Crops



Managing SCN over time

By The SCN Coalition

Dan Ory suspected the hot, dry growing season of 2022 could result in elevated population densities of the most damaging soybean pathogen, soybean cyst nematode (SCN). That was confirmed when Iowa State University (ISU) Nematologist Greg Tylka visited his farm to answer his questions about SCN management.

The two met through a partnership between The SCN Coalition and BASF Agricultural Solutions to spread awareness about the yield-robbing pest. In a new video series, Tylka, who has spent decades studying SCN and working toward management solutions, answers Ory’s questions about managing SCN.

Why is SCN an issue again?

The Ory family has battled SCN in the past, but that was well before Dan joined the family farm. For years, his father controlled SCN with resistant varieties. He asked Tylka why SCN is prevalent once again.

Tylka says farmers have been using the same source of SCN resistance, PI 88788, for a quarter of the century, but over time SCN has developed resistance to the resistance.… Continue reading

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Tips to understand Brazil’s soybean production

By Daniele Siqueira, AgRural Commodities Agrícolas 

The record area of 43.2 million hectares that Brazil is likely to cultivate with soybeans in the 2022-23 crop was 91% planted by Dec. 1, compared with 94% in the same period last year and in line with the 5-year average, according to AgRural data. Production, based for now on trendline yields, is seen at 150.5 million metric tons, 25 million up from last season, when a severe drought linked to the phenomenon La Niña resulted in historical losses in southern states.

AgRural will replace trendlines by actual yield estimates by state later this month. So far, the new crop develops well, but rains have been spotty in some regions, and farmers in central states, including top producer Mato Grosso, are concerned about dry spots that are now heading into the pod-filling stage. Hit-and-miss rains have also been seen in southern states, but the situation is far from being as bad as the one faced a year ago.… Continue reading

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Mixed reviews for new RFS numbers

The Environmental Protection Agency released its draft set rule for the Renewable Fuel Standard on Dec. 1, which sets blending volumes for 2023, 2024, and 2025. The RFS requires annual volumes of renewable fuels, such as ethanol, be used in the fuel supply to reduce emissions, expand and diversify the fuel supply, improve energy security and lower costs.

The proposed requirements were disappointing to soy growers, who had expecting stronger numbers for biofuels but viewed as positive by corn growers from an ethanol standpoint

“We are pleased with EPA’s forward-looking approach of annual increases in the proposal,” said Tom Haag, president of the National Corn Growers Association. “EPA clearly recognizes that renewable fuels like ethanol play a critical role in cutting greenhouse gas emissions, increasing U.S. energy independence and providing long-term relief to consumers at the pump. With continued pressure on energy security and costs and the need to accelerate carbon emission reductions, biofuels can contribute even more, and we will make that case to EPA for the final volumes.” … Continue reading

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Planting depth is critical to achieving high yields

By Matt Hutcheson, CCA, Product Manager, Seed Consultants, Inc. 

Planting is one of the most critical management practices of the year because it sets the stage for the entire growing season. There are several key aspects of planting, one of which is planting depth. Invariably, every year Seed Consultants’ agronomists come across problems that are caused by variable and improper planting depth. Planting depth is critical because it impacts germination, seedling development, crop root development, emergence, and ultimately crop yields.

For corn, seed needs to be planted no shallower than 1.5 inches below the soil surface. Typically, the suggested range is 1.5 to 2 inches, however, some studies and growers have demostrated success at depths up to 3 inches. It is important to make sure that corn is planted into adequate soil moisture for germination. In addition, corn needs to be at least 1.5 inches deep for the proper early development the root system.… Continue reading

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Dec. 14 event to focus on farmer networking and soil health

On Wednesday, Dec. 14, farmers are invited to join several Farmer Advocates for Conservation along with soil health experts Mitchell Hora and Jeremiah Durbin, for an interactive day of learning that will focus on how to reduce production risks and costs by improving the health of their soil.

            “The farm community has been under a lot of scrutiny, but this farmer-first event hosted by The Nature Conservancy really highlights the momentum across Ohio and the Corn Belt,” said Mitchell Hora, a seventh-generation farmer and one of two keynote speakers for the event. “I’m excited to share my story and show farmers how soil health systems can be used as offensive management tools to drive farm profits, annual resiliency and environmental outcomes.”

The event will take place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Hancock Hotel in Findlay and will cover soil health principals, making money with soil health and round table networking discussions with other farmers.… Continue reading

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Fertilizer stratification

By James Hoorman, Hoorman Soil Health Services

Fertilizer stratification occurs when a farmer surface apply soil nutrients like phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) without doing any tillage.  Deep tillage (plowing 6-8 inches deep) generally moves and mixes surface applied nutrients down about 3-4 inches, or roughly 50%.  Some farmers worry that nutrients applied at the surface will not be plant available. 

Marion Calmer, an experienced no-till farmer and researcher in Illinois, found that roughly 54% of his P and 43% of his K was found in the top 2 inches of his soil.  Since he plants corn 2 inches deep, many nutrients were above his corn roots. In dry weather, he was seeing stunted corn and nutrient deficiencies (P deficient purple corn).  For every $1 in fertilizer (P & K) applied every year, he got back about $.40 in additional corn yield.  He had been applying commercial fertilizer for 30 years to his no-till fields by surface applying nutrients. … Continue reading

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Using soybeans to prevent scale build-up in the petroleum industry

By Dusty Sonnenberg, CCA, Field Leader, a project of the Ohio Soybean Council and soybean check-off

New research funded by farmers is proving how the soybean industry can benefit the petroleum industry. Research currently underway at Airable Lab is creating possibilities. Airable Research Lab is a soy-based research and development project funded by the Ohio Soybean Council and soybean check-off. The lab is equipped to research and develop new products that utilize soy-based feedstocks to solve industrial and consumer challenges. Their product design is based on key performance indicators provided by their clients. The Airable Research Lab leverages its intellectual property and utilizes other tools to accelerate the research and development process.

Airable Lab Director, Barry McGraw, says that they have been working with a company from the State of Texas to develop a scale inhibitor for the oil and gas industry. “We are in the process of scaling production of that up in Columbus,” said McGraw.… Continue reading

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An increasing demand for farmers with high-oleic soybeans

United Soybean Board

Health-conscious consumers want high oleic soybean oil — and with seed decisions around the corner for farmers, this growing market demand may warrant taking a look at high oleic if it’s available in your area. The benefits associated with high oleic speak for themselves. For Kevin Wilson, soy checkoff farmer-leader and Indiana farmer, the decision is simple: Farmers are turning to high oleic due to its premium sustainable qualities while meeting the worldwide demand for soybean oil.

“Companies are looking into more sustainable products to use, and they are seeing an increase in benefits for growing high oleic,” Wilson says. “The confidence they have in U.S. farmers providing a reliable product is a major plus for U.S. Soy.”

Generally, farmers growing high oleic report that they yield on par with or better than their farm’s average — adding profitability and innovation at the same time. Wilson has grown high oleic soybeans for seven years on his farm and discusses the great success he has experienced with them.… Continue reading

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A look at residue management

Residue management is a critical factor when planning for the 2023 planting season, according to Beck’s Practical Farm Research (PFR) data. 

“Corn fields with excess residue can harbor insects, create emergence issues, and keep soils wetter longer,” said Aaron Carmer, PFR technician at Beck’s. “These are serious issues that can have big implications in the spring if not managed correctly.” 

There are two ways to manage residue — mechanical manipulation and applying residue management products. Both can be effective, so the decision might simply come down to what works best for your operation. 

In 2017, Beck’s developed the PFR Proven endorsement. For a product or practice to become PFR Proven, it must be tested for three years at multiple locations, provide a positive yield gain each year, and average a positive return on investment over the three-year period. 

Beck’s has identified two PFR Proven residue management systems that have continually provided an increase in yield and ROI over three years of testing — the Capello Quasar Chopping Head and the Yetter Stalk Devastator.… Continue reading

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Checkoff encourages farmers to take advantage of high-oleic soybean contracts

United Soybean Board

Farmers can lock in new premiums by growing high oleic soybeans during the next growing season. Farmers who lock in contracts for 2023 by Dec. 1, 2022, can secure up to a $2.20 bushel premium.

These specialty varieties offer increased functionality for the food sector and industrial applications, which has revolutionized the soybean value chain. Farmers can learn how to secure contracts for high oleic soybean production and the premiums that come with them by visiting unitedsoybean.org. High oleic contracts offer opportunity for additional farm profitability with minimal investment, which makes a difference in today’s economic and market conditions.

“This is a great opportunity for farmers to add value to their land,” said John Motter, United Soybean Board Past Chair and Ohio farmer who started growing high oleic soybeans in 2011. “It’s an attractive way for a farmer to make additional revenue, ensuring reliability to meet customer demand and furthering the reputation of U.S.… Continue reading

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Fall herbicide application in dry conditions

By Alyssa Essman, Ohio State University Extension

Dry conditions this fall have led to timely harvest progress in much of the state. As folks start to wrap up, the window for follow up field activities like fall herbicide applications may be longer than in years past. Recent C.O.R.N. articles have covered the benefits of fall herbicide applications: Our Annual Article to Nag about Fall Herbicides and Cressleaf GroundselAVOID A NIGHTMARE NEXT SPRING!!!!!!!!Another Article about Fall Herbicides?!. In the 2022 driving survey of late-season weed escapes in soybean, marestail was the second most common species encountered. Fall applications are an essential part of managing marestail and other overwintering species.

The dry pattern this fall may have reduced winter annual weed emergence, and we don’t appear to be headed into an overly wet pattern. It’s possible that weed populations are low and may not merit a fall application, although there are always more weeds out there than we think.… Continue reading

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Crop rotation and second-year soybeans

By Matt Hutcheson, CCA, Product Manager, Seed Consultants, Inc. 

As we look toward 2023 and begin to make plans, growers will determine what crops to plant and plant crop rotation across their acres. When considering crop rotations and yields, many focus on continuous corn and the yield penalties associated with that practices. However, there is one possibly overlooked benefit of crop rotation: avoiding a soybean yield penalty.

In this article, the University of Kentucky’s John Grove discusses soybean yields for first year and second year soybeans from 2009 to 2016. Grove’s research data shows an average yield penalty of 2.3 bushels per acre across that 7 year period, with some years being showing yield losses greater than 10 bushels per acre. In another article from No-Till Farmer, Greg Roth shows data that predicts a 4 to 6 bushels per are yield penalty for second year soybeans.

Yield loses from continuous soybeans (and other continuous crops) are usually associated with increased disease presence as well as pests.… Continue reading

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Taking the guesswork out of soil sampling

By Evan Delk, CCA, vice president of sales and marketing for Integrated Ag Services

One of the top ways to combat record fertilizer prices is to utilize soil sampling to know what’s in your fields. Soil sampling sets the FOUNDATION for EVERYTHING you do on your farm. If you take care of the soil, the soil will take care of your crop.

While good soil conservation practices are critical to successful farming, not all soil sampling is created equal. HD Soil Sampling, or high-density soil sampling, is any grid soil sample density under 1-acre grids. Those who have implemented HD Soil Sampling on their farms are surpassing record-breaking yields. 

Cultivating the ideal soil comes down to Liebig’s law of the minimum. A principle developed in agricultural science by Carl Sprengel and later popularized by Justus von Liebig, it states that “if one of the essential plant nutrients is deficient, plant growth will be poor even when all other essential nutrients are abundant.” … Continue reading

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Beneficial bacteria biologicals

By James Hoorman, Hoorman Soil Health Services

Biologicals are simply live microbes that perform many important soil and plant functions.  Some microbes are biofertilizers (microbes that improve plant nutrition);  biopesticides (microbes that control or kill pathogens, insects, other pests); others produce plant growth hormones or help plants survive environmental stresses (drought, temperature, soil pH, wet soils) etc. Biologicals are starting to become more common as farmers learn how to take advantage of the benefits they supply, especially in healthy soils and plants.

Farmers have inoculated legumes and clovers with bacteria to fix nitrogen (N) in nodules.  Now farmers can inoculate plants for bacteria that are free living and also supply N to all plants.  There are at least 200 strains of bacteria that are known to live inside plants and around plant roots. With the new discovery of rhizophagy (plant roots eating bacteria for nutrients and growth), applying biologicals may soon be a common practice.   … Continue reading

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Nutrient loss after a field fire

By Greg LaBarge, CCA, Ohio State University Extension

A dry fall has led to an increased number of field fires. Farmers have asked a few questions about how a field fire impacts nutrients. A quick review of several Extension resources gives us helpful information. There are two things to consider in assessing the actual losses. One, how completely did the fire consume the residue? Second, what is the coverage area? The highest losses will be when the residue is absent. 

What nutrients are lost?

Nitrogen and sulfur are volatilized and lost when residue is burned. 

Our other macronutrients, phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) loss, generally have minimal losses. P and K will remain in the ash, and losses are related to any ash blown offsite.

How much nutrient is lost per acre?

The amount of nutrients lost is related to the amount of residue per acre and the nutrient content of the residue.… Continue reading

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What do these weeds have in common?

By Greg LaBarge, CCA, Ohio State University Extension

What do marestail, cressleaf groundsel, purple deadnettle, wild carrot, birdsrape mustard, poison hemlock, dandelion, annual bluegrass, and Canada thistle have in common? These winter annual, biennial and perennial weeds are effectively controlled with fall herbicide applications. So before you pack the sprayer away in the barn, check for these weeds in your just harvested corn or soybean, emerging wheat, and pasture or hay fields.

Commonly asked questions about fall herbicides are how late in the fall can herbicides be applied? At what point is it too cold to apply? Dr. Loux has applied well into December under some very cold conditions and still obtained effective control of winter annuals. He suggests applying before Thanksgiving and aiming for a stretch of warmer weather if possible, but the effective treatments should work regardless. After extended periods of freezing weather, perennials such as dandelion, thistle, and dock shut down, resulting in reduced control.… Continue reading

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SCN Management Key to Breaking Yield Plateaus

By The SCN Coalition

Soybean cyst nematode (SCN) is a stealthy thief, robbing yields from seemingly healthy fields. “Our yields seemed to stagnate in that 55 to 60 bushel an acre range. Explosive yields for some fields showed we had good genetics, but we didn’t have the consistency across our acres to pull up the average,” says Dan Ory, a fifth-generation farmer in southwest Iowa. “We knew we had issues with sudden death syndrome (SDS). We dug deeper and realized we had problems with SCN.”

SCN is widely distributed across the Midwest. But due to the lack of visible symptoms and because the pathogen had for decades been suppressed by the PI 88788 source of SCN resistance, farmers like Ory weren’t actively managing it.

To build awareness about SCN’s $1.5 billion annual toll and how farmers can protect soybean yields, The SCN Coalition and BASF Agricultural Solutions partnered on a video series featuring Ory, Iowa State University Nematologist Greg Tylka and BASF Senior Field Technical Representative for Seed Treatment for the Western Corn Belt Troy Bauer.… Continue reading

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