Ohio Certified Crop Adviser Pre-Exam Training Seminar

The Certified Crop Adviser (CCA) Exam Training program, sponsored and delivered by the OSU Agronomic Crops Team, will be offered at the Shelby County Ag Building, 810-820 Fair Rd, Sidney, Ohio 45365 on January 8th and 9th beginning at 9:00 a.m. on the 8th and adjourn by 5:00 p.m. on the 9th. This is an intensive two-day workshop somewhat directed toward the local exam – to be used as a reminder on what best to study in preparation for the CCA exams. Exams will be given in 2020 on February 7th and August 7th. Register for the exams at least six weeks before the exam date: https://www.certifiedcropadviser.org/examsThe exams are not given during the preparation class. Continue reading

Fall weed control reminders on late and prevent plant acres

By Erin Burns Michigan State University Extension

Horseweed shown in a soybean field. Photo by Erin Burns, MSU

In general, 2019 was a difficult year for weed control with the large number of acres that were planted late or not at all leading to higher weed populations and extensive weed seed production in some fields. Below are reminders for fall weed control that will set the stage for successful spring 2020 weed control given the drastic increase in weed seedbank populations from 2019.

Fall herbicide applications

Seeds of many winter annual weeds for example horseweed (marestail) lack dormancy and can germinate immediately after dropping from the plant this fall. Given the above average horseweed populations across the state, this will lead to an immediate increase in fall emerging weeds. During optimal years, fall burndown herbicide applications should be made by mid-October before the first hard freeze and daytime air temperatures are at least 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Actively growing weeds are the key to consistent control.

Due to spring conditions, many corn and soybean harvests are late this year. Herbicides can be applied at daytime temperatures ranging from 40-60 F, but weeds may be killed slower at these cooler temperatures. For example at cooler temperatures absorption and translocation of herbicides such as glyphosate and 2,4-D are lower compared with applications at warmer temperatures therefore these applications take longer to kill the plant. When temperatures are below 40 F for a prolonged period after herbicide application, weed control will be reduced. If a hard freeze has occurred, evaluate the condition of the weeds in your field prior to herbicide application. Frost may cause leaf damage (water-soaked leaves that turn black and die) and reduced herbicide absorption. Some winter annual weeds may tolerate a frost and herbicide applications can be made after active weed growth has resumed (appearance of new green leaves), usually after multiple days with nighttime temperatures above 35°F followed by 50 F or above daytime temperatures.

Results from Michigan State University Extension weed scientist Christy Sprague’s research in no-till soybeans found that fall applications of 2,4-D, dicamba, or Sharpen will control fall emerged horseweed and are cost-effective. Tank-mixtures with glyphosate are needed to control other winter annual and perennial weeds outside of horseweed (many populations throughout the state are resistant to glyphosate). For detailed information on controlling horseweed season long see the fact sheet “Herbicide-resistant horseweed (marestail) in Michigan: keys to management in no-till soybean” by Sprague.

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Ohio CAUV Values Projected to Decline Through 2020

By OSU AEDE department

The Current Agricultural Use Valuation (CAUV) program allows farmland devoted exclusively to commercial agriculture to be taxed based on their value in agriculture, rather than the full market value, resulting in a substantially lower tax bill for the farmer.

The formula for CAUV values incorporates agricultural factors (soil types, yields, prices, and non-land costs for corn, soybeans, and wheat) to calculate the capitalized net returns to farming land based on the previous 5 to 10 years. CAUV underwent large-scale changes to its calculation in 2017 that was targeted to reduce the property tax burden of farmland.

A new report, Ohio CAUV Values Projected to Decline Through 2020, shows the projection of CAUV values though 2020. According to the study authors, OSU agricultural economists Robert Dinterman and Ani Katchova forecast a decrease in the assessed value of agricultural land to an average CAUV value of approximately $600 in 2020.

Access the full report at:

https://aede.osu.edu/sites/aede/files/publication_files/CAUVProjectionsFall2019.pdf

Ohio’s Proposed Hemp Rules Released

By Peggy Kirk Hall and Ellen Essman OSU Extension Ag Law

Ohio’s newly created hemp program is one step further toward getting off the ground.   On October 9, the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) released its anxiously awaited proposal of the rules that will regulate hemp production in Ohio.   ODA seeks public comments on the proposed regulations until October 30, 2019.

There are two parts to the rules package:  one rule for hemp cultivation and another for hemp processing.   Here’s an overview of the components of each rule:

1.  Hemp cultivation

The first rule addresses the “cultivation” of hemp, which means “to plant, water, grow, fertilize, till or havest a plant or crop.”  Cultivating also includes “possessing or storing a plant or crop on a premises whre the plant was cultivated until transported to the first point of sale.”  The proposal lays out the following regulatory process for those who wish to cultivate hemp in Ohio. Continue reading

Insects On The Move

By: Joe Boggs OSU Extension

Our drop in temperatures throughout Ohio will no doubt convince fall home invading insects that it’s time to seek winter quarters. These unwelcomed guests typically include Boxelder Bugs (Boisea trivittatus); Western Conifer Seed Bugs (Leptoglossus occidentalis); Magnolia Seed Bugs (Leptoglossus fulvicornis); Multicolored Asian Lady Beetles (Harmonia axyridis); and the most notorious of all, Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs (Halyomorpha halys).

These home invaders have several things in common. First, their populations may vary considerably even across relatively short distances. Some homes may be inundated while those located just a few miles away remain free of insect marauders.

Even more challenging, late-season outdoor populations are not always a reliable predictor of indoor excursions. Just because you didn’t see them in September doesn’t mean you won’t see them sitting next to you on your sofa in November.

A Series of Unfortunate Events
The second thing these home invaders have in common is their “cold-blooded” physiology meaning the speed of their metabolism is mostly governed by ambient temperature; the higher the temperature, the faster their metabolism, and the faster they “burn” fat. Yes, insects have fat, but it’s confined by their hard exoskeletons so they don’t suffer ever-expanding waistlines.

These insects feed voraciously in late summer to accumulate fat. They then seek sheltered locations in the fall where cool temperatures slow their metabolism during the winter so they will not exhaust their stored fat reserves. This survival strategy keeps them alive since there is nothing for them to eat throughout the winter.

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Allen County Weed Survey

By Clint Schroeder OSU Extension

Each fall Ohio State University Extension conducts a survey of the different types of weeds present in soybean fields, as well as, the level of infestation. Weed Science State Specialist Dr. Mark Loux leads this study and uses the information gained to help develop future weed management programs. This study is conducted in each county where there is an Ag and Natural Resources Educator. The educator selects a route 80-100 miles long through the county and takes notes on one soybean field in each mile.

Allen County 2019 Weed Survey Results

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FSA Program Overview for Fall 2019

By Clint Schroeder OSU Extension

With all of the challenges that Ohio farmers have faced this year it was sometimes easy for helpful information to get lost in the shuffle. There was rampant speculation about potential government intervention and expanding safety net coverage as farmers faced multiple hardships related to the weather, as well as, the ongoing trade dispute. Details of a new round of Market Facilitation Program (MFP) payments were leaked in late May and some clarity was provided in early June. On July 25th there was an official announcement regarding payment rates and eligibility requirements. This program as well as potential disaster payments have dominated the news cycle over the summer and overshadowed many details regarding the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 that was signed last December. The Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 is commonly referred to as the Farm Bill and there are several programs within it. Grain producers are most likely to be interested in the Agricultural Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) programs. Each of these programs are administered through the Farm Service Agency (FSA), but it is important to remember that they have different eligibility requirements and enrollment deadlines.

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October 2019 – Weather Prediction

By:  Jim Noel

16 - Day Moisture Forecast

16 – Day Moisture Forecast

After another hot week (until late this week), a cool down to normal temperatures is expected starting either Oct. 3 or 4 that will last through Oct. 15. Temperatures are expected to return to above normal (but no where near current levels) from Oct. 15-31.

Rainfall will be above normal in northern Ohio this week. The week of Oct. 7 will be normal or below normal but confidence is next week’s rainfall pattern is low to moderate. Above normal rainfall is in the outlook for the second half of October which could slow harvest after Oct. 15.

The hot and drier pattern for a good part of September was caused in part by tropical activity. The remnants of Dorian created a big low pressure system not far from Greenland while a typhoon called Lingling in the western Pacific created a big low pressure near Alaska. This resulted in a hot and dry dome of high pressure over the Southeast U.S. and wet weather in the western corn and soybean belt.

This pattern appears ready to breakdown later this week.

We are moving into frost and freeze season and overall it still looks like a delayed frost and freeze season. Most see their first freeze by Oct. 10-20.  Currently, it still looks like a normal to later than normal first freeze.

The November outlook still indicates a warmer than normal month with precipitation not far from normal (but with a lot of uncertainty). We will keep you posted on this.

Finally, the two week rainfall outlook from OHRFC can be found here:

https://www.weather.gov/images/ohrfc/dynamic/NAEFS16.apcp.mean.total.png .

It shows the wettest areas being the western two-thirds of the corn and soybean belt. Rainfall for the next two weeks in Ohio will be 1-2+ inches in northern Ohio but generally 0.10-0.50 inches in southern Ohio. Normal is about 1.5 inches for two weeks.

Corn Ear Rots: Identification, Quantification and Testing for Mycotoxins

By Pierce Paul OSU Extension

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. So, a good way to determine whether you do have a major ear rot problem this year is to quantify the disease in your field and get suspect samples tested for mycotoxins. And the best way to tell the difference among the ear rots is to know the types of symptoms they produce.

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.

DIPLODIA EAR ROT – Diplodia causes a thick white mass of mold to grow on the ear, usually initiating from the base of the ear and growing toward the tip. Eventually the white mold changes to a grayish-brown growth and infected kernels appear glued to the husk. Infected ears are usually lightweight and of poor nutritional value. When infections occur early, the entire ear may become moldy. When infections occur late, only a fine web of fungal growth appears on and between the kernels.

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Don’t forget to calibrate your yield monitor

By John Barker Ohio State Extension

Remember the old adage … Garbage in = Garbage out.  Many of us use our yield data to make additional management decisions on our farms such as hybrid or variety selection, fertilizer applications, marketing, etc.  Data from an uncalibrated yield monitor can haunt us for many years by leading us into improper decisions with lasting financial affects.  In today’s Ag economy we can ill afford any decision with adverse financial implications.

Monitoring yield

The two biggest reasons I usually hear for not calibrating a yield monitor are 1) I just don’t have time to do it or 2) I can’t remember how to do it without getting my manual out.  While I know it’s easy to criticize from “the cheap seats,” I would argue that this could be some of the most important time you spend in your farming operation each year.  Like many other tasks on our farm, the more we do it, the easier it gets. Yield monitor data has so much value!  This data provides a summary (in term of yield) of every single decision you made on your farm during the past year.

 

Below is a calibration checklist created by Dr. John Fulton and Dr. Elizabeth Hawkins.

Prior to Harvest

  • Back up data from the previous season, if not already completed.
    • Best practices:
      • Copy each season’s data to a unique folder labeled as the year and yield data.
      • Maintain several backup copies of the display/raw data in different locations in case it is lost, stolen, damaged, or modified.
      • Delete old files from the memory card or USB drive.
      • Delete old files from display memory if close to full.
  • Check any data cards or USB drives to be sure they work properly with your display.
  • Contact your local dealer or manufacturer to make sure that you have the most recent software and firmware upgrades for your yield monitoring and mapping system, the display, DGPS receiver, and other components. You can obtain information about these upgrades through your manufacturer’s website or by contacting technical support.
  • Check all cables, connections, and sensors for wear or damage. Ensure that wiring and harness connections are tight.
  • For clean grain elevator-mounted moisture sensor units:
    • Make sure the sensor is clean and not damaged.
    • Clear the clean grain elevator of old grain and debris.
    • Check to be sure the manual clean-out motor works on the moisture sensor.
  • Inspect the yield sensor:
    • For combines with a mass flow sensor (normally located at the top of the clean grain elevator):
      • Look for wear on the flow sensor’s impact or deflector plate and replace the plate if worn or damaged. There have been cases where a hole in the plate exists, greatly increasing the risk of inaccurate yield readings.
      • Look for any excessive wear on the grain elevator and missing or worn paddles.
      • Check to make sure that the spacing between the paddles and the top of the elevator meets the manufacturer’s requirements.
      • Ensure the clean grain elevator chain is tightened to manufacturer specifications.
    • For combines with an optical sensor (mounted on the side of the clean grain elevator):
      • Make sure the sensors are clean and not damaged.
      • Ensure the clean grain elevator paddles are not rubbing against sensors.
  • If you purchase a new or used combine with an existing yield monitor installed, double check to make sure it is installed properly. Especially check that the mass flow sensor is mounted securely.
  • If a grain cart with scales or a weigh wagon is used to weigh grain harvested for yield monitor calibration loads, double check that they are producing accurate weight data. Check weigh wagon weights against certified scales each season to ensure the load estimates are within a few percent and use the same scales throughout calibration.
  • Avoid running electrical wires next to the GPS antenna which may cause interference with the receiver signal. Running wires perpendicular to each other decreases the chance for electrical noise that may occur from other electronics.
  • The calibration operation will require accurate estimates of moisture content of the harvested grain. Portable moisture meters commonly used on the farm vary widely in terms of their estimate accuracy. If you are not certain of the accuracy of your grain moisture meter, take it to a local grain elevator that has a federally approved moisture meter and compare estimates on grain samples, preferably samples representing a wide range of grain moisture, e.g., 13 to 28 percent grain moisture content.
    • Document differences between your meter and the meter known to be accurate. As an example:
      • Your meter estimates 25 percent; accurate meter estimates 28 percent.
      • Your meter estimates 20 percent; accurate meter estimates 22 percent.
      • Your meter estimates 15 percent; accurate meter estimates 16 percent.
    • During the yield monitor calibration operation, use the documented moisture estimate differences to adjust the estimates of moisture made on grain sampled from the harvested calibration loads.
    • It is still recommended to always check moisture content estimates with a federally-approved moisture meter.

During Operation, Prior To Calibration

  • Start up combine and turn on the yield monitor display to check the following:
    • Display indicates everything is functioning correctly or is properly connected.
    • Memory card or USB drive is installed properly, if required.
      • Make sure there is proper communication between the data card and the in-cab display for those displays requiring a memory card to collect data; mostly older displays such as the Ag Leader PF series display. Usually an error message will appear on the display indicating there is no communication with the card.
    • DGPS receiver is providing a position and has differential correction (WAAS, SF1, SF2, RTX, or RTK).
      • Note: If purchasing a differential correction service, make sure your subscription runs through harvest.
  • Check and set header switch for starting and stopping of data collection.
    • Raise and lower the header to make sure the stop-height switch operates properly.
    • Automatic On/Off using the switch: Most yield monitors will step through the electronical setting of the start (header down position) and stop (header up position) positions for the switch during initial calibration. However, you may want to check annually or change when moving between corn and platform headers since these are operated at different heights.
    • Manual On/Off: Some yield monitors are equipped with a manual button that turns on and off data collection through the in-cab display. You may have to adjust the header height switch to accommodate the preferences of different operators during harvest.
  • Set row width according to number of rows for a row crop header or the appropriate width of a cutting platform header.
    • Some yield monitors have the option to use automatic swath width detection to adjust the swath width when overlap is detected. This feature can be helpful when harvesting point rows or near field edges; however, be aware it may not function properly if your DGPS source has a potential for large positional error (e.g. WAAS) or if there is signal interference or loss.
  • Engage the separator and observe the elevator speed on the in-cab display to make sure the shaft sensor is operating correctly. The clean grain elevator speed (e.g. RPM) is used as feedback for computing the yield estimate since speed controls the frequency of which grain from the elevator paddles impact the mass flow sensor.

Calibration

The yield estimate produced by a yield monitor is calculated from estimates made by multiple sensors. Each of these sensors must be calibrated in order for the yield estimate to be accurate. Consult your user manual to determine the sequence in which these calibrations should take place.

Mass-Flow Sensor Vibration Calibration

This calibration is used to document the effect of vibration when the combine is running. Follow the directions in your user manual to complete the vibration calibration. Be sure that:

  • The proper header is attached and in operating position (not resting on ground).
  • The combine is empty of grain.
  • The separator and header are engaged.
  • The combine is running at full RPM.

Temperature Calibration 

This calibration ensures accuracy of the grain moisture estimates made by the moisture sensor in the clean grain elevator. Most manufacturers suggest this calibration only be performed once at the beginning of the season.

  • Perform this calibration when the combine has been sitting for several hours and preferably in a shaded area. Ensure the combine and moisture sensors are empty of grain.
  • Estimate the air temperature using an accurate thermometer.
  • Adjust the temperature value reported by the display according to the user manual.
    • Some displays require you to simply enter the temperature reading from the thermometer, others require you to enter an offset value (usually the difference between the thermometer reading and the sensor reading).

Moisture Sensor “Calibration”

This “calibration” is necessary to ensure that the moisture sensor in the clean grain elevator accurately estimates grain moisture content, which in turn is used by the display to calculate “dry” grain yield based on the “dry” moisture value of your choice. The process is not a true calibration because it is based on a single comparison of the display’s estimate of grain moisture from a harvested load, with that estimated from a small sample of grain collected during the off-loading of grain to the wagon, grain cart, or truck.

  • Some manufacturers suggest that moisture “calibration” need only be performed once during the harvest season. Our experience suggests that the accuracy of a moisture sensor can change throughout the season as harvest grain moisture levels change. Check the accuracy of moisture sensor estimates routinely during the season.
    • Be aware that yield monitor displays differ in how they handle changes in grain moisture “calibration.” Some apply changes retroactively to previously harvested grain and others apply changes only to future harvested grain.
  • Reset the moisture offset in the display to zero.
  • Randomly collect grain from each calibration load to obtain a representative sample.
  • Measure the moisture of the grain samples with an accurate grain moisture meter.
  • Enter the difference between the display moisture estimate and the grain sample estimate into the display according to your user manual.
  • Repeat this calibration for each type of grain harvested.

Ground Speed Calibration

Many yield monitors today use GPS to determine ground speed, therefore there is no need for a ground speed calibration. If a mechanical speed sensor is being used as a backup, it should be calibrated. These calibrations are conducted by travelling a known distance through the field and timing how long it takes. When calibrating the ground speed sensor, use typical field conditions rather than a road or waterway. Tire slippage can create inaccuracy with calibration.

Mass Flow Sensor (Weight) Calibration

Proper calibration of the mass flow sensor is crucial to the accuracy of grain flow estimates and, ultimately, the yield estimates. The weight calibration process basically involves harvesting individual loads of grain and verifying the actual weight of the harvested grain with accurate scales. The actual weights of the individual loads are manually entered into the calibration screen of the display. Built-in software procedures then calibrate the display’s weight estimates to best match the scale’s estimates. Display manuals often suggest that calibration errors can be minimized to 5 percent or less. If best management calibration practices are followed, most modern displays can easily be calibrated to 1 percent error or less.

There are two common approaches used for calibration: a near-linear calibration and a non-linear calibration.

  • Near-linear calibrations require one or two calibration loads to generate a calibration line.
    • Many older yield monitors (primarily GreenStar™ displays prior to the S-series combines) use near-linear calibrations.
    • The Precision Planting YieldSense™ system typically requires a single load calibration procedure. It also provides an optional “True Up” feature for tweaking calibration accuracy later in harvest. Of note, the YieldSense™ Grain Property Kit that replaces one of the paddles on the clean grain elevator allows continuous adjustments of the calibration as grain conditions (e.g., test weight) vary.
  • Non-linear calibrations require four or more calibration loads that represent a range of anticipated grain flow rates to generate a calibration curve.
    • Use the number of calibration loads recommended by the manufacturer (commonly four to six calibration loads).

Regardless of the calibration method, the quality of the calibration loads is important. The following best practices can help ensure the calibration is accurate.

  • Calibration loads should be representative of the different grain flow rates (pounds per second or bushels per hour) that will be encountered. It is important to take the time to calibrate the mass flow or volumetric sensors over the full range of expected loads. Note that older GreenStar™ and the Precision Planting YieldSense™ systems follow a different process but regardless, it is good to understand this section.
    • Harvest calibration loads at different flow rates (low to high). The goal is to have each load harvested at a constant and consistent flow rate. Target flow rates can be achieved by:
      • harvesting each load with a full header at different speeds.
      • harvesting each load at a constant speed with different harvested swath widths.
  • When harvesting calibration loads, it is recommended to use loads between 3,000 to 8,000 pounds for most yield monitors. Precision Planting’s YieldSense™ manual does recommend 25,000-pound calibration loads or three 10,000-pound loads. This helps reduce the overall sensor error while calibrating.
  • Avoid starting calibration loads on turn rows, weed patches, or areas of major topography changes in the field.
    • Hillsides and rolling ground can impact calibration load data because of changes in how grain impacts the flow sensor.
    • If you are unable to avoid topographical changes make sure you get a good representation of loads going up- and downhill and side-to-side of a hill.
  • It is necessary to calibrate for each type of grain for each year.
    • Flow rates tend to be much higher when harvesting corn compared to soybeans or wheat.
    • Other grain characteristics that vary between different grain types can alter the reading produced by the mass flow sensor.
    • The dynamics of grain flow through a combine changes with wear and tear.
  • When conducting on-farm research trials or harvesting fields with multiple varieties, consider paying attention to large differences in moisture content; a two to three point swing in test weight between varieties. Again, having calibration curves for high and low moisture or high and low test weight will help collect quality data. Of note, the Precision Planting Grain Property Kit can help adjust yield estimates for swings in test weight within the YieldSense™ monitor.
    • For example, calibrate for regular corn and high oil corn separately due to the differences in test weight and moisture characteristics of the grain.
  • Calibrate for different moisture levels per type of grain.
    • For example, calibrate differently for corn below 20 percent moisture versus corn above 20 percent moisture.

During Harvest

  • Take good notes on field and operating conditions during harvest. This information will be helpful when reviewing yield maps after harvest. Capturing images with your smartphone, iPad, or similar device can be a simple way of collecting visual notes.
  • Correct any malfunctions or errors indicated by the yield monitor, including loss of DGPS signal. Make sure the display is actually collecting data. Sometimes one can manually switch off data collection on the display and forget to turn it back on for older model yield monitors.
  • Remove your memory card or USB drive from the display when not in use and back up data onto your computer and data storage devices frequently throughout the harvest season. A simple electrical shock from improper wiring or lightning can destroy data.
  • It is wise to perform periodic calibration loads throughout a lengthy harvest season to check or improve accuracy of the weight estimates. It is suggested to recalibrate if you observe:
    • more than a 5 percent difference in weight calibration errors,
    • 5 pound per bushel differences in grain test weight, or
    • temperature changes greater than 10 degrees.
  • Be sure to recalibrate after replacing yield monitor components or if changes are made to the elevator chain, paddles, or flow sensor during harvest.
    • Tightening the elevator chain, replacing old paddles, or changing the distance between the flow sensor and paddles changes the accuracy of the previous calibration.
  • If you run into problems with the monitoring equipment during harvest, check the troubleshooting information in the operator’s manual. Contact technical support if you are unable to solve the issue.
  • The use of telemetry or wireless data transfer offers the ability to transfer data automatically from the in-cab display to the “cloud.” Every OEM along with third party companies offer wireless data transfer technology improving the ability to seamlessly transfer data to the “cloud” providing backup for your data along with the ability to access online.