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Who Pays for Dead and Dying Ash Tree Removal?

The below article is a repost from the July 29, 2010 OSU BYGL Newsletter available at: m http://bygl.osu.edu/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=904:bygl-july-29-2010&catid=1:latest-news&Itemid=74

As more and more ash (Fraxinus spp.) trees succumb to the EMERALD ASH BORER (EAB), some tree owners are asking who will pay for the removal of these infested trees.

In 2002, the EAB was first discovered in Michigan, and then in 2003 it was first found in Ohio. Early on in the program, there were eradication efforts in place. Ash trees were identified, marked, removed and chipped, as part of the eradication efforts and was done at no cost to the property owners. The goal was to eliminate the insect, thus saving ash trees outside of the core of the infestation. Additional finds keep popping up in several states, and eradication efforts were halted as the insect was more wide spread than anticipated.

With this change in the program came some options for individuals managing ash trees. Chemical treatments to protect trees became a tool for those wanting to “save” their tree(s) from EAB, but with that also came the responsibility to deal with dead and dying ash trees, especially those with adherent risk to people and property if they were to fall. Since that time, communities, businesses, woodland owners, and homeowners are responsible for the management of their own ash trees, which includes the removal costs; costs that can often range from several hundred to several thousands of dollars.

Wood utilization is an opportunity that some may have not thought much about before EAB. Ash trees from infested areas have been transformed into beautiful furniture; carved into walking sticks, bowls and other pieces; sculpted by chainsaw artist into unique pieces; used for railroad ties, mulch, firewood, and more. Michigan has led the way in the ash wood utilization, and Ohio is hoping to learn some valuable lessons. Check out some of the great work folks working with the Southeastern Michigan RC&D at http://semircd.org/ash/

Podcast:  

August 5, 2010 at 9:41 am 4 comments

Strategies are Limited for Late Season Marestail Control in Soybeans

University of Illinois’ Aaron Hager wrote an excellent article on Late-Season Herbicide Applications in Soybean.  Many farmers are struggling with weeds such as volunteer corn, velvetleaf, etc.  Most of these weeds are easy enough to control but there are a couple of weeds that are very difficult to control. One of those weeds that is making its presence known in Ohio is marestail.

Unfortunately, there are not many great options for postemergence control of marestail. In populations that are not glyphosate- or ALS-resistant, postemergence application of glyphosate, FirstRate, or Classic can control small plants that emerge after soybean planting. A combination of glyphosate plus either Classic or FirstRate has the most chance for success, but primarily for control of plants that emerged after soybean planting and are still small. Postemergence application of Ignite in Liberty Link soybeans can control small plants.

Below is a factsheet from Purdue/OSU on marestail control; you’ll note the information is heavily geared to preplant/preemergence control.

View this document on Scribd

July 28, 2010 at 8:35 am

Melanoma Update from Agriculture Health

The Agriculture Health Study started in 1994 to follow private and commercial applicators in Iowa and North Carolina. To date, over 89,000 individuals have participated in the study which is a joint project of the National Institutes of Health and EPA.

The most recent paper focuses on the risk of melanoma in relation to pesticide use. Of the 50 pesticides looked at in the study, the risk of melanoma was showed a significant association with exposure to several pesticides, including the fungicide active ingredient maneb/mancozeb and insecticide active ingredients parathion and carbaryl.

The study suggests more research is needed in this area. The study is available at: http://ehp03.niehs.nih.gov/article/fetchArticle.action?articleURI=info%3Adoi%2F10.1289%2Fehp.0901518

Source: OSU PEP-Talk, July, 2010 – Joanne Kick-Raack, Director

July 23, 2010 at 8:30 am

Corn Leaf Diseases and Fungicide Recommendations

Gray leaf spot has been confirmed in corn fields throughout the Midwest (Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio). Disease severity varies throughout fields as well as within a field; hybrids that are susceptible to gray leaf spot are more likely to show sypmtoms. Weather has not been our friend this year and the recent warm and humid weather has helped to bring about gray leaf spot in corn fields.

Gray leaf spot can cause yield loss, but severity depends on the number of lesions and how far up in the canopy they occur as the plant enters tasseling and pollination. If lesions have reached the ear leaf or higher during the two weeks before and after tasseling, yield loss could occur. If the disease appears later in the season, economic impact and yield loss will be minimal.

Before deciding on a fungicide application, the first thing a grower should do is review hybrid susceptibility to gray leaf spot. Hybrids vary in their susceptibility to foliar diseases of corn, and hybrids susceptible to diseases such as gray leaf spot are at a greater risk of disease development than hybrids with moderate or high levels of disease resistance.

Strobilurin and strobilurin/triazole premix fungicides are most effective at preventing yield loss when applied in response to disease presence, and at the tasseling to early silking (VT-R1) growth stage.

There are two things to keep in mind prior to making a fungicide application:

1) university researchers have not seen consistent yield benefits from foliar fungicide applications in corn.

2) all corn fields are showing some level of disease, but the decision to spray should be based on the type of disease present, as well as the factors discussed above. A few lesions on a corn leaf will not justify a fungicide application

Full podcast here:

July 12, 2010 at 9:38 am

Tissue Testing for Phosphorus and Potassium in Corn, Soybeans

The growing season in parts of NW Ohio has been a challenge to say the least. Growers are looking for any edge to give their crop (in some cases a struggling crop) any sort of advantage. A common question is "Will foliar applications of phosphorus and potassium help my corn/soybeans?".

Antonio P. Mallarino, Department of Agronomy ISU, wrote an excellent article on tissue testing usefulness in the recent Iowa State University Extension Integrated Crop Management newsletter (available at: http://www.extension.iastate.edu/CropNews/2010/0630mallarino.htm).

Mallarino writes:

"No simple and reliable tissue test exists to identify the conditions that increase the chance of corn or soybean response to P and K fertilization. In spite of many field trials in Iowa, we have not been able to identify a useful critical or optimal P or K concentration in plant tissue."

And he concludes:

"Use of soil testing and fertilization before planting is the most effective way of assuring adequate P and K supply for corn and soybean."

Please read the excellent article in its’ entirety http://www.extension.iastate.edu/CropNews/2010/0630mallarino.htm

Podcast available here

July 7, 2010 at 9:24 pm

Vomitoxin and Human Health Safety

The following article was written by OSU Extension Pathologist Pierce Paul for the June 28, 2010 CORN Newsletter available at http://corn.osu.edu/newsletters/2010/2010-19

Ohio’s wheat harvest is in full swing and concerns about vomitoxin are being raised, especially in areas hit by head scab. Data from our field survey showed that this year’s scab incidence ranged from 3 to 60%, so fields with the highest incidence will likely be the ones with the highest levels of vomitoxin.

Why is vomitoxin harmful and how toxic is it?

Vomitoxin research on humans is prohibited for legal and moral reasons, but we do know the effects of vomitoxin on animals with similar body systems to humans (such as pigs and primates). Low levels of vomitoxin (0.05 to 0.1 mg/kg body weight) can cause vomiting in pigs – this would be similar to exposing a 175lb person to 0.0003 ounces of vomitoxin (a VERY small amount!). In humans, scabby grain has been associated with food poisoning symptoms (nausea, abdominal pain, dizziness and fever) 30 minutes after consumption. Long-term and continuous exposure to even lower levels of vomitoxin may cause dangerous reduction in appetite, weight loss, damage to the gastro-intestinal tract and impair the immune system.

There may be several dust masks available at the local farm supply or hardware stores, however not all of them are recommended for agricultural use. The best protection is provided by the two-strap dust masks that are labeled as N95. They should also be identified as NIOSH or MSHA approved (National Institute for Occupational Safety Health and Mine Safety and Health Association). The N95 models mean that 95% of the smallest particles – ones that can get into the lungs where they cause damage – are prevented from going through the mask.

What about straw from scabby fields, will it contain mycotoxins?

Yes. Straw from scabby fields does contain vomitoxin and other mycotoxins. Results from studies done at the University of Illinois (with laboratory tests done at North Dakota State University) confirmed that vomitoxin levels may exceed 2 ppm in wheat straw, even in field treated with fungicide. As a result, the same caution exercised when handling and feeding scabby grain should be exercised with dealing with moldy straw. Get the straw tested before using it for silage or bedding. The risk of contamination is much lower when straw is used for bedding; however, you should still avoid straw with very high levels of vomitoxin, since it is impossible to tell how much the animals will munch on the straw.

Full podcast…

June 29, 2010 at 2:06 pm

Ohio Farm Pesticide Collection

The Ohio Department of Agriculture has announced the dates and locations for the Farm Pesticide Collection Program.   This pesticide collection service is free of charge for local farmers to properly dispose of unused farm chemicals.  The program is for farm pesticides ONLY.  No household or non-farm pesticides or chemicals such as paint, antifreeze or solvents will be accepted.  No pesticides will be accepted from commercial companies.

The 2010 dates and locations are:

Hardin County
August 5, 10:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Hardin County Fairgrounds
14134 Fairground Road
County Road 40
Kenton, OH  43326

Putnam County
August 12, 10:30 – 2:30
OSU Extension Office, Putnam County
124 Putnam Parkway
Ottawa, OH 45875

Licking County
August 26, 10:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Ohio Department of Agriculture
8995 E. Main St.
Reynoldsburg, OH  43068

All collections will run from 10:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.  The collections are sponsored by the Ohio Department of Agriculture in conjunction with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. It is important to note that the disposal is only for farm pesticides and not for commercial companies or homeowners.  Information is also on the Pesticide Safety Education Program website at:  http://pested.osu.edu/pesticidecollection.htm

June 29, 2010 at 12:58 pm

Is this a year for White Mold — Ohio soybean update

The following article was written by OSU Plant Pathologist Anne Dorrance, and appears in the OSU Corn newsletter at http://corn.osu.edu/newsletters/2010/2010-18/is-this-a-year-for-white-mold

There are no tried and true solid prediction systems, currently for white mold development on soybeans. However, conditions exist in the state similar to last year – with one key difference, it is hotter this year and moisture levels have been exceedingly higher in some parts of the state. White mold infections are favored by consistently damp conditions (not flooded) from the time of canopy closure through flowering. These conditions favor the development of the fruiting structures, called apothecia, which form from those overwintering or survival structures called sclerotia. Sclerotia are the hard, black, irregular shaped fruiting bodies that form on and in the soybean plant. IN many cases they look just like rat and mouse droppings but the difference is they are pink or white on the inside. Once these very small sclerotia germinate, the spores are deposited on the dying blossoms and from there they can infect the plants.

Not all fields in Ohio have inoculum for white mold. IN general, there are some fields that have a consistent history of the disease and it tends to be in pockets – fields that have poor air drainage, high yielding, and high plant populations.

For those high yielding, high value soybeans, in areas of the state where this is a constant issue, this is the time to consider a fungicide. Applications should be made at the R1-R2 phase. At this time, only Topsin M is labeled for control of this disease. We have seen this work, when conditions are favorable at the early flowering stages. If the following conditions occur through flowering a second application is necessary at the R3 stage: weather pattern of cool nights, light rains, and heavy dews. However, if temperatures hit the high 80’s and dews do not form, these conditions are not favorable for disease to develop and the fungus will just sit there.

There are several other management measures that have been touted for Sclerotinia stem rot and white mold of soybean. Some have secondary effects that contribute to yield loss due to the late application time (Cobra) while others only reduce disease levels slightly based on some data from other states. The best disease management strategies for this disease are resistant varieties, reduced plant populations (<160,000 plants/acre) and 15” row widths. Putting some numbers on paper and calculating out the cost of application based on how the field looks, reduced yield due to application will help you make these types of decisions. Late planted fields that have been hit repeatedly with rains and have poor root development are probably best left alone. Putting more money into these fields is like keeping that old truck going – with all of the repair costs you could have bought a newer better truck!

Full podcast below:

June 22, 2010 at 9:40 am

Head Scab Hits Ohio Wheat

The following article was written by OSU Extension Pathologist Pierce Paul –

A survey of wheat fields across the state shows that the incidence of head scab ranges from about 4 to 60 %, meaning that between 4 and 60 heads out of every 100 heads have some scab. Head scab is a disease caused by the fungus Fusarium graminearum or Gibberella zeae (two names for the same fungus). Scab develops best when wet, humid weather occurs when the wheat is flowering. We have had quite a bit of those conditions this year. The disease causes shriveled and lightweight kernels, reducing grain yield and test weight. In addition, the fungus also produces a toxin called vomitoxin that is harmful to humans and livestock. So, the effects of scab can be devastating, lower yields, lower test weights, and toxin contamination = price discounts or complete grain rejection at elevators.

At this stage, nothing can be done to control scab, but several approaches can be used to minimize losses. As you scout fields and make decisions or recommendations, here are a few DOs and DON’Ts:

DON’TS

1. Do not make a decision before you know how much scab is out there. Incidence is a very good measure of disease, but when using incidence one needs to be carefully not to overestimate or underestimate how serious the problem really is. A wheat head has on average 15 spikelets. If you look at 10 heads and 3 out of the 10 heads have a single spikelet diseased, then the incidence is 30%. If in another field, 3 out of the 10 heads have 5 spikelets diseased, the incidence is still 30%. Now if you consider that each spikelet will give you 3 kernels. Each set of 10 heads will give you 450 kernels (10x15x3). In the first case, 9 (3 heads each with 1 scabby spikelet x 3 kernels/spikelet) of the 450 kernels will be scabby (2% of the kernels). In the second case, 45 (3 heads x 5 scabby spikelets x 3 kernels per spikelet) of the 450 kernels will be scabby (10% of the kernels). The second field with 10% of the kernels scabby will likely have more vomitoxin than the first field with 2% scabby kernels, even though the incidence is 30% in both fields.

2. Do not make a decision based on how the field looks from a distance. Scabby heads contrast nicely with green leaves, making the field look more scabby than it really is. In addition, we have quite a bit of glume blotch (another disease of the head) this year, and you will not be able to tell the difference between glume blotch and scab from a distance. Not because you know for a fact that your neighbor has scab you should assume that you have it too. Your variety may be more resistant to scab or even if the varieties are the same, you and your neighbor’s fields may have flowered at different times.

3. Do not wait until it is too late to scout fields, fields are turning. Scabby heads and maturing heads both take on a straw color. So if you wait until next week you may think all the heads are scabby or all are healthy because they all look bleached and straw colored.

4. Do not feed grain from fields with scab to livestock before getting it tested for vomitoxin. Animals, particularly swine, may have serious health problems if fed grain with high levels of vomitoxin.

5. Do not use straw from fields with scab for hay without getting it tested for vomitoxin. Yes, straw from field with high levels if scab also becomes contaminated with vomitoxin and may cause the same problems caused by feeding scabby grain.

6. Do not handle scabby grains without gloves and masks.

DOs

1. Do turn up the air on the combine to blow out scabby kernels. These kernels are lighter than wholesome kernels.

2. Do get grain tested for vomitoxin before feeding.

3. Do plow under scabby wheat stubble, if you choose to abandon wheat fields with high levels of scab to plant soybean. Scabby wheat on the soil surface means more spores available to infect corn and cause Gibberella ear rot. Yes, the same fungus causes both diseases. Remember last year? Let’s break this cycle.

4. Do read the next C.O.R.N newsletter for more on head scab and vomitoxin. Available at http://corn.osu.edu

Wheat Scab Podcast

June 11, 2010 at 11:23 am

Partnership In Excellence Field Day

Farmers, certified crop advisors and anyone with an interest in corn and soybean trials can get an early summer update on Thursday, June 24, at the Partnership in Excellence Ag Day in Van Wert County.

The free event is from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., with presentations from 9 a.m. to noon and informal tours and discussion after lunch, said organizer Andy Kleinschmidt, agriculture and natural resources educator for Ohio State University Extension.

“We’ll present on the corn population trials — we planted May 10 — as well as starter fertilizer trials, soybean trials, and soybean technologies that have come on the market recently,” Kleinschmidt said. In addition to Kleinschmidt, seed and fertilizer industry partners will be leading presentations.

“This really is an excellent collaboration between OSU Extension and our partners,” reminiscent of Farm Focus, a regional farm show which used to be held in Van Wert County, Kleinschmidt said. “We’ve continued that partnership, with everyone helping with the field work and putting the program together.”

The event will be held at Mentzer Church Road and Tully Harrison Road near 6944 Mentzer Church Road, Convoy. Participants will be directed to nearby parking.

Results of the crop trials will be posted online at the end of the season, Kleinschmidt said. In addition, organizers have applied for 2.5 CCA Continuing Education Units in crop management.

The event is sponsored by OSU Extension and the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, the outreach and research arms, respectively, of Ohio State’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.  Please RSVP to the Van Wert County Extension office at 419-238-1214.

Field Day Podcast

June 11, 2010 at 10:35 am

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