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:

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

July 23, 2010 at 8:30 am

BP Soliciting Wind Energy Leases NW Ohio

BP Wind Energy is a principal owner and operator of wind power facilities with interest in eight operating wind farms.  BP Wind Energy has a gross generating capacity of more than 1,200 megawatts, enough to provide leecticity for a city the size of Washington DC. BP Wind Energy has a presence in California, Colorado, Indiana, Kansas, South Dakota, Idaho and Texas.  BP is looking to expand their presence to Ohio.

BP logo

This meeting was sponsored by Ohio Farm Bureau provide information on community responsibilities and potential benefits of wind energy. Ohio Farm Bureau has presented 90 wind/alternative energy meetings throughout Ohio in the past 12 months.

Wind energy was never designed to be a stand-alone energy production technology.  It is part of a diversified energy plan that is being developed on a regional, statewide and multi-state energy strategy. Wind energy is expected to produce five percent of the nation’s electricity by 2020; twenty percent by 2030.

The Ohio Power Siting Board has made available an interactive map of wind resources for Ohio. The interactive map is available at

According to Ohio Farm Bureau and BP, there are some direct economic benefits:

  • Land lease payments $7,000/MW/year (MW = megawatt) – Ohio Farm Bureau Data
  • Short term jobs = 15 per MW –  Ohio Farm Bureau Data
  • Long term jobs = 0.6 per MW – Ohio Farm Bureau Data
  • 1 MW = energy production for 300 standard homes – BP Data

This is the same BP as the oil company. In 2006, BP decided to venture into the renewable energy business. Their projects are a mix of wholly-owned and partnership ventures.  In Ohio, BP is targeting 200 MW for Phase I.

According to the BP representative the Fowler, Indiana BP project is 600 MW and supports roughly 50 full-time employees.

BP is examining the southern part of Van Wert County, in NW Ohio and will be securing approximately 15,000 acres.

July 13, 2010 at 9:40 pm 5 comments

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

Agricultural Sprayer Demonstration and Technology Day

On August 4 a Sprayer Demonstration and Technology Day will be hosted on the Fulton County Fairgrounds from 8:30 (Registration) until 3:15 by Ohio State University Extension. Register for the program by 9:45 to guarantee that a free lunch is available for you. The day will be a look at technology and practices to make the most effective and efficient application of herbicides, insecticides and fungicides to save money and maximize yields by controlling pest. The program will be focused on field demonstration of equipment and practices.

Topics for the day will include Hitting the target!, Delivering the right amount of product, preventing costly overlaps and vendor displays. Attendees will get a chance to see technologies that control boom stability and height, drift, application rate over a range of speeds and deliver the proper products rate under a simulated field condition. In addition updates on current pest of concern and poly tank inspection and selection will be included.

The program is free and open to anyone interested. Pesticide recertification or continuing education credits will be available for Ohio, Michigan and Indiana

pesticide applicator license holders.

Whether a new sprayer is in your farm’s future or you are looking to get a few more years out of your current sprayer, you will find some hints and tips to get the most our of your spray applications.

For more information call the Fulton County Office of Ohio State University Extension at 419-337-9210.

July 9, 2010 at 8:30 am

Wind Turbine Public Hearing for Iberdrola Renewables in Ohio — Pros and Cons

On July 8, 2010, approximately 120 attended a public hearing for Heartland Wind Energy project in rural Van Wert County.  This was a legal hearing, and anyone wishing to give testimony had to raise their right hand and swear that the testimony given will be the truth. Prior to giving testimony, individuals also had to state whether there residence is or is not in the project area.
Iberdrola Renewables
According to Iberdrola Renewables, the company financing this wind project, the project in Van Wert and Paulding County has a scope of 159 wind turbines, which will provide about 80,000 houses with electricity.

Iberdrola Renewables public hearing


According to the official records on file with the Ohio Siting Board:

Heartland Wind, LLC is proposing to construct, own and operate up to 350 MW of wind-powered electric generation in Van Wert and Paulding counties.  Heartland Wind, LLC is managed by Iberdrola renewable, Inc.  The facility would require up to 175 wind turbine generators that would be located within a 40,500-acre project area.  Approximately 140 participating landowners would provide about 17,000 acres of leased land.  The application was filed on December 21, 2009.

All the official documents are available at


Why wind energy? Well, one reason is that Ohio has a mandate (ORC 4928.64):

  • 25% of electricity shall be provided from Alternative Energy Resources by 2025
  • Half of the 25% may be advanced energy resources (improved process or equipment, or clean coal technology)
  • At least half of the 25% renewable energy resources including 0.5% solar
Random fact: In Ohio, the wind turbine must be a minimum 750 feet from horizontal extended blade tip to nearest residence.
Testimony was polarized, and fell into two categories. The numbers I present below aren’t official; they may or may not be accurate (they should be fairly close, though). The bullet points below are recorded as I recall from the given testimony.

Pro testimony (n = 10):

8- residence NOT in wind project zone

2- residence IN wind project zone

  • economic development
  • job creation
  • progress and new industry
  • will benefit county coffers, townships, state
  • environmental impacts negligible
  • stop sending energy dollars overseas (reduce reliance on foreign energy)
  • supports green, clean, renewable energy
  • benefits far outweigh any negative impacts
  • $1.5 million per year to farmers in annual payments
  • can help preserve agricultural ground for agricultural use
  • 215 new construction jobs
  • 20 permanent high paying maintenance jobs created
  • local career center has a wind energy education program
  • our power needs are increasing, wind turbines help meet that power need

Con testimony (n = 8):

3- residence NOT in wind project zone

5- residence IN wind project zone

  • degradation of quality of life
  • obstructed views
  • disruption of bird life, bird migratory patterns
  • several references to scientific studies on the negative health effects (sorry, I don’t have the references — my fingers are too slow)
  • the project was referred to as ‘industrial’, ‘commercial’
  • sleep disturbance
  • shadow flicker, strobing
  • property value declination
  • wind project is highly subsidized
  • local contractors won’t be used
  • poor television reception
  • health effects on children
  • infrasound (below limit of hearing) has a human health effect
  • noise sounds like jet engines
  • ice throw
  • blade shear
  • we’re not reducing foreign energy
  • very inefficient source of energy

July 8, 2010 at 7:18 pm

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:

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

Podcast available here

July 7, 2010 at 9:24 pm

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