Do Not Plant These Seeds!!!

The Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) has been notified that several Ohio residents have received unsolicited packages containing seeds that appear to have originated from China. The types of seeds in the packages are currently unknown. The packages were sent by mail and may have Chinese writing on them. Unsolicited packages of seeds have been received by people in several other states across the United States over the last several days.

If you receive a package of this type, please DO NOT plant these seeds. If they are in sealed packaging, don’t open the sealed package. Please retain the seeds and the original package labeling for trade compliance officers as they work through this issue. Unsolicited seeds could be invasive species, contain noxious weeds, could introduce diseases to local plants, or could be harmful to livestock. Invasive species and noxious weeds can displace native plants and increase costs of food production. ODA and APHIS work hard to prevent the introduction of invasive species and protect Ohio agriculture. All foreign seeds shipped to the United States should have a phytosanitary certificate which guarantees the seeds meet important requirements.

Recommendations for Soybeans Planted in June

Source: Laura Lindsey, The Ohio State University

While progress is way ahead of last year, soybean planting is spilling into June. (According to USDA NASS, 53% of soybean acreage was planted by May 24, 2020. Last year, at the same time, only 11% of soybean acreage was planted.) As planting continues into June, farmers may want to consider adjusting their cultural practices:

Row spacing. Soybean planted in narrow rows (7.5 or 15-inch row width) generally yields higher than soybean planted in wide rows (30-inch). The row spacing for June-planted soybeans should be 7.5 to 15 inches, if possible. Row width should be narrow enough for the soybean canopy to completely cover the interrow space by the time the soybean plants begin to flower. The later in the growing season soybeans are planted, the higher the yield increase due to narrow rows.

Seeding rate. Higher seeding rates are recommended for June planting dates. The final (harvest) population for soybean planted in June should be 130,000 to 150,000 plants/acre. (For May planting dates, a final stand of 100,000 to 120,000 plants/acre is generally adequate.)

Relative maturity. Plant the latest maturity variety that will reach physiological maturity before the first killing frost. This is to allow the plants to grow vegetatively as long as possible to produce nodes where pods can form before vegetative growth is slowed due to flowering and pod formation. The recommended relative maturity ranges are shown in the table below.


Cold Weather Impact on Corn and Soybean

Alexander Lindsey, Laura Lindsey – The Ohio State University

In Ohio, between May 9 and 10, temperatures were as low as 26°F with some areas even receiving snow. The effect on corn and soybean depends on both temperature, duration of low temperature, and growth stage of the plant. The soil can provide some temperature buffering capacity, especially if soil is wet. Water is approximately 4x more resistant to temperature changes than air or dry soil, and thus will buffer the soil from experiencing large temperature changes as air temperatures drop. Deeper planted seeds may also be more resistant to large temperature swings.

Imbibitional chilling. Imbibitional chilling may occur in corn and soybean seeds if the soil temperature is below 50°F when the seed imbibes (rapidly takes up water from the soil, usually 24 hours after planting). Imbibitional chilling can cause reductions in stand and seedling vigor. If seeds were planted into soil at least 50°F (and have imbibed), the drop in temperature is not likely a problem if the plants have not yet emerged from the soil.

Corn after germination. The growing point of corn is below the soil surface until the V6 growth stage, and therefore is protected from low temperatures to some extent. However, if the soil temperature falls below 28°F, this can be lethal to corn. Temperatures between 28 to 32°F may result in frost damage, and both the temperature and duration will affect the severity of damage. Between May 9 and May 10, the minimum soil temperature at a 2-inch depth was 38°F at the Northwest Agricultural Research Station in Wood County, 44°F at the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center in Wayne County, and 58°F at the Western Agricultural Research Station in Clark County.

Soybean after germination. The growing point of soybean is above the ground when the cotyledons are above the soil surface. If damage occurs above the cotyledons, the plant will likely recover. If damage occurs below the cotyledons, the plant will die. Look for a discolored hypocotyl (the “crook” of the soybean that first emerges from the ground), which indicates that damage occurred below the cotyledons.

Assessing your fields. It is best to assess damage to plants or seeds 48 to 96 hours after the drop in temperatures, as symptoms may take a few days to appear. Additionally, cold temperatures slow GDD accumulation and may further delay crop emergence. For corn, recent work suggests 50% emergence can be expected following accumulation of 130-170 soil GDDs (using soil temperature to calculate GDD rather than air temperatures) from planting, which may take 5-7 days to accumulate under normal weather conditions.

Autonomous Planting Revs Up

Source: DTN/Progressive Farmer

Many of you who have attended our Central Ohio Agronomy School or Precision Ag Symposium have heard Scott Shearer talk about robotic equipment completing our field work.

It is now a reality.

A remote-controlled Kubota M5660SU tractor plants soybeans last week at Bellcock Farms near Sac City, Iowa, while another identical unit heads to the seed tender for a refill. Sabanto, an autonomous technology company, is seeding soybeans in Iowa and Illinois this spring. (Progressive Farmer photo by Matthew Wilde) 

Click here to read full article


Cool weather to hang on for the rest of April

Source: Jim Noel

The cold pattern that was expected last week dropped soil temperatures and put a hold on most activities. Improvement will occur but it will be slow for the rest of April. A progressive west to northwest airflow will keep weak or weak/moderate systems passing through Ohio about every 2 days over the next week with generally light or light to moderate precipitation. The flow pattern supports temperatures remaining at or below normal for the rest of April but not as cold as last week. Precipitation is expected to be close to normal. Warmer weather is expected as the calendar turns to early May with above normal temperatures expected which is some good news.


Temperatures will moderate for the rest of April with highs mostly  in the 50s and 60s though northern Ohio may only see highs in the 40s Tuesday of this week. Low temperatures will be in the mid 30s to the 40s for the most part. For the rest of April temperatures will average about 5 degrees below normal. May temperatures will likely be near normal or slightly above normal but the start of May looks to be above normal temperatures by several degrees.


Excessive rain is not expected the next 2+ weeks but frequent lighter rain is. Rainfall will average 1-3 inches the next two weeks with normal being 1.75 to 2 inches. Therefore, rainfall is considered near normal overall. A few wet snowflakes can not be ruled out Tuesday or this week in the northeast corner of Ohio. May is expected to see rainfall normal to slightly above normal. The blocking pattern over Alaska and northern Canada in 2019 which drove the active storm track from Japan to the Ohio Valley does not look to occur in 2020. This will result in fewer overall moderate to strong storm systems into May and June of 2020. The pattern is still active bt just not as active as 2019.


We do see another freeze this Wednesday AM with lows in the mid 20s to lower 30s. Some additional frost and near freeze conditions can also be expected this upcoming Sunday into Monday mornings. Overall, the frost and freeze conditions going forward are considered pretty close to typical for Ohio in late April and early May. After this Wednesday the chances of hard freeze conditions begin to decrease.


Soil temperatures dropped below 50 in most areas last week and will slowly work back toward that level for the rest of April though it may not reach that level in parts of the north and northeast section of the state.


There is uncertainty in the summer outlook but currently above normal temperatures are favored with rainfall going from above normal to start to normal or drier than normal in the later portions of summer.

The latest NOAA climate information can be found at:

The lastest river and soil information can be found at:

Considerations for Planting Depth this Year

Source: Alexander Lindsey, K. Nemergut, Peter Thomison

Corn seed planted too shallow (left) and plant emerging normally (right). Photo credit: Alexander Lindsey

Timing corn emergence is key to minimize yield reductions, and can be more important for preserving yield than even seed spacing. When setting planting depth for corn this year, be sure to consider not just first emergence seen, but also how uniform the emergence is.

In work conducted from 2017-2019, we manipulated seeding depth to be approximately 1, 2, or 3” deep (current recommendations are for planting at 1.5-2 inches deep) in two conventionally tilled fields. One field had 2-3% organic matter, and the other had 4-5% organic matter. We tracked daily emergence in the plots, and measured stalk strength and yield at the end of the season. Across years and fields, shallow planting resulted in faster emergence of the first plants in each year. However, the seeds that didn’t emerge were more subject to moisture fluctuation and took more time to go from 10% emerged to 90% emerged. In the high organic matter field, planting at 1” depth resulted in a 6-day period to go from 10% emerged to 90% emerged compared to the 2” and 3” depths which took 4 or 3 days, respectively. In the lower organic matter field, emergence was much more uniform (within 3 days for all treatments). Temperatures above 86 F can dramatically reduce root elongation and seedling growth, and may help explain the differences between fields. There were more than 3 days on average during emergence where daily maximum soil temperatures exceeded 86 F at the 1” depth in the high organic matter field. Conversely, fewer than 2 days on average during emergence had maximum soil temperatures that exceeded 86 F on average at the 1” depth in the low organic matter field. Continue reading