the type of tillage.  The primary resistant weed issues in Ohio, which require herbicides other than glyphosate, are marestail, giant and common ragweed, waterhemp, and Palmer amaranth.  A few things to consider here – all of which assume that some type of residual herbicides are being used, regardless of the specific weed issues:

    • Any type of tillage that mixes the upper few inches of soil and uproots weeds often renders marestail more or less a non-issue but does not really greatly affect the other weeds listed here.  Marestail can often be handled well enough with a combination of fall burndown and spring burndown + residual, although the residuals are not bulletproof.  Otherwise, use of Xtend soybeans and a preemergence dicamba product provides an effective alternative for spring burndown of marestail, as well as a dicamba POST option.  The ability to use higher rates of 2,4-D at planting in the Enlist system does not usually result in effective marestail burndown without a fall treatment, although it can be followed with a POST application of glufosinate and/or 2,4-D.  The combination of PRE and POST has allowed for effective control in our research with Enlist.  LibertyLink and the LL-GT27 soybean provide for the POST use of glufosinate to control marestail, but do not change the burndown options (glufosinate can be used for burndown in any type of soybean, prior to emergence).
    • Giant ragweed requires initial control through tillage or burndown herbicides, and also postemergence control.  Most populations have lost response to glyphosate and some are highly resistant.  Burndown has not usually been an issue as long as there’s a way to get some 2,4-D, dicamba, or Sharpen in the mix, so there’s not necessarily an advantage to any of these systems.  With the exception that the Enlist and Xtend systems allow more flexibility in use of 2,4-D or dicamba, respectively, since there’s no wait between application and planting.  Using any system besides the basic Roundup Ready will also provide for more effective POST control, although the edge usually goes to systemic herbicides on bigger plants.  Rate and application parameters have a substantial effect on glufosinate activity, and optimization of these parameters can make the difference between so-so and effective control.  These same considerations apply to common ragweed as well.
    • Waterhemp and Palmer amaranth require essentially the same approach, with the emphasis on residual and postemergence herbicides.  Postemergence control is complicated by herbicide resistance, need for plants to be small, and emergence that extends well into the growing season.  We assume almost all of the waterhemp populations are resistant to glyphosate and site 2 herbicides, and a number of populations are also resistant to site 14 herbicides.  So, a system that allows postemergence use of 2,4-D, dicamba, or glufosinate will provide for the most consistently effective control.  All of these can become considerably more variable in effectiveness on larger plants.  And all can require the addition of a site 15 residual herbicide to provide control of later-emerging plants.  We would consider Enlist to have an advantage over the Xtend, LibertyLink, and LL-GT27 soybeans because it’s the only system where we know we can still mix two postemergence herbicides that are still effective – 2,4-D and glufosinate.  Postemergence control in Xtend depends upon dicamba, and in LibertyLink and LL-GT27 depends upon glufosinate.  Advantages to Enlist are two-fold: 1) the mix of 2,4-D and glufosinate will be more consistently effective on larger waterhemp than any of these herbicides applied singly; and 2) mixing two herbicides with different sites of action that still have activity reduces the selection for resistance.  It’s a game of chance really, with the odds of a plant having two concurrent mutations that confer resistance to both sites of action is considerably lower (but not impossible) than the odds of a single mutation conferring resistance to one site of action.  Even when the Xtend soybean has glufosinate resistance added to its genetics, it’s hard to fathom how one could mix dicamba and glufosinate while still optimizing glufosinate activity and following dicamba stewardship guidelines.  This is of course not to say that the mix of two herbicides is always more effective than a single herbicide, although this is probably one of the founding principles of weed science.  Similar principles apply to Palmer amaranth control, except that it’s found only infrequently in Ohio still and we have not observed resistance to site 14 herbicides yet.
    • Some seed dealers have stopped offering the basic Roundup Ready seed, because of the lack of POST options for these weeds.  Assuming marestail has been taken care of by burndown + residual, it is possible to make this system work by adding a site 14 herbicide (fomesafen product or Cobra) to POST glyphosate treatments.  This will be a generally more variable approach than using one of the other systems, and usually results in some degree of soybean injury.  Some waterhemp and common ragweed populations are already resistant to both glyphosate and site 14 herbicides, and Roundup Ready soybeans will not work in these fields (same goes for non-GMO since site 14 herbicides are the only POST option).
    • Needless to say, there are extensive stewardship guidelines for the Xtend and Enlist systems, which can make them more burdensome to use than the LibertyLink and LL-GT systems.  The large-scale experiment with dicamba on millions of acres over the past several years has led university weed scientists to conclude that there is an unpredictable component to its off-target movement that is not necessarily controlled by following stewardship guidelines.  This is not to say that it always moves off-target of course, it’s just something that should be considered when decisions about which trait system to use are made.  We hope that the same does not occur for 2,4-D use on Enlist soybeans, but the large-scale experiment with this technology starts in 2020, so it remains to be seen.
    • There can be issues with applying some of these herbicides in mixtures, and these are still evolving.  Even if it does not control the resistant weeds, glyphosate still has utility on most other weeds and can be the cheapest way to control grasses.  It can be used in mixtures with the other herbicides mentioned here in all trait systems except the LibertyLink (without the “GT27”).  Previous research and field experience have shown that control of barnyardgrass and certain other weeds can be reduced with a mixture of glyphosate and glufosinate, compared with separate applications.  Mixing dicamba with postemergence grass herbicides (clethodim etc.) can result in reduced control of volunteer corn.  All of these interactions seem to be specific to certain weeds, and also weather conditions in some cases.  Bottom line is that there’s probably more to learn about how these herbicides interact in mixtures.
    • For any of these traits, it’s important to take resistance management into consideration.  Use an effective residual herbicide program, try to vary herbicide site of action between corn and soybeans, don’t overuse the same postemergence herbicides in soybeans, and use mixtures of different sites of action that have activity on the same weeds.  Follow up in mid to late season to remove waterhemp and Palmer amaranth escapes and prevent seed. 
  4. Reminders about Pre-harvest Herbicide Treatment

    Author(s): Mark Loux

    Information on preharvest herbicide treatments for field corn and soybeans can be found in the “Weed Control Guide for Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois”, at the end of these crop sections (pages 74 and 141 of the 2019 edition).  Products labeled for corn include Aim, glyphosate, and paraquat.  Products listed in the guide for soybeans include Aim, paraquat, glyphosate, and Sharpen.  Some dicamba products are also approved for preharvest use in all types of soybeans, which escaped our notice until now, so it is not listed in the guide.  The basic information for preharvest dicamba (for 4 lb./gal products): 

    Apply 8 - 32 oz/A as a broadcast or spot treatment after soybean pods have reached mature brown color and at least 75% leaf drop has occurred; soybeans may be harvested 14 days or more after a pre-harvest application; do not use preharvest-treated soybean for seed unless a germination test is performed on the seed with an acceptable result of 95% germination or better; do not feed soybean fodder or hay following a preharvest application of this product.

    Preharvest herbicide treatments are primarily intended to suppress/kill and desiccate weeds that can make harvest more difficult.  Products with contact activity will cause faster desiccation and leaf drop of weeds but may be less effective at killing weeds compared with systemic products.  Effective desiccation with contact herbicides may still require a week or more following application.  Differences can vary by weed.  The maximum paraquat rate is well below the rate required to actually kill large weeds, but it is still probably most effective for desiccation of morninglory.  Glyphosate is not likely to be effective on marestail and waterhemp, and many giant ragweed populations, whereas dicamba may with enough time between application and harvest.  The first frost will usually provide the same results, so in a situation where crop maturity is delayed as is the case in many fields this year, consider whether an herbicide treatment is actually needed.

    Preharvest treatments are not intended to be used to speed up crop maturity, and largely do not accomplish this.  The restrictions on preharvest treatments that specify how mature the crop must be at time of application are designed to minimize any effect of herbicides on crop maturation.  Applying earlier than specified could interfere with that process.  The residue tolerances for this use are also based on a certain application timing, and failure to follow label guidelines could result in illegal herbicide residues in grain. 

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.


Andy Michel (State Specialist, Entomology)
Anne Dorrance (State Specialist, Soybean Diseases)
Dean Kreager (Licking County)
Dennis Riethman (Mercer County)
Elizabeth Hawkins (Field Specialist, Agronomic Systems)
Glen Arnold, CCA (Field Specialist, Manure Nutrient Management )
Harold Watters, CPAg/CCA (Field Specialist, Agronomic Systems)
Jeff Stachler (Auglaize County)
Les Ober, CCA (Geauga County)
Mark Badertscher (Hardin County)
Mark Loux (State Specialist, Weed Science)
Peter Thomison (State Specialist, Corn Production)
Pierce Paul (State Specialist, Corn and Wheat Diseases)
Sam Custer (Darke County)
Tony Nye (Clinton County)


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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