Noxious Weeds in Cover Crop Seed and Seed Germination

By: Alexander LindseyLaura LindseyMark LouxAnne DorranceStan SmithJohn Armstrong, Ohio State University Extension

Seed quality is key to establishing a good crop (or cover crop). Some of the critical components of seed quality are percent germination, mechanical analysis for purity (% other crops, % inert, and % weeds), and a listing of noxious weeds identified by scientific/common name and quantity found. As producers are looking for seed sources to provide living cover on acreage this year that was previously earmarked for corn or soybeans, it is important to pay attention to the quality. These tests may also be required on seed lots for use in some relief programs as well. Commercial or certified seed used for cover crops should have a seed tag that shows variety and the seed quality measurements above. However, if the seed is sourced from out of state, the noxious weeds listed (or NOT listed) on the tag by name may differ from those had the seed been sourced from Ohio. Continue reading

Delayed Corn Planting the Disease Risk in Corn

By: Pierce Paul, OSU Extension Plant Pathologist

Disease Risk. In Ohio, several foliar diseases are of greater concern in late-planted corn for a number of reasons, including: 1 – for diseases like gray leaf spot (GLS), northern corn leaf blight (NCLB), and eye spot that are caused by pathogens that overwinter in corn stubble, delayed planting allows more time for inoculum (spores) to buildup, especially in no-till, corn-on-corn fields and 2 – for diseases like common and southern rust that are caused by pathogens that do not overwinter in Ohio, planting late allows more time for spore for blow up from southern states. So, with late planting, not only are more spores likely to be available to infect the crop, they are also more likely to infect the crop at an earlier growth stage and under conditions that are more favorable for disease development. Let us use gray leaf spot as an example. Continue reading

From Across the Field – Busy Times 7/10/19

Hopefully everyone had a great 4th of July weekend. I had an opportunity to catch up with some college friends that were back in the state for the holiday. A couple of the guys came in from Nebraska and South Dakota, and as expected, the story is the same out there as far as being excessively wet and crops are delayed in maturity.

Here locally, farm operations were extremely busy until we got some rain around the holiday. With the large number of unplanted acres and rapidly growing crops, weed control is a priority for many farmers. As there are a lot of large weeds in fields in unplanted, it is recommended to get those fields sprayed with a higher rate of herbicide that we would typically use. An herbicide program is still the best option for weed control. Continue reading

“Working Lands” Forage Field Days Planned

By: Garth Ruff, OSU Extension
The Ohio Department of Agriculture Working Lands Buffer Program allows for forage to be grown and harvested from field edge buffers in the Western Lake Erie Basin. Join OSU Extension, Ohio Forage and Grassland Council, and your local Soil and Water Conservation Districts to learn about the Working Lands Program.

Topics to be covered at these field days include: Soil Fertility ~ Seed Bed Preparation ~ Forage Species Selection ~ Seeding Methods ~ and More!

Field Days will be held at various locations throughout the Western Basin watershed.

Putnam County: July 18 – 8778 Road G Leipsic. Jeff Giesige 419-523-5159

Sandusky/Ottawa County: August 14 – 2086 S Woodrick Rd, Oak Harbor. Allen Gahler 419-334-6340

Crawford County: August 15 – Location TBA. Jason Hartsuch 419-562-8731

Henry County: August 20 – G214 Co. Rd 12 Holgate. Garth Ruff 419-592-0806

Hancock County: August 22 – 19178 Twp Rd 65 Jenera. Gary Wilson 419-348-3500

All Field Days Will Begin at 4:00 p.m. Continue reading

Thinking about Cover Crops…… Thoughts to Consider

Decisions, decisions these days.  When it comes to selecting the right cover crop for your farm, there is no one-size-fits-all option. This document is to help those of you new to cover crops with the thoughts, questions, and decisions, one needs to make when selecting cover crops.  Planting cover crops on prevent planting acres protects the soil from further water and wind erosion.

This is here to help you make a plan and eliminate stress. Cover Crop selection is based on many different factors. What works on one field may not work on an adjacent field. Each farmer has different goals and ideal practices for their farms. Doing your homework prior to purchasing or planting cover crops can save you time and money. Continue reading

Use More Caution this Year to Reduce Spray Drift

By: Erdal Ozkan, OSU Extension Agricultural Engineer

Spray drift not only results in wasting expensive pesticides and pollution of the environment, it may damage non-target crops nearby, and poses a serious health risk to people living in areas where drift is occurring. Drift happens! It accounts for about half of all non-compliance cases investigated by the Ohio Department of Agriculture.

As you know, we are experiencing an unusual weather situation in Ohio and several other corn-belt states this year. Wet fields have made planting of corn and soybeans delayed or in many cases forced farmers to abandon it altogether looking for alternatives such as planting cover crops. Continue reading

From Across the Field – Knee High by When 7-2-19

The old saying about corn being knee high by the 4th of July might be a stretch in many cases here in Henry County. Now that the ground has mostly dried out, this will be the busiest July 4th weekend, in terms of farming operations in recent years. With this spring’s soggy delay in getting farm work done, there are plenty of farmers who still have, side dressing, weed control, tillage, and cover crop planting still on the to do list.

Last week was no different as area producers capitalized on the warm dry weather to finish planting corn and soybeans and get a head start on the before mentioned tasks. Furthermore, the last 10 days have been the best hay making weather we have had yet this year. In general hay quality will be a big concern for livestock producers going into this fall and winter. Continue reading

2019 Agriculture Challenges FAQ Webpage Now Live

By: Elizabeth Hawkins, OSU Agronomic Crops Field Specialist

The unrelenting rains this spring and summer have created many challenges that the farming community is now sorting through. In order to help with decisions, OSU Extension has created a Frequently Asked Questions webpage. This page provides the most up-to-date answers to questions about topics ranging from MFP and disaster payments to cover crops, forages, livestock concerns, management of crops that are out of sync with normal planting dates, as well as answers to more questions as information becomes available. There is also an option to submit questions that you would like answered. Webinars with more detailed information will also be shared here. The page is available at go.osu.edu/AgCrisis. Since the situation we are facing is constantly evolving, be sure to check back for the latest information available to help you.

Considerations for Using Soybeans as a Cover Crop

By: Laura Lindsey, OSU Extension Soybean Specialist

From the USDA RMA website (https://www.rma.usda.gov/News-Room/Frequently-Asked-Questions/Prevented-Planting-Flooding):

“Q. Can I plant a cover crop of the same crop I was prevented from planting? Or in other words, can I use the seed I have on hand (corn, soybeans, wheat) to plant a cover crop as long as it’s at a lower seeded rate that qualifies for cover crop?

  1. Yes. An acceptable cover crop must be generally recognized by agricultural experts as agronomically sound for the area for erosion control or other purposes related to conservation or soil improvement is planted at the recommended seeding rate, etc. The cover crop may be the same crop prevented from planting and may still retain eligibility for a prevented planting payment. The cover crop planted cannot be used for harvest as seed or grain.”

Soybean is an acceptable cover crop as it is agronomically sound for the area for erosion control or other purposes related to conservation or soil improvement. Continue reading

From Across the Field – Managing Prevented Plant Acres

Summer officially began last week and for the first time in seemingly forever we had consecutive days with no rain. In all reality we have had the best week of weather for farm work of the year, too bad it wasn’t in mid May. In the past couple of days, I have seen some dust behind a few bean drills, in addition to tillage and herbicide application across the county. I also suspect that some hay was able to get made, which is a welcome sight to livestock producers. Continue reading