C.O.R.N. Newsletter : 2020-02

  1. Early Indications Point to a Wetter Spring

    Author(s): Jim Noel

    It is that time of the year where winter is here but spring is just around the corner.

    The weather, climate and hydrology patterns still remain wet across the region. This makes Ohio vulnerable to wet conditions.

    The outlook for February calls for normal to slightly below normal temperatures with not too far from normal rainfall. There is a chance February could be drier than normal but the chances are not high.

    The jet stream remains active from Japan across the North Pacific Ocean into North America but not as active as last year. Therefore, the spring outlook is for a chilly start but a warmer than normal finish. At the same time, above normal rainfall is forecast so we are likely to see spring planting challenges again into 2020 like many of the last 10+ years. However, it does not look as bad as 2019 at this time.

    Many of the climate models show trends toward normal or below normal rainfall and hotter weather for summer which if it comes to happen will create challenges.

    You can keep up-to-date on all the NOAA climate outlooks at:


  2. Managing Stored Grain Through Winter

    Stored Corn

    Managing stored grain throughout the winter is an important part of your grain marketing plan for farm profitability. This winter we are already receiving reports of stored grain going out of condition, which can lower the value and be a hazard to those working around the grain facility. At a minimum, stored grain that has gone out of condition can cause health hazards, especially when grain dust contains mold and bacteria. Out of condition grain can also form a crust or stick to the bin walls and if someone enters the bin for any reason an entrapment could occur. For more information on safety when working around grain visit http://go.osu.edu/AFM and listen to episode 41 of the podcast on grain bin safety.

    Too many of us know the scare of a close call with grain entrapment but lived to tell the story. Even if it was just in a wagon or a truck while unloading wet grain, the fear is real. Unfortunately, it does not always stop us from entering a bin without the proper safety equipment. To help raise awareness of the dangers of working around stored grain, Champaign County will be showing a screening of the movie SILO on February 6 at 6pm at the Gloria Theater in Urbana. SILO is “inspired by true events, SILO follows a harrowing day in an American farm town. Disaster strikes when teenager Cody Rose is entrapped in a 50-foot-tall grain bin. When the corn turns to quicksand, family, neighbors and first responders must put aside their differences to rescue Cody from drowning in the crop that has sustained their community for generations.” RSVP at https://silourbana.eventbrite.com.    

    While even grain in good quality can be hazardous, maintaining grain quality can help keep you safe. This year’s grain is presenting increased challenges due to more fines during harvest, warm fall temperatures making it difficult to cool grain properly, and higher moisture grain due to the crop being drought or frost killed. This premature killing of the crop before maturity can cause our moisture tester to read drier than the crop really is. With this in mind, being sure to monitor your bins this winter will be very important. Three keys to managing grain this winter include monitoring bins every two weeks, properly cooling grain, and, if you haven't already done so, coring bins very soon. 

    Monitoring Bins

    When monitoring bins be sure to watch for insect activity or condensation forming on the inside roof of the bin. Monitor the temperature of the grain. Ideal winter stored grain temperature is 35°F, which is obtained through proper cooling. Temperature can be monitored with a long thermometer but there are also cable-monitoring systems that can do a much better job at monitoring entire bin temperatures and catching the hot spots caused by spoilage and insect activity.

    Coring Bins

    The most common area for spoilage is the center because of an increased concentration of fines restricting air movement. During the winter, cooling process bins should be cored to remove 90% of the fines. To properly core a bin, remove the entire peak creating a funnel shape inside. A proper core funnel starts at the bin wall, not part way up the current peak.

    Cooling Grain

    Most grain spoilage is a result of storing grain at too warm of temperatures over the winter, so cooling and keeping the grain cool is critical. Over the past two days we have had some excellent weather for cooling stored grain and should have more favorable weather within a few weeks. Look for days with no precipitation when the outside air temperature is 10-15°F cooler than the temperature of the grain. The goal is not to freeze the grain, just cool it to the point that insect activity and mold growth is slowed or stopped (35-40°F). The amount of time it takes to move a cooling front through the bin depends on the cfm/bu of the fan. For most bins, this is between 1 to 4 days but some may take longer. If you know the cfm of your fan for winter cooling use the equation hours=(20/cfm/bu).

    While this article barely touches the surface of stored grain management, more information can be found in a recent webinar from Dr. Kenneth Hellevang of North Dakota: https://go.osu.edu/StoredGrain.  With the importance of stored grain management we also recently hosted Dr. Kenneth Hellevang on episode 42 of our Agronomy and Farm Management podcast at: http://go.osu.edu/AFM.







  3. OSU Extension Farm Business Analysis Program

    Ohio Farm Business Summary
    Author(s): Dianne Shoemaker

    Additional author: Haley Shoemaker

    How well do you know your farm?  Sure, you could probably drive your fields blindfolded and you could name without a doubt the cow that will always come in the parlor last; but what about your farm as a business?  If this question made you stop and think, then it’s time to become more familiar with your cost of production and other financial measures that make the rest of your farming operation possible. 

    The Ohio Farm Business Analysis Program is focused on working with farmers across Ohio to better understand the numbers behind their farm business in order to make more informed production, marketing and financial management decisions that will impact the farm’s overall profitability. 

    Farm business analysis is a tool that can be applied to any farm, regardless of size, crop, or livestock enterprise. Financial management is critical to the success of every farm business, and with analysis, farms are able to better understand the numbers behind their profits or losses. 

    To complete a farm’s analysis, we start with beginning and ending balance sheets from the most recent business year. To fill in the year between the balance sheets, we provide input forms that cover all income, expenses, capital purchases, sales, and enterprise information.

    Farmers complete a whole farm analysis and may choose to do enterprise analysis.  They receive their farm’s analysis and enterprise summaries that include their costs of production per acre, per unit (bu, ton, cwt, head) as well as machinery costs per acre.  At the conclusion of each year’s analysis, farmers receive Ohio summary data, along with personalized benchmark reports that help them quickly identify areas of strength and concern.

    All farm data is treated and handled with the utmost care to preserve confidentiality.  Farms that complete analysis also contribute to the database of Ohio farm financial and production data.  Ohio farm data is used for teaching, research, extension education and policy decision making. 

    To better serve Ohio’s farmers, the Farm Business Analysis Program has three Farm Business Analysis Technicians serving central and western Ohio.   These technicians work out of the County Extension Offices in Mahoning, Miami and Pickaway counties, and will also work with farms in surrounding counties.  We encourage you to contact the technician nearest your farm to get started on Farm Business Analysis:   

    Mahoning County            330.533.5538      Christina Benton              benton.132@osu.edu   

    Miami County                    937.440.3945      David Jenner                      jenner.12@osu.edu       

    Pickaway County              740.474.7534      Trish Levering                    levering.43@osu.edu                                                    

    Thanks to the USDA-NIFA Farm Business Analysis grant, the cost for a farm to complete an analysis for the 2019 business year is $100.   To learn more about farm business analysis, contact Dianne Shoemaker or Haley Shoemaker at 330-533-5538 or email at shoemaker.3@osu.edu or shoemaker.306@osu.edu.  See past farm business summaries at http://farmprofitability.osu.edu.             

  4. 2019 eFields Report Available

    2019 eFields Report

    The 2019 eFields Research Report is now available online or in a hardcopy version.  2019 was a challenging year for many farmers including the eFields team but despite the challenges, the team was able to grow. The 2019 report covers 88 on-farm, field scale trials conducted in 30 Ohio counties. and provides information on a variety of topics including new studies.  Here is a list of some of the 2019 study topics and pages you can read about their results:

    • Nitrogen 4Rs: pages 48-63
    • Fungicide and Insecticide: pages 38-39, 104-109
    • Cover Crops: pages 156-158 and 202
    • Forages: pages 154-185
    • Ag Tech: pages 186-197
    • Crop Production Budgets: pages 26-31
    • Ohio Planting Progress: page 22
    • 2018 Farm Bill: page 32

    The e-version of the 2019 eFields report can be viewed or downloaded at go.osu.edu/eFields.  To receive a printed copy, contact your local OSU Extension office or email digitalag@osu.edu.  We hope you find the information insightful and a resource for crop production.

    The eFields team has also planned 6 regional meetings to discuss results from local and state-wide research trials.  We also use these meetings to gather feedback 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.

  5. OSU Extension and Ohio Soybean Council Energy Study: Understanding the Impact of Demand Charges & Power Factor in Agriculture

    Grain bin
    Author(s): Eric Romich

    Farmers have long explored options to provide energy savings associated with their agricultural operations.  Ohio State University Extension and the Ohio Soybean Council have partnered to provide research-based data driven tools to help Ohio farmers assess and navigate various energy infrastructure investment options for their farm.  Specifically, the project team is interested in learning more about your experience and interest in implementing energy management strategies such as peak demand reduction, power factor correction, and/or the integration of solar generation systems to reduce electricity costs on your farm.

    Farmers with commercial rate structures that charge for peak demand and poor power factor can implement equipment and management strategies to reduce electricity costs, thus increasing long-term profitability.  However, very little is known about the economic feasibility of investing in equipment to reduce peak electric demand charges in agriculture.  To determine the economic feasibility of implementing energy management strategies it is important to simultaneously study the real costs of installing new equipment, ongoing risks, challenges, as well as understanding how these improvements will influence the calculations of a farms electric bill a comprehensive manner. 

    If you are an Ohio farmer and interested in participating, you may click the survey link below to participate in this voluntary study.  The survey will take less than 5 minutes and is designed to determine the overall level of interest in implementing energy management strategies such as peak demand reduction, power factor correction, the integration of solar generation systems to reduce electricity costs on your farm and to identify individuals who have experience with on-farm energy management strategies to summarize benefits and challenges.  This project will provide our research team with data to identify actionable recommendations that will inform future Extension outreach and education programs. 

    If you have additional questions regarding this study please contact Eric Romich, Ohio State University Extension Field Specialist, at 419-294-4931 or by e-mail at: (romich.2@osu.edu).

    Survey Link: https://osu.az1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_4MaQn34JafSQlQ9

  6. Ohio Farm Custom Rate Survey 2020

    Author(s): Barry Ward

    A large number of Ohio farmers hire machinery operations and other farm related work to be completed by others. This is often due to lack of proper equipment, lack of time or lack of expertise for a particular operation.  Many farm business owners do not own equipment for every possible job that they may encounter in the course of operating a farm and may, instead of purchasing the equipment needed, seek out someone with the proper tools necessary to complete the job. This farm work completed by others is often referred to as “custom farm work” or more simply “custom work”. A “custom rate” is the amount agreed upon by both parties to be paid by the custom work customer to the custom work provider.

    Custom farming providers and customers often negotiate an agreeable custom farming machinery rate by utilizing Extension surveys results as a starting point. Ohio State University Extension collects surveys and publishes survey results from the Ohio Farm Custom Survey every other year. This year we are updating our published custom farm rates for Ohio.

    We need your assistance in securing up-to-date information about farm custom work rates, machinery and building rental rates and hired labor costs in Ohio.

    This year we have an online survey set up that anyone can access. We would ask that you  respond even if you know only a few rates.  We want information on actual rates, either what you paid to hire custom work or what you charged if you perform custom work. Custom Rates should include all ownership costs of implement & tractor (if needed), operator labor, fuel and lube. If fuel is not included in your custom rate charge there is a place on the survey to indicate this.

    You may access the survey at: ohio farm custom rates survey 2020

    Or: https://osu.az1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_7WN0eNQz3VO41nv

    The deadline to complete the survey is March 31,2020.





  7. Northwest Ohio Crops Day

    Author(s): Garth Ruff

    Join OSU Extension at the Bavarian Haus, just outside of Deshler, Ohio on Friday, February 7, 2020 starting at 8:00 a.m. to 3:30 for the second annual Northwest Ohio Crops Day.  Find answers to your agronomy questions, obtain private and commercial pesticide applicator and fertilizer recertification, and CCA education hours as you prepare for the next growing season. This year we are pleased to have Greg Roth from the Penn State University as our featured speaker to discuss cover crop establishment and how it relates to water quality. The entire speaker and topic lineup for the day will include the following:


    8:00    Registration Opens and Visit Vendors

    8:50    Welcome and Introduction

                 Garth Ruff, OSU Extension Henry Co.

    9:00    Problem Weeds ID & Control (P & Comm – Core)

                 Mark Loux, OSU Extension Weed Specialist

    10:00  Cover Crop Considerations (P-1, Comm - 2C)

    Greg Roth, Penn State University

    11:00  2020 Commodity Outlook

                     Ben Brown, AEDE Farm Management Program

    12:00   Lunch

    1:00  Weather Trends: What’s Next

                 Aaron Wilson, OSU Extension Climatologist

    2:00    Break – Visit Vendors, Draw Door Prizes

    2:15    Edge of Field and BMP Update (Fert Recert)

                 Greg Labarge, OSU Agronomic Crops Specialist

    3:00    2019: A “Hay Day” for Annual Forages (P-2)

                     Garth Ruff, OSU Extension Henry Co.

    3:30     Adjourn and Evaluations

    3:45    Optional: Fumigating Grain Storage  (P-6, Comm. 10c)

                     Bruce Clevenger OSU Extension Defiance Co.

    During breaks in the program you will have the opportunity to visit with local and regional companies that offer an array of products and services from farm equipment to seed technology to agricultural lending. Lunch and information packet provided with registration. You won’t want to miss out on this opportunity. There will be 4.5 continuing education accredits for Certified Crop Advisors in NM, CM, and IPM.

    Please RSVP by January 31, 2020 by contacting OSU Extension Henry County at 419-592-0806 or you email either Garth Ruff at ruff.72@osu.edu or Stephanie Jaqua at jaqua.3@osu.edu. The event will be held at the Bavarian Haus, 3814 St. Rt. 18, Deshler, OH 43516. Registration begins at 8 a.m; event starts at 9 a.m. Early bird registration by 1/31/2020 costs $35 and the fee covers a light breakfast, lunch, information packet, and education credits. Walk-Ins and registrations after 1/31/2020 will be charged $45 each. For more detailed information, visit the Henry County OSU Extension website at www.henry.osu.edu, or the Henry County ANR Extension Facebook page.


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)
Les Ober, CCA (Educator, Agriculture and Natural Resources)
Sam Custer (Educator, Agriculture and Natural Resources)
Steve Culman (State Specialist, Soil Fertility)


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.