Herbicide Applications on Winter Wheat

When determining your herbicide program for spring applications, the stage of the wheat crop should be considered.  The majority of wheat herbicides are labeled for application at certain wheat growth stages and some commonly used herbicides have very short windows in which they can be applied.  The popular broadleaf weed herbicides 2,4-D and MCPA are efficient and economical, but can only be applied for a short period of time between tillering and prior to jointing in the early spring.  Wheat growth stages and herbicide timing restriction are outlined in Figure 1.

Ag Weather Forecast 4/23 – 4/29

Weather Forecast

High pressure will slowly take control through mid-week this week, though a few isolated showers (possibly mixed with grapel/snow pellets) are possible on Tuesday. Overnight temperatures will flirt with freezing across the state Tuesday and Wednesday mornings, so Frost and Freeze Warnings/Advisories will likely be in place. Daytime highs will only reach the 50s through Thursday. Temperatures will moderate into the 60s on Friday through the weekend, but a complex system will bring ample moisture to the state over the weekend through Monday. The Weather Prediction Center is currently forecasting 0.75-2.00” of precipitation this week, heaviest across eastern Ohio

The 6-10 day outlook from the Climate Prediction Center and the 16-Day Rainfall Outlook from NOAA/NWS/Ohio River Forecast Center show below average temperatures are likely with near normal precipitation (Figure 4). Climate averages include a high-temperature range of 66-71°F, a low-temperature range of 45-48°F, and weekly total precipitation of about 0.85-1.15”.

Eminent domain bill starts and stalls in committee hearings

By: Peggy Kirk Hall, Associate Professor, Agricultural & Resource Law

An eminent domain revisions bill appears to be on hold after its removal from the committee agenda that would have provided the bill a third hearing. House Bill 64 was introduced by sponsors Rep. Darrell Kick (R-Loudonville) and Rep. Rodney Creech (R-W. Alexandria) on February 21.  The bill had two hearings before the House Civil Justice Committee on March 7 and 14, but was removed from the committee’s March 21 meeting agenda.

House Bill 64 proposes quite a few major changes to Ohio eminent domain law:

  • Voids an appropriation of property if the agency does not follow statutory procedures for the appropriation, such as procedures for appraisal of value, good faith offers of compensation, and negotiation with the landowner.  Under the proposal, a landowner could bring a claim against the agency for violating any of these procedures and the appropriation would be invalid. The proposal is the opposite of current law, which states that procedural violations do not affect the validity of an appropriation of property.
  • Increases an agency’s burden of proof in showing that a taking is for a public use and is necessary, that the agency has authority to appropriate the property, and that the parties are unable to agree on a voluntary purchase of the property. The agency would have to meet the “clear and convincing evidence” burden of proof rather than the “preponderance of evidence” standard stated in current law.

Continue reading

How Deep Should Corn Be Planted?

Source: Dan Quinn, Ph.D., Purdue University

During the heat of planting, one thing that often can be forgotten is thoroughly checking and understanding two items, 1) what seed depth am I planting at? and 2) is my seeding depth consistent, especially across all of my individual row units? We may often be inclined to use the “set it and forget it” approach to seed depth, yet this may not always be the best idea. In order to get corn started off on the right foot, it is important to achieve both rapid and consistent emergence following planting. One aspect of achieving rapid and consistent plant emergence is by choosing the correct seeding depth and ensuring there is adequate and uniform moisture at the chosen seeding depth. The most common seeding depths recommended for corn range between 1.5 and 2 inches deep, and these planting depths can work very well within most conditions, however, certain soil moisture conditions at planting may warrant further examination/change in seeding depth.

A corn seed imbibes soil moisture within the first 24 – 48 hours after planting, therefore maintaining both adequate and uniform moisture at seeding depth (not too wet and not too dry) within the first 48 hours is important. If the soil remains too dry, then the seed may be delayed in emergence until precipitation occurs. Furthermore, if the soil remains saturated after planting, the seed may rot and die. If the soil conditions are dry at planting, then a seeding depth of 2 inches may be too shallow and not place the seed in adequate/uniform soil moisture conditions. Therefore, if the moisture at a 3-inch depth is more adequate and uniform, and no additional rainfall is expected in the next week, then it may be worthwhile planting the seed at a 3-inch depth instead of a 2-inch depth. It is important to remember that corn can physically emerge at seeding depths lower than 2-inches, therefore, planting deeper can help ensure more consistent plant emergence when soil moisture conditions are dry. However, if soil moisture conditions are adequate it is likely ideal to not go much deeper than 2 – 2.25 inches. If planted too deep and soil moisture conditions are adequate, emergence can become delayed, thus further exposing the corn seed to various stresses (e.g., disease, insects, etc.). Furthermore, if corn is planted too shallow <1.5 inches, you can run the risk of poor root development, stand establishment, and lodging.

To further examine the impact of seeding depth on corn emergence and yield, a research trial was established at the Throckmorton Purdue Agricultural Center in Lafayette, IN. The research trial examined corn seedling emergence timing and yield differences across four different seeding depths and two different hybrids. The trial was designed as a randomized complete block design with three replications. Plots measured 30 feet wide (12, 30-inch corn rows) by 400 feet long and the center six rows were harvested with a commercial combine with a calibrated yield monitor. Trial results are presented below:

Results: Continue reading

Wheat Growth and Development – Feekes 6

Today managing your wheat crop requires knowledge of the different growth stages of the plant.  Growth stage identification is critical for scouting and proper timing of fertilizer and pesticide applications.  Each week throughout the rest of the growing season I will discuss the various wheat growth stages I am seeing in our wheat fields and management issues at each stage.  This week I will focus on Feekes 6.  The recent warm weather has stimulated wheat growth.  While growth stage does vary throughout the County, some of our field are at (or soon will be) Feekes 6 growth stage.

Feekes 6 – First node of stem visible (jointing)
The first node of the stem becomes visible as a result of internode elongation. Nodes are stacked and move up as the internodes elongate much like a telescope. Sensitivity to low temperatures increases as the developing head is pushed up by the expanding stem. Crop water demand increases to about 0.25 inch per day. Approximately 25 percent of the total dry matter is accumulated by this stage.


Consider a first fungicide application under significant disease pressure. Do not apply dicamba or 2,4-D after wheat reaches jointing and avoid equipment with wide tires.

If you need a reminder on how to assess if wheat is at Feekes GS 6, see this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D_f3VrqzV5c.


Soybean Planter Considerations

Click on the video below to watch Dr. John Fulton discuss soybean planter considerations and recommendations to meet a variety of field conditions we may face this spring.  Dr. Fulton specifically talks about:

  1. Downforce pressure for consistent seed depth
  2. Adjustments due to soil variability
  3. Row-unit settings
  4. Comments on speed tubes

Farm On financial management course offers farmers, ranchers training to meet new program requirements

A new online farm management course offered by The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES) will help Ohio’s beginning farmers qualify for the requirements of the Ohio Department of Agriculture’s Beginning Farmer Tax Credit program.

Called Farm On, the self-paced, on-demand farm financial management course was created by Ohio State University Extension professionals and is offered through OSU Extension’s new Farm Financial Management and Policy Institute (FFMPI), said Eric Richer, assistant professor and OSU Extension field specialist in farm management.

OSU Extension is the outreach arm of CFAES.

“The Farm On financial management course was created to address the needs of Ohio’s new and beginning farmers who want to better prepare themselves to operate a commercial farm in Ohio and do that with a high level of economic stability while remaining profitable and responsible at every step along the way,” said Richer, who is the lead instructor for the Farm On course. “We believe Farm On will be a great deliverable to Ohio’s agriculture industry because it is on-demand, self-paced, and taught by Ohio State’s expert farm management instructor.”

What’s unique about the Farm On course is that, not only does it comply with the regulations of the new Ohio House Bill 95 Beginning Farmer Tax Credit program, it also meets the borrower training requirements for the U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency’s Beginning Farmer and Rancher Loan Program, Richer said.

The Farm On course includes multiple video lessons, 10 quizzes, 10 exercises, individual and group consultations, and a 10-module course that covers the following topics: Continue reading

Wheat Growth and Development – Feekes 5

Today managing your wheat crop requires knowledge of the different growth stages of the plant.  Growth stage identification is critical for scouting and proper timing of fertilizer and pesticide applications.  Each week throughout the rest of the growing season I will discuss the various wheat growth stages I am seeing in our wheat fields and management issues at each stage.  This week I will focus on Feekes 5.  Most of our wheat has progressed to the Feekes 5 growth stage.

Feekes 5 – Leaf sheaths strongly erect. 

The beginning of the stem elongation phase.  The pseudo-stem is strongly erect and leaf sheaths are elongated. The developing head reaches the terminal spikelet stage and is pushed up into the pseudo-stem.

Terminal spikelet occurs at Feekes 5. This stage marks the completion of the spikelet initiation phase. At this stage, the number of spikelets per head has been determined.   Stress during this stage can reduce total number of kernels per head.

The first hollow stem stage occurs when there is approximately 0.6 inch of hollow stem below the developing head.  Crop water use is about 0.1 inch per day.


Ideal time for second nitrogen application if split applying in the spring.  Tillers developing after this time are not expected to contribute to yield.  If Grazing, cattle should be removed from dual-purpose wheat before first hollow stem

When and How Much Nitrogen to Apply to Wheat

Wheat has already reached green-up across the state so spring N may be applied anytime fields are fit. Keep in mind that research has shown no yield benefit to early N applications as long as the application was made by Feekes – 6 (one visible node).  If you need a reminder on how to assess if wheat is at Feekes GS 6, see this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D_f3VrqzV5c.  Nitrogen applied early has the potential to be lost since wheat will use little N until after jointing. Urea-ammonium nitrate (UAN) or 28% has the greatest potential for loss and ammonium sulfate the least. Urea will have little potential for loss as long as it does not volatize. No stabilizer will protect the nitrate component of UAN, which is roughly 25% of the total N in UAN at application time.

Ohio State University recommends the Tri-State Fertilizer Recommendation Bulletin for N rates in wheat. This system relies on yield potential. As a producer, you can increase or reduce your N rate by changing the value for yield potential. Thus, a realistic yield potential is needed to determine the optimum N rate.  To select a realistic yield potential, look at wheat yield from the past five years.  Throw out the highest and lowest wheat yield, and average the remaining three wheat yields.  This three-year average should reflect the realistic yield potential.

Table 10 in the Tri-State Fertilizer Bulletin recommends 120 lb N for yield goals of 100 bu/A, 110 for 90 bu/A crop, 90 lb for 80 bu/A crop, and  80 lb for a 70 bu/A crops. These recommendations are for total N. If you prefer to be more specific, the following equation may be used for mineral soils, which have both 1 to 5% organic matter and adequate drainage:

N Rate = (1.33 x Yield potential) – 13.

No credit is given for previous soybean or cover crops, since it is not known if that organic N source will be released soon enough for the wheat crop. The Tri-State Fertilizers Bulletin recommends that you subtract from the total (spring N) any fall applied N. I would take no more than a 20 lb/A credit even if you applied a larger amount. Whether you deduct fall N depends how much risk you are willing to take and your anticipated return of investment from additional N. Based on the equation above and deducting 20 lb from a fall application, a spring application of 100 lb N per acre would be recommended for a yield potential of 100 bu, 90 for 90 bu potential; and 70 for a 80 bu potential.  Nitrogen rate studies at the Northwest Agricultural Research Station over the past 20 years have shown the optimum rate varies depending on the year. However, averaged over years, yield data from these studies correspond well with the recommendation equation given above. These studies have also shown apart from one year, yields did not increase above a spring rate of 120 lb N per acre.

Wheat generally does not benefit from a nitrification inhibitor since temperatures are relatively cool at application time and the application is made to a growing crop, this is especially true as the crop approaches Feekes – 6. However urea may benefit from a urease inhibitor (products containing NBPT) if conditions for volatilization exist for several days after application. These conditions would include an extended dry period with warm drying temperatures (risk increases with temperatures above 70°F) and evaporating winds. Urea applications need at least a half inch rain within 48 hours to minimize volatilization losses unless temperatures remain relatively cool. The urease inhibitor will prevent volatilization for 10 to 14 days with the anticipation of a significant rainfall event during this time.

ESN or polymer coated urea will reduce the potential for N loss from leaching, denitrification, and volatilization. Since these conditions are unlikely to occur in most years, it may not be economical to use this product. Cool weather may prevent the timely release of N from ESN, so if ESN is applied, it should be mixed with urea or ammonium sulfate and be no more than 60% ESN.

A split application of N may be used to spread the risk of N loss and to improve N use efficiency. However, Ohio State University research has not shown a yield increase from this practice compared to a single application after green-up. In a split system, the first application should be applied no sooner than green-up. A smaller rate should be applied with the first application since little is needed by the crop at that time and the larger rate applied closer to Feekes – 6.

Wheat Growth and Development – Feekes 3&4

Today managing your wheat crop requires knowledge of the different growth stages of the plant.  Growth stage identification is critical for scouting and proper timing of fertilizer and pesticide applications.  Each week throughout the rest of the growing season I will discuss the various wheat growth stages I am seeing in our wheat fields and management issues at each stage.  This week I will focus on Feekes 3 & 4.  Most of our wheat has progressed to the Feekes 4 growth stage.

Winter dormancy – Vernalization. 

Gradually lowering temperatures and shortening day length induce winter hardiness in winter wheat.  Vernalization requirements range from three to eight weeks of temperatures below 50 degrees Fahrenheit.

Management. Manage stocking density in dual-purpose wheat systems and try to maintain 60 percent canopy coverage.

Feekes 3 – Completion of tillering.

Once requirements are met, the growing point differentiates and the embryonic head reaches the double ridge stage.


Double ridge. The primordia, which differentiate into spikelets, become visible after vernalization requirements are met. Floret initiation starts slightly above the middle portion of the microscopic head and moves outward. The number of florets initiated determines the potential number of kernels per head.

Depending on the season and planting date, some tillering occurs in the spring. Genetic potential and environmental conditions determine the number of tillers on a plant.  Tillers with three or more leaves are nutritionally independent from the main stem.

Management. If fewer than 70 tillers per square foot are present, an early nitrogen application can increase spring tillering and help compensate for thin stands.  Avoid excess nitrogen.

Feekes 4 – Leaf sheaths lengthen (spring greenup).

Leaf sheaths begin to lengthen. The pseudo-stem, a succession of leaf sheaths wrapped around each other, starts to become erect.

Management. Ideal time to make single spring nitrogen applications based on yield goal. Begin scouting for insects and weeds.