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Agronomic Crops Network

Ohio State University Extension


C.O.R.N. Newsletter 2008-29

Dates Covered: 
September 2, 2008 - September 9, 2008
Wesley Haun

No rain in August

Authors: Anne Dorrance

For the western portion of the state dry weather is the story of the day. Drought induced maturity is forcing soybeans to mature earlier than expected. As part of dry weather, mites become an issue. Interestingly, research in Minnesota and Wisconsin demonstrated that fungicides can enhance the severity of mite and soybean aphid infestations. Mites, in particular, are very sensitive to fungal pathogens. When fungicides were applied to soybeans in research studies the number of mites and severity increased and a similar trend was also observed with soybean aphid. This occurred in research plots, for fields where fungicide was applied, monitor mite development more closely. For more information on this refer to the NEW edition soybean fungicide manual at the chapter entitled “Secondary Effects of Fungicides” at

Soybean cyst nematode also does more damage to soybeans under drought stress than when soils have good moisture. Now is a good time to check soybeans and walk fields, where the soybeans are shorter and have fewer pods is a great place to check for SCN on the roots. Dig up the soybeans and shake off the soil, look at the sky for 1 minute (this allows the soil to dry but not the SCN), then look for the tiny white pearls which glisten on the roots.

Hurricanes and Soybean Rust

Authors: Anne Dorrance

One of the ways that soybean rust can move and be spread over large distances is through these large hurricanes. Ivan in 2004 is how many of us think soybean rust first got to the US, and Ernesto moved rust up the southeast coast during 2006. With Faye, Gustav and now Hanna, all of these are passing over areas with infected patches of kudzu. The spores are deposited with the rains that fall but it may take as many as four weeks to find these rust pustules. In many fields, the leaves will be off the plants or in the case of rains from Faye last week, it wasn’t enough water to get excited about – so infections were probably not successful. There will most likely be no impact on our crop for this season, even if some infections do occur. It is too late and the crop has been too dry. Although if infections do occur in Ohio, I would really like to find them and get through the first find hurdles and be able to have some for Farm Science Review for many of you to see.

Results of 2008 Western Bean Cutworm Trapping

Authors: Andy Michel, Ron Hammond, Bruce Eisley

Our trapping for western bean cutworm (WBCW) has ended for this season, and our total numbers for 2008 are surprising. In 55 traps distributed over 26 counties, we caught 148 confirmed moths between the end of June and middle of August. Most of these moths were captured in the northwest portion of the state, but we have caught moths as far south as Montgomery County and as far east as the OARDC Wooster campus. The good news is that, even with the large increase of trap counts this year, we have not yet heard of any reports of eggs, larvae, or damage from WBCW in Ohio. However, when harvest begins, we urge growers to inspect any suspected damage to corn ears that may be a result of WBCW feeding.

Last week a trip was made to western Michigan to observe a field with significant WBCW injury (thanks to our colleague up north, Chris Difonzo, for hosting the trip). This field was on the western side of Michigan near Lake Michigan, about 30 miles north of Muskegon. The infested area was the refuge acres planted in conjunction with a Herculex Xtra transgenic corn hybrid. WBCW damage was very evident in the refuge. The surest sign of WBCW were the presence of ¼-inch holes in the ear husk (about the size of a pencil eraser). When pulling back the husks, we found either WBCW feeding or the larvae themselves. Larvae are identified by the two distinct black rectangles behind their head. On numerous ears, we often found 2-5 larvae feeding on the corn (compared to corn earworm when usually only one larvae will be found).

What can we predict for 2009 and the years to come? It is likely that the high number of moths this year will lead to population establishment in Ohio and we can expect WBCW to continue its march eastward. In the short term, we could expect local damage, but major, state-wide damage may be a few years off. As WBCW transitions to a more important pest, our best management option against WBC will continue to be trapping and scouting.

Value of Corn Silage

Authors: Bill Weiss

The value of silage needs to be based relative to the price paid for other feeds. If producer can get the nutrients from another combination of feeds cheaper than corn silage, why buy silage.

Based on our best estimate of the prices for feeds this fall (and our guesses are no better than anyone else), the value of corn silage based on its nutrients will probably be between $200 to $250/ton of dry matter when the silage is fed to the cow. This means that all losses have been applied. If a farmer is going to purchase corn silage he needs to work backwards.

Value of corn silage based on nutrients $200 to $250
(for this example I am going to use $225/ton of dry matter)

Value of corn silage on as fed basis (assuming 35% dry matter): 225 x 0.35 = $79/ton
Cost of storing the silage: - $6/ton
Cost of shrink (10%): -$8/ton

Cost of chopped corn when put into a silo: 79 - 6 - 8 = $65/ton

Cost of chopping, hauling, etc.: -$10/ton

Cost of the crop standing in the field: 65 - 10 = $55/ton assuming normal composition and 35% dry matter. A reasonable range would be $47 to 60/ton of standing corn assuming 35% dry matter.

2008 Farm Bill Disaster Assistance Programs

Authors: Wesley Haun

Current drought conditions have generated concerns about less than desirable yields and thoughts of potential disaster support in some areas of the state. Should the need arise for disaster assistance; there are eligibility qualifications that must be in place. The Food, Conservation and Energy Act of 2008 (2008 Farm Bill) provides producers who would otherwise be ineligible for new disaster assistance programs to become eligible by paying an administrative fee to USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) by September 16, 2008.

OSU Extension & GVM West Field Day September 4th

Authors: Mike Gastier

Ohio State University Extension will have a strong presence at a Field Day hosted by GVM West in Bellevue, Ohio on Thursday, September 4, 2008. Although GVM sponsors the event chiefly to promote their products, the company graciously supplies OSU Extension with a separate tent to accommodate pesticide training.

From 10:45 to 11:45 a.m., Dr. Mark Loux, Weed Specialist for agronomic crops at Ohio State will lead a herbicide update and a review of special concerns for the 2008 season. This session will count for pesticide recertification credits (one hour of 2C commercial or category 1 private).

At 2:00 p.m. Extension Educators Dr. Steve Prochaska of Crawford County and Mike Gastier of Huron County will offer one hour of Core training for both commercial and private applicators. Certified Crop Advisor credits will be available for both of these sessions which are open to the public.

GVM West is located at 4341 Sandhill Road in Bellevue, Ohio. Their facility is adjacent to US Rt 20 between Bellevue and Monroeville. The actual site of the Field Day is just south of Rt 20 on Sandhill Road. The event begins at 9:00 a.m. and concludes at 4:00 p.m. This is a great opportunity to stay up to date on the latest fertilizer and pesticide application technology and also get recertification credits.

2008 FSR CCA College - Register Now

Authors: Harold Watters

The Ohio State University Agronomic Crops Team in cooperation with Purdue University will be presenting a Certified Crop Adviser program at the Farm Science Review, the FSR CCA College. While we call this the CCA College, anyone who makes recommendations for growers is encouraged to attend.

Planned program:
• This is a soybean year for the demonstration area. We have field demonstrations at the training site with six fungicide treatments to look at Frogeye leafspot (and we expect to see other diseases too). This will feature OSU Plant Pathologist Dr. Anne Dorrance discussing diseases of the eastern cornbelt. We also expect to discuss Soybean cyst nematode, Sudden death syndrome as well as have a discussion on soybean insect issues with Dr. Ron Hammond.
• Also on the program will be Agricultural Econ-Agronomist Dr. Bruce Erickson from Purdue with a discussion on the Economics & Adoption of Precision Farm technology. Bruce runs the Top Farmer program at Purdue, has a great agronomic background and can pull this topic together for folks. Bruce will be aided in his discussion by members of the OSU Precision Ag Team.
• The third and final segment will center around fertility issues. We have had a lot of questions surrounding cover crops and nitrogen management. OSU Soil fertility specialist Dr. Robert Mullen will be discussing his work with N rates and cover crops. Robert will be joined by Purdue fertility specialists discussing other specific fertility management issues from this season.
The program will start with breakfast on Thursday of the Farm Science Review, September 18th, and end at noon followed by lunch.
• Registration is $75
• please register now through September 5th

To register this year you may download a registration form and the program details from:, or call Harold Watters or Sheila Callicoat at the Champaign County Extension office 937 484-1526 or email

Archive Issue Contributors: 

State Specialists: Anne Dorrance and Pierce Paul (Plant Pathology), Ron Hammond, Andy Michel, and Bruce Eisley (Entomology), Mark Loux (Weed Science), and William Weiss (Dairy Nutrition). Extension Associates and Agents: Roger Bender (Shelby), Harold Watters (Champaign), Mike Gastier (Huron), Tim Fine (Miami), Todd Mangen (Mercer), Mark Koenig (Sandusky/Ottawa), Gary Wilson (Hancock), Glen Arnold (Putman), Alan Sundermeier (Wood), Bruce Clevenger (Defiance), Steve Prochaska (Crawford), Howard Siegrist (Licking), Les Ober (Geauga), Wesley Haun (Logan), and Ed Lentz (Seneca).

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.