Latest information on the El Nino Watch. ENSO Neutral Conditions are present. However warm anomalies in the central and eastern equatorial Pacific this summer are indicative of a transition towards an El Nino in the coming months. This often translates to a winter with warmer than normal conditions across much of the U.S. and drier than normal conditions in the Great Lakes and Ohio Valley.
Soybean fields are beginning to mature very rapidly. For the past several weeks “yellow areas” have been showing up in many fields throughout the Knox County. One possible explination could be potassium (K) deficiency.
Late season K deficiency is usually found on leaves near the top of the plant. These symptoms typically occur in areas of the field where K fertility values are low however, this symptomology can sometimes be found in fields with adequate K levels during dry periods in a growing season. Additionally these symptoms can appear later in the growing season after a significant rain following an extended dry period.
Sometimes K deficiency is confused with Sudden Death Syndrome (SDS) symptomology. Picture 2 shows SDS symptoms. The presence of the green veins is the key identifying characteristic for SDS. The veins on the leaves will remain green while the leaf tissue between the veins will turn yellow and then brown.
Picture 3 shows soybean with K deficiency. The leaf discoloration starts on the outer edge of the leaf and moves inward, including leaf veins.
by: Pierce Paul, Felipe Dalla Lana da Silva, OSU Extension, (edited)
Over the last few weeks, we have received samples with at least four different types of ear rots – Diplodia, Gibberella, Fusarium, and Trichoderma. Of these, Diplodia ear rot seems to be the most prevalent. Ear rots differ from each other in terms of the damage they cause (their symptoms), the toxins they produce, and the specific conditions under which they develop. Most are favored by wet, humid conditions during silk emergence (R1) and just prior to harvest. But they vary in their temperature requirements, with most being restricted my excessively warm conditions such as the 90+ F forecasted for the next several days. However, it should be noted that even when conditions are not optimum for ear rot development, mycotoxins may accumulate in infected ears.
A good first step for determining whether you have an ear rot problem is to walk fields between dough and black-layer, before plants start drying down, and observe the ears. The husks of affected ears usually appear partially or completely dead (dry and bleached), often with tinges of the color of the mycelium, spores, or spore-bearing structures of fungus causing the disease. Depending on the severity of the disease, the leaf attached to the base of the diseased ear (the ear leaf) may also die and droop, causing affected plants to stick out between healthy plants with normal, green ear leaves. Peel back the husk and examine suspect ears for typical ear rot symptoms. You can count the number of moldy ears out of ever 50 ears examined, at multiple locations across the field to determine the severity of the problem.
(A) DIPLODIA EAR ROT – This is one of the most common ear diseases of corn in Ohio. The most characteristic symptom and the easiest way to tell Diplodia ear rot apart from other ear diseases such as Gibberella and Fusarium ear rots is the presence of white mycelium of the fungus growing over and between kernels, usually starting from the base of the ear. Under highly favorable weather conditions, entire ears may become colonized, turn grayish-brown in color and lightweight (mummified), with kernels, cobs, and ear leaves that are rotted and soft. Rotted kernels may germinate prematurely, particularly if the ears remain upright after physiological maturity. Corn is most susceptible to infection at and up to three weeks after R1. Wet conditions and moderate temperatures during this period favor infection and disease development, and the disease tends to be most severe in no-till or reduce-till fields of corn planted after corn. The greatest impact of this disease is grain yield and quality reduction. Mycotoxins have not been associated with this disease in US, although animals often refuse to consume moldy grain.
(B) GIBBERELLA EAR ROT – When natural early-season infections occur via the silk, Gibberella ear rot typically develops as white to pink mold covering the tip to the upper half of the ear. However, infections may also occur at the base of the ear, causing the whitish-pink diseased kernels to develop from the base of the ear upwards. This is particularly true if ears dry down in an upright position and it rains during the weeks leading up to harvest. The Gibberella ear rot fungus may also infect via wounds made by birds or insects, which leads to the mold developing wherever the damage occurs. When severe, Gibberella ear rot is a major concern because the fungus produces several mycotoxins, including deoxynivalenol (vomitoxin), that are harmful to livestock. Once the ear is infected by the fungus, these mycotoxins may be present even if no visual symptoms of the disease are detected. Hogs are particularly sensitive to vomitoxin. Therefore the FDA advisory level for vomitoxin in corn to be fed to hogs is 5 ppm and this is not to exceed 20% of the diet.
(C) FUSARIUM EAR ROT – Fusarium ear rot is especially common in fields with bird or insect damage to the ears. Affected ears usually have individual diseased kernels scattered over the ear or in small clusters (associated with insect damage) among healthy-looking kernels. The fungus appears as a whitish mold and infected kernels sometimes develop a brownish discoloration with light-colored streaks (called starburst). Several different Fusarium species are associated with Fusarium ear rot, some of which produce toxins called Fumonisins. Horses are particularly sensitive to Fumonisins, but cattle and sheep are relatively insensitive.
(D) TRICHODERMA EAR ROT – Abundant, thick, greenish mold growing on and between the kernels make Trichoderma ear rot very easy to distinguish from Diplodia, Fusarium, and Gibberella ear rots. However, other greenish ear rots such as Cladosporium, Penicillium and Aspergillus may sometimes be mistaken for Trichoderma ear rot. Like several of the other ear rots, diseased ears are commonly associated with bird, insect, or other types of damage. Another very characteristic feature of Trichoderma ear rots is sprouting (premature germination of the grain on the ear in the field). Although some species of Trichoderma may produce mycotoxins, these toxins are usually not found in Trichoderma-affected ears under our growing conditions.
Although ear and kernel development appears excellent in many Ohio cornfields, there are reports of incomplete ear fill that are related to poor pollination and kernel abortion. Several factors may have caused this problem. The ovules at the tip of the ear are the last to be pollinated, and under stress, only a limited amount of pollen may be available to germinate late emerging silks. Pollen shed was complete or nearly complete before the silks associated with the tip ovules emerge. As a result, no kernels may be evident on the last two or more inches of the ear tip. Uneven soil conditions and plant development within fields may have magnified this problem. Pollen feeding and silk clipping by corn rootworm beetles and Japanese beetles can also contribute to pollination problems resulting in poorly filled tips and ears.
If plant nutrients (sugars and proteins) are limited during the early stages of kernel development, then kernels at the tip of the ear may abort. Kernels at the tip of the ear are the last to be pollinated and cannot compete as effectively for nutrients as kernels formed earlier. Although we usually associate this problem with drought conditions, the stress conditions that occurred this year, such as N deficiency, excessive soil moisture and foliar disease damage, may cause a shortage of nutrients that lead to kernel abortion. Periods of cloudy weather following pollination, or the mutual shading from high plant populations can also contribute to kernel abortion. Agronomists and farmers characterize the poor pollination and kernel abortion that occurs at the tip of the ear as “tip dieback”, “tip-back”, or “nosing back”, although poor pollination is usually the factor affecting poor kernel set at the tip. Kernel abortion may be distinguished from poor pollination of tip kernels by color. Aborted kernels and ovules not fertilized will both appear dried up and shrunken; however aborted kernels often have a slight yellowish color.
“Zipper ears” are another ear development problem evident in some fields. Zipper ears exhibit missing kernel rows (often on the side of the cob away from the stalk that give sort of “a zippering look on the ears”). The zippering is due to kernels that are poorly developed and/or ovules that have aborted and/or not pollinated. Zippering often extends most of the cob’s length and is often associated with a curvature of the cob, to such an extent that zipper ears are also referred to as “banana ears”. Zipper ears are often associated with corn plants that have experienced drought stress during early grain fill. Ohio studies indicate that some hybrids are more susceptible to zippering than others are and that zippering among such hybrids is more pronounced at higher seeding rates. Zippering has also been observed in corn plants subject to severe defoliation during the late silk and early blister stages.
by: Jim Noel (edited)
Hot weather, possibly close to the hottest weather of the season is on tap over the next two weeks. This should help make corn stalks brown up fast. However, with that heat, high dewpoints or moisture will also accompany the hot weather. This means soil drying will be slower than you would normally expect with high temperatures due to a limit on the evapotranspiration rate. The hot weather will be fueled in part by tropical activity in the Pacific Ocean driving storms into the Pacific Northwest into western Canada and a big high pressure over the eastern U.S. Rainfall will likely continue at or above normal into the start of September before some drying occurs. We do not see any early freeze conditions this year.
September Harvest Outlook:
Temperatures: 2-4F above normal
Rainfall: Near normal (-0.5 to +0.5 inches)
Humidity levels: Above normal
Freeze Outlook: None
Field Conditions/Soil Moisture: 1-2 inches of extra moisture in soils so expect okay conditions for harvest except in lower areas that will likely remain wet.
October Harvest Outlook:
Temperatures: 1-3F above normal
Rainfall: Above (+0.5-+1.0 inches)
Humidity levels: Above normal
Freeze Outlook: About normal timing from Oct. 10-20 range
Field Conditions/Soil Moisture: 1-2 inches of extra moisture in the soils and with some rainy weather some challenges can be expected in harvest. Wettest conditions will be western half and northern areas driest east and southeast.
The next two weeks of rainfall can be seen on attached image. Normal is about 0.75 inches per week. Normal for two weeks is about 1.5 inches and the weather models suggest the rainfall will average 1.25 to 3+ inches over Ohio for the next two weeks. The biggest rain threats the next two weeks will be over parts of Minnesota, Wisconsin and Iowa where rainfall could top a half foot and create real wet soil conditions in those areas.
by: Dr. R.L. (Bob) Nielsen, Purdue University (edited)
The “dog days of August” are upon us with warm and uncomfortably muggy days accompanied by warm and uncomfortably muggy nights. Invariably, conversations down at the local cafe over coffee or the neighborhood tavern over a few beers turn to the inevitable opinion that “…these warm nights simply cannot be good for the corn crop.”
Remember last year? We had very few warm nights throughout the growing season, our corn was rarely under any heat or moisture stress. How did that turn out – many of you grew some of the best corn ever!
One of the concerns often expressed about the effects of warm nights during the grain fill period is that excessively warm nighttime temperatures result in excessively high rates of maintenance respiration by plants. That physiological process oxidizes photosynthetic sugars and provides energy for the maintenance and repair of plant cell tissue, which helps the photosynthetic “factory” continue to operate efficiently. While useful for maintaining the function of the photosynthetic factory, maintenance respiration does not directly increase plant dry weight.
Originally posted in Digital Dale, 8/22/2018
The Ohio Department of Agriculture recently confirmed the first positive cases of West Nile Virus (WNV) in Ohio horses for 2018. Two cases in Northeast Ohio have been confirmed and the animals had not been vaccinated. The spread of WNV in horses is preventable with proper vaccination and horse owners are urged to ensure their animal’s vaccine and boosters are up to date.
“My message to horse owners is simple: vaccinate your animals and you can protect against West Nile Virus,” said State Veterinarian Dr. Tony Forshey. “Vaccines are a proven and effective prevention tool and I encourage all owners to talk to their veterinarian to learn how they can easily keep their animals healthy.”
In addition to vaccinations, horse owners should work to reduce the mosquito population and eliminate possible breeding areas. Recommendations include: removing stagnant water sources; keeping animals inside during the bugs’ feeding times, which are typically early in the morning and evening; and using mosquito repellents.
By; Amy Stone, Extension Educator Lucas County, Originally posted on the Buckeye Yard and Garden Online, 8/22/2018
lime molds can be found on all types of turfgrasses – from cultivars chosen for lawns to weedy grasses that pop up in places were regular maintenance just isn’t regular. Slime molds are usually more noticeable following extended periods of leaf wetness. With recent rains experienced in NW Ohio, people have been asking what is going on in my lawn?”
Photo Credit, Amy Stone
by: Barry Ward, Leader, Production Business Management OSU Extension, Agriculture and Natural Resources and John Barker, Extension Educator Agriculture/Amos Program Ohio State University Extension Knox County
Farming is a complex business and many Ohio farmers utilize outside assistance for specific farm-related work. This option is appealing for tasks requiring specialized equipment or technical expertise. Often, having someone else with specialized tools perform a tasks is more cost effective and saves time. Farm work completed by others is often referred to as “custom farm work” or more simply, “custom work”. A “custom rate” is the amount agreed upon by both parties to be paid by the custom work customer to the custom work provider.
Ohio Farm Custom Rates
This survey summary reports custom rates based on a statewide survey of 352 farmers, custom operators, farm managers, and landowners conducted in 2018. These rates, except where noted, include the implement and tractor if required, all variable machinery costs such as fuel, oil, lube, twine, etc., and the labor for the operation.
Some custom rates published in this study vary widely, possibly influenced by:
- Type or size of equipment used (e.g. 20-shank chisel plow versus a 9-shank)
- Size and shape of fields,
- Condition of the crop (for harvesting operations)
- Skill level of labor
- Amount of labor needed in relation to the equipment capabilities
- Cost margin differences for full-time custom operators compared to farmers supplementing current income
Some custom rates reflect discounted rates as the parties involved have family relationships or are strengthening a relationship to help secure the custom farmed land in a cash or other rental agreement. Some providers charge differently because they are simply attempting to spread their fixed costs over more acreage to decrease fixed costs per acre and are willing to forgo complete cost recovery.
The measures shown in the summary tables of the survey respondents. The measures are the average (or mean), standard deviation (a statistical measure of variability of the responses), range, median, minimum, and maximum. Average custom rates reported in this publication are a simple average of all the survey responses. Range identified in the tables consists of two numbers. The first is the average plus the standard deviation, which is the variability of the data from the average measure. The second number of the range is the average minus the standard deviation. The median represents the middle value in the survey responses. The minimum and maximum reported in the table are the minimum and maximum amounts reported from the survey data for a given custom operation.
Charges may be added if the custom provider considers a job abnormal such as distance from the operator’s base location, difficulty of terrain, amount of product or labor involved with the operation, or other special requirements of the custom work customer.
As a custom provider, the average rates reported in this publication may not cover total costs for performing the custom service. As a customer, you may not be able to hire a custom service for the average rate published. Calculate your own costs carefully before determining the rate to charge or pay.
The complete summary of Ohio Farm Custom Rates is available online at the Farmoffice website: