Allen County Agriculture Hall of Fame to Induct Five

Clint Schroeder OSU Extension

The Allen County Agriculture Hall of Fame will be inducting five new members during an evening banquet on July 15th at the City Club in Lima. The Hall of Fame is presented by Nutrien Lima in conjunction with the Lima Allen County Chamber of Commerce. The inductees of the ninth class come from various backgrounds but have all made outstanding contributions to not only agriculture, but also their communities. The inductees are:

Jay Begg – A sixth generation farmer from Monroe Township who served as manager of the Allen County Fair and as an Allen County Commissioner.



Gene McCluer – A dairy farmer from Auglaize Township that also worked for Ohio State Extension in neighboring Hardin County.



Gerald Brooks – A grain and livestock farmer from Richland Township who was a pioneer of no-till and conservation farming. He also worked with Richland Township Trustees and Allen County Regional Planning to develop Agriculture Preservation and Comprehensive Plans.

Clyde Ditto – A farmer from Amanda Township that was a leader for Farm Bureau and the Ohio Young Farmers Association. Also provided extensive support to the Allen County Fair and Allen County Ag Society.


Harry, Myrna, and Scott Shutt (Kewpee Hamburgers) – The family has been committed to support of local agriculture and youth development programs aimed at sustaining agriculture into the future.


Tickets for the induction ceremony can be purchased for $15 by visiting or by calling the Lima Allen County Chamber of Commerce at 419-222-6045. The banquet will begin at 6:00 pm with the meal and the induction ceremony will follow shortly after.

Does Tillering Impact Corn Yield?

By Peter Thomison-OSU Extension

This year I’ve seen more tillering in corn than normal, and there have been enquiries about the impact of tillers on crop growth. When farmers see extensive tillering in their corn hybrids they often express concern that the tillering will have a detrimental effect of crop performance (tillers will “suck” nutrients from the main plant and thereby reduce yields). As a result, tillers are often referred to a “suckers”. However, research has shown that tillers usually have little influence on grain yields and what effects they do have are generally beneficial.

Tillers are lateral branches that form at below ground nodes. Although tiller buds form at each below ground node, the number of tillers that develop is determined by plant population and spacing, soil fertility, early season growing conditions, and the genetic background of the hybrid. Many hybrids will take advantage of available soil nutrients and moisture by forming one or more tillers where stands are thin in the row or at the ends of rows. Tillers are most likely to develop when soil fertility and moisture supplies are ample during the first few weeks of the growing season. They are usually visible by the 6-leaf stage of development. Hybrids with a strong tillering trait may form one or more tillers on every plant even at relatively high populations if the environment is favorable early in the growing season.

A number of studies have been conducted to determine relationships between tillers and the main plant. Defoliation experiments in the 1930’s revealed that defoliated plants that had tillers yielded nearly twice as much grain as defoliated plants that had no tillers. These results suggested that there was a connection between the tiller and the main plant that allowed sugars produced in the tiller leaves to be moved to the ears of the main plants.

More recent studies have found that there is little movement of plant sugars between the main plant and tillers before tasselling. However, after silking and during grain fill, substantial amounts of plant sugars may move from earless tillers to ears on the main plant. When there are ears on both the tiller and the main plant, little movement of plant sugars occurs. The main plant and tillers act independently, each receiving sugars from their own leaves. The nubbin ears, that tillers may produce, therefore have no impact on the ear development of the main plant as was once thought.

If a particular hybrid shows excellent yield potential and also produces extensive tillering under some growing conditions, it should not be avoided. However, excessive tillering may indicate problems with stand density and distribution. If tillering is associated with row gaps and less than optimal plant populations, these are the conditions which need to be corrected to ensure optimal yields rather than selection of the hybrid.

Tillering can also be caused by diseases such as “crazy top” and Stewart’s bacterial wilt (which are also associated with other symptoms). Such tillering is a disease symptom and not beneficial to plant performance. Severe weather conditions ( i.e. hail, frost, and flooding injury) that destroy or damage the growing point can also result in tiller development and non-productive plants.

Poison Hemlock is in Full Flower

By Joe Boggs – OSU Extension

Poison Hemlock is in Full Flower and Towering over Fields and Landscapes in Ohio.

Poison hemlock is one of the most lethal plants found in North America.  This biennial weed is now in full flower throughout much of Ohio.  So, the clock is ticking on preventing seed production by this non-native invasive plant.

As a biennial weed, poison hemlock spends the first year as a basal rosette and the second year as an erect, towering flowering plant that can measure 6-10′ tall.

Poison hemlock belongs to the carrot family, Apiaceae (formerly Umbelliferae).  It shares many characteristics with other notable non-native members of the carrot family found growing in Ohio such as Queen Anne’s Lace (Daucus carota) and Wild Parsnip (Pastinaca sativa).  Indeed, some of the accidental poisonings in the U.S. have occurred with people mistaking poison hemlock for Queen Anne’s Lace.

Poison hemlock contains highly toxic piperidine alkaloid compounds, including coniine and gamma-coniceine, which cause respiratory failure and death when ingested by mammals.  The roots are more toxic than the leaves and stems; however, all parts of the plant including the seeds should be considered dangerous.  It is a common misconception that poison hemlock sap will cause skin rashes and blisters.  In fact, poison hemlock toxins must be ingested or enter through the eyes, cuts, or other openings to cause poisoning.

All stages of the poison hemlock plant have bluish-green leaves that are 3-4 times pinnately compound, and the deeply cut parsley-like leaflets have sharp points.  Flowering plants have hairless, light-green to bluish-green stems that are covered with obvious purplish blotches.  Clusters of tiny white flowers are borne on structures called umbels that look like upside-down umbrellas.

While poison hemlock can be partially managed by mowing and tilling, the most effective control approach involves properly timed applications of selective or non-selective post-emergent herbicides including glyphosate (e.g. Roundup).  However, applications of herbicides must be made now to have any chance of reducing seed production this year.