Using Soil Tests Phosphorus Results to Identify Agronomic and Conservation Needs

What is a soil test? | Dreamlawns Lawn Care“What are the right decisions for phosphorus management in crop production that reduce water quality impacts?” is a common question I have from farmers looking to improve yield yet are concerned about downstream water quality impacts of phosphorus.

A representative agronomic soil test has long been an essential tool for sound agronomic nutrient management decisions. That same agronomic test result can be a useful indicator for identifying fields where additional conservation practices might improve water quality. Fields with Soil Test Phosphorus (STP) levels two to three times higher than the agronomic need result in increased phosphorus losses measured on the edge of field water quality monitoring.

As soil test results are reviewed this fall, consider keeping a list of fields in three categories based on STP levels that define the risk of yield loss for the corn/soybean rotation and risk of increased water quality impacts.

  1. Less than 20 PPM Mehlich 3 STP (or 30 PPM if wheat/alfalfa in the rotation)
  2. Between 20-40 PPM (or 30-50 PPM if wheat/alfalfa are in the rotation)
  3. Greater than 50 PPM

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Private Pesticide and Fertilizer Recertification Opportunities Online

The Effect of Variable Rate Fertilizer ApplicationPrivate Pesticide and Fertilizer Recertification Opportunities Online
Do you still need pesticide recertification for 2020?  There are two options for private applicators that still need to get their recertification credits for this past 2020 season. Here are your options:

1. ONLINE: OSU Extension is offering a TEMPORARY online solution to those who were unable to recertify as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Online private pesticide recertification is a one size fits all, three-hour program. The course is self-paced so applicators can complete it at their convenience, as long as they meet the deadline (90 days after the emergency Executive Order ends or December 1, 2020). The cost is $35 and includes these segments:

  • Core: 1 hour
  • Category 1, Grain & Cereal Crops:  30 min
  • Category 2, Forage & Livestock:  30 min
  • Category 3, Fruit & Vegetable Crops:  15 min
  • Category 4,  Nursery & Forest Crops:  15 min
  • Category 5,  Greenhouse Crops:  15 min
  • Category 6, Fumigation:  15 min
  • What you will need to recertify:
    • Your pesticide license number.   If you do not know your number, call the extension office or ODA directly for assistance.
    • An email address. Applicators will need to create a username and password to access the modules.
    • Access to the internet. Register at: https://pested.osu.edu/onlinerecert
  • Recertification for fertilizer certificate holders (private and commercial) will be available as a separate course for $10.

2. IN OFFICE: Contact our office to come in and view video courses. Please reserve three hours for the Private Pesticide license and one hour for fertilizer recertification. Pesticide only is $35; fertilizer is $10.

Please note: Recertification under this option is only available for those people expiring in 2020.  I will have more details on the 2021 recertification in a future blog post.

Surface Application of Manure to Newly Planted Wheat Fields

Manure Application to Wheat

By Glen Arnold, Manure and Nutrient Management Specialist, OSU

Several livestock producers have inquired about applying liquid dairy or swine manure to newly planted wheat fields using a drag hose. The thought process is that the fields are firm (dry), there is very little rain in the nearby forecast, and the moisture in the manure could help with wheat germination and emergence.

The manure nutrients could easily replace the commercial fertilizer normally applied in advance of planting wheat. The application of fall-applied livestock manure to newly planted or growing crops can reduce nutrient losses compared to fall-applied manure without a growing crop.

Both swine and dairy manure can be used to add moisture to newly planted wheat. It’s important that the wheat seeds were properly covered with soil when planted to keep a barrier between the salt and nitrogen in the manure and the germinating wheat seed. It’s also important that livestock producers know their soil phosphorus levels, and the phosphorus in the manure being applied, so we don’t grow soil phosphorus levels beyond what is acceptable. Continue reading

Fertility Calculator for Ohio Recommendation

A Microsoft Excel spreadsheet has been developed to support nutrient management education programs provided by Ohio State University Extension and for users who want to generate their own recommendation or compare recommendations provided to them to the Tri-State Fertilizer Recommendations for Corn, Soybeans, Wheat, and Alfalfa, 2020. The spreadsheet is designed to be compatible with the Excel version, Excel 1997-2003, or later.

The tool generates recommendations for the following crops:

  1. Corn
  2. Corn-Silage
  3. Soybeans
  4. Wheat (Grain Only)
  5. Wheat (Grain & Straw)
  6. Alfalfa
  7. Grass Hay
  8. Grass/Legume Hay

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Updated Tri-State Fertilizer Recommendations Available

Evaluating Fertilizer Purchase Decisions: Frequently Asked QuestionsThe authors of the Tri-State Fertilizer Recommendations for Corn, Soybeans, Wheat, and Alfalfa include Steve Culman, Anthony Fulford, James Camberato, Kurt Steinke, Laura Lindsey, Greg LaBarge, Harold Watters, Ed Lentz, Ryan Haden, Eric Richer, Bethany Herman, Nicole Hoekstra, Peter Thomison, Rich Minyo, Anne Dorrance, Jeff Rutan, Darryl Warncke, Cassandra Brown

The Tri-State Fertilizer Recommendations for Corn, Soybeans, Wheat, and Alfalfa was first published in 1995 and has served as a cornerstone in nutrient management in field crops for Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio. As crop production practices in this region changed over the past 25 years, many questioned if these nutrient management guidelines were still relevant today.

In 2014, work began to revise and update the nutrient management recommendations in corn, soybeans, and wheat. Over 300 on-farm trials were conducted across 34 Ohio counties, including trials evaluating crop response to N, P, K, and S. It was a tremendous collective effort with the ultimate goal of providing objective information to farmers to manage nutrients as judiciously and profitably as possible.

The recommendations have been comprehensively revised and updated. A summarized version can be found online: go.osu.edu/fert-recs

There is a menu at the bottom of this webpage that will allow users to view the topics of interest, including an executive summary that provides the highlights. The full version of the recommendations is being finalized at OSU Extension Publishing and a downloadable pdf and printed bulletin will be available soon.

Ohio Department of Agriculture Partners With OSU Extension to Provide Online Pesticide Re-certification Opportunities

Press Release from Ohio Department of Agriculture

The temporary online training during the COVID-19 Pandemic allows applicators and fertilizer certificate holders to meet their continuing education requirements.

REYNOLDSBURG, Ohio (June 29, 2020) – During the COVID-19 Pandemic, the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA), is partnering with the Ohio State University Extension Pesticide Safety Education Program (PSEP) to temporarily provide online recertification for pesticide applicators and fertilizer certificate holders whose licenses expired in spring of 2020. The online recertification will be available Monday, July 6. For commercial applicators, it will be available on August 10. For more information or to register for the online recertification, visit pested.osu.edu/onlinerecert. Continue reading

Use 2020 Tri-State Fertilizer Recommendations

The Tri-State Fertilizer Recommendations provide the foundation for agronomic nutrient management recommendations from the land-grant universities in Ohio, Michigan, and Indiana. The original publication, which came out in 1995, has been comprehensively updated with the release of the 2020 Tri-State Fertilizer Recommendations for Corn, Soybean, Wheat, and Alfalfa.

The publication relies on Ohio-generated data from 198 farmer-coordinated, on-farm trials in 39 Ohio counties and long-term plots at OARDC Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center Agronomic Research Stations conducted from 2006-18. This data validates the recommendations against modern hybrids and varieties and agronomic management practices under current weather conditions. Key recommendations from the guide are included here. Continue reading

Choosing The Right Nitrogen Rate For Corn Is Important To Profitability

Nitrogen (N) rate on-farm trial in the field with hog manure applied in early August the previous year. The 16-row strips that are the most yellow-green only received 30 lbs N / acre as a starter fertilizer and no sidedress N application. The economic optimum N rate for the trial turned out to be 147 total lbs of N applied per acre, with an average yield of 234 bushels/acre. The photo was taken on 14 August. (Source: Bob Nielsen, DJI Zenmuse X4S camera on DJI Matrice 200 UAV at 400 ft flight altitude.)

By: Jim Camberato and Bob Nielsen Purdue University

Although nitrogen (N) fertilizer can be costly, it is needed to optimize profit in Indiana cornfields. Applying too little N reduces profit by reducing grain yield. Too much N does not return value and can also damage the environment.

Results from 167 field-scale N response trials conducted over more than 10 years underpin current region-based N recommendations. These data-driven N recommendations replaced the old yield-goal based system1, which was proven ineffective. Current recommendations represent the N rate for maximum profit over the long-term, but differences in soil type, management, and weather can result in lower or higher N requirements in any given situation. Rainfall after N application will primarily determine the efficiency of applied N2, with excessive rainfall causing higher N loss and greater need for fertilizer N.  Although N applied prior to planting this season has not been subject to conditions promoting N loss in most areas of Indiana, N loss can occur season-long, particularly prior to the V8 growth stage when corn N uptake and water use are relatively low. Continue reading

Pesticide and Fertilizer Private Applicator Update

With the signing of House Bill 197, Ohio’s COVID-19 emergency response legislation, the March 31, 2020 deadline for private pesticide applicators (farmers) and the May 31, 2020 deadline for agricultural fertilizer certificate holders to renew their license and get training has been extended.

The deadline is now 90 days after the state of emergency Executive Order ends or December 1, 2020, whichever comes first.

All in-person OSUE events are canceled or postponed through at least May 15. Applicators that still are in need of training are encouraged to visit pested.osu.edu for more information when classes resume.

If you have not received your updated applicator card please be aware that ODA is working diligently with a reduced on-site staff to get cards out. Your pink (or yellow) copy of the re-certification sheet (the triplicate from the re-certification class or conference that you attended) is your temporary certification until you get your card.

Ohio Agricultural Law Blog–Legal defenses for agricultural production activities

Written by Peggy Kirk Hall, Associate Professor, Agricultural & Resource Law

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