C.O.R.N. Newsletter 2009-04

Dates Covered: 
February 17, 2009 - March 3, 2009
Editor: 
Harold Watters

Mid-Feb Weather Update

Authors: Jim Noel

The pattern remains intact of about one storm a week for the next several weeks, typical of this time of the year. Weak La Nina conditions continue to weaken and should be gone by spring or so. With so much ice on the Great Lakes, it suggests a cooler spring with some showery conditions. Most indicators continue to support a slightly cooler and wetter spring, but not as much so as last spring which is the good news.

In the short term: after last weeks high runoff event, a weaker storm affects us midweek with rain followed by colder weather and some light snow showers for later week. The cold will begin to retreat later this upcoming weekend.

Another storm is due in here early to mid of next week followed by another early the following week, mostly as rain.

Integrated Pest Management (IPM) and Insects

Authors: Bruce Eisley, Andy Michel, Ron Hammond

With spring and summer just a few months away, we thought it a good time to revisit Integrated Pest Management (IPM), economic injury levels, and economic thresholds (ET) or action thresholds (AT). Growers are constantly hearing about spraying for “plant health” or making “insurance” insecticide treatments, and we wanted to tell the other side of the story. In insect pest management, we are interested in reducing losses from insect pests in a way that is effective, economically sound, ecologically responsible, and socially acceptable. This is the Ecological Paradigm (http://ohioline.osu.edu/paradigm/index.html) for the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences of The Ohio State University.

We use two approaches in managing insect pests, the first being taking preventive action a priori, without knowledge of a pest’s presence or status. This is the preferred approach, especially when using cultural or ecological tactics including host plant resistance, crop rotation, tillage, and manipulation of planting or harvesting dates. Normally, the use of an insecticide as a preventive measure should not be considered an appropriate IPM tactic. The second approach is using therapeutic (“cure”) tactics, most likely the use of insecticides. Pesticides are a completely acceptable management tactic when used appropriately. The basis for choosing this approach is by basing the decision to use them on the EIL, economic injury level, and the use of economic or action thresholds.

The EIL is the lowest number of insects or injury that will cause economic damage. This is when the cost of control equals the cost of treatment, the gain threshold; it’s the break even point. The basic equation is EIL = cost of control/(value of the product X how much damage the insect will do). The most important part of the equation is cost of control/value of the product, the gain threshold.

But keep in mind, a grower wants to control the insect population before reaching this level. This point should come well before the EIL is reached, and is usually set at a much lower level known as the economic threshold, or the action threshold! The ET, or AT, is the number of insects or amount of injury that should trigger management action so that economic damage does not occur, that is, so the EIL is not reached. A good example comes from soybean when the soybean aphid is the concern. The current ET or AT, when you should treat, is 250 aphids per plant with a rising population. However, the EIL, when economic damage will occur, is not reached until you have >800 aphids per plant. A peak density of 250 aphids per plant will not cause economic losses. But last summer when soybean almost doubled in price, the action threshold was kept at 250 aphid per plant. Although the EIL probably fell from >800 aphid per plant to perhaps around 400-500 aphids per plant, we felt we could keep the action threshold at 250 aphid per plant. We still felt that this level was a good ET or AT for growers to use.

As growers make decisions on managing insects or other pests, they should always remember to consider the four points of the Ecological Paradigm that are explained above. The pesticides that are used will usually be effective in controlling the pests, there is not that much of a question about that. However, wasting money, especially in these economic times, is not a good decision. And making unnecessary pesticide applications is not only economically unsound, but is also ecologically irresponsible which will lead to those pesticides becoming socially unacceptable in the long run.

And growers should always remember that the proper usage of pesticides is based on knowledge of EILs and ETs/ATs!

Poly Tanks and Load Safety

Authors: Roger Bender

Two publications from Purdue University are currently available on the use of on-farm poly tanks and their safety and over the road security for farm loads.

- Poly Tanks for Farm Businesses, Preventing Catastrophic Failures PPP-77
High density polyethylene tanks have been used successfully by growers and commercial pesticide application businesses for years. While the benefits of poly tank ownership are well established, the risk of tank failure is real. Like any piece of equipment, poly tanks need to be inspected and maintained to ensure that the benefits of use outweigh the risk of tank failure and product release. Fred Whitford of Purdue University has made a study of tank problems and has created this publication on poly tanks. Available to download: http://www.btny.purdue.edu/Pubs/PPP/PPP-77.pdf.

- Securing The Load PPP-75
Another publication also available with credit going to Fred Whitford of Purdue is a guide on securing loads properly on your farm truck or trailer. Losing cargo on the road is serious business. The proper loading, positioning, and securing of cargo on a truck or trailer can prevent accidents in transit. This publication refers to government securement regulations and describes proper techniques for securing cargo on farm and commercial trucks and trailers. Download from: http://www.btny.purdue.edu/Pubs/PPP/PPP-75.pdf.

Purdue’s Pesticide Education publication website http://www.btny.purdue.edu/ppp/PPP_pubs.html. Both of these publications are also available for sale from Purdue by contacting their publishing staff at 888 398-4636 or at their website: http://www.agriculture.purdue.edu/agcomm/mdc/index.html.
 

Risk Management Decisions for 2009 - Understanding Crop Insurance

Authors: John Yost, Harold Watters

Dr. Art Barnaby of Kansas State University will be in Ohio for one day February 24th. He will be in Chillicothe, Ohio in Ross County in the morning and in Urbana in Champaign County in the afternoon for this Risk Management Decision program. Dr. Barnaby is an acknowledged Crop Insurance and Risk Management expert. Dr. Art Barnaby provides educational programs on crop insurance, government commodity programs, and risk throughout Kansas. His work emphasizes the development of alternative public policies for crop disaster protection. For example, he developed the Crop Revenue Coverage, which is a nationally available insurance contract for farmers.

Plan to attend this 4-hour morning (Ross Co.) or afternoon (Champaign Co.) program with us to learn almost everything you need to make your crop risk management decisions. It will be hands on with decision-making tools, and with lots of discussion about options. He’ll discuss the plusses and minuses of insurance and explain in detail the policies and choices. This year with the changes brought on by increases in crop input prices AND the new Farm Bill, understanding your risk management options is more important now than ever! His website: http://www.agecon.ksu.edu/risk/

Two Locations in Ohio – Chillicothe 8AM to noon, or in Urbana 2 - 6 PM.
1) Ross County Extension Office, 475 Western Ave., Suite F, 
Chillicothe, OH 45601 (8:00 AM to noon), Price $10, meal and refreshments provided. Please register by February 20th, Call to reserve your seat: Dave Mangione (740 702-3200).
2) Champaign County Community Center – 1512 South US Hwy 68, Urbana, OH 43078. Date & Time: February 24th from 2PM to 6PM with a meal following. Price: $10. Register by Feb 20 by phone 937 484-1526.
 

18th Annual Farm Forum

Authors: Tim Fine

Ohio’s 8th Congressional District is one of the largest agricultural districts in the Buckeye State. It boasts more than 5,400 farms growing grains, produce and raising livestock on nearly 1 million acres. Each year, John Boehner hosts the Farm Forum to bring together experts from different sectors of the agriculture community for a discussion of ideas impacting this vital industry. This year’s forum will feature a panel discussion of renewable fuels and energy, commodity prices and the overall state of agriculture.

The 2009 8th Congressional District Farm Forum will be held on Saturday, March 7, 2009, at Edison Community College (http://www.edison.cc.oh.us/), located at 1973 Edison Drive in Piqua, from 10 am to 1 pm. Registration opens at 9:30 am. To register for this year's Farm Forum, log onto John Boehner's web site (http://johnboehner.house.gov) and follow the link under FARM FORUM.

Keynote Speaker: Brent Porteus, President of the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation
Panel Moderator: Congressman Robert Latta (R-Bowling Green)
Panelists: Joel Brandenberger, President of the National Turkey Federation; Jim Chakeres, Executive Vice President of the Ohio Poultry Association; Bob Dinneen, President and CEO of the Renewable Fuels Association; and Steve Kopperud, Senior Vice President of Policy Directions, Inc.

Lunch at this year's Farm Forum will be provided by the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association.
 

Ohio's Overholt Drainage School

Authors: Larry Brown, Bruce Clevenger

It’s estimated that over 60% of Ohio cropland has received drainage improvements like surface and subsurface drainage. However, today’s drainage technology is more than just removing excess water from cropland but rather a water management system to help balance production and environmental objectives.

The 2009 Overholt Drainage School will be held March 23-27 at the Garden Inn Hilton in Wooster, Ohio. This years program includes sessions on: Laser Surveying, Topographic Mapping, and GPS Mapping; Agricultural Subsurface Drainage Systems Design; and Drainage Water Management: Controlled Drainage System Design and Installation.

The Overholt Drainage School is designed for land improvement contractors, farmers, engineers, consultants, SWCD technicians and other interested in advancing their knowledge of skills related to ag water management and water quality.

For more information, contact Dr. Larry C. Brown at 614-292-3826 or email at brown.59@osu.edu.

Agronomic Programs Calendar for late February to early March

Authors: Harold Watters

February 24 - Tri-County Agronomy Day
Start Time: 10 a.m.
County of Meeting Location: Carroll
Name of Meeting Place: Our Lady of Mercy Catholic Church Hall
Address: Roswell Rd.
City, Zip code: Carrollton, OH 44615
Cost: $8
CCA Credits Offered: No
PAT Credits Offered: Private: Yes Commercial: No
Meeting Coordinator Name: Mike Hogan
Phone Number: 330-627-4310
E-mail: hogan.1@osu.edu
Agenda Web Link: carroll.osu.edu

Feb 25th - Benefits of Cover Crops special session at CTC Conference
Start Time: TBA
County of Meeting Location: Allen

Name of Meeting Place: Ohio Northern University 
Address: 
City, Zip code: Ada, OH 
Cost: TBA 
CCA Credits Offered: Yes
PAT Credits Offered: Private: No Commercial: No
Meeting Coordinator Name: Gary Wilson 
Phone Number: 419-422-3851 
E-mail: wilson.26@osu.edu
Agenda Web Link: ctc.osu.edu

Feb 26 & 27 - Conservation Tillage Conference
Start Time: See agenda, County of Meeting Location: Allen

Name of Meeting Place: Ohio Northern University 
Address: Ada, OH 
Cost:See agenda 
CCA Credits Offered: Yes
PAT Credits Offered: Private: No Commercial: No
Meeting Coordinator Name: Gary Wilson 
Phone Number: 419-422-3851 
E-mail: wilson.26@osu.edu
Agenda Web Link: ctc.osu.edu

March 4 & 5
March 4th - On Farm Stored Grain Management – Ridgeville Corners
Start Time: 1pm-4pm, Name of Meeting Place: American Legion Hall
March 5th – On Farm Stored Grain Management – Cabela’s, Dundee Michigan
Start Time 9AM to noon
Cost: $15
CCA Credits Offered: YES
PAT Credits Offered: Private: YES Commercial:
Meeting Coordinator Name: Bruce Clevenger
Phone Number: 419-782-4771
E-mail: clevenger.1@osu.edu
http://defiance.osu.edu/agriculture_natural_resources/winter-meetings

March 5 - Tri-County Agronomy Day
Start Time: 10 a.m.
County of Meeting Location: Carroll
Name of Meeting Place: Our Lady of Mercy Catholic Church Hall
Address: Roswell Rd.
City, Zip code: Carrollton, OH 44615
Cost: $8
CCA Credits Offered: No
PAT Credits Offered: Private: Yes Commercial: No
Meeting Coordinator Name: Mike Hogan
Phone Number: 330-627-4310
E-mail: hogan.1@osu.edu
Agenda Web Link: carroll.osu.edu

Archive Issue Contributors: 

State Specialists: Peter Thomison (Corn Production), Anne Dorrance, Pierce Paul and Dennis Mills (Plant Pathology), Ron Hammond, Andy Michel, and Bruce Eisley (Entomology), Mark Loux (Weed Science), and Jim Noel (NOAA). Extension Educators: Roger Bender (Shelby), Harold Watters (Champaign), John Yost (Fayette), Todd Mangen (Mercer), Glen Arnold (Putnam), Tim Fine (Miami), Gary Wilson (Hancock), Les Ober (Geauga), Bruce Clevenger (Defiance), and Wesley Haun (Logan).

About the C.O.R.N. Newsletter

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.