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Agronomic Crops Network

Ohio State University Extension


C.O.R.N. Newsletter 2010-01

Dates Covered: 
January 12, 2010 - January 26, 2010
Harold Watters
Jim Beuerlein Retires Jim Beuerlein Retires

Jim Beuerlein Retires

Jim Beuerlein, Professor and State Extension Specialist in soybean and small grain production, retired from OSU at the end of 2009 after more than 39 years of service to Ohio producers. Jim was an extremely productive researcher and source of information for Ohio grain producers, and an essential component of the OSU Agronomic Crops Team. Jim held the position of area Extension Agronomist from 1970 to 1980, and then served as the state Extension Agronomist for soybean and small grain production from 1980 until his retirement.

Jim pioneered research in narrow-row and no-till production systems, early planting, skip rows, and improved inoculants, among other practices. He was at the forefront in the evaluation of numerous new technologies, and provided research-based recommendations so that growers knew whether they should adopt them. One of his great strengths was his effectiveness at showing growers how practices affect their profitability, so they could make informed decisions. Jim distilled his research findings into a number of extremely effective extension bulletins, reports, fact sheets, and videos that were widely used by growers and those who advise them. Examples include the bulletins “Profitable Wheat Management”, “Improving Wheat Yields in Ohio” , “The Soybean in Ohio”, and “Profitable Soybean Management” for which he was the primary editor or a substantial contributor. Jim was also the primary editor for several editions of the OSU Agronomy Guide. Jim had responsibility for the Ohio soybean and wheat performance trials, two resources that are widely used by growers and consultants to make decisions on variety selection.

Jim was a great collaborator with his colleagues at OSU and at other land grant universities. He mentored or otherwise helped the education or careers of numerous students, extension educators, and faculty. He also strongly believed in service to OSU and the soybean and wheat industry. He served on the board of directors for Ohio soybean and wheat associations, and provided service the Ohio Seed Improvement Association and the state cultivar release committee. Jim was awarded numerous awards for his work at OSU, including: "OARDC Director’s Innovator of the Year Award" for the development of food-type soybean varieties to produce soy foods, the American Society of Agronomy Agronomic Extension Award, the National Association of Wheat Growers “Excellence in Extension” Award, and the OSU Extension “Excellence in Extension” Award. The Agronomic Crops Team also presented Jim an Agronomic Crops Team Service Award on December 10th for his many years of assistance to the team and its members.

Questions and Answers on Moldy Grain and Mycotoxins Part 2 Handling Corn in Storage

Q5. What harvest and storage guidelines are recommended to minimize problems associated with kernel rots and mycotoxin contamination?

1. Harvest at the correct moisture and adjust harvest equipment to minimize damage to kernels. Mold and mycotoxins tend to be higher in (machine or insect) damaged kernels.

2. Dry harvested grain to 15% moisture and below (less than 13% moisture) to prevent further mold development in storage.

3. Store dried grain at cool temperatures (36 to 44oF) in clean, dry bins. Moderate to high temperatures are favorable for fungal growth and toxin production.

4. Periodically check grain for mold, insects, and temperature.

5. If mold is found, send a grain sample for a mycotoxin analysis to determine if toxins are present and at what level. For more on moldy grain, mycotoxins, and mycotoxins sampling and analysis visit the following website:

Q6. Can Toxin levels increase while the grain is in storage?

Yes, toxin levels can certainly increase in storage if storage conditions are inadequate. If there are warm, moist areas/pockets in the grain lot, mold will continue to develop, causing the grain to deteriorate further and toxin levels to increase. Aeration is important to keep the grain dry and cool, and if not done appropriately, pockets of warm, damp areas will develop due to the metabolic activity of the grain and microorganisms.

The grain is still alive and as such is still respiring, and two of the end products of respiration are water and heat, exactly what the fungus needs to grow and produce toxin. In addition, kernels close to the walls of the silo tend to be at a lower temperature than kernels towards the center and the exchange of warm air from the center with cool air from the top or sides of the silo may lead to further moisture build up (due to condensation). However, it should be noted that while cool temperatures, air circulation, and low moisture levels will minimize fungal growth and toxin production, these will not decrease the level of toxin that was already present going into storage. Vomitoxin is very stable and will not be reduced with drying.

Q7. Why is there such a within load variation? For example, a load can test 0 ppm at one elevator and 10 ppm at another elevator. Is the Federal Test (used at Decatur i.e., Bunge) different from what local co-ops are using?

Variability stems from the fact that there is variation in the number of ears infected within a field and, on any given ear, there is variation in the number of kernels infected. Furthermore, kernels with similar appearance in terms of moldiness on the surface, may have different levels of internal fungal colonization and consequently variation in mycotoxin contamination. In addition, healthy-looking kernels may also be contaminated with vomitoxin. Variability is a major issue!! Because of this variability, sampling needs to be done correctly in order to adequately determine the level of contamination. There are always “hot spots” within the grain lot and if you sample only once or a few times and end up doing so in those “hot spots” then you’ll overestimate how contaminated the grain lot really is. Conversely, if you totally miss the hot spots then you’ll underestimate contamination. That’s the reason why we always recommend that multiple samples be taken from multiple locations within the lot, then bulk, mix and grind the grain before analysis.

We have not used all of the testing equipments that are out there, but most of the highly recommend ones are fairly reliable and consistent. The kits that give you quantitative estimates (1,2,3,15.4,38.4 ppm) are generally better that the semi quantitative (more than 5 ppm) or qualitative (yes/no response) kits… but it all depends on what you are using the kit for. In general, the ELISA kits (most of the kits that are out there are ELISA-based) are calibrated against the more sophisticated quantitative lab equipment, and if used correctly (incorrect use is another potential source of variation) should provide consistent results across elevators. However, test results from one elevator to another are also subject to variation in how the samples were drawn from one elevator to another. Unless the sampling is done correctly and in the same or a similar manner among elevators, it will be impossible to tell whether the differences (0 at one elevator and 10 at another) are due to differences among the testing equipments or to poor and inconsistent sampling protocols among elevators. In fact, the best way (but probably not the most practical) to compare elevators it to send subsamples from the same bulk sample for testing at the different elevators.

 Very moldy kernels are usually lighter than healthy, plump kernels, however, as was said in the paragraph above, plump-looking kernels may also be contaminated with vomitoxin. Any method that can be used to remove moldy kernels will help to reduce the overall level of contamination of the lot… moldy kernels are always more contaminated that the most contaminated of the healthy-looking kernels.

Taking stock of last year and make better decisions for 2010

Many New Year’s resolutions for most of producers and the wish of many commodity suppliers, is better yields and better quality for 2010. Some simple tips to help you achieve this goal.

1. If a variety performed poorly in 2009 – let that dog go. We are now looking at higher inoculum levels of many pathogens going into 2010. So it is time to re-evaluate some of our production systems. Rotation and Tillage are the best management strategies for knocking back pathogen inoculum be it from SCN, foliar diseases, Sclerotinia or Phomopsis on seed. You’ve got 2 choices – get out of that field or put some dirt on it- the best response for an outbreak is to do both.

2. For Ohio, choose hybrids and varieties with the best disease resistance package for your farm. Ohio often has favorable conditions for disease to develop and this is a good first step. For soybeans – pick a variety that has high levels of partial resistance to Phytophthora plus either Rps1c, Rps1k or Rps3 or a combo; good Frogeye, and SDS ratings. For those historic Sclerotinia fields, it must also have a Sclerotinia rating. For SCN – put the SCN resistant lines on those fields with 200 to 2,000 or more eggs/cup of soil but avoid severe problem fields. Our cysts, they are a changing… and we don’t want to push it.

3. Don’t push the planting. If it is wet or the forecast says a whopper of storm is on the way. Go to the coffee shop. Do not try to “get it in”. We’ve been doing this a lot lately only to end up replanting the field. Also don’t “mud it in”. Same thing more often than not you are looking at a replant situation.

4. Use treated seed. Ohio’s soils get wet, and when they get wet they hold water for 24 to 48 hours which is just perfect for the watermolds and other fungi that love to attack young seedlings. If your land is well drained you are probably wondering what I am talking about but to the guys whose dirt is one step away from quality clay for pottery – you know what I mean. Be sure you’ve got the best rate for Phytophthora, something in there to cover the fungi (Fusarium, Rhizoctonia, and seed borne Phomopsis and Sclerotinia) and then follow the information for insecticides.

5. Rotate. If you had a poor return on a crop in a field last year – don’t put it in again. It is time to explore some other options.

6. The fall was a bit wet for SCN sampling – if we have a long dry spring and you can pull them in April- do it. Spring counts are better than no counts at all.

7. If something did not work – figure out why. These are what we call in academia – “teachable moments”. I learn more from what did not work then what did at times. If you were applying a fungicide – did you get it on in time, did it go where you needed it to go or did it sit on top of the canopy, was it the right material or was it even necessary. This is all good information to improve upon for next year

The two most important decisions you will make are matching the right variety genetics to each field. Take your time, look at the field histories and get it all planned out now. My very best wishes for a bumper crop in 2010.

Soybean Rust – It almost made it in 2009

Soybean rust was a big topic again at the end of 2009. First detections in Kentucky were in early September and followed a month later on late planted soybeans in Southern Indiana. What was most impressive this year – was the amount of rust that built up in the southern states at the end of the season. A limited number of Mississippi producers had yield losses directly due to soybean rust based on reports from Dr. Tom Allen, their field crop pathologist. In addition to the soybean, the amount of kudzu that was also infected is also becoming an issue. The good news is that again, not all kudzu is susceptible to the current strains of soybean rust we have right now. And the kudzu patches that are Susceptible are getting placed on maps to make the scouting easier in the future.

The biggest announcement that was made at the 2010 APS National Soybean Rust Meeting held in December was that the sentinel plot system would change. And this is a good thing. We know more, we can be more efficient at scouting now that we know where to look and those of us in the north can get better and knowing when to look. There is no point in searching in Ohio, if the southern states are negative. For 2010, we will again be monitoring the maps and commentary from our southern colleagues at the Soybean Rust website

We will continue to monitor in Ohio as soybean rust continues to approach the middle tier of states. Hopefully it will continue to miss us or arrive to late to have an impact.

Ron Hammond talks aphids on SoyOhioTV

Ron Hammond OSU Entomologist and soybean aphid expert is recorded on SoyOhioTV. Ron makes his comments on what happened in 2009 and how that might impact soybean aphids for 2010 for Ohio soybean farmers.

The spot can be found on SoyTV the web address:

Crop Production Conference & Advanced Agronomy School presentations available

Presentations from 2010 OSU/Ohio AgriBusiness Association Crop Production Conference and OSU Advanced Agronomy Workshop are available online.

Presentations from these events are available online as slides in pdf format and videos of the actual presentation (Flash format). Go to, and the follow the links in the "Presentations" section.

Conservation Tillage Conference website now open for information

The Conservation Tillage and technology Conference will be held February 25th and 26 at the Ohio Northern University campus MacIntosh Center in Ada, Ohio. The website for information, agenda and registration information is available: Flyers are printed and should start showing at Extension offices and mailboxes this week.

Featured programs this year are:
• 66 presenters, panelists
• Certified Livestock Manager training
• 10+ hours of Nutrient Management
• 5 hours of Soil & Water continuing education credits
• Corn University (5+ hr)
• Soybean School (4+ hr)
• Speakers from 9 universities
• Precision Ag. (Friday)
• Farmer and industry panels
• Cover crops (Friday)
• Planter adjustments
• Crop scouting (4 hr)

The CTC for 2010 is sponsored by:
• Ohio State University Extension and OARDC
• Northwest Ohio Soil & Water Conservation Districts
• USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service
• USDA Farm Service Agency
• The Ohio No-Till Council


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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.