Archive for the ‘Agronomy’ Category


Webinar Recorded: Returns to Drainage: Calculating a Payback Period

Does farm drainage pay?  A webinar was broadcast live and recorded on April 9, 2013 on the subject: Returns to Drainage: Calculating a Payback Period. Bruce Clevenger and Eric Richer, OSU Extension Educators from NW Ohio taught crop yield responses to agricultural drainage and engaged participants in a discussion on calculating a realistic payback period. Investing in farm drainage has benefits to both farmland owners and growers. The webinar is 1hour 30 minutes long and can be viewed 24/7 at your convenience. To view the webinar click here.


2012 County Corn and Soybean Yields Released

The USDA, National Ag Statistics Service has released the 2012 Ohio corn and soybean yields per acre. These yields are used for some crop insurance triggers and helpful in tracking weather impacts. Data for all counties in Ohio can be found at:

2012 County Yields – NASS, OH Field Office































Van Wert










Making Fertilizer Applications Committed to the Environment and High Yields

By Bruce Clevenger and Ed Lentz, OSU Extension Educators

Corn and soybeans continue to be the dominate grain crops for NW Ohio farmers. Growers in the eastern U.S. Corn Belt often fertilize a multi-year rotation with one application rather than fertilizing the individual crops annually. Typically, in the fall prior to corn planting, farmers supply enough phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) to satisfy the nutrient needs of both corn and the following soybean crop. This practice has proven to be a viable option for corn-soybean (CS) rotations on soils with adequate nutrient levels, but questions arise for producers in a 3-year rotation of corn-corn-soybean (CCS). Read the rest of this entry »


Pesticide Restrictions When Harvesting Feed and Forages

by Bruce Clevenger

The Drought stress has raised many questions about alternative feed, harvesting early and feed quality. One item to keep in mind are the restrictions that some pesticides have when using the crop for feed, forage or grazing. Pesticides include herbicides, insecticides, fungicides, miticides, etc.  Some herbicides may have a 0 – 75 day restriction between application and harvest, feeding or grazing of row crops. University of Nebraska has a good reference on many row crop herbicide restrictions related to harvest, feeding and grazing.  Michigan State University has restriction information when harvesting drought-stressed soybeans for forages related to herbicides, insecticides or fungicides applications.

Growers are reminded to read and follow pesticide label instructions on restrictions associated with applying field chemicals to potential feed or forages.



Herbicide Restrictions when Planting Supplemental Forages

posted by Bruce Clevenger

Before making any plans to plant supplemental forages, be sure to check the plant back restriction interval for herbicides used in the previous crop. Corn herbicides, especially atrazine products, have a long rotation restriction interval for many of the forage options listed below. So check the labels for the herbicides you used this year especially.  You can find pesticide labels on-line at CDMS or Greenbook.   The Ohio and Indiana Weed Control Guide also lists Restrictions on Crop Rotation on Table 23 on page 187.


2012 Wheat Performance Trials

OSU and OARDC have completed the 2012 Wheat Performance Trials report. Variety selection is an important decision regarding grain yield, disease resistance and grain quality. The OSU trials measure over 10 wheat characteristics in addition to yield. You can view the trial results at:

or stop by an OSU Extension office.


OSU Extension to Host Drought Silage and Forages Meeting

Corn Silage and Forages: 2012 Drought
Management and Economics

Date: August 10, 2012

Where: OSU Extension Defiance County Office, 06879 Evansport Road, Defiance, OH 43512

Time: 10:00 AM – 12:30 PM

Guest Speakers: Dr. Bill Weiss, Ohio State University, OARDC, Department of Animal Science, Professor & Extension Specialist and Dianne Shoemaker, Ohio State University Extension, Field Specialist, Dairy Production Economics

Featured Topics:
Harvest Management for Drought Stress Corn Silage and Forages
Feeding Drought Stress Forages to Livestock: Health/Nutrition Concerns
Pricing Drought Stress Corn for Corn Silage
Questions and Answers

No Cost, please RSVP before August 9th by calling 419-782-4771, or email

Flier Download


Baling Drought Corn with Little to No Ear?

Dr. Bill Weiss, OSU/OARDC, Professor and Extension Specialist suggests…

“It could be done but there is a lot of down side.  First the stalks have to be dry enough to be stable (less than 15% moisture).  If the plants are mowed and crushed, they might dry but it will take a while and this reduces nutrient quality, can be a risk for mold and maybe if we are “lucky”-rain damage.  If moisture is too high, the stuff has little economic or nutritional value.  If the stalks are dry enough to bale, leaf loss will occur which reduces the nutrient value (corn stalks are very high in fiber, lignin and low in protein and digestibility.  Losing leaves will reduce protein, digestibility and energy value of the corn plant.

To get much nutritional value out of this stuff it would have to be chopped before feeding otherwise animals will likely eat the leaves and leave most of the stalks.

My guess is the nutritional value of this will be 60% of the overall nutritional value of decent corn silage.  Forages will likely be in very tight supply so the grower might find a market and if it is dry enough, he would probably make more money on it than it costs to harvest.  It would probably be adequate feed for beef cow maintenance and could make up part of the diet of dry dairy cows and growing heifers.

Q. What about into moist wrapped balage?

A.  I do not think making corn balage would be successful.  You would not get very tight bales, lots of air is trapped in the stems and you would not release many plant sugars to feed the bacteria.



Another Hay Exchange Resource

By Bruce Clevenger
No “hay for sale” list is ever complete. So to continue to help NW Ohio livestock/dairy/horse producers get connected to available forage feed, here is another website to try:
The website is a product of Hay & Forage Grower magazine and the page provides links to several state hay lists.  Hay & Forage Grower was launched in 1986 in cooperation with the American Forage & Grassland Council (AFGC). Producers and university and forage industry specialists continue to be important contributors to the magazine’s content.

Information presented above and where trade names are used, they are supplied with the understanding that no discrimination is intended and no endorsement by Ohio State University Extension is implied.


FSA Harvest Options from CRP Acreage

By Bruce Clevenger

As drought pressure continues to build in the Maumee Valley Area, farmers are pursuing every option for harvesting local forages.  The USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) has options for harvesting forages from Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) acreage.  The options are Managed Haying and Grazing or Emergency Haying and Grazing of CRP.  Each option  has requirements that must be met before approval but with pre-approval, farmers could begin harvest as early as July 16, 2012.  Given the current drought status, area farmers are eligible for the Managed Haying and Grazing of CRP.  If drought conditions worsen, FSA may approve Emergency Haying and Grazing of CRP.  Details of the programs can be found at: or by contacting your local FSA office.

Farmers should evaluate the potential quality of CRP forage and determine if it has a nutritional value in livestock or dairy production.



Is the Pump Primed for Spider Mites in Soybeans?

by: Bruce Clevenger

Adult twospotted spider mites (TSSM) are very small (ca. 1/60 inch in length), eight-legged arthropods (nymphs have 6 legs) with a black spot on each side of their bodies. Color of the mites is variable ranging from white to light red. The eggs of the mites appear like small, clear or pale marbles when viewed through a good hand lens. TSSM feed on the underside of the foliage with sucking moth parts and may be very destructive when abundant. Under hot and dry field conditions favorable to mites, the TSSM thrives on plants that are under stress. The juices that the mites obtain from stressed plants are rich in nutrients and the mites multiply rapidly. Soybean foliage infested with spider mites initially exhibits a speckled appearance. As plants become heavily infested, foliage turns yellow, then bronze, and finally the leaves drop off the plants as the effect of heavy feeding leads to dehydration and death of the plant.  As of July 2, 2012, TSSM have not been seen in abundance across NW Ohio in field edges or whole fields.

Economic thresholds based on the number of mites per plant have not been established for TSSM on soybeans. However, a scheme for evaluating an infested field based on observations of the presence of mite and feeding injury has been developed.  Close monitoring of individual fields will be critical during the next few weeks.  Don’t assume one field represents a greater area or all of a growers soybean production.  Populations of TSSM may begin spotting and require follow-up scouting.

Scouting procedures can be found at:

Pesticide recommendations:


Hay Exchange Network

by Bruce Clevenger

Dairy and livestock farmers who are looking to locate and maybe buy hay due to local production shortages may want to visit the Internet Hay Exchange at:  Users of the website can browse by state, hay for sale of various species, buyers of hay, size of bale, quantity available and in some cases feed values.  The site also has buy/sell straw information. To view the sellers contact information, create a user name and password.  It’s easy.  Unfortunately, the  wider the area effected by the drought, the further farmers may need make contacts to fill feed needs for winter.

Information presented above and where trade names are used, they are supplied with the understanding that no discrimination is intended and no endorsement by Ohio State University Extension is implied.


Insect Control Bulletin

by Bruce Clevenger, OSU Extension Educator

As area farmers, agronomists and consultants scout for insects and mite, OSU Extension offers an excellent bulletin for Insect Control in Field Crops. It is free on-line (click image) or for sale ($7.50) at most OSU Extension office or at the OSU Extension eStore

Description: Control of Insect Pests of Field Crops gives a detailed listing of pests that attack alfalfa, corn, small grains, and soybeans. Listed in conjunction with the insects are specific pesticides, application methods, and when to treat infestation for the listed crops.


Paulding & Van Wert County Cover Crop Program

Radishes and Cereal Rye

by: Jim Lopshire

Cover crops are an effective tool to reduce soil erosion and increase nutrient recycling on farmlands, thereby also decreasing the soil and nutrient loads entering lakes and waterways.  Cover crops can have numerous other benefits including improvement of soil quality, pest management, fertility management, water availability, landscape diversification, and wildlife habitat.

Proper choice and management of cover crops are important in maximizing the benefits and reducing potential problems.  Characteristics important for cover crop selection include life cycle, seeding date and rate, winter hardiness, nitrogen fixation or scavenging ability, feed or forage value, and establishment costs.  There is no single cover crop or system that will provide all these benefits.

The OSU Extension Offices of Van Wert andPauldingCountiesare holding an agronomy program focusing on the incorporation of cover crops into cropping systems.  With talk of needing greater nutrient management, and the potential future restrictions on the usage of fertilizers and manure on the farm for crop production, the use of cover crops may become a greater necessity to assure that nutrients applied to fields stay in the fields until cash crops utilize them.

This program will be held on March 22, 2012 at the Van Wert County Fairgrounds in theJuniorFairBuildinginVan Wert,Ohio.  Registration starts at 8:30 a.m. with program starting at 9:00 a.m. and ending at 3:30 p.m.  Lunch will be served.  The registration fee of $10 is payable at the door.

Speakers for the day include Florian Chirra, OSU Extension educator, discussing Soil Ecology and Dissolved Reactive Phosphorus Problem;Jim Hoorman, OSU Extension educator, will cover Biology of Compaction, Cover Crop Rotations, and Cover Crop Economics; and Glen Arnold, OSU Extension Field Specialist, will share his research on Applying Manure to Actively Growing Crops.

The event is open to all interested persons, and registration fees include materials and refreshments.

To pre-register for the program please call the Van Wert (419-238-1214) or Paulding (419-399-8225) Extension Office or email: young.2 to pre-register for the program.