C.O.R.N. Newsletter : 2021-04

  1. Health and Safety Recommendations for On-Farm Grain Bin Facilities

    In the ten-year period from 2009 to 2018 Ohio had 9 fatalities in grain handling and grain storage facilities. Five of these fatalities were from suffocation and 2 were from falls from the structure, while the others involved auger entanglements. Purdue University reported 38 grain entrapments across the U.S. in 2019. Twenty-three of these entrapments resulted in a fatality. 

    February 21st begins Nationwide Insurance Grain Bin Safety Week. Being the season when dry grains are being hauled to market and bins are being emptied, it is appropriate to provide winter safety reminders for the primary concerns at your on-farm storage facilities.

    For respiratory protection, an N95 mask as a minimum is recommended. These items do what they are designed to do – keep 95% of the respirable grain dust from entering your nose and mouth. The COVID-19 pandemic has made it tough for some farms to find a supply of N-95’s, but as essential workers, farmers need to access and wear this protection while at working at their bins. The N-95 will also help prevent inhalation of any vomitoxins present within the corn. Another respirator that may be easier to find is the P-100. These respirators have a longer life-span than the N-95’s and are more readily available. To protect against vomitoxins and other molds, use a High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) cartridge with your P-100.

    Entrapments or suffocation may occur in different ways.  In flowing grain, the farmer may be drawn down into the funnel and become entrapped. Grain may also crust or bridge on the top, leaving a void underneath. When this “bridged grain” collapses under the weight of the workers, they fall through and are covered in a matter of seconds. Grain may also accumulate on the side of the bin. This is particularly noticed in bins with moldy grain. As workers try to dislodge the hanging material, they can be crushed like an avalanche.   

    Avoiding entrapment starts with having a plan. It is recommended that all work be performed outside the bin – this eliminates the risk of entrapment. If a worker must enter a storage bin, never enter alone. Always have a second person remaining outside the point of entry. Prior to entry, turn off any electrical equipment and lock it out so that it cannot re-start while workers are inside. Consider installing a ladder on the inside of the bin to facilitate an emergency exit.

    Consult with your local first responder units. It is a good idea to keep your local first responders involved with your operation. Invite them out for a tour and discuss resources available and potential scenarios that may evolve. Also talk to your fire and EMS units about their capabilities to respond to a grain bin emergency. Ask if they have rescue tubes available (even through mutual aid) if needed for an entrapment situation; and have they received training to know how to work together during an intense on-farm emergency. Training is available for Ohio first responders in several areas. You can contact the State Fire Academy or the OSU Agricultural Safety Program for options you may have in your geographic location.

    Due to the hazardous nature of stored grain, always keep children away from storage bins, wagons, and trucks.

    If you would like additional information or the opportunity to participate in Grain Bin Safety Week, please go to http://mynsightonline.com/grain-bin-safety. Here you will find videos of real-life entrapment incidents and rescue training along with numerous webinars and articles to assist training employees or refreshing veteran workers on the farm.

    N-95 Mask

    P-100 Hepa Cartridge

  2. Summary of Multi-State State Research on Soybean Row Width, Planting Date, and Plant Population

    Author(s): Laura Lindsey

    With funding from the United Soybean Board, soybean agronomists across the US came together to summarize soybean row width, planting date, and seeding rate research trials. (Ohio-specific research trials were funded by Ohio Soybean Council.) Here’s what we found:

    Row width: Soybean row width varies across the US. In Ohio, most farmers plant soybean in 7.5, 15, or 30-inch row widths. Across the US, narrow rows (7 to 15 inch) out-yielded wide rows (≥ 30 inches) 69% of the time. Narrow rows tend to out-yield wide rows due to earlier canopy closure which facilitates light interception and drives photosynthesis. For the full report on row spacing: https://soybeanresearchinfo.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/FINAL-2700-002-20-Row-Spacing_Science-for-Success-Dec-22_v1.pdf

    Planting date: The date of planting has more effect on soybean grain yield than any other production practice. In many instances, this means planting soybean as early as field conditions allow, but generally at or after the Risk Management Agency (RMA) replant crop insurance dates begin. In Ohio, we estimate a yield reduction of 8% when planting soybean on May 31 compared to May 1. Although, this reduction can vary (or become minimal) depending on rainfall during the R3 to R5 growth stage. For the full report on planting date: https://soybeanresearchinfo.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/FINAL-2700-002-20-Planting-Date_Science-for-Success_Dec-22_v3.pdf

    Population Density: Soybean plants respond to their environment through branching and can produce maximum yields at relatively low plant densities (plants per acre). For normal planting dates in the Midwest, generally 100,000 to 125,00 plants per acre is required to achieve maximum yield. (A higher population density is needed as soybeans are planted into June and July.) For the full report on population density: https://soybeanresearchinfo.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/FINAL.2700-002-20-Seeding-Rate_Science-for-Success_Dec-23_v1-1.pdf

    Interested in more? Soybean agronomists, Dr. Shawn Conley (University of Wisconsin- Madison), Dr. Seth Naeve, (University of Minnesota), and Dr. Rachel Vann (North Carolina State University) will be discussing these topics during a Planting Considerations webinar on Friday, February 19 at 12:45-1:45 PM. Click here to register: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/science-for-success-soybean-planting-considerations-tickets-140292814585?utm-medium=discovery&utm-campaign=social&utm-content=attendeeshare&aff=escb&utm-source=cp&utm-term=listing



  3. Corn and Soybean School: Q and A on Corn Disease Management with Fungicides

    Author(s): Pierce Paul

    On Feb 11, 2021, I gave a talk entitled “Management of Gibberella ear rot and Vomitoxin in Corn with Fungicides: Lessons Learned from Head Scab” as part of the 2021 Virtual Corn and Soybean School. I summarized years of fungicide efficacy research on head scab, a disease of wheat caused by the same fungus (Fusarium graminearum [Gibberella zeae]) that causes Gibberella ear rot (GER) in corn. Head scab and vomitoxin in wheat have been more widely studied than GER and vomitoxin in corn, as a result, a lot more is known about fungicide efficacy against scab/vomitoxin than against GER/vomitoxin. I therefore used lessons learned from head scab research, coupled with data from a limited number of GER fungicide efficacy studies to provide guideline on GER and vomitoxin management in corn. More than 220 people attended the 40-min-long program, asking questions covering various aspects of corn pathology. Below are more complete responses to several of these questions:

    Q: How do you explain high vomitoxin levels in grain with no apparent ear rot observed?  Can drought stress alone be a culprit?

    A: Infection of the ear, development of visual symptoms (ear rot), and contamination of grain with vomitoxin all depend on weather conditions during the weeks after silk emergence. Once the fungus enters the ear via the silks (infection) and begins to colonize the developing grain, it produces vomitoxin, even if subsequent weather conditions are not favorable for mold and ear rot to develop on the outside of the ear. This is particularly true if infections occur late and conditions become relatively dry and unfavorable for visual symptoms to develop.

    Q: It looks like the triazoles are doing the work on VOM, more than strobies, is this correct?

    A: Pulling from my years of experience with head scab and a limited number of fungicide efficacy studies on Gibberella ear rot and vomitoxin in corn, I would be more inclined to recommend a triazole than a strobilurin fungicide for Gibberella ear rot and vomitoxin control in corn. Miravis Neo (a combination fungicide of a triazole, an SDHI, and a strobilurin) also looks promising. 

    Q: Is there any relationship between using a strobilurin for vomitoxins in corn compared to what is found in wheat?

    A: Based on a very limited number of trials, I have not seen the same increase in VOM in GER-affected corn plots that I have seen in head scab-affected wheat plots following treatment with strobilurin fungicides. In other words, I have not seen the same relationships between vomitoxin and strobilurin fungicides in corn, but again, I have looked at far fewer fungicide trials for vomitoxin in corn than I have for vomitoxin in wheat.

    Q: Does spraying fungicide at full silking hurt pollination in corn.

    A: I know of no studies showing negative effects of the application of fungicides at full silking (at and shortly after the R1 growth stage) on pollination, BUT it is an interesting question that needs to be investigated through research. Yields in my plots that were treated with drop nozzles (fungicide applied close to the silks) were very similar to yields from plots treated with a high clearance sprayer (fungicides applied over the top, near the tassels).

    Q: How do fungicide applications affect the soil biology?

    A: When applied at or after tasseling, most of the fungicide is captured on the leaves. I do not have data regarding fungicide effects on soil biology, but since several soilborne fungi are related to (or the same as) fungi that cause diseases, fungicides may have very similar effects of fungi in the soil and fungi on leaves, thus affecting the soil microbial community. However, this will all depend on the specific fungicide, the weather conditions, and the soil properties. However, I do not have my own data to support this.

    Q: What role if any does fertility/plant nutrition play in disease?  Can plants be healthy enough to fight off disease?

    A: A healthy plant is better able to defend itself against some pests and diseases, so keeping plants healthy and well fertilized is a good place to start. However, fertility tends to affect diseases differently. For instance, high nitrogen may cause some diseases to increase and other diseases to decrease. The form of nitrogen also plays a role in disease development. So, while good nutrition will help to maintain the plant health, fertility alone will not control all diseases if the hybrid does not have the right genetics (resistance) to prevent or minimize infection, particularly if weather conditions are highly favorable for disease development.

    Q: Observations of Physoderma in corn and treatment successes.

    A: I do not see a lot of Physoderma in my trials. It is very rare and never reaches high levels of severity or impacts yield in Ohio. As a result, I have not been able to evaluate fungicide efficacy against this disease in any of my trials.

    Q: Have you looked at Xyway from FMC In-Furrow Fungicide on corn?  Do you have any comments?

    A: Yes, I did test Xyway in-furrow treatment in two trials in 2020 and plan to do so again in 2021. So far in my trials, when used alone without a foliar fungicide application, I have not seen any benefits in terms of disease control or yield increase.


  4. Considerations of a Flexible Lease Arrangement

    Thousands of Ohio crop acres are rented from landowners by farmers.  While the most common is likely a cash agreement, the flexible lease may be worthy of consideration for some farmers.  This article will provide a broad overview of the flexible lease option, including advantages, disadvantages, and strucutre.

    The information provided here is only a summary from the Fixed and Flexible Cash Rental Arrangements for Your Farm published by the North Central Extension Farm Management Committee.  Anyone interested in learning more about flexible leasing arrangements is encouraged to read more about this topic at this site: https://aglease101.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/NCFMEC-01.pdf.  

    What is a Flexible Lease?

    Because of uncertainties with prices, yields, and input costs, some farmers and landowners are apprehensive about entering into a fixed long-term cash rental arrangement.  From the perspective of the farmer, the concerns include poor yields, commodity price declines, or sharp increases to input prices might impact cash flow if there is a long-term fixed arrangement.  In times like we are experiencing now, landowners want to capitalize on high commodity prices or high yields.

    Therefore, the operator and landowner may turn to the use of a flexible cash rent of one kind or another. The idea of a flexible cash rent usually pertains only to the rent charged for cropland.  

    Advantage of Flexible Leases

    • Flexible cash rent enables the landowner to share in the additional income that results from unexpected increases in the prices of crops considered in the rent-adjustment clause. If the cash rent also is flexed for changes in yields, the landowner will benefit from above-normal yields regardless of the cause.
    • For the operator, risk is reduced. Cash-rent expense is lower if crop prices or yields are less than normal.
    • Calculating flexible cash rent requires more communication from both parties.

    Disadvantages of Flexible Leases

    • For the landowner, flexible cash rent increases risk.
    • Windfall profits that may be realized by the operator from unexpected price increases are reduced.
    • If cash rent is flexed according to yield, the landowner becomes more concerned with the level of crop yields as well as the accuracy of reported yields. Yields must be verifiable and segregated for each land unit in the lease.
    • If cash rent is flexed according to yield, the operator may give up part of the benefits from higher yields resulting from managerial input, thus possibly reducing incentives to maximize profits.
    • Calculating flexible cash rent requires more management from both parties. There must be agreement on how to verify the factors that are used to set the rent each year.

    Methods of Flexible Leasing Arrangements

    Crop Price Only - Rents that flex only on price increase risk substantially for operators. A short crop that leads to higher prices and higher rent may leave the operator with less ability to pay.

    Yield Only - With some commodities crop yields are highly uncertain. In other cases, the crop that is grown may only be fed to livestock, so no relevant market price exists. In such cases producers may prefer to negotiate a flexible lease agreement that bases the annual rent solely on the actual yield achieved.

    Flex for Price and Yield - This method requires the operator and landowner to agree on a base cash rent tied to a base yield (average or expected yield) and a base expected price for each crop being considered. If only one crop is grown, this is the only crop considered. If several crops are grown and all are considered equally important, all crops may be considered in determining the current year’s cash rent.  

    Flex for Change in Cost of Inputs - The cost of variable inputs can change significantly from year to year and cause large swings in profitability. Incorporating a factor that reflects a ratio of the base year’s cost of inputs divided by the current year’s cost of inputs will help stabilize the bottom line for operators.

    Put the Agreement in Writing - If it is decided to use some form of flexible cash rent (or any form of rental agreement), the details of how the rent will be determined should be clearly specified in a written lease agreement.

    Additional information about written farmland leases is available from Ohio State University Extension at: https://farmoffice.osu.edu/sites/aglaw/files/site-library/Farm%20Lease%20Checklist%20law%20bulletin.pdf


    Fixed and Flexible Cash Rental Arrangements for Your Farm, North Central Farm Management Extension Committee, https://aglease101.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/NCFMEC-01.pdf

    What’s in Your Farmland Lease?  Ohio State University Extension Law Bulletin, https://farmoffice.osu.edu/sites/aglaw/files/site-library/Farm%20Lease%20Checklist%20law%20bulletin.pdf

  5. Certified Livestock Manager Training Webinar Series

    Author(s): Glen Arnold, CCA

    The Ohio Department of Agriculture Division of Livestock Permitting has announced a Certified Livestock Manager (CLM) Training Webinar series. The first session will occur on Thursday, February 25th, 2021. The training session will start at 4:30pm and go to about 6:30pm. There are 2.0 CLM continuing education units available for attending this training. The 2021 CLM Training Webinars will be at no cost.

    Topics at this webinar will include: ODA Rules and Regulations, Phosphorus Risk Assessment Procedures, and CLM Inspections and Record Keeping.

    To participate through a video conference on a computer, go to: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoft-365/microsoft-teams/group-chat-software and download the free version of Microsoft Teams. To participate through a video conference on your smart phone, tablet, or other mobile device, you can download the free Microsoft Teams application.

    All participants must register for the training webinar. Registration can be found at: https://agri.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/oda/divisions/livestock-environmental-permitting/resources/livestock-webinar Please fill this form out completely. Once registered, you will be sent an email with the link to the training.

    When you participate the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) will ask for everyone to mute their electronic devices.  When prompted, there will be time for questions and answers at the end of each presentation.

    ODA is asking all participants to join by video, whether on their computer or mobile device. ODA will generate a report of attendance after each training webinar. Joining through the Microsoft Teams application, rather than calling in, will ensure that CLM continuing education units are assigned to the correct individuals. If multiple people are participating in the webinar on one computer or device, please contact Samuel Mullins (samuel.mullins@agri.ohio.gov or (614) 361-4316) prior to the training to verify those persons that will be in attendance.

    If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Sam Mullins.

  6. Register Now for Virtual CTC

    Author(s): Mark Badertscher

    Have you registered yet for this year’s Conservation Tillage & Technology Conference (CTC)? This annual conference, which is normally held on the campus of Ohio Northern University in Ada will be virtual this year. Four days of topic related programming will be provided March 9-12, 2021 (Tuesday-Friday). There is still time to register and get your snacks ready for this year’s conference.

    Each day will start at 8:00 a.m. (EST) and will have 5 hours of great value, ending about 2:00 p.m. That adds up to 20 hours of presentations on current topics important for farmers, crop consultants, and educators. Because the program is virtual and therefore travel is not an issue, the planning committee has put together a list of national experts from universities, agencies, industry professionals, and others.

    All 20 hours qualify for CCA credits. At least 5 to 10 hours will qualify for CLM credits. Registration is $50. That gives you access to the entire Virtual CTC 2021. Check out the full Program schedule and Registration details at: ctc.osu.edu. With the snow we have received lately, aren’t you glad you don’t have to drive to Ada?

    Topics for each of the four days, March 9-12 (Tuesday-Friday) are:

    • Tuesday-Crop Management; 
    • Wednesday-Nutrient Management; 
    • Thursday-Pest Management; 
    • and Friday-Soil & Water Management.

    Registration is still open.  Make sure you register now before it is too late.

  7. Updated Tri-State Fertilizer Recommendation Webinar

    A virtual walk through the Updated Tri-State Fertilizer Recommendations for Corn, Soybean, Wheat, and Alfalfa will be offered on February 23 at 8:30-10:00 a.m. and again at 7:00-8:30 p.m. Private and commercial fertilizer recertification 0ne-hour crdit will be offered to those who participate during the ‘live’ programs. Each participant will receive in the mail a copy of the Tri-State Fertilizer Recommendations; hardcopy may not arrive prior to class. Cost for the program is $15. Register and pay for the program at the following link:


    The zoom link for the program will be sent to your email one day before the webinar. Instructors and contacts for the program include Eric Richer – 419/337-9210, richer.5@osu.edu and Ed Lentz – 419/422-3851, lentz.38@osu.edu

  8. Lady Landowners Leaving a Legacy Series

    Land is an expensive and important investment that is often handed down through generations. As such, it should be cared for and maintained to remain profitable for future generations.  

    Almost half of landowners in Ohio are women. OSU Extension in Champaign and Miami Counties are offering a series designed to help female landowners understand critical conservation and farm management issues related to owning land. It will provide participants with the knowledge, skills and confidence to talk with tenants about farming and conservation practices used on their land. The farm management portion will provide an understanding of passing land on to the next generation and help establish fair rental rates by looking at current farm budgets. 

    The series runs every Friday, February 26 through March 26 from 9:00-11:30 a.m. and will be a blend of in-person and virtual sessions. It is $50 for the series. If you are only able to attend a couple of sessions, it is $10 per session but there is a lot of value in getting to know other participants in the series and talking with them each week. Registration can be found at go.osu.edu/legacy2021. For more information, please contact Amanda Douridas at Douridas.9@osu.edu or 937-772-6012. Registration deadline is February 24. The detailed agenda can be found at  https://miami.osu.edu/events/lady-landowners-leaving-legacy. 

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.


Andrew Holden (Educator, Agriculture and Natural Resources)
Ann Chanon (Extension Educator, Agriculture and Natural Resources)
Barry Ward (Program Leader)
Boden Fisher (Water Quality Extension Associate)
Brigitte Moneymaker (Water Quality Extension Associate)
Curtis Young, CCA (Educator, Agriculture and Natural Resources)
David Marrison (Educator, Agriculture and Natural Resources)
Dennis Riethman (Educator, Agriculture and Natural Resources)
Elizabeth Hawkins (Field Specialist, Agronomic Systems)
Gigi Neal (Educator, Agriculture and Natural Resources)
Greg LaBarge, CPAg/CCA (Field Specialist, Agronomic Systems)
Harold Watters, CPAg/CCA (Field Specialist, Agronomic Systems)
Jamie Hampton (Extension Educator, ANR)
Jason Hartschuh, CCA (Educator, Agriculture and Natural Resources)
Lee Beers, CCA (Educator, Agriculture and Natural Resources)
Les Ober, CCA (Educator, Agriculture and Natural Resources)
Mark Loux (State Specialist, Weed Science)
Mary Griffith (Educator, Agriculture and Natural Resources)
Matthew Schmerge (Educator, Agriculture and Natural Resources)
Nick Eckel (Water Quality Extension Associate)
Rich Minyo (Research Specialist)
Ted Wiseman (Educator, Agriculture and Natural Resources)
Tony Nye (Educator, Agriculture and Natural Resources)
Trevor Corboy (Educator, Agriculture and Natural Resources)
Will Hamman (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.