2019 Ohio Corn Performance Test: Regional Overviews

By: Rich MinyoAllen GeyerDavid LohnesPeter Thomison OSU Extension. Previously published in CORN Newsletter.

In 2019, 163 corn hybrids representing 20 commercial brands were evaluated in the Ohio Corn Performance Test (OCPT). Four tests were established in the Southwestern/West Central/Central (SW/WC/C) region and three tests were established in the Northwestern (NW) and North Central/Northeastern (NC/NE) regions (for ten test sites statewide).  Hybrid entries in the regional tests were planted in either an early or a full season maturity trial. These test sites provided a range of growing conditions and production environments. Continue reading

Field Drying and Harvest Losses in Corn

By: Peter Thomison, OSU Extension

According to the USDA/NASS (https://www.nass.usda.gov/) as of Sunday, Oct. 27th, 37 percent of Ohio’s corn was harvested for grain, compared to 62 percent for last year and 56 percent for the five-year average. Late corn plantings and sporadic rain in some areas are not helping with field drying. Some growers are delaying harvest until grain moisture drops further. However, these delays increase the likelihood that stalk rots present in many fields will lead to stalk lodging problems. Leaving corn to dry in the field exposes a crop to unfavorable weather conditions, as well as wildlife damage. Continue reading

Are Modern Genetics Worth the Money?

By: Harold Watters, Ohio State University Extension

I have conducted a number of trials and comparisons over the years and generally have concluded that new is better when it comes to choosing a hybrid or variety. One such comparison I have been making over several years now is of a modern hybrid to open pollinated corn varieties. This may be used as a comparison for those who grow open pollinated corn for sale as organic, although I used herbicides here for weed control. For 2019, I compared a modern traited hybrid, an early modern traited hybrid, a modern open pollinated variety and several older open pollinated varieties. Continue reading

Tar Spot of Corn in Ohio Again this 2019

By: Pirece Paul, OSU Extension and Felipe Dall Lana da Silva, OSU Plant Pathology

Tar Spot, a new disease of corn caused by the fungus Phyllachora maydis, was reported for the first time in Ohio at the end of the 2018 growing season. At that time, it was found mostly in counties close to the Indiana border, as the disease continued to spread from the middle of country where it was first confirmed in 2015. Over the last few weeks, there have been several new, confirmed report of Tar Spot in Ohio, this time not only in the northwestern corner of the state, but also from a few fields in central and south-central Ohio. As was the case last year, disease onset was late again this year, with the first reports coming in well after R4. However, some of the regions affected last year had more fields affected this year, with much higher levels of disease severity. It could be that Tar Spot is becoming established in some areas of the state due to the fungus overwintering in crop residue from one growing season to another. This is very consistent with the pattern observed in parts of Indiana and Illinois where the disease was first reported. We will continue to keep our eyes out for Tar Spot, as we learn more about it and develop management strategies. You can help by looking for Tar Spot as you walk fields this fall, and please send us samples.      Tar Spot Continue reading

Managing Corn Harvest this Fall with Variable Corn Conditions

By: Jason Hartschuh, CCA, Elizabeth Hawkins, James Morris, Will Hamman, OSU Extension

Thanks to the weather we had this year, corn is variable across fields and in some areas we will be harvesting corn at higher moistures than normal. Stalk quality may also be variable by field and amount of stress the plant was under, see the article Stalk Quality Concerns in this weeks CORN Newsletter. This variability and high moisture may require us to look harder at combine settings to keep the valuable grain going into the bin. Each ¾ pound ear per 1/100 of an acre equals 1 bushel of loss per acre. This is one ear per 6, 30 inch rows in 29 feet of length. Continue reading

Stalk Quality Concerns

By: Peter Thomison, Pierce Paul, OSU Extension

2019 may be an especially challenging year for corn stalk quality in Ohio. Stress conditions
increase the potential for stalk rot that often leads to stalk lodging (Fig. 1).  This year persistent rains through June caused unprecedented planting delays. Saturated soils resulted in shallow root systems. Corn plantings in wet soils often resulted in surface and in-furrow compaction further restricting root growth. Since July, limited rainfall in much of the state has stressed corn and marginal root systems have predisposed corn to greater water stress.

Continue reading

Drydown in Corn: What to Expect?

By: Peter Thomison, Ohio State University Extension

Many corn growers may encounter slower than normal drydown this fall due to late crop development associated with June planting dates. Much of Ohio’s late-planted corn may not achieve black layer until mid-October or later when drying conditions are less favorable for drydown. Once corn achieves physiological maturity (when kernels have obtained maximum dry weight and black layer has formed), it will normally dry approximately 3/4% to 1% per day during favorable drying weather (sunny and breezy) during the early warmer part of the harvest season from mid‑September through late September. By early to mid‑October, dry-down rates will usually drop to ½% to 3/4% per day. Continue reading

Corn Earworm in Field Corn; Watch for Molds

By: Kelley TilmonPierce PaulAndy Michel, OSU Extension

There have been recent reports of high corn earworm populations in certain grain corn fields.  Corn earworm is a pest with many hosts including corn, tomatoes and certain legumes.  In Ohio it is typically considered a pest of sweet corn rather than field corn, but this past week substantial populations have been found in certain field corn sites.  Corn earworm moths are most attracted to fields in the early green silk stage as a place to lay their eggs.  These eggs hatch into the caterpillars that cause ear-feeding damage, open the ear to molds, and attract birds.  With a wide range of planting dates this year, different fields may be at greater risk at different times. Continue reading

Assessing The Risk of Frost Injury to Late Planted Corn

By: Peter Thomison, OSU Extension

Lately I have received questions as to whether corn at various stages of development, especially the blister (R2) and dough stage (R3) stages, will mature before the 50% average frost date. According to the National Agricultural Statistics Service, as of August 18, 37 percent of Ohio’s corn acreage was in the dough stage (R4) compared to 70 percent for the five year average, and three percent of the corn acreage was in the dent stage (R5) compared to 21 percent for the five-year average. Many areas of the state corn are considerably behind the five-year average because of late planting. Late maturation of the corn crop had led to questions about the likelihood for frost damage and whether more fuel will be needed to dry corn.

Physiological maturity (R6), when kernels have obtained maximum dry weight and black layer has formed, typically occurs about 65 days after silking. At physiological maturity (kernel moisture approximately 30-35%), frosts have little or no effect on the yield potential of the corn crop. Continue reading

Estimating Yield Losses in Stressed Corn Fields

By: Peter Thomison, OSU Extension

Many corn fields are still silking (and some are just past the mid-vegetative stages)….so, it may seem a little early to discuss estimating grain yields. However, according to the most recent  NASS crop report, for the week ending Aug. 8, 2019,  25% of the corn crop has reached the dough stage (compared to 63% for the 5 year average). Corn growers with drought damaged fields and late plantings may want to estimate grain yields prior to harvest in order to help with marketing and harvest plans. Two procedures that are widely used for estimating corn grain yields prior to harvest are the YIELD COMPONENT METHOD (also referred to as the “slide rule” or corn yield calculator) and the EAR WEIGHT METHOD. Continue reading