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Agronomic Crops Network

Ohio State University Extension


C.O.R.N. Newsletter 2010-28

Dates Covered: 
August 31, 2010 - September 7, 2010
Andrew Kleinschmidt
Bean Leaf Beetles and Late Maturing Soybeans Bean Leaf Beetles and Late Maturing Soybeans

Bean Leaf Beetles and Late Maturing Soybeans

Although we discussed pod and seed feeding in last week’s C.O.R.N. newsletter, we thought it appropriate to again mention concerns with bean leaf beetles.  Last week during a sampling trip we took to collect beetles for a study being conducted, it became obvious that many fields that are starting to yellow and mature had very large populations of second generation bean leaf beetles, more than we had expected.  While damage to these maturing soybeans is unlikely, it does suggest that late maturing fields, those that will remain green well into September, could experience damaging populations of this insect.   Bean leaf beetles will be leaving yellowing fields looking for “greener pastures”, or should we say, green soybeans on which to feed before overwintering.  The fewer soybean fields that remain green such as late planted soybeans (including organic fields), double-cropped soybeans, and intercropped soybeans will be at risk.  Growers are advised to watch their late maturing fields for possible pod feeding to ensure it does not go over 10-15%.  See our fact sheet on bean leaf beetles at for more information, and remember that if treatment is necessary, pay close attention to the preharvest intervals with any insecticide.

Wheat Varieties with Potential for Wide Rows or Relay Intercropping

Growers today are giving up their drills to plant soybeans with narrow row planters – often in 15 inch rows. This has given rise to the question – “Can I plant wheat in 15 inch rows and still make a good yield?” The answer is usually “not quite.”

For those of you who would like some guidance on selecting a variety adaptable for wider rows, or for use in relay soybean inter-cropping then Dr. Jim Beuerlein, retired Soybean and Small Grain Extension specialist, created a rating system for you used in evaluating wheat varieties in the Ohio Wheat Performance Test. The growth habit ratings are based on plant type only, evaluating plant height and canopy spread.

These ratings were made in 7.5-inch row wheat. Another report posted in an earlier CORN newsletter covered data from a 2009 trial of 7.5 vs. 15 inch row width: Ohio Wheat Performance Tests comparing 7.5 to 15 inch row width wheat were also conducted around the state from 2002 to 2005, but most of those varieties are no longer available. See this 2002 Factsheet for more information on row width trials in wheat:

You can of course see the entire 2010 Ohio Wheat Performance Test on the Performance Trial website:

Valuing Manure Nutrient Resources

A fundamental question often asked by agricultural producers is how do I value my manure as a nutrient resource? This essential question should be asked by those that have access to manure because it allows a way to quantify the economic value of that material. If this question were directed at commercially produced materials, the answer would be straightforward. With manure, however, a number of parameters need to be considered including the composition of manure, the source variability, and the need for the nutrients based upon soil test information.

The first step in valuing manure as a nutrient supplement is to have the material analyzed to determine which nutrients are present and in what amounts. This information, combined with a recent soil analysis, can tell you how much manure should be supplied to meet the nutritional needs of a crop.

Let us examine the manure analysis first. Values of total N are not particularly valuable to the producer because they do not inform of the amount that is available to the crop. Of greater importance is determining the ammonia-N (or ammonium-N) and organic-N content. Ammonia-N contained in manure is similar to any form of commercial fertilizer; it is readily available the day of application. Therefore, valuing ammonia-N similar to a commercially available form is certainly a fair assessment.  Organic-N, however, is a slower release form of nitrogen because it requires a biological process to make it plant available. The environment-dependent nature of this biological process makes it difficult to ascertain its precise agronomic value. What we typically recommend is to use a lower cost N source (typically anhydrous ammonia) to calculate the value of organic-N based on the plant available estimate (for more information on estimating plant availability from animal wastes see Bulletin 604).

Phosphorus and potassium contained in manure is considered approximately as available as their commercial counterparts are (actually, they are slightly less available, but currently we do not have plant available estimates for the different manure types). Therefore, valuing phosphorus and potassium from manure could be calculated by a comparison to a commercially available form.

Manure is considered a complete nutrient source because it contains everything a growing plant requires, and the analysis will likely provide you with additional nutritional information. However, it is not necessary to determine an economic value for all of the nutrients. This is especially true for those nutrients that do not necessarily require supplementation to ensure an adequate plant supply (i.e. micronutrients on soils that typically do not exhibit deficiency symptoms). Organic matter contained in the manure does have some redeeming value, but it would be extremely difficult to assign an economic value to it, and it is not something we currently recommend.   

One of the challenges in using manure as a fertilizer source is the unbalanced nature of the nutrients. Applying enough manure to reach sufficient N and K levels usually results in the over application of P, which can have negative economic (from a sense that it would be more beneficial on other fields) and environmental outcomes. However, applying manure based on a sufficient P level usually results in an under-application of N, which can lead to a reduction in yield. 

This brings us to soil analysis. In a system where P is rarely limiting (especially a field that has a history of receiving manure applications), balancing phosphorus, nitrogen, and potassium requirements can certainly be a challenge if relying solely on a manure source. If a field has a soil test level above the maintenance range for producing a crop, does it make sense to calculate the economic value for that nutrient? For example, assume a field has a soil test P level well above the established critical level, we would not recommend calculating the economic value of the P contained in the manure when attempting to determine its economic value or recommend applying the manure to this field.

Conducting soil testing and manure analysis will help you determine how best to utilize your manure nutrient resources and get the maximum economic benefit from their use. Additionally, you will be able to do so in an environmental responsible manner.

A spreadsheet has been developed to assist in the determination of manure application rates based on the manure analysis and field information. The “Manure Allocation Spreadsheet” is available at


Weather Update

Warmer and drier will be the rule through the first half of September.

There are some signs of change as we go into September as the pattern will become more transitional. This means we will see a bought of hot weather then cooler weather followed by hot weather then cooler weather again. Typically each pattern will last 3-5 days over the next 2-3 weeks but with normal highs of 75-80 and normal lows of 55-60, we will still average above this for the next 2-3 weeks.

A stubborn high pressure aloft will remain in place for the most part in the Ohio Valley and when it breaks down for cooler weather, a northwest drier flow will result. This means continued below normal rainfall.

Some showers are possible later this week, but with the hurricane near the East Coast, the hurricane will create subsidence over our region which will likely reduce rain chances here.

Rain amounts may be limited until 2-3 weeks from now.

Farm Science Review CCA College

This is your invitation to attend the Farm Science Review near London, Ohio on September 21st, 22nd and 23rd. This is the 48th Review and the first to feature a Certified Crop Adviser on the promotional posters. This Ohio Certified Crop Adviser is also a business owner, engineer, land steward, innovator, community leader and good neighbor as are many of you.

 CCA Speakers at Farm Science Review

This year along with the expected Ohio State University Extension educators, we will have many Purdue University Extension educators working and presenting educational programs during the Review. For several years now Purdue specialists have devoted their time to the Farm Science Review – now their fall farm show, too.

New this Year             

We added several opportunities for CCA CEUs – during the Review and on the grounds – no need to leave and you will have the opportunity to talk with specialists about cover crops, spray applications, alternative energy and corn genetics, among other topics. These additional CEUs are no charge opportunities to get Soil & Water credits as well as Nutrient Management, Crop Management and Pest Management CEUs, all while you are walking the grounds.

  • Again we have the FSR CCA College ($80), held Thursday morning of the event – during which we take the crop advisers to a more remote site and dig into demonstration plots, this year to look at second year corn management strategies. Register by September 10th.
  • See the Champaign County Agriculture & Natural Resources website for more information on the added CEUs and the FSR CCA College.

Websites for information:

Farm Science Review –

OSU Agronomic Crops Team –

Champaign County AgNR -, for a listing of the CEU opportunities and the registration information for the FSR CCA College.

Tickets are available from Ohio Extension offices and many Ohio businesses for $5 in advance and for $8 at the gate.

Ohio No-Till Field Day Sept. 8

The annual Ohio No-Till Field Day will be held Sept. 8 at the Keith Kemp farm in western Ohio. The location is 959 Georgetown-Verona Rd., West Manchester, OH, near the Preble-Darke County line. From I-70, Exit 10, take Rt 127 north 4 mi., then east 1 mile on Georgetown-Verona Rd. The program starts at 9:30 and runs until 4:00. The full agenda is online at:

Bob Nielsen, Purdue U., will speak on Success with No-till Corn, and will also be in a soil pit talking about corn root development. OSU’s Stephen Myers will discuss emerging trends in bioproducts from corn and soybeans.

A total of 8 stops in the field will cover a wide range of topics, including cover crops, manure application, grain handling systems, tank safety, and aphids.

A wide variety of cover crops were drilled after wheat harvest, including: Austrian winter pea, tillage radish (an oilseed radish), a mix of winter pea and radish, fababeans, sunhemp, crimson clover, subterranean clover and Indianhead lentil.

A full day is also planned for the ladies who choose not to stay at the field day. Registration is $35. For additional information please contact Randall Reeder at



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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.