CORNFIELD’S ‘COOL’ BLOCK O DESIGNED TO SPUR CONVERSATIONS ON PRECISION AG POTENTIAL – A cornfield west of Columbus is showing some Buckeye pride with an unmistakable Block O pattern when viewed from above.
The demonstration plot’s design isn’t a crop circle or a corn maze. It was established thanks to new dual-hybrid planting technology that researchers at The Ohio State University are putting under the microscope.
“In general, farmers have always managed their acreage on a per-field basis, depending on their soil characteristics and other production factors,” said John Fulton, precision agriculture specialist for Ohio State University Extension. OSU Extension is the outreach arm of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.
“Now, 2015 is the first year technology is commercially available to farmers that allows the planting of two different hybrids in the same field.”
Examples of the technology include the Kinze 4900 series planter and Precision Planting’s vSet Select, Fulton said.
“With this new precision technology, we can match more productive ground with a racehorse, or offensive type of hybrid, which would maximize yields in a year with good weather and the proper management. On other areas of the field, you might want to place a more risk-averse, or defensive, hybrid that would still produce favorable yields even during adverse growing seasons.”
NW OHIO FARMERS: SIGN UP FOR PROJECT DESIGNED TO IMPROVE OHIO WATER QUALITY – Researchers with the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University are looking for farmers in the Maumee River Basin to volunteer for a study to determine the best management practices to reduce nutrient runoff while increasing crop yields.
Greg LaBarge, an Ohio State University Extension field specialist and a leader of Ohio State’s Agronomic Crops Team, is leading the Farmer Phosphorus Water Quality Monitoring Project. OSU Extension is the outreach arm of the college.
The data will be used to quantify economic and environmental nutrient losses associated with phosphorus runoff, LaBarge said. The goal is to determine the best tools to target high-risk fields and design the most effective practices to maintain crop productivity while reducing loss of phosphorus, LaBarge said.
Experts say soluble phosphorus runoff from farms is an important cause of harmful algal blooms plaguing Lake Erie and other lakes in recent years. In August 2014, a toxic bloom in western Lake Erie led to a two-day drinking water ban in Toledo.
The project is seeking farmers in the following counties to volunteer for the project:
Williams, Fulton, Lucas, Defiance, Henry, Paulding, Putnam, Hancock, Huron, Van Wert, Allen, Mercer, Auglaize, Hardin, Shelby, Wood, Ottawa, Wyandot, Crawford, Richland, Marion, Seneca, Sandusky and Erie.
More details on the project as well as a signup link can be found at go.osu.edu/farmerwaterproject. The deadline to enroll is Sept. 1. For more information, contact LaBarge at 740-223-4043 or [email protected].
PUMPKIN FIELD NIGHT AUG. 20 FOCUSES ON MANAGING PESTS AND DISEASE – Novice and experienced pumpkin growers and crop consultants can learn more about pumpkin production, including managing pests and diseases, at the 2015 Pumpkin Field Day Aug. 20.
The event will focus on multiple topics including current and unregistered fungicides used to control powdery mildew and offer a first-hand view of their efficacy in demonstration trials, said Jim Jasinski, an Ohio State University Extension educator and Integrated Pest Management program coordinator.
The event is from 6-8 p.m. at the Western Agricultural Research Station, 7721 South Charleston Pike, in South Charleston. The research station is part of the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center. OSU Extension and OARDC are the outreach and research arms, respectively, of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University.
The deadline to register is Aug. 13. For more information or to register, contact Jasinski at 937-484-1526 or [email protected].