Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Ohio Seed Improvement

I have worked with Ohio Seed Improvement as a summer scout for the past 30 years.  I enjoy walking fields and have improved my crop knowledge with my scouting job.

OSIA had a busy year as interest in non GMO soybeans has increased in Ohio.  This year our scouts covered 150,000 acres of soybeans, wheat, corn, popcorn, oats. rye, spelt, miscanthus, and weed free straw for our clients.  This is the largest total since 2002 and is 23% larger than last year.

Soybeans was the bulk of this work at 125,000 acres with wheat in second at 14,000 acres.  Not as much wheat got planted this wet fall so those acres will be down in 2015 but soybeans should be steady.

When I walk a soybean field, I am looking for varietal purity number one.  It is counting flower colors in July or pod and hilum color in September basically.  We also comment on all pests with weeds always being the number one pest.

It's a fun job if you enjoy walking fields and I have since I was big enough to walk.  It's been a good education, too, seeing the various methods of producing crops for seed.  Seed is such an important part of the farming industry.

I've written several blogs about scouting the past six years.  You can read them here.  There is nothing better than scouting your own fields, though, and I've been blessed to scout hundreds of acres of our own crops since 2004.

If you are interested in non GMO soybeans from Ohio for your farm or your state, Ohio Seed Improvement is a good place to start.  If  you need seed tested, they also offer a high quality seed lab at a reasonable price, Central Ohio Seed Testing.

Ed Winkle


  1. Miscanthus is grown in test plots only in France, at the moment. Looks like a great crop for biomass and ethanol (stays in place for 25 years), although I wonder what the environmental cost of trucking such a huge crop from field to ethanol processing plant and back to the field will be, unless the farms have their own plant. When harvested in winter rather than autumn, all the nitrogen has translocated from the canes to the rhizomes, reducing the need for nitrogen fertilizer to less than 30 pounds per acre.

    But someone will have to make a decision sometime: It looks like farmers are waiting for a steady demand for miscanthus from the industry, and the industry is waiting for a steady crop of miscanthus before investing further in its potential use, like for extra insulated concrete blocks or lighter car material. We won't get far if these two populations don't meet...

    1. Miscanthus is being grown here for bio mass burning for greenhouses , Since it was a gov't promoted/funded project I don't know if its 3economically feasible as a bunch here has been harvested & just left in big bales in field. The real pusher/founder here was murdered in raodside shooting in Brazil in Dec.'13.............with crude dropping & cheap NG it probably won't go far soon ........like our green energy wind/solar when the gov't gets involved the economics seem to fall apart.....I know new things need start up funding but here in Ontario anyways our gov't is beyond bankrupt-kevin