2019 eFields Report is Available

By Elizabeth Hawkins and John Fulton, OSU Extension

The spring planting season of 2019 was a season that many of us may want to forget, but the weather conditions we dealt with provided us an opportunity to learn how we can be more resilient in agriculture. Looking back at the lessons learned can help us be prepared for similar conditions in the future. The 2019 eFields Research Report highlights 88 on-farm, field scale trials conducted in 30 Ohio counties. Research topics include nutrient management, precision crop management, cover crops, and forages. Other information about production budgets, planting progress, and the 2018 Farm Bill is also included. Continue reading

Weed Management in Ohio, Update 2019

By: Harold Watters, OSU Extension Ag Crops Field Specialist

Our OSU Extension AgNR educators observed soybean fields across the state again this fall to see what was out there for our annual fall soybean weed survey. I was supposed to share this early enough so you could at least get a fall application on to get a head start on controlling marestail, but it seems we have more problems than that to deal with.

Statewide our most frequently observed weed problem was again marestail. It was present in 36% of the fields. The second most likely observation was weed free — at 29% of the fields. That’s a big jump over several years ago, and likely due to LibertyLink, Enlist, and Extend soybeans. Third, fourth and fifth places in a three-way tie were giant ragweed, volunteer corn and then giant foxtail (or just generic grass) — all in about 19% of the fields. Next, and getting ever more widespread, is waterhemp at 15% of the fields across the state. Continue reading

Choosing Varieties & Hybrids for 2020 – Check Disease Resistance Ratings

By: Anne DorrancePierce Paul, OSU Extension

The seed suppliers want your early orders and the catalogs are all spread out on the tables.  Now to begin the process of choosing the best variety or hybrid for your fields that can hold up to the all of the challenges facing soybeans and corn in Ohio.  Our recommendation is to first focus on the disease and insect scores.  Every company uses a different scale based on 1 to 10 – but for some companies 1 is best and for others, 10 best – so first read the fine print.  In addition, some companies use a distributive disease rating scale, using words like “excellent disease package,” “good disease package,” or “poor.”  While this scale is unclear as to which specific disease the hybrid is most resistant to, it can still be used as a guide for hybrid/variety selection. For instance, a hybrid listed as having an “excellent disease package” should be less susceptible to the primary diseases than one listed as having a “good disease package.” Next step – what key diseases and insect pests do we need to focus on. Continue reading

Nutrient Movement off Frozen and Snow-Covered Soil

By: Emerson Nafziger, Department of Crop Sciences University of Illinois. farmdoc daily (9):238

Snow has now fallen throughout much of Illinois, and temperatures have dropped going into the last weeks in 2019. With the recent Illinois Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy biennial report highlighting P and N levels in Illinois waterways, this is a good time to review the application of nutrients on frozen and/or snow-covered soils.

Last spring, after a short and often-muddy fall fertilizer season, a considerable amount of fertilizer—mostly P in the form of DAP or MAP and K as KCl—was applied during the first week of March when the soil surface was frozen. Between March 3 and March 8, 2019, minimum air temperature averaged less than 15 degrees F, and maximum temperature averaged less than 30 degrees over most of Illinois. This was one of the few times last winter when soils were frozen and there was little or no snow; and many took the opportunity to apply P and K. Continue reading

How Reliable will this Year’s Test Plot Data Be?

By: Laura Lindsey and Peter Thomison, OSU Extension

Ohio’s corn and soybean crops experienced exceptional growing conditions in 2019, including record rainfall in May and June followed by drier than normal August and September conditions in many areas. As a result of the early season saturated soils, corn and soybean planting was delayed across most of the state. For soybean, planting date is the most important cultural practice that influences grain yield. Planting date is also a major factor affecting crop performance and profitability in corn. The persistent rains and saturated soils caused localized ponding and flooding. These conditions resulted in root damage and N loss that led to uneven crop growth and development between and within fields. Agronomists often question the value of test plot data when adverse growing conditions severely limit yield potential. Continue reading

Weekly Outlook: Acreage in 2020

By: Todd Hubbs, Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics, University of Illinois. November 25, 2019. farmdoc daily (9):222

The 2019 crop year will live long in the memory.  A record amount of prevent plant acres, delayed harvest, and considerable dismay over USDA reports compounded the uncertainty associated with the trade war.   Speculation about the acreage levels in 2020 is already underway.  Current market conditions support acreage increases in corn and soybeans in 2020.  It appears only the magnitude of those increases is in doubt.

A variety of surveys and projections by industry analysts place 2020 corn acreage close to 94 million acres.  Soybean acreage projections come in around 84 million acres. Continue reading

Cover Crops to Support Forage Diets

By: Farm Journal Content Services for Drovers online

Interested in pairing up a cover crop with corn silage? A key is to consider harvest timing – usually mid- to late May for boot stage – to ensure the cover crop forage is of the quality needed for lactating cows.  If targeting forage for heifers, harvest a bit later at heading stage to increase tonnage and fiber content.

Popular cover crop options include winter cereals, like winter rye and triticale.

“Winter rye is growing in popularity because it has rapid growth, especially in the spring, and will mature earlier in the spring,” said Matt Akins, University of Wisconsin–Madison dairy management specialist. Continue reading

Assessing the Research Needs from the 2019 Production Year

By Greg LaBarge, CPAg/CCADee JepsenBen BrownAnne DorranceSam CusterJason Hartschuh, CCA, Ohio State University Extension

The 2019 production year has presented many challenges. Ohio State University Extension wants to be responsive to needs of the agricultural community. At short survey aimed at farmers to identify both short- and long-term outreach and research needs of Ohio crop and livestock/forage producers based on the 2019 farm crisis year has been developed. Questions relate to crop production, livestock forage needs, emergency forage success, economic and human stress concerns. Since challenges and concerns varied across the state, this survey is designed to assess needs on a county, regional and statewide basis. The study will be used to determine Extension programming and future research needs.

Please consider sharing your experiences at  https://go.osu.edu/ag2019.

From Across the Field – 10/17/2019

Here We Go Again

Fall is my favorite time of the year for a few different reasons, but it is also one of the busiest and most interesting times in the agricultural year. Not only is this year’s crop being harvested but there are many operations and decisions being made that will have major impacts on the coming year as well.

As I make observations around the county, soybean harvest has been progressing well, considering how scattered planting was this spring. For a historically late planted crop, yields I have heard have been acceptable, all things considered. Wheat planting is wrapping up and the large amount of prevented planting acres did allow for a large percentage of the wheat to be planted in a timely fashion. Tillage in preparation for next spring and tiling continue. I had one person ask how many miles of tile was installed this summer in the county. My answer: A lot, most since I have been here. Continue reading

Managing Phosphorus for Yield and Reduced Edge of Field Losses

By: Greg LaBarge, CPAg/CCA, Ohio State University Extension

A new factsheet highlights eight steps to reducing edge of field P losses while maintain soils for increase crop production. The Phosphorus Nutrient Management for Yield and Reduced P Loss at Edge of Field-AGF-509 (https://ohioline.osu.edu/factsheet/agf-509) highlight practices that can be used to reduce edge of field losses of P. There are eight field specific steps to considered.

  1. Control erosion
  2. Identify surface inlets to tile and use appropriate practices to reduce surface losses
  3. Consider ground and weather conditions prior to application of fertilizer and manure
  4. Take a representative soil test
  5. Use soil test as screening tool to meet crop production and water quality goals
  6. With a soil test P value of 40 PPM Mehlich III or less, you can reduce risk of crop yield losses with nutrient application for crop yield.

Continue reading