Agronomic Crops

Chief personnel, activities and programs (2014-17)

The Ohio State University

Soybean Pathology - Anne Dorrance, Plant Pathology
Wheat Pathology - Pierce Paul, Plant Pathology
Corn and Soybean Entomology - Andy Michel, Kelley Tilmon, Entomology
Soybean Workshops - Laura Lindsey, Horticulture and Crop Science; Andy Michel, Entomology; Anne Dorrance, Plant Pathology
Agriculture Crop Research Experience Program - Steve Culman (School of Environmental and Natural Resources)
Weed Science - Mark Loux, Horticulture and Crop Science (2014 only)

2015-17 (Entomology) - Andy Michel, Entomology

For invasive insect monitoring, we modified and deployed white sticky traps for kudzu bug in a series of counties in southern OH. There was no detection of this pest in 2015.  We also monitored for Western Bean Cutworm, a pest of field corn found mostly in central and northern parts of the state.  Our team then made site visits to several fields showing Asiatic garden beetle damage on corn, and saw apparent stand reduction in soybean.  Distribution maps of all of these insects were made available at field days and workshops throughout the season.  In July, we dug corn roots in continuous corn fields to determine the efficacy of Bt transgenic crops and monitored for the presence of Bt resistance.  We also began sweep net sampling and inspection of soybean fields in July for the presence of stink bugs—this work continued through September.

We hired and trained eight undergraduates this past season to conduct various applied research and outreach programs. Each intern was given two days training at Wooster on scouting and IPM activities like soil sampling, insect identification, how to check traps, and assist with other applied research and education projects. The interns were based in OSU Extension County offices and mentored by Extension Educators. This unique internship allows them to partner with Extension staff, interact with agronomic crop producers, and learn scouting and IPM techniques.  

2015-17 (Wheat Pathology) - Pierce Paul, Plant Pathology

pierce paul

A statewide weather monitoring network for wheat was established and deployed at 10 locations across the state in order to help predict diseasesduring the growing season. A number of wheat fields were scouted for diseases, particularly head scab, and this information will be ground-truthed by scouting to help validate and refine our existing scab forecasting system. Grain samples were also collected to quantify mycotoxin levels. In order to help train the scouts properly, a growth-staging podcast series was developed and delivered via the OSU Extension Agronomic Crops Team’s website and YouTube channel. Weather data was collected through July so that late-season wheat diseases could be identified, along with their effect on grain quality.


This same weather network was used to monitor and quantify foliar and ear diseases of corn until the end of October. These data will be used to generate extension materials to educate interns and stakeholders during the fall-winter extension meetings on how grain yield and quality is effected by these diseases.   During the season, a group of interns were given hands-on training on how to soil sample for nematodes in field corn. Corn fields in several counties were sampled or resampled for nematodes, and the data (population density and species diversity) will ultimately be used to identify risk factors and develop management recommendations for these emerging pests. 

2015-17 (Agronomic Crop Research Experience Program) - Steve Cullman, School of Environmental and Natural Sciences

A new program was implemented in 2015 to train undergraduate interns to facilitate on-farm research and revive the value of scouting amongst established farmers. The Agronomic Crop Research Experience (ACRE) program is intended to immerse interns in active on-farm research, outreach and education programs with growers across the state through OSU extension. Eight undergraduate students were selected and housed in county extension offices across the state to assist and learn from local county educators how to scout insect pests, diseases, and weeds in farmers' soybean and corn fields. The interns also helped collect data from on-farm field trials including soybean cyst nematode and kudzu bug trapping that will be used in later workshops and conferences. The interns received training from state specialists numerous times throughout the experience including an initial two day workshop, two separate agronomy field days, and a final training session in Columbus. The interns increased their ability to interact and work with growers and Extension educators, gained a better understanding of specific on-farm programs and practices, and consistently rated the program as a valuable learning experience. 

2015-17 (Hands on soybean workshops) - Laura Lindsey, Horticulture and Crop Science;Andy Michel & Kelley Tilmon, Entomology; Anne Dorrance, Plant Pathology

steve cullmanThree hands-on soybean workshops were held in Greene, Paulding, and Fulton County Ohio with 59 participants representing over 173,000 acres(farmed and consulted for).  The average value of the workshop was estimated by the participants at $10/acre which is a $1.7 million dollar value over the acres represented.  Prior to the workshop, participants were asked about their level of knowledge of several topics on a scale from 1-5 (1 = not very knowledgeable, 5 = very knowledgeable).  Immediately after the workshop, farmers were asked to rate their knowledge and the increase in knowledge was determined.  Topics discuss at the workshop included: yield limiting factors (average increase in knowledge of 0.8), insect management (average increase in knowledge of 1.6), seed treatments (average increase in knowledge of 1.1), and soybean cyst nematode (average yield increase in knowledge of 1.2). 


2014 - Soybean Pathology
- Anne Dorrance, Plant Pathology

The primary activities for this summer were focused on three disease management strategies. Field studies were established in growers fields in a replicated design.  Data was collected on the presence of SCN and charcoal rot (a), and b) disease severity of white mold.  We are still analyzing data from both field studies. 

a)     Comparison of planting populations for the influence of charcoal rot and SCN in southern Ohio (Highland and Brown County)
b)     Determine if fungicides were still needed to manage white mold when varieties with higher levels of resistance were planted

Initial outcomes.  Reducing plant populations in southern Ohio, did not impact yield.  However, the summer was too cool for substantial amounts of charcoal rot to develop at both locations. For white mold, disease severity was greatly reduced in the resistant cultivar.  It is unlikely that fungicides are necessary if the correct variety is selected.

Isolates of Pythium spp. were collected from 19 fields with extensive damping-off and seedling blight this spring.  From these, the Pythium recovered from 17 of these fields were insensitive to metalaxyl.  This indicates that the Pythium spp. in Ohio have adapted to this fungicide, and other management strategies are needed.

-Identification of Pythium spp. and metalaxyl sensitivity from isolates recovered from soybean seedlings collected from fields with very high levels of soybean damping-off.

2014 - Corn and Soybean Entomology - Andy Michel, Entomology

Developing pest management for Asiatic Garden Beetle (AGB): working with Eric Richer (extension educator-Fulton Co.), we held anwestern bean cutworm AGB field day in June of 2014 (see Figures) to discuss biology and management prospects. (see video:

Western Corn Rootworm Resistance to BtA night-walk was provided in Hardin County, where much of the continuous corn acreage is produced, to focus on assessing root damage and Bt-check strip testing of corn

Kudzu Bug Sampling: with assistance of the Ohio Soybean Council, we monitored for the presences of the invasive kudzu bug in Ohio. To date, no kudzu bugs have been found

Western Bean Cutworm Trapping: We continued trapping for WBC, and found significant damage in Fulton County. 


2014 - Hands-On Soybean Workshops - Laura Lindsey, Horticulture and Crop Science; Andy Michel, Entomology; Anne Dorrance, Plant Pathology

During winter 2014, the soybean team held two hands-on soybean workshops with the goal of providing farmers hands-on experiences soybean meetingin soybean agronomy, entomology, and pathology.  Dr. Laura Lindsey discussed yield-limiting factors in Ohio soybean production including soil fertility and soybean cyst nematode.  Dr. Andy Michel focused on scouting and management of stink bug pests.  Farmers passed around stink bugs and practiced identification.   Soybean pathology activities were led by Dr. Anne Dorrance which included the identification of key soybean diseases and use of foliar fungicides and seed treatments.  Attendance was limited to facilitate discussion and hands-on activities.

In 2015, we will be holding four soybean workshops in Paulding County (Jan. 20), Union County (Jan. 21), Greene County (Feb. 4), and Fulton County (Feb. 17).  The 2015 soybean workshops will feature new soil fertility specialist, Dr. Steve Culman.

2014 - Assessment of weed problems - Mark Loux, Dept. of Hort. and Crop Science

OSU weed scientists conducted an end-of-season survey in 2013 to determine the prevalence of several of the more problematic weed palmer amaranthspecies in soybean fields, followed by greenhouse screening of Amaranthus populations to assess herbicide resistance.  The survey covered 3768 fields by following transects across each of the 52 primary grain-crop producing counties.  Giant ragweed and horseweed continued to be the primary weeds escaping herbicide programs, and were observed in 23 and 35% of the fields surveyed, respectively.  Common ragweed and redroot pigweed occurred at a much lower rate, in 3 and 4% of the fields, respectively.  Waterhemp and Palmer amaranth were not observed in the survey, but seed samples were obtained from several infested fields based on information provided by clientele.  Greenhouse screening of collected and submitted Amaranthus populations determined the presence of resistance to group 2 herbicides in most populations and resistance to group 14 in several populations; subsequent studies are further characterizing this resistance.  Glyphosate resistance was not evident in any Ohio populations of redroot pigweed, waterhemp, or Palmer amaranth.