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Agronomic Crops Network

Ohio State University Extension


C.O.R.N. Newsletter 2012-01

Dates Covered: 
January 10, 2012 - January 24, 2012
Greg LaBarge

What to do with Rutted, Compacted Fields?

Many corn and soybean growers have harvested record crops. However, they may be facing compaction issues because of saturated soils at harvest. Combines and grain carts caused deep ruts and severe compaction issues.

So what can farmers do to break up that soil and smooth out rough fields?

Farmers may be facing two types of compacted fields.  One type is where there is an isolated compacted area, such as end rows or poorly drained sections of a field.  It is suggested to do whatever is necessary to get that area ready for planting and leave the rest of the field alone.

The other type is compaction across the entire field, and whatever is done in terms of tillage operations is applied to 100% of the field.

The following options will aid growers in preparing for spring planting:

• Do nothing about deep compaction, especially if it turns out to be a wet spring.  You don't want to make a bad situation worse by performing deep tillage on wet soils because it destroys the soil structure.  If a farmer can get a no-till planter or drill across rutted ground reasonably well, it may be better to take a slight yield hit in 2012 and then try to correct the deep compaction problem (if it exists) after harvest. 

• Perform light shallow tillage, but only if the soil is dry.  If ruts or tracks are more than 2 or 3 inches deep, a light tillage pass can smooth out the soil and create a surface satisfactory for planting.  Fill in ruts enough to eliminate standing water.

• Use 2011 as a valuable lesson.  Extra tillage in the dry fall of 2010 led to compaction and traffickability problems in 2011.  Consider the benefits of continuous no-till, especially with controlled traffic. Strip-till, either fall or spring, may be best for corn planting

Research has shown that compaction affects crop yields. Years of OSU Extension research on Hoytville silty clay loam showed that through compaction, 10% to 15% of the potential crop yield was being left in the field.

To counteract yield losses from compaction, researchers recommend no-till production. Recent research shows that continuous no-till soil resists compaction from heavy loads better than soil that is subsoiled every 3 years, resulting in higher yields.  Firm no-till soil resists compaction better than deep-tilled soil.  The first trip across loose soil causes about 85% of the total compaction.

Online Pre-Registration Available for Private Pesticide Recertification

For the first time, online pre-registration with a credit card is available for private pesticide applicators planning to attend training for their recertification credit. About one-half of the counties in Ohio are participating in this pilot. The pilot offers both convenient online and mailed pre-registration for applicators.

The Pesticide Safety Education Program site lists over 90 training opportunities across the state of Ohio for private applicators to receive their recertification training. To see if your county is participating in the pilot program, visit  Applicators can click on their local area to see a listing of available training meetings and if the online pre-registration option is available.

Pre-registration is highly recommended for any pesticide recertification training as space may be limited and walk-in fees may be higher. There is a charge for the meetings. Funds from pesticide applicator training will be used to support local OSU Extension programs for agriculture. OSU Extension provides research-based, unbiased solutions for issues facing local farmers.

The pesticide recertification meeting will be conducted by OSU Extension educators with expertise in agriculture. Topics include new technologies to address pesticide resistance, drift management and invasive species. Applicators will learn more about effective pesticide management to enhance crop productivity while protecting themselves, the public and environment.

For information about pesticide recertification training, contact your local OSU Extension office or visit

Software for Developing Nutrient Management Plans Workshop

Several NRCS cost share programs require farmers to develop Nutrient Management Plans for their operations on the participating acres. Certified Crop Advisers can become Certified Nutrient Management Plan Providers by attending this workshop and completing a plan for a client. Two different opportunities for this training will be offered in February.

February 2nd, 9:00 am – 4:00 pm

Defiance County SWCD/NRCS Office

06879 Evansport Road, Defiance, Ohio 43512

February 21st, 9:00 am -4:00 pm

Marion County Extension Office-Meeting Room

(Lower Level of Marion County Administration Building)

222 West Center Street, Marion, Ohio 43302

What the Day is about? Program will demonstrate MapWindow GIS & MMP Tools, MMP software and Ohio Nutrient Management Templates as approved tools for development of Fertilizer Only or Precision Fertilizer Only Nutrient Management Plans for NRCS programs such as EQUIP. The training will use a sample farm to demonstrate the utilization of these two programs to generate a plan that can be presented to NRCS for approval.

For more information see the Agronomic Crops Team Calendar page for complete program details.

Corn/Soybean Day-January 26

The annual Corn/Soybean Day program is scheduled for January 26th at Sauder Farm and Craft Village’s Founders Hall from 8:30 to 4:30, Archbold, OH. The program has a variety of speakers and 26 exhibitors sharing information on management practices for the 2012 crop production season.

Topics for the day include:

Phosphorous Fertilization and Water Quality Concerns Greg LaBarge, Field Specialist, Agronomic Crops, OSU Extension

Insects of Concern for 2012 Corn/Soybean Crops Dr. Andy Michel, OSU Extension Entomologist      

Weed Control in Corn and Soybeans  Dr. Mark Loux, OSU Extension Weed Specialist

Maximizing Corn Yields - Can we reach 300? Dr. Peter Thomison, OSU Extension Corn Production Specialist

In addition exhibitors from seed and input suppliers, banking, crop insurance, grain marketing and machinery industry will be on site to share information about products and programs.

Continuing education credits are offered for both commercial and private pesticide applicators in Ohio and Michigan (3 hours) plus Certified Crop Advisors (4 hours).

Pre-registration is $25 and is requested by January 16th. At the door registrations are $45 and available on a limited basis. A more detailed agenda and registration information can be found at Contact Greg LaBarge, Field Specialist, Agronomic Crops at 419-337-9210 or for more information.

Northern Ohio Crops Day- February 9

February 9, 2012 is this year’s date for the Northern Ohio Crops Day that will be held at Ole Zim’s Wagon Shed, 1375 N. State Route 590, Gibsonburg, Ohio. Featured on this program will be: “Phosphorous and Lake Erie, What has Changed since 1995”, “Pesticide Application, Making Sure You Hit the Target”, “Problem Weeds in Row Crops & Forages”, “Using All the Tools for Growing Corn” and “Precision Agriculture”. These are topics that everyone is talking about and we have some of the top specialists presenting at this meeting.

Program has been approved for Private and Commercial pesticide recertification. Participants can obtain all private recertification credits, and commercial credits are 1 hour each in Core, 2A and 2C. We have also applied for CEU for Certified Crops Advisory. Due to support from our Ag sponsors pesticide recertification credits for private applicators is $25.  Commercial credit will be $15 per hour.

The meeting starts at 9:00 a.m. and continues until 3:00 p.m. A $10.00 donation will be accepted at the door to help with expenses that includes a copy of the 2012 Ohio & Indiana Weed Control Guide publication.

Lunch will be provided courtesy of the Northern Ohio Crops Day Exhibitors. The program is a joint effort of Erie Basin EERA Ohio State University Extension. Please call Sandusky County office (419) 334-6340 or e-mail with any questions.

Soybean Workshop-February 14

Disease identification, biology and management with be the featured topic at the Soybean Workshop scheduled for February 14 at the Northwest Agricultural Research Station, 4240 Range Line Road, Custar, Ohio from 9-3. Dr Anne Dorrance, Extension Soybean Pathologist will be the featured speaker. Other speakers and topics include: Alan Sundermeier Soybean Population Research & Using Cereal Rye Cover Crop in Soybean Production and Ed Lentz Cultural Practices to Improve Soybean Yield.

Pre-registration is requested by February 7 with a cost of $50 for lunch and materials. Complete program and registration information can be found 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.