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Agronomic Crops Network

Ohio State University Extension


C.O.R.N. Newsletter 2007-02

Dates Covered: 
January 23, 2007 - February 6, 2007
Harold Watters

Evaluating the 2007 Wheat Crop

Authors: Jim Beuerlein, Pierce Paul, Ron Hammond, Robert Mullen, Edwin Lentz

The cool, wet September delayed the maturity of most bean fields and harvest got off to a late, slow start. We had November weather in October with two days to harvest and then seven days to watch it rain, two harvest days and then more rain. Some northern producers were able to plant wheat timely because of their short season beans and because some of the rain missed their farm. Southern Ohio was wetter than northern Ohio through most of October. Throughout Ohio, the inability to harvest beans interfered with wheat planting, which was either later than desirable or not at all, especially in southern Ohio. To our memory, 2006 has been the latest, coldest, and wettest harvest season of the last 40 years.

As we start a new year, much of the wheat crop does not look good, and many fields have either poor or uneven stands and we question whether these late start wheat fields will survive till spring. Many of the fields with good stands have not tillered well, and will need to finish that process next spring, which means heading may be later than normal, the grain filling period shortened and yields reduced. However, we have seen some limited growth due to the warm weather the last half of December and early January. Standing water in low spots has killed the plants in those areas and the location of tile lines is evident in many fields, reinforcing the point that soil drainage is a crucial part of a wheat production system. If you are an optimist, then March and April will be warmer and dryer than normal, wheat will tiller well, head on time and produce a great yield.

Many producers did not get enough acres planted, or planted later than they intended to plant or under less than ideal conditions. There are lots of questions about what can be done to improve the outlook for the crop and compensate for the lack of planted acres. Following are some of those questions and our answers:

1) Can I plant winter wheat really early next spring and get a good crop?
Winter wheat will not joint and produce a stalk and head, grain or straw, unless it is exposed to about 15 days of sub freezing temperatures after germination. Winter wheat planted next spring will not produce a crop.

2) Given that the winter has been unseasonably warm, has our wheat received the minimum number of days of cold temperatures it needs to produce a crop? Based on the temperatures we have had over the past few days and predicted temperatures for the latter part of January, our wheat will be vernalized at the end of that period.

3) Does the wheat require a minimum of 15 consecutive days of cold temperatures or a minimum total of 15 days of cold temperatures? No! The requirement is for a certain amount of “cold” expressed as a combination of both temperature and time of exposure to that temperature. For example, the effect of 20 hours of 25 degree temperature may be equivalent to the effect of 30 hours of 31 degree temperature. The exact requirement for each variety is unknown, but we have never had a problem to date with the crop not getting vernalized.

4) What is the grain and straw yield potential for planting spring wheat early next spring? The grain and straw yield potential of spring wheat varieties planted early in the spring is around fifty to sixty percent that of our soft winter wheat varieties. Also, our market is for soft wheat and there are no soft spring wheat varieties available. Ohio’s flour mills purchase some hard wheat to make special purpose flour. Most of that grain is produced through pre arranged contracts and for the production of specific varieties.

5) How early and what amount of nitrogen should I apply next spring to increase tillering? Applying N at greenup may stimulate growth sooner than later applications but most likely will not increase tillering or yields. Tillering is a function of carbohydrate availability in the plant, which depends on photosynthesis, sunlight interception and plant size. Each plant can produce over fifty tillers but can support only a few of them. We are most concerned about how large the tillers are at green-up and not so much about their number.

Do not apply N sooner than initial greenup. Potential for N loss greatly increases with applications prior to greenup. Consider urea or ammonium sulfate instead of 28% for early greenup application (less chance for N loss). Nitrogen rate should be adjusted to reflect any changes in expected yield. If N was applied in the fall, a producer may want to delay spring nitrogen until a decision can be made on whether to keep or discard a poor wheat field. Ohio State University research has shown that yields generally are not reduced if spring N is applied sometime prior to early stem elongation. Split applications may be more N efficient in some years but generally are not as economical as a single spring application, even for poor stands.

6) I no-tilled my wheat in late October and am wondering if I should have disked before I planted. Most fields had smaller than normal wheat plants at the onset of winter which makes them more susceptible to heaving next spring. If your crop was planted without tillage, the potential for heaving next spring is reduced regardless of plant size.

7) My wheat is thinner than normal by about 20 percent. How will that affect my yield? Seeding rate studies indicate that wheat yield is affected only slightly by seeding rate because of its vast tillering potential. Currently the thin stands are generally associated with the later plantings or poor planting conditions. Tillering typically compensates for some reduced stand when planting is accomplished in a timely manner. We are most concerned about the late planting and slow start of the 2007 crop; plant population will likely have more effect on yield in 2007 than normal, but that effect will not be nearly as great as the loss due to late planting.

8) My wheat got planted late and was only two inches tall at Christmas. Should I start planning now to switch crops? We may have an early spring and end up with a great crop in spite of the poor start. By early April we will be better able to evaluate a field’s potential and have two to six weeks to switch crops if needed.

9) Should I fill in the drowned spots and thin areas with a spring wheat variety? No! A hard spring wheat variety will mature about two to three weeks later than our winter varieties and interfere with harvest of those areas. Elevators often will not accept mixtures of hard and soft wheat because the mixing destroys the utility of each grain type. Also, hard spring wheat varieties are not adapted to our environment and are susceptible to many of the diseases that our winter varieties are resistant to.

10) Is there anything positive to be said about this wheat crop? The beneficial effect of our late planting is that very little if any disease got started in the fall, and we probably escaped much of the normal fall insect damage. Therefore, two yield reducing stresses that normally occur in the fall have been eliminated and that condition may add some bushels. However the late planting will not reduce potential damage due to armyworm, wheat sawfly, or other insects that attack the crop in the spring, nor will the crop be protected from spring diseases such as powdery mildew, head scab and Stagonospora.

2007 Ohio Wheat Growers Annual Meeting and Trade Show

Authors: Harold Watters

The 2007 version of the Ohio Wheat Growers annual meeting is January 31st from 9 AM to 3 PM in Bluffton Ohio at The Centre, 601 North Main Street. From I-75 take exit number 140 and go north or exit 142 (SR 103) and go west to the north edge of Bluffton. With all that has happened to wheat this past fall and early winter, this is the place to get your questions answered.

Registration is $20 and you can pay at the door.

The information packed program will include a Grain Market and Wheat Basis discussion, an update on Ohio Ethanol and Biodiesel plants, an outlook on the future of wheat in Ohio and a discussion of wheat diseases and general agronomic issues. Representatives will be on hand to give perspectives from the National Association of Wheat Growers and the Ontario Wheat Growers Association.

Visit the trade show between sessions and enjoy the lunch. Please call 740 223-7979 with any questions.

Pelletized Lime

Authors: Robert Mullen, Edwin Lentz

Pelletized lime can seem like an attractive alternative to typical aglime because it exists in a pellet form that can ease application, but can you apply dramatically less pelletized lime than typical aglime and see similar results? The simple answer is no, but let’s discuss why. Pelletized lime is made up of smaller particles than typical aglime, but that does not mean you can apply a fraction of the lime recommendation and observe the same field results. We know that particle size affects how fast a liming material will neutralize an acidic soil, but also remember that aglime contains a percentage of smaller particles. Because particle size is important, its value along with total neutralizing power and percent moisture are components of the effective neutralizing power value given in a lime analysis. The ENP will allow you to compare pelletized lime to regular aglime. Once you know the lime requirement, based upon your soil’s buffer pH, use the following equation to determine how much of a specific lime material you have to supply:

Lime material recommendation = (Lime requirement ton/acre ÷ (ENP ÷ 2000)).

For example, assume the ENP of a pelletized lime source is 1860 and the lime requirement (based upon soil test) is 1.5 tons per acre, how much lime do you need to apply? The answer is 1.6 tons of pelletized lime per acre. By comparison, assume an aglime source has an ENP of 1100, how much aglime do you have to supply to meet the 1.5 tons per acre recommendation? You would have to apply 2.7 tons of the aglime to meet the recommendation. Notice that even with the pelletized lime you need to supply at least a ton and a half to achieve the desired liming result. Four hundred or five hundred pounds of pelletized lime applied will not adjust soil pH to the desired level.

Conservation Tillage & Technology Conference February 22 & 23

Authors: Gary Wilson

Plan now to attend the 18th Annual Conservation Tillage and Technology Conference scheduled February 22 & 23, 2007 at Ohio Northern University at Ada, Ohio.

This year's conference will cover a wide range of topics including soil fertility, nitrogen management, planting and seed placement, tillage systems comparisons, cover crops, root development, and weed, disease, pest management, and Precision Agriculture Technology. Nearly 70 sessions will be offered over the two day conference with nearly 70 different speakers including University Specialists, Ag Industry Representatives, and producer panels. An added room of seminars was included this year on Manure Science. Featured speakers include Dr. Tony Vyn, Purdue University Agronomist; Dr. Mike Plumer, University of Illinois on annual rye grass; Dr. Bill Deen, University of Guelph; Dr. Jill Clapperton, Agriculturalist from Canada; Jim Camberato from Purdue University; and a couple dozen Agronomists and Specialists from The Ohio State University.

Over 40 credits will be made available for CCA's. Early registration by February 16 is $30.00 a day or $50.00 for both days. For a copy of the conference agenda and registration information contact the Hancock County Extension Office at 419-422-3851 or visit the web site at:

Organic IP Video Series begins Feb. 13

Authors: Alan Sundermeier

The OSU Extension Sustainable Ag Team’s Organic IP Video Series begins Feb. 13 with "Cover Crops/Fertility Management" from 6-8:30 pm. Open to anyone interested in organic production, the video format will let participants interact from Ohio, Illinois, and Indiana.

Speaking will be John Cardina, OSU, "Using Rye with no-till Drilled soybeans in organic production", Eileen Kladivko, Purdue, "Potential fertility improvements from cover crops", Mike Plummer, University of Illinois, "Annual Ryegrass use in cropping systems", and Alan
Sundermeier, OSU Extension, "Overview of cover crop options in organic production". Farmer discussion will also occur.

Attend in Ohio at 130 Research Services Building on OARDC Wooster campus, 1680 Madison Ave.(first building on the left at the main entrance).

Admission is free. Call Sundermeier at 419-354-9050 to reserve a seat.

Ahead on the schedule –
March 15 Organic Weed Control;
April 19 Insect, Disease control in organic vegetables;
Sept. 20 Organic poultry;
Nov. 15 Organic certification.

Darke/Mercer County Agronomy Meeting February 20th

Many crop farmers around the area may be asking themselves: “How is the new ethanol plant going to affect local corn prices?” “What is going to happen with soybean rust this year?” “Do I have to worry about soybean aphids this year?” and “Do I need to plant double-stacked or triple-stacked corn varieties?” To help farmers answer these questions The Ohio State University Extension will be hosting an agronomic conference, “Farming Tips for 2007,” on February 20, 2007. The meeting will be held at the North Star American Legion Hall located on U S 127 in North Star, Ohio. Participant may register by calling the OSU Extension Office at 937 548-5215 or email: . The registration fee is $20.00 if pre-registered prior to February 15, 2007 and $30.00 if registered at the door.

The program will start at 9:30 am and conclude at 2:30 pm. Presentations will also be given on the following topics: Ed Shirey and George DelaGardelle, from Anderson’s Grain, will discuss ethanol production’s affects on the local corn market. Dr. Peter Thomison, State Extension Corn Specialist, will give an overview on the new corn technologies available for 2007. Dennis Mills, OSU Plant Pathology Program Specialist, will provide updates for 2006 soybean production issues.

Following lunch we will have sessions which include: Pesticide Regulatory Update, by Roger Bender, OSU ANR Agent; Harold Watters, OSU ANR Agent will present a 2007 Weed Control Update, 2007 Agronomic Insect Pest Issues, will be discussed by Todd Mangen, OSU ANR Agent, and Steve Foster, OSU ANR Agent will give an overview of his 2006 Soybean Seed Treatment Test Plots and BMP’s for Stockpiling Manure.

Be sure and register prior to February 15th for this outstanding OSU Extension program. This educational program is open to the public, and will provide valuable information for agronomic production in Western Ohio and Eastern Indiana for 2007. Pesticide Applicator credits (category 1, 12 & Core) will also be provided. For more information contact the Darke County OSU Extension office at (937) 548-5215 or email .

From the Agronomic Crops Team Calendar for February

Authors: Harold Watters

See below but you may also check our website to keep aware of upcoming local events:

Northern Ohio Crop Day – February 8
Time: 9:00 a.m.-3 p.m.
County of Meeting Location: Sandusky
Location: Old Zim's Wagon Shed
Address: 1375 N State Route 590, Gibsonburg
Cost: $15 plus PAT credits
CCA Credits: applied for
PAT Credits: Private (CORE, 1, 8, 12) Commercial (CORE, 2a, 2d, 9)
For more information: Mark Koenig at or 419-334-6340

Tri-County Agronomy Day - February 19
Time: 1:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Logan, Union and Champaign and neighboring county producers are invited.
Location: Champaign County Community Center
Address: 1512 South 68, Urbana 43078
Cost: $15
The program will include Corn Production updates from Peter Thomison, also Insect and Disease Challenge assistance from Ron Hammond and Dennis Mills.
PAT Credits: Private-CORE=1.0, Cat 1= 1.0, Cat 12=1.0
For more information: Flyer or Contact Harold Watters at or 937-484-1526

Archive Issue Contributors: 

Pierce Paul and Dennis Mills (Plant Pathology), Robert Mullen (Soil Fertility), Ron Hammond and Bruce Eisley (Entomology), Jim Beuerlein (Wheat Production), Ed Lentz (Agronomy) and Mark Loux (Weed Science). Extension Agents: Roger Bender (Shelby), Gary Wilson (Hancock), Howard Siegrist (Licking), Todd Mangen (Mercer), Mark Koenig (Sandusky), Mike Gastier (Huron), Glen Arnold (Putnam), Keith Diedrick (Wayne), Jonah Johnson (Clark), Harold Watters (Champaign), Steve Foster (Darke), Alan Sundermeier (Wood), Wesley Haun (Logan), and Greg LaBarge (Fulton).

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.