Former “Billion Dollar Bug” is Mounting a Come Back

By: Sonja Begemann, Farm Journal Seeds and Crop Production Editor
Published previously on AgWeb Daily

One billion dollars. Prior to Bt technologies farmers lost $1 billion annually to corn rootworm—in the form of chemical costs or actual yield loss. With resistance to traits that once killed the pest on the rise, it might just nibble its way back to a billion-dollar price tag.

Corn rootworm (CRW) poses a double threat—the adult snips corn silks, and if unchecked could prevent successful pollination and kernel development, and the larvae munch on roots which leads to risk for disease and plant stress. CRW was once controlled by traits but with resistance on the rise is now at risk of running rampant: it’s time to find a solution to slow the spread of resistance. Continue reading

Wheat and Barley: Cool, Wet Late-Season Conditions

By: Pierce Paul OSU Extension Corn and Small Grains Disease Specialist

Head Scab in Wheat

Cool weather and moisture after flowering often means extended grain-fill and high yields, especially when disease levels are as low as they were at the time of pollination and early grain development in some fields. However, excessive rainfall associated with the cool temperatures could increase the severity of diseases that thrive under cool conditions. But with the crop now well into grain-fill and even turning in some locations, there is very little you can do about late-season diseases. The pre-harvest interval for some of the best fungicides is 30-45 days, which mean that they are now off-label in most areas, given that harvest will likely begin in less than 30 days. Continue reading

Late Planting Corn Considerations

By: Harold Watters, Ohio State University Extension

With some “late” planting some folks are concerned already about whether or not we might be caught by a fall frost before maturity without a change in maturity selection. Not to worry. The corn plant has the ability to adapt to the later planting by advancing more rapidly through the growth stages. Continue reading

Know When to Use Granular Vs. Liquid Fertilizers

By Sonja Begemann, Farm Journal Seeds and Crop Production Editor
Previously published on AgWeb Daily

You know as well as the next farmer fertilizer is critical to promote healthy, high-yielding crop growth. When it comes to nitrogen how you buy fertilizer can have a strong impact on how well your crop grows, and your wallet. Continue reading

It’s Just $5 an Acre…

By: Harold Watters, Ohio State University Extension

It seems everyone has a “package” that gives an extra yield bump. Many of these packages contain micronutrients. In Ohio, because we generally have clay in our soil and reasonable levels of organic matter, we don’t usually see a yield impact from applying micronutrients. But should we be concerned about micronutrients?

Our soil tests are most reliable for pH, phosphorus and potassium and can work reasonably well for zinc, too. We usually use a combination of soil and tissue tests to determine micronutrient deficiencies. Soil pH can also help us know where to look for deficiencies. Continue reading

The Season for Slugs

By: Kelley Tilmon and Andy Michel, OSU Extension agronomy entomologists

Late planting in many areas, the small size of both soybean and corn plants, and damp, cool conditions in some areas all lead to a greater damage potential from slugs.  Although all fields should be scouted for slugs, focus on no-till fields or those fields with cover crops, a history of slug problems, poor weed control, or a lot of residue left on the field.  We don’t have good economic thresholds for slugs in corn or soybean, yet the following guidelines are to helpful in scouting for their presence and intensity. Continue reading

Wheat and Barley Diseases and Treatment

By: Pierce Paul, Ohio State University Extension plant pathologist

It is wet and rainy outside and the forecast calls for more rain throughout this the second week of May (May 14–19). Therefore, growers’ concerns about diseases and the need for fungicides are understandable. However, although most of our common diseases of small grain crops are favored by wet, humid conditions, it does not automatically mean that you have to apply a fungicide this week. Continue reading

Understand Carbon to Nitrogen Ratios before Buying Cover Crop Seed

By: Sonja Begemann, Farm Journal Seeds and Crop Production Editor
Previously published on AgWeb Daily

By now you’ve heard of the “carbon penalty” some producers face with residue and cover crops—but what does that really mean? And should it deter you from planting cover crops?

Experts say it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use cover crops—just know what you’re planting and its effect on soil. Nitrogen release—or tie up—is affected by many factors, according to Julia Gaskin, sustainable agriculture coordinator for the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences at the University of Georgia. Continue reading