C.O.R.N. Newsletter : 2020-01

  1. Dr. Peter Thomison Retires

    Dr. Peter Thomison
    Author(s): Laura Lindsey

    Dr. Peter Thomison, Professor and Extension State Specialist for corn production, retired from Ohio State University at the end of December 2019 after 30 years of service.

    Peter was an active member of OSU Extension’s Agronomic Crops Team. He contributed hundreds of timely, high-impact articles to the CORN newsletter, wrote several bulletins and Fact Sheets, and could be seen throughout Ohio during winter extension meetings and field days. Peter was at the forefront of corn production research, including corn hybrid by management interactions, causes and identification of abnormal corn ears, phenological responses of corn to heat accumulation, and agronomic performance and grain quality of specialty corn. Peter’s extension and research efforts to develop cropping systems that minimize production inputs and impact on environmental quality will have a lasting effect on extension, farmers, and the ag industry.

    On a personal note, I will thoroughly miss Peter. Peter was extremely instrumental in helping me establish my extension and research program at Ohio State (and even served a mentor on my advisory committee during my Master’s degree program). Peter was always available to answer questions and provide guidance, and I enjoyed talking with him almost every day.

    Congratulations on your retirement, Peter! You will be greatly missed by all of us on the Ag Crops Team. Thank you for your efforts over the past 30 years and best wishes for the future.

  2. 2019 eFields Releasing on January 8th

    Now that 2019 has come to an end, many of us are ready to leave the memories of the challenges we faced last season behind. However, the weather conditions we dealt with provided us an opportunity to learn how we can be more resilient in agriculture while learning how to deal with the growing conditions experienced. The 2019 eFields Research Report highlights 88 on-farm, field scale trials conducted in 30 Ohio counties. Research topics include nutrient management, precision crop management, cover crops, and forages. Additional information about production budgets, planting progress, and the 2018 Farm Bill is also included.

    The 2019 report is now available in both a print and e-version. To receive a printed copy, contact your local OSU Extension office or email digitalag@osu.edu. The e-version can be viewed and downloaded at go.osu.edu/eFields with the online version readable on smartphone or tablet devices.

    The eFields team has planned six regional results meetings to discuss local results and gather information about research interests for 2020. There is no cost to attend; for more information or to register for a meeting, visit go.osu.edu/eFieldsMeeting. Please plan to join us for the meeting nearest you:

                Southwest Region: February 10th, 9AM-12PM, Wilmington

                Northwest Region: February 26th, 9AM-12PM, Bryan

                Central Region: February 27th, 9AM-12PM,

                South Central Region: March 9th, 9AM-12PM, Circleville

                East Region: March 10th, 6-9PM, Coshocton

                West Central Region: March 16th, 9AM-12PM, Piqua

    We would like to sincerely thank all of our 2019 collaborating farms and industry partners. The eFields team enjoys working with each of you and we are looking forward to continuing to learn together in 2020.

    Follow our social media using @OhioStatePA on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram or subscribe to our quarterly newsletter, Digital Ag Download (go.osu.edu/DigitalAgDownload), to keep up with the eFields program throughout the year. For more information on how to get involved in eFields in 2019, contact Elizabeth Hawkins at hawkins.301@osu.edu.

  3. Considerations for Stored Seed

    Additional authors: Andrew Evans, OSU Horticulture & Crop Science and John Armstrong, Ohio Seed Improvement Association

    2019 was full of challenges, including what to do with purchased seed that did not get planted. If the purchased seed was not returned and was stored with intent to use it in the 2020 season, producers should consider re-testing the seed lots for germination and possibly add a seed vigor test to help make planting decisions for 2020. Most seed germination percentages on a seed tag for agricultural seeds (like corn and soybeans) are valid for 12 months from the last date of the month in which they were completed, with the exception being cool season grasses which are valid for 15 months beyond the month of testing (Ohio Revised Code, Chapter 907.07).

    Table 1. Change in germination over time for five corn and five soybean seed lots stored in a non-conditioned warehouse.



    Period of open storage (months)






    Germination (%)











































    Seed quality is key to establishing a good crop, with major components of quality being genetic quality, physical purity (% other crops, % inert, and % weeds), and physiological quality (seed germination and vigor). Over time the physiological quality of a seed lot can change, especially as a result of its storage environment. Storing seed where the temperature (in degrees F) plus the % relative humidity are less than 100 (Harrington’s rule) helps to minimize the rate of seed deterioration (or loss in germination and vigor). However, in non-conditioned storage conditions viability may vary dramatically after 12 months with different seed lots that had similar initial germination rates (Table 1).

    Seed germination is an important consideration for determining seeding rate to ensure the critical final stand for yield is achieved for crops like corn and soybeans. Check the seed tag for both the date of the test as well as the germination when planning seeding rates. This percentage is usually derived from the results of a standard warm germination test, which often assesses seed germination under optimal conditions (warm moist temperatures). To determine a seeding rate for a targeted harvest population (e.g. 32,000 plants/ac for corn), then divide your harvest population by the germination (e.g., 95%) as a decimal. In this example, 33,684 seeds/acre (32,000/0.95) would need to be planted to achieve the desired harvest population given an 95% germination rate.

    A seed vigor test can provide further insight into how a seed lot may perform in the field under stressful conditions compared to other seed lots. This information could help producers plan for what lots should be planted early vs. later, as well as positioning fields that are typically more stressful for seedlings. A higher vigor score is usually more tolerant of adverse conditions than a lot with a lower vigor score. These can be used on carry over seed lots, but also can be conducted on new seed lots prior to planting.

    Common seedling vigor tests include a cold test (cold moist soil) or a saturated cold test (cold moist soil conditions plus embryo is placed directly into soil). The cold test and saturated cold test provide insight into germination of a seed lot under cool conditions common to April planting dates. The cold test uses of cool moist conditions with the addition of soil, and can be conducted using rolled towels or shallow trays. The saturated cold test is a more standardized version of the cold test that uses sieved soil, the soil contains more water content (lower oxygen content as well), and places the embryo directly into the cold wet soil. The accelerated aging test helps estimate longevity of seed in storage, and has been related to field emergence and stand establishment. The seeds in this test are exposed to a short period of high heat and humidity conditions (ex: 2-3 days, 105 degrees F, 100% relative humidity) before a standard germination test is conducted. Others, such as a seedling growth rate test, can provide insight into germination as well as the amount of energy storage reserves in the seeds.

    The recommendation for sampling a specific seed lot for testing is that a sample should be collected from 5 bags plus 10% of the remaining bags for that lot to ensure a representative sample. Please look to the NCR bulletin 403 - Seed Lot Sampling for more specific guidelines (https://www.ag.ndsu.edu/fss/seed-increase-program/seed-lot-sampling-ncr-bulletin-403).


    J.C. Delouche and C.C. Baskin. 1973. Seed Science and Technology 1:427-452.

    A.D. Knapp, T.J. Gutormson, and M.K. Misra. 1991. Seed Lot Sampling. Northcentral Region Extension Bulletin 403.

    Seed Vigor Testing Handbook. 2002. Association of Official Seed Analysts.

  4. 2019 Organic Corn Performance Test Results Available

    In January 2019, Ohio State University / Ohio Agriculture Research and Development Center was approached by a representative of the organic seed industry inquiring if an organic corn performance test would be possible. Organic seed suppliers were contacted to gauge their interest and gather input on test protocol. The end result, 35 organic hybrids representing 7 commercial brands were submitted for evaluation in the new Organic Corn Performance Test. The tests were conducted on certified organic fields in Apple Creek and Wooster (Fry and West Badger Farms) and intensively managed for nutrients and weed control. Each hybrid entry was evaluated using four replications per site in a randomized complete block design. Hybrids were planted either in an early or full season maturity test based on relative maturity information provided by the companies. The relative maturity of hybrid entries in the early maturity trial was 106 days or earlier; the relative maturity of hybrid entries in the full season trial was 107 days or later. The planting rate was 34,000 seeds/acre with a final stand target of 30K – 31K plants/acre. Composted manure and Chilean Nitrate were applied according to recommended cultural practices for obtaining optimum grain yields.

    The spring of 2019 was one the wettest on record and resulted in major planting delays throughout Ohio. According to the National Agricultural Statistics Service, only 33% of Ohio's corn was planted by June 2. The Organic OCPT fields were planted May 24th and 25th into fields with optimal soil moisture & temperature for uniform emergence and early growth. Frequent rain events continued into June limiting weed control opportunities. Timely rains in August and September, combined with above average temperatures, were favorable for corn development and extended the grain fill period. Diplodia ear rot was observed in a few hybrids at low levels. Stalk lodging, while present, was generally one or two nodes below the ear node and did not impact harvestability for most hybrids. The Wooster/Apple Creek areas were fortunate and missed most of the weather extremes experienced in other parts of Ohio. Excellent conditions throughout the growing season minimized stress.

    Despite delayed planting dates, above normal rainfall and warmer than normal conditions during grain fill, Organic OCPT yields exceeded expectations. Averaged across hybrid entries in the early and full season tests, yields were 236 bu/A. Yields at individual test sites, averaged across hybrid entries in the early and full season tests, ranged from 232 bu/A at Apple Creek to 240 bu/A at Wooster.

    Confidence in test results increases with the number of years and the number of locations in which the hybrid was tested. Look for consistency in a hybrid's performance across a range of environmental conditions. Yield, standability, grain moisture, and other comparisons should be made between hybrids of similar maturity to determine those best adapted to your farm. Results of the crop performance trials for 2019 are available online at: http://www.oardc.ohio-state.edu/organiccorntrials.  Hybrids can be sorted by yield, brand, and other variables online.

  5. Northwest Ohio Corn & Soybean Day

    Author(s): Eric Richer, CCA

    The annual Northwest Ohio Corn & Soybean Day is scheduled for Friday, January 17 in Founders Hall at Sauder Village in Archbold from 8:00 am to 2:30 pm. The program has a variety of speakers, farmer/retailer re-certification credits and 30 exhibitors sharing information on management practices for the 2019 crop production season. 

    Topics and speakers for the day include:


    Drainage for Crop Production and Soil Health

                Eileen Kladivko, Professor, Purdue University

    Biology and Management of Pigweeds

                Jeff Stachler, OSU Extension, Auglaize County

    Farmer Attitudes and Behaviors in WLEB

                Robyn Wilson, Professor, OSU School of Natural Resources

    Corn Nematodes

                Abasola Simon, PhD Candidate, OSU Plant Pathology

    CORE Pesticide Update

    Stephanie Karhoff, OSU Extension, Williams County

    Farm Bill Decision 2019-2020

                Eric Richer, OSU Extension, Fulton County

    Fumigation: Caring for your stored grain

                Curtis Young, OSU Extension, Van Wert County

    The following continuing education credits for pesticide and fertilizer applicators are offered throughout the day:

    • Private Pesticide Applicator Re-certification:  3hrs in categories Core, 1, 2, and 6.
    • Commercial Pesticide Applicator Re-certification: 2.5hrs in categories Core, 2C, 2D, 10C
    • Fertilizer Applicator Re-certification (Private & Commercial): 1hr category 15p/15c
    • Michigan: 3 hours
    • Certified Crop Advisors: 4.5 hours IPM, PD, and SW


    Pre-registration is $35 and should be postmarked by January 8.  Later registrations and at the door registrations are $50, space permitting.  Registration includes coffee/rolls, lunch, and speaker materials. A more detailed agenda, list of sponsors and registration information can be found at http://fulton.osu.edu. Contact Eric Richer, Extension Educator, Agriculture & Natural Resources, 419-337-9210 or richer.5@osu.edu for more information.




  6. 2020 Conservation Tillage Club Breakfast Program Dates Announced

    Conservation Tillage Club Breakfast
    Author(s): Mark Badertscher

    The 2020 Conservation Tillage Club breakfast program series will begin on Tuesday, January 7 at the Plaza Inn Restaurant in Mt. Victory.  Each session will start at 7:30 am with a complimentary buffet breakfast followed by the program at 8:00 am.  Other sessions will be held on January 21, February 4 and 18.

    On January 7, the program will feature Ben Brown, Assistant Professor of Professional Practice in Agricultural Risk Management, Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Developmental Economics at The Ohio State University speaking on the Grain Marketing Outlook.  Grain producers have not only had to deal with weather extremes in the past year, but also have had the market affected by policy decisions by a trade war with China and the African Swine Fever overseas.  As markets develop worldwide with improved infrastructure in South America, demand also is being affected through pending trade deals with Mexico and Canada.  Renewable fuel standards, prevented planting crop insurance, and Market Facilitation Plan payments have also played a role in marketing plans as farmers look for ways to improve their position with a successful 2020 crop year and implementation of the 2018 Farm Bill programs.

    The January 21 program will feature Anne Dorrance, Professor, Plant Pathology at Center for Applied Plant Sciences at The Ohio State University and State Specialist, Soybean Diseases, OSU Extension.  Dorrance was recently named Associate Dean and Director for the Wooster Campus and Associate Director for the Ohio Experiment Station in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.  Her presentation will be discussing diseases important to soybean production, including Phytophthora root and stem rot, Frogeye leaf spot, and Sclerotinia stem rot.  Her recent work has also included Soybean Cyst Nematode and how management of this pest can affect soybean yields.  She will address the process of choosing the best seed variety based on disease resistance packages and rating scales so that producers’ fields that can hold up to the all the challenges facing soybeans in Ohio. 

    February 4 Hans Kok will address the breakfast attendees on soil health.  Sponsored by the American Farmland Trust, Kok is the Coordinator of the Indiana Cropping Systems Initiative, Indiana Conservation Partnership.  The Conservation Cropping Systems Initiative is a farmer-focused and farmer-driven process.  The program works with local level partnerships and others to promote the adoption of practices and cropping systems that can lead to improved soil health.  Much of the work has been with cover crops with benefits of reducing soil compaction, covering the soil to protect it from erosion by wind and water, improving soil structure, increasing soil organic matter, fixing nitrogen from scavenging the nutrient from the soil that would otherwise be lost to percolation, runoff or volatilization, as well as producing forage or pasture from cover crops.

    The February 18 program will feature Mark Seger, Ohio Department of Agriculture Engineer for Northwest Ohio discussing the implementation of H2Ohio.  Through collaboration among the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, Ohio Department of Agriculture, and Ohio Lake Erie Commission, H2Ohio will address critical water quality needs and support innovative solutions to some of the state’s most pressing water challenges.  This new initiative was recently rolled out by Ohio Governor DeWine to impact phosphorus reduction by using cost share incentives to help producers get practices on the land to improve water quality statewide.  Practices that Seger will address include variable-rate fertilization, subsurface nutrient application, manure incorporation, conservation crop rotation, cover crops, and drainage water management.  Information will be presented to put plans into practice locally, utilizing cost share funds administered through this program.

    The Conservation Tillage Club breakfast program series is jointly sponsored by OSU Extension and the Soil and Water Conservation Districts of Hardin, Logan, and Union Counties, and in cooperation with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.  Breakfast is courtesy of the generous support from agricultural lenders and agricultural businesses.  All events are open to the public and no advance registration is required.  Continuing education credits for Certified Crop Advisers have been approved.


  7. Central Ohio Agronomy School

    Author(s): John Barker

    The 2020 Central Ohio Agronomy School will be held on Monday evenings, beginning on Monday

    February 10 through Monday March 9, from 6:30 –9:00 p.m. in the conference room of the Ag Services Building, 1025 Harcourt Rd. Mt. Vernon, Ohio 43050.   This five-week program will provide the attendees with the most comprehensive, up-to-date crop production and agricultural technology information available today.  This school is designed with everyone in mind; part-time or full-time producer, beginner or CCA agronomist.  Within each subject area we will teach the basic concepts and progress to the most advanced agronomic principles.

    Topics include:

    February 10   - Bruce Ackley, OSU Weed Science.

                                        Weed Identification with Live Plants at Various Growth Stages.

                                        Palmer, Waterhemp, Pigweed, Marestail, Various Grasses and more!

                            - Dr. Mark Loux, OSU Weed Science

                Developing a Multi-Year Herbicide Program for Tough to Control Weeds  

                Weed control update for 2020

    February 17   - Dr. Scott Shearer, OSU Chair, Food, Agriculture and Biological Engineering

                                        Field Compaction Research

      - Dr. Elizabeth Hawkins, Field Specialist, OSU Extension

                  2019 On-farm Research Results 

    February 24   - Ben Brown, OSU College of Food, Agriculture, & Environmental Sciences

                                        Farming & Marketing in an Uncertain World

                            - Peggy Hall OSU Agricultural & Resource Law Program

    “Hot” Agricultural Law Topics 

     March 2         - Glen Arnold, Field Specialist, OSU Extension

                                         Is Manure Right for You?

                            - Dr. Jeff Stachler, OSU Extension – Auglaize County

                                        Weed Seeds in Manure. 

     March 9         - Marne Tichenell, Wildlife Specialist, OSU Extension      

                                        Wildlife Damage in Field Crops

                            - Aaron Wilson, Byrd Polar and Climate Research Center

                                        How Weather is Affecting our Farming Operations

                                        2018 Weather Outlook


    This school will provide:

    14 continuing education credits (CEU’s) for Certified Crop Advisors,

                            C.M. 2, I.P.M. 6.5, N.M 2, P.D. 1.5,  S&W 2.0.

    8 hours of Commercial Pesticide Credits

                            Core - 2 hrs., 2a - .5 hrs., 2c – 2 hrs., 2d –.5 hrs., 9 - .5 hrs., 10c - .5 hrs., 15 – 2 hrs. 

    8 hours of Private Pesticide Recertification Credits

                Core – 2 hrs.,  Cat 1- 2.5 hrs., Cat 2 - .5 hrs., Cat 6 - .5hrs., Cat 7 - .5 hrs., Cat 15 – 2 hrs.

    Registration costs vary due to CUE credits and pesticide applicator credits.


    This program is sponsored by The Ohio State University Extension, Advantage Ag & Equipment, B&B Farm Service, Central Ohio Farmers CO-OP, Channel, Clark Seeds, Cubbage Electric, Farmcredit, First-Knox National Bank, and Seed Consultants.


    For more information contact the OSU Extension Office in Knox County (740-397-0401).  The following links will provide more information for this program.  http://u.osu.edu/knoxcountyag/ or https://knox.osu.edu/


  8. Sign-up for the Plant and Soil Nutrient Management Workshop

    Author(s): Jeff Stachler

    Auglaize County Extension will be hosting a Plant and Soil Nutrient Management Workshop on Wednesday, January 22, 2020 from 8:30 AM to 4:00 PM.  The meeting will be at the Wapakoneta Eagles (25 E. Auglaize St., Wapakoneta, OH 45895).  The program is free and fertilizer, CCA, and CLM credits will be offered for the program.  This will be an all encompassing program with topics such as Phosphorous Management, Common Forms of Manure and When to Best Utilize Them, Micronutrients, Interpreting a Soil Test Report, Biostimulants, Growth Regulators, and More.  Speakers include Harold Watters, Greg LaBarge, Glen Arnold, and Jeff Stachler.

    Preregistration for the meeting is due on January 13, 2020.  Call the Auglaize County Extension Office at 419-739-6580 or contact Jeff Stachler (stachler.1@osu.edu) to register for the program.

  9. Coshocton/Muskingum 2020 Agronomy School

    Author(s): David Marrison

    The OSU Extension offices in Coshocton & Muskingum Counties are pleased to be offering the “2020 Agronomy School” on Tuesday, January 28, 2020 from 9:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m.  This school will be held at the Dresden United Methodist Church located at 1014 Main Street in Dresden.

    This school will focus on topics to increase corn profitability, improve grain crop nutrient management, and understand new trends in Ohio weather.  Participants will also learn more about the farm bill, commodity prices, and trade issues. 

    The featured speakers for this event include:  Aaron Wilson, Atmospheric Scientist, Byrd Polar and Climate Research Center; Ben Brown, Program Manager for Farm Management; Glen Arnold, Field Specialist, Manure Management; and Harold Watters, Field Specialist, Agronomic Systems; Clifton Martin, OSU Extension Educator and David Marrison, OSU Extension Educator.  This is event is being co-sponsored by the Ohio Soybean Council.

    Pre-registration for this school is required and the fee is $30 per person. Make checks payable to Ohio State University Muskingum County. Mail to 225 Underwood Street, Zanesville, OH 43701. The registration deadline is Wednesday, January 22, 2020. This fee includes refreshments, lunch, handouts, and a copy of Bulletin #969 – A Field Guide to Identifying Critical Resource Concerns and Best Management Practices. Pesticide and Certified Crop Advisor (CCA) credits have been applied for. Registration details can be found at at muskingum.osu.edu/agronomyschool.  More information can be obtained by contacting the Muskingum County Extension office at 740-454-0144 or the Coshocton County Extension Office at 740-622-2265

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 Douridas (Educator, Agriculture and Natural Resources)
Anne Dorrance (State Specialist, Soybean Diseases)
Beth Scheckelhoff (Educator, Agriculture and Natural Resources)
Eric Richer, CCA (Educator, Agriculture and Natural Resources)
Glen Arnold, CCA (Field Specialist, Manure Nutrient Management )
Greg LaBarge, CPAg/CCA (Field Specialist, Agronomic Systems)
Jason Hartschuh, CCA (Educator, Agriculture and Natural Resources)
Jeff Stachler (Educator, Agriculture and Natural Resources)
Lee Beers, CCA (Educator, Agriculture and Natural Resources)
Mary Griffith (Educator, Agriculture and Natural Resources)
Mike Estadt (Educator, Agriculture and Natural Resources)
Mike Gastier, CCA (Educator, Agriculture and Natural Resources)
Sam Custer (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.