Corn and soybean markets watching and waiting

By Doug Tenney, Leist Mercantile

Traders will be looking at the upcoming quarterly stocks report on March 28 with much anticipation. January’s quarterly stocks report had traders extremely confused. USDA used an extraordinarily high residual number for corn, which helped to pull ending stocks lower. It was explained that the high number was used to help account for the much higher than normal corn usage of new crop 2012 corn fed during the old crop year that ended Aug. 31, 2012. Its effect could be minimal in coming months with many other factors having much more importance.

Soybean demand continues to be very high in the U.S. crush margins in recent months were near 80 to 90 cents per bushel. U.S. soybean demand has been very high due in part to China’s strong appetite for soybeans. Since last September, USDA has increased U.S. soybean exports as well as domestic crush on multiple occasions.… Continue reading

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Farm groups sign onto Generic Event Marketability and Access Agreement

In the spring of 2010, Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) and the American Seed Trade Association (ASTA) set out to establish an effective, private sector-led solution to ensuring critical domestic and international regulatory authorizations are maintained for biotech events once patents expire. This effort led to creation of the Accord: Generic Event Marketability and Access Agreement (GEMAA). The Accord consists of two agreements the GEMAA and the Data Use and Compensation Agreement (DUCA). The GEMAA is now effective and in the process of implementation. The legal text of the DUCA is near completion, and both BIO and ASTA will begin stakeholder outreach shortly.

The GEMAA now has eight signatories including the National Corn Growers Association, the American Farm Bureau Federation and the American Soybean Association.

“Having the Farm Bureau, ASA and NCGA as signatories to the GEMAA is a major step forward for the Accord,” said BIO Executive Vice President Cathleen Enright.… Continue reading

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Prepare for larger soybean seed size this spring

By Jeff Rectenwald, Asgrow Dekalb Technical Agronomist

The 2012 growing conditions resulted in production soybean seed being larger in size for many seed products. Therefore, planting equipment manuals should be reviewed to determine the appropriate settings, calibrations, and disks for delivered seed. Seed size should be checked when seed is delivered to determine if different disks or other equipment may be required.

Should there be a need, ordering and purchasing now could save valuable planting season time.
Larger seed can be planted as efficiently as smaller seed providing planting equipment has been adjusted, calibrated, or retrofitted. If the planter is a vacuum metering type planter, refer to the manufacturer manual regarding disk size and manually check to see how seed fits within the disk cell. A larger disk should be selected if one seed cannot fit properly into a cell and a smaller disk used if two seeds can fit into a cell.… Continue reading

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Soybean burndown options for control of marestail

By Mark Loux, Ohio State University Extension herbicide specialist

Most effective management of marestail occurs with either: 1) a program of fall followed by spring herbicides, with most of the residual herbicide applied in spring; or 2) a split-application approach in spring, where burndown and some residual herbicide is applied in late March or early April, and additional burndown and residual applied when soybeans are planted. Skipping the fall or early spring applications and applying all of burndown and residual herbicide together in spring introduces more variability in marestail control, and delaying application until late April or May can result in inconsistent control of emerged plants with burndown herbicides.

The burndown treatment for no-till soybeans should obviously include herbicides other than glyphosate that have effective activity on emerged marestail. IN the following burndown options, keep in mind that: a) it’s possible to add 2,4-D to any of these as long as the waiting period between application and planting is followed; b) any of these should be combined with residual herbicides to control marestail that emerge after

planting.… Continue reading

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March 8 corn, soybean and wheat market update

By Doug Tenney, Leist Mercantile

Grains are ending the week with the monthly USDA supply and demand report that was released at noon. Later this month on Thursday, March 28, will be the quarterly stocks report and planting intentions report.

Traders were looking for corn and ending stocks to go up slightly, while soybeans were expected to go down a small amount. The corn number was called neutral to a touch friendly, with both soybeans and wheat bearish.

Minutes before the report release, corn was up four cents, soybeans up six cents, while wheat was up three cents. Soybean had no changes whatsoever in the supply and demand table. However, soybean production in Brazil was unchanged with Argentina production down 1.5 million tons. Traders had been expecting Brazil’s production to be lowered and a bigger decline in Argentina than what USDA provided. Corn at first glance was pretty boring with the bottom line yielding a carryout number unchanged at 632 million bushels.… Continue reading

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MANA launches five new soybean weed control tools

MANA announced its launch of five new soybean weed control tools: Rumble, Tailwind, Torment, Vise and Outflank herbicides. Each product encompasses superior efficacy against tough-to-control grass and broadleaf weeds using advanced technology to expand performance of “gold star” conventional active ingredients.

The new MANA lineup touts resistance management attributes for improved weed control with emphasis on glyphosate-, HPPD-, triazine- and ALS-resistant weed species.

“With EPA approval granted in time for the 2013 season, soybean growers will have more options for comprehensive resistance management strategies,” said Dave Downing, MANA brand leader. “Our latest entries offer differentiating performance qualities that target problem weeds and allow growers to be more successful when combatting existing resistance issues, or to help them get ahead of resistance before it shows up.”

Growers are on high alert for weed resistance in many soybean growing regions, and university researchers are encouraging grower adoption of herbicides with different modes of action versus continued use of contemporary market standards.… Continue reading

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The science of gypsum

By Matt Reese

Gypsum was the focus of discussion at yesterday’s Midwest Soil Improvement Symposium sponsored by GYPSOIL. “Research and practical insights into using gypsum in Ada on the campus of Ohio Northern University. Everyone agrees that, first, it is important to note that gypsum is not a solution to every water quality or soil structure challenge out there, but the complex science behind gypsum use could be a very useful tool for some situations.

“In an optimum balance of soil, there is 50% pore space for air and water and 50% minerals,” said Joe Nester, with Nester Ag consulting in Williams County. “Water — too much or too little — is the No. 1 thing that affects yield in the field. Yield potential is minimizing stress to the plant.”

With this in mind, a two-inch rain can be a stress or a benefit depending on the soil structure.… Continue reading

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Gypsum questions getting answered

By Matt Reese

There is an increasing amount of discussion about the role of gypsum in crop production.

Bill Myers, who farms in Lucas County’s heavy (to very heavy) clay soils, has started working on a small scale with gypsum and is hoping to use more in the future.

“We’re just in the beginning stages of getting a supply of the power plant gypsum, which is the most cost effective. Pelletized gypsum is available to us, but it is cost prohibitive,” Myers said. “The benefits in our type of clay soil seem to be better water movement and nutrient availability. We already have our pH up in the 6.5 to 6.8 range with lime. We are still looking to get that calcium level up a little higher, gypsum is basically the next option we have to move to.”

The 100 pounds per acre of pelletized gypsum Myers applied last fall cost around $12 per acre.… Continue reading

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ASA policy set at Commodity Classic

Members of the voting delegates of the American Soybean Association (ASA) reaffirmed the association’s commitment to a comprehensive long-term farm bill, as well as additional critical soybean industry priorities, including exports and trade, transportation and biotechnology, among many others during its annual meeting Saturday during the final day of the 2013 Commodity Classic in Kissimmee, Fla.

“The resolutions process is a great reminder that ASA’s policies come directly from the ground up,” said ASA President Danny Murphy, a soybean farmer from Canton, Miss. “The policies are raised, voted on and established as ASA priorities through an entirely farmer-driven process. It keeps farmers involved and it keeps ASA firmly tied to the everyday concerns of soybean farmers.”


Farm bill

Within the farm bill resolution language, ASA maintained that any new farm bill must not distort planting decisions, and it should protect and strengthen crop insurance as a viable risk management tool for soybean producers.… Continue reading

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Commodity Classic trade show highlights

By Matt Reese

There was an overwhelming amount of Trade Show to experience at the 2013 Commodity Classic. Here are a few highlights from some of the exhibitors.

Agro-Culture Liquid Fertilizers

Agro-Culture Liquid Fertilizers can be effectively applied at planter time, sidedress, foliar, or through fertigation and offer compatibility with most crop protection chemistries. They also offer some important advantages in areas with increasing water quality concerns, including Ohio.

“As we think about nutrients, we have made a responsible management foundation with the right products at the right time at the right rate with the right placement. At Agro-Culture we feel that we have the best products today with the lowest salt index,” said CEO Troy Bancroft. “We’re always looking at soil tests to recommend the right amount. We’re trying to find the best management practices for our products and for our customers.”

The products can offer sound agronomic results while taking steps to improve water quality.… Continue reading

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Big crowd at Conservation Tillage & Technology Conference

By Matt Reese

Around 900 attendees gathered today at the Conservation Tillage and Technology Conference in Ada for what has become one of the most popular late winter meetings of the year.

One of the major components of the program was focused on making agronomic adjustments in a changing climate.

“Climate has changed, climate is changing and climate will change in the future. This is not a new phenomenon,” said Jerry Hatfield, a climatologist with USDA-ARS in Ames, Iowa in the general session to kick off the event. “Our winters and springs are projected to be a little wetter, but drier during the summer. This shift creates an issue in how we think about our production systems that are built upon adequate summer rainfall. The sky is not going to fall and it is not all doom and gloom, but it is something you need to be aware of.”

The changing rainfall pattern creates a number of issues for crop production.… Continue reading

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General session draws big crowd at Commodity Classic

Attendees packed the room for the General Session at the event where entertaining emcee Mark Mayfield welcomed visitors to the Commodity Classic General Session that included a talk show-style panel during which the presidents of all four hosting associations. Mayfield opened the presidents’ roundtable conducting brief interviews with each participant.

Speaking with National Corn Growers Association President Pam Johnson, Mayfield inquired first about the growing push for sustainability and what it means today for farmers.

“Sustainability for corn growers means that we continuously improve the way we grow corn,” said Johnson, a farmer from Floyd, Iowa. “In our effort to improve, we need access to the best seed technology, genetics and agronomic practices. For us, sustainability is leaving the land in better shape for our kids and our grandkids.”

Mayfield followed up by asking what Johnson believes will help shape a strong future for farmers.

“We have a great story to tell, but sadly we don’t have that many farmers out there telling their story,” she said.… Continue reading

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CME Group will reduce grain trading hours starting April 8th

CME Group, the world’s leading and most diverse derivatives marketplace announced it will reduce grain and oilseed trading hours following comprehensive outreach to producers, commercial customers, traders and other industry participants who manage their risk in its markets. Pending CFTC review, trading in CBOT grain and oilseed and KCBT markets will be reduced from the current 21 hours, both on the floor and via its CME Globex electronic trading platform, for the Monday, April 8, 2013, trade date.

“Over the past several months, we have received significant customer feedback about the current CBOT grain trading hours,” said Tim Andriesen, Managing Director, Agricultural Commodities and Alternative Investments, CME Group. “As a result, we engaged our customers more formally through one-on-one conversations, focus groups and an online survey, which attracted more than 4,000 responses, to determine what hours best meet their needs. While there were varying opinions about what the modifications to hours should be, we believe these changes balance the needs of our diverse global customers based on their feedback.”… Continue reading

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Corn, soybean and wheat leaders set policy

By Matt Reese

Farmer leaders from around the country gathered to debate and set policy at the 2013 Commodity Classic  in Kissimmee, Florida. The much-discussed federal sequester was kicking in during the event and the stalled federal government was top of mind during the policy discussions of the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA), American Soybean Association (ASA), National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) and National Sorghum Producers at Commodity Classic.

“We had over 130 delegates here representing the soybean industry with representatives from 30 states and one Canadian province. Top on our list was the farm bill. We are working hard there and the main thing we are looking at is the crop insurance program. We’re looking at trying to make sure that crop insurance is a viable management tool,” said Jerry Bambauer, Ohio Soybean Association president. “And, every year we seem to get more enthusiasm for the cover crop program, but we are concerned as an organization that, across our growing area, we do not all use cover crops in the same way.… Continue reading

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High oleic soybeans get a boost from USB

By Matt Reese

Soy oil has been losing ground in the food oil market in recent years as consumers seek alternatives for a variety of reasons, including the issue with trans fats resulting from processing the soybean oil. As consumers make choices in the marketplace, soybean farmers need to be making choices accordingly to address this challenge.

“This will be my third growing season with the high oleic platform. That first year I had about 15% of my production in high oleic. Last year I stepped it up to 85% and I am going to be 100% high oleic this coming crop year. We have to move our industry from just a common commodity bean to value added products,” said John Motter, a Hancock County soybean grower who serves as a United Soybean Board Farmer-Director. “We have to do things in the industry that have the end user in mind. We’ve got to look beyond the elevator to the end user and their needs and satisfy those needs.”… Continue reading

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Cover crops catching on in Ohio

By Ty Higgins, Ohio Ag Net

For 4 decades and counting, Ohio farmer David Brandt has been a no-till farmer. He farms 1,200 acres in central Ohio and strategically uses cover crops in corn, soybean and wheat rotations. A lot has changed about cover crops since Brandt started the practice on his farm.

“We’re now using more than one specie,” Brandt said. “When we go with 2 or 4 or 6 or 8 we just see the the soil improving so much more rapidly than we did with a single specie. It has been a real fun ride so far to see how this concept has grown here in Ohio and throughout the country.”

AUDIO: Brandt discusses cover crop misconceptions and ways to ease into the practice on any operation.

Brandt Cover Crop Field Day

Brandt will share his experiences with cover crops at a field day on March 22nd in Mt.… Continue reading

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Trade show a hit at Commodity Classic

By Matt Reese

Like the shopping malls on Black Friday, Commodity Classic attendees lined up with anticipation outside of the closed doors of trade show. With a record crowd in attendance, there was no shortage of excitement at the event for members of the National Corn Growers Association, American Soybean Association, National Association of Wheat Growers and National Sorghum Producers.

“I thought last year was an astounding record when we had over 6,000 registered. Incredibly, we have exceeded

that this year and we will be well north of that number this year,” said National Corn Growers Association Joint Venture Committee 2013 Co-Chair Mark Schwiebert, who farms in northwest Ohio. “It is quite a task to put all of this together. There are over 1,000 booth spaces sold, two hosting hotels and six other hotels beyond that. The logistics make one’s mind start to spin, then you have a the coordination between the different commodity groups.”… Continue reading

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How will Ohio farmers manage risk in 2013?

By Matt Reese

Will it rain in the 2013 growing season or will the drought continue? This is the multi-billion dollar question in the next few months because the answer will make a tremendous difference in feed and grain prices.

Informa Economics has scenarios about how wide that price gap could be. If 2013 is normal for corn, Informa projects the farm price for corn to be below $4 a bushel. With an extended drought and a short crop again this year,

prices could go as high as $8.80 a bushel. That is a pretty big gap to cover when making marketing plan or input decisions.

Ohio State University Extension economist Matt Roberts has a familiar message for crop producers.

“If we have a normal growing season in 2013, there are lots of downside risks for prices. Prices at harvest will be lower than at planting. As a result, growers should market more aggressively,” Roberts said at the Ohio Grain Farmers Symposium last December.… Continue reading

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Policy and production hot topics at Commodity Classic

By Matt Reese

Beneath blue and sunny skies in the stunning Gaylord Palms Resort and Convention Center in Florida, the Commodity Classic is underway in Kissimmee. In between family trips to Disney, feeding the alligators every day and visits with Harry Potter, there is plenty of business to take care of for the farmers in attendance.

In terms of policy, the hot topics being debated include the stalled farm bill, political gridlock at the federal level and the labeling of genetically modified crops. When they are not in policy sessions, farmers are comparing notes, speculating about the potential for a continued drought in the western U.S. and seeing the newest agricultural offerings at the vast trade show.

Commodity Classic is the once-a-year, can’t-miss event for America’s soybean, corn, wheat and sorghum farmers. The event showcases the latest innovations first-hand and introduces game-changing ideas from the people who created them. Stay tuned for more policy updates from the event.… Continue reading

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Plant Diagnostic Network key tool is disease issues

The work of the Ohio Plant Diagnostic Network (OPDN) is kind of like that of first responders — but instead of combating fires, accidents or medical emergencies, it tackles diseases that threaten Ohio’s crops and forests.

The Ohio Plant Diagnostic Network (OPDN) is a statewide collaboration between Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences and the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA).

OPDN was created with the main goal to unify, under one entity, the various plant disease diagnostics activities carried out across the state by plant health professionals, OSU Extension educators and others in the agriculture and natural resources sectors, said Nancy Taylor, OPDN co-director and program director of Ohio State’s C. Wayne Ellett Plant and Pest Diagnostic Clinic.

“The OPDN is modeled after the National Plant Diagnostic Network,” Taylor said. “A key element is the creation of a virtual network to link laboratories across Ohio and the U.S.… Continue reading

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