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Ohio State University Extension


Battle for the Belt: Episode 9

Episode 9 of Battle for the Belt is now available: In Episode 9, we talk with Dr. Mitch Roth and Dr. Horacio Lopez- Nicora from the Department of Plant Pathology about early season pathogens that cause stand issues and yield reduction. Additionally, we have updates from each Battle for the Belt Location.

Battle For the Belt Location Updates

The first two planting dates for all three locations have been exposed to rain events and cold temperatures in the emergence stage across Ohio. 

A hand holding a yellow cornDescription automatically generated with low confidence

The Wooster Campus has seen over three inches of rain since the first planting date, with two-to-three-day increments of no precipitation. Cool weather coupled with the frequent rain has left Wooster saturated for most of the last three weeks. Environmental conditions have caused the first planting date to have slow emergence and seedling issues. Soybeans in Wooster have not yet emerged. Soybean seedlings that were dug up to examine germination and growth were infested with seed corn maggot (Figure 1). This insect is a concern for soybeans and corn when germination is slow because effective insecticidal seed treatments are water soluble, so these wet conditions have had the opportunity to wash the treatment away, challenging is duration and viability. See the C.O.R.N. article by Dr. Kelley Tilmon and Dr. Andy Michel for more information on Seed Corn Maggot issues (link). The corn plot in Wooster had minimal emergence; about ¼ to ½ inch of growth could be found above ground (Figure 2).



The corn and soybean at the Western Research Station in Clark County are the furthest along with corn getting close to vegetative stage V1 and soybeans fully emerged (Figure 2). However, there is discoloration and damage visible in soybeans. The second planting date is germinated (not not emerged yet) at this location.

The first planting date at the Northwest Research Station for both corn and soybeans are starting to emerge (Figure 2). However, the crops in this location are not as far along as the Western research station even though Northwest has had more cumulative growing degree days based of our estimations (Table 1.) The emergence difference may be caused by the soil temperature being lower on average at the Northern station. Dr. Alex Lindsey mentioned in Episode 5, soil heat units are more important for germination and emergence than air temperature GDDs.

As a recap, this research project includes five planting date windows, 1) Ultra early = late March to early April; 2) Early = mid to late April; 3) Normal = early to mid-May; 4) Late = late May-first week of June;

Table 1. The planting date one and two in the trial at all three locations with the day of planting, soil, air temperature averages, and Growing Degree Days (GDDs). Weather information retrieved from CFAES Weather System,


2-inch soil temperature
(May 1-May 8)

Air Temperature

(May 1-May 8)

Planting date


planting to May 8)


Wayne County

Mean: 51°F

Minimum: 47°F (May 3)

Mean: 49°F

Minimum: 34°F (May 5)

1: April 14th

2: April 27th




Clark County

Mean: 54°F

Minimum: 48°F (May 4)

Mean: 52°F

Minimum: 35°F (May 4)

1: April 13th

2: April 27th



Wood County

Mean: 51°F

Minimum: 41°F (May 3)

Mean: 52°F

Minimum: 34°F (May 4)

1: April 12th

2: April 26th



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.