Monitor grain, sample fields, be safe

Tony Nye - OSU Extension

The SCN Coalition theme for the next few years is “What’s your number?”

OSU Extension

It looks like maybe next week we will have more sunshine than not if some of the weather outlooks are accurate. That will be good for area producers to really knock out some more harvest.

The weather is starting to take its toll on certain corn fields as I see more and more corn going down. This makes harvest a bit of a challenge and certainly can impact yield.

The same can be said for soybeans: Maybe not a lot going down, but with all the issues we have this harvest season with soybean quality and in some instances bad yields, we do not need any help from Mother Nature.

If you are one of the lucky ones that is finished, there are certainly many things we can still be doing, such as monitoring our grain bins for quality control.

I know a few of you have bins filled beyond the ventilation capacity so it might be good to remove some grain to allow the fans to work efficiently to maintain quality.

Some grain quality going into the bins was also not always the best. This too will affect the quality of grain coming out of the bin so take time to monitor closely and remember average to poor quality grain does not keep as well as good to very good quality grain.

Don’t forget to also be safe and smart when evaluating grain bins. Grain entrapment is more common than we care to admit. Some of the biggest safety concerns present in grain farming are located at the bin.

Slip, trip, and fall hazards are prevalent. Engulfment can happen in seconds. Combustible or toxic environments can be hidden to the naked eye.

Entanglement and amputations can happen at the storage facility even after harvest season has been completed.

Follow these safety tips when working in and around grain storage bins:

• Frequently check ladders and stairways attached to the bin for needed repairs.

• Make sure guards are in place on all equipment.

• Turn off and lock out all equipment.

• Ensure no grain is being moved into or out of the bin.

• Test the air within a bin prior to entering.

• Use a N-95 mask when working in a bin with grain.

• Wear a body harness with a lifeline when entering a bin.

• Utilize a farm employee or family member to act as an observer outside the bin when entering.

• Do not walk down grain to make it flow.

• Never enter a bin if there is the potential for bridged grain.

• Account for any items you take into a bin and ensure return to the outside so bin equipment does not later become clogged.

Something else to consider yet this fall would be to sometime sample fields for the SCN populations.

According to Ann Dorrance, Ohio State plant pathologist, the SCN Coalition theme for the next few years is “What’s your number?”

Do you know where SCN is in your fields and what the current population is sitting at? If it’s high, then there is a second number – what is the SCN type? Which addresses the bigger question can it reproduce on the SCN resistance source PI 88788 or Peking. All of these numbers can impact management of this root pathogen and future losses.

Dorrance notes that the situation in Ohio we know is now “polluted” with SCN, fortunately most of those fields are at very low levels – which is where they should be kept.

We know statewide there are some surprising locations where individual fields are getting or have gotten into trouble with very high populations (>5,000). This also very true in Clinton County.

Levels of SCN and concerns are in the table accompanying this article.

If you have SCN in your fields , it is important to also control winter annuals such as purple deadnettle, but also avoid cover crops such as several of the clover’s, cowpea and common & hairy vetch.

We recommend sampling in the fall – because in most cases this is what the population will be in the spring.

With the warmer weather this year and hopefully no frozen ground should give ample time to collect and process the samples in plenty of time for spring planting.

Processing of samples does cost time and money, so here are a few thoughts on how to sample or how to target your sampling to get the best information for your money.

The following are noted lab location we can samples to for analysis:

• OSU C. Wayne Ellett Plant and Pest Diagnostic Clinic, 8995 E. Main St. Bldg 23, Reynoldsburg, OH 43068. Phone: 614-292-5006,

• Brookside Laboratory Inc., 200 White Mountain Dr., New Bremen, OH 45869. Phone 417-977-2766, or

• Spectrum Analytic Inc., 1087 Jamison Rd. NW, Washington Court House, OH 43160. Phone 740-335-1562,

Tony Nye is the state coordinator for the Ohio State University Extension Small Farm Program and has been an OSU Extension Educator for agriculture and natural resources for over 30 years, currently serving Clinton County and the Miami Valley EERA.

The SCN Coalition theme for the next few years is “What’s your number?” SCN Coalition theme for the next few years is “What’s your number?” OSU Extension

Tony Nye

OSU Extension