Crops



Ethanol industry boosts Ohio’s economy

The Ohio ethanol industry released the results of an economic impact study today showing that the ethanol industry has supported more than 13,000 jobs and invested $2.8 billion in the state since 2008 through the construction and operation of ethanol facilities. The study, conducted by researchers at Ohio State University’s Extension Community Development Office, is the first detailed look at Ohio ethanol operations since the state’s six plants became operational in 2008.

The study found that each year ethanol operations in Ohio produce an estimated $433 million in economic output and generate an additional $103 million in direct income for Ohio households. While the chemical industry is one of the largest benefactors of ethanol’s presence ($40.6 million), the report also showed a large impact on 20 other industry sectors including: restaurants ($1.6 million), doctors ($2.7 million) and even automotive repair ($963,071).

“Ohio ethanol isn’t just about corn farming,” said Mark Borer, president of the Ohio Ethanol Producers Association.… Continue reading

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Soybean yields up, corn yield drops

By Doug Tenney, Leist Mercantile

This morning, USDA released their latest estimate of U.S. corn and soybeans production for 2012. Corn production was estimated at 10.706 billion bushels with a yield of 122 bushels per acre. Soybean production was 2.86 billion bushels and a yield of 37.8 bushels per acre. Prior to the report release, traders were looking for corn production to decline while anticipating soybean production would increase.

Corn production was reduced but not nearly as much as traders had expected. Soybean product was increased, nearly 100 million more bushels than expected. Following the report, soybeans had a range of 30 cents in the first five minutes. Corn had a range of 18 cents in that same time frame.

Producers can expect both corn and soybeans to be very volatile in coming weeks as end users scramble to secure their cash needs for the next three to six months. Expect producers to be tight holders of grain as many will close the bin doors and not open them until 2013.… Continue reading

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Fall a great time to control weeds in hay

Farmers looking to grow highly productive pastures and hay fields still have time to control weeds to prevent reduced forage quality and quantity, an Ohio State University Extension expert said.

Fall can be a good time to eliminate hard-to-control perennial weeds because many of the plants are feeding their root systems, which allows applied herbicide to reach the root system to effectively kill the weeds, said Mark Landefeld, an OSU Extension educator in Monroe County.

“Farmers should monitor their fields regularly to identify weeds and deal with them in a timely manner,” he said. “Not only can weeds decrease forage quality, but some can be invasive and reduce the tonnage of the forage that you are trying to harvest.

“Getting rid of weeds while they are small and few in number can save time, money and effort.”

The savings are significant, considering that more than 95% of weeds can be controlled through good management practices, Landefeld said.… Continue reading

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Herring yield contest hopes alive after tough 2012

By Matt Reese

Last year, Jim and Phil Herring were first and second in Ohio, respectively, and second and third in the nation in the “AA Non-Irrigated Class” of the National Corn Growers 2011 Corn Yield Contest. Jim’s contest entry with DEKALB 113-day DKC63-84 finished at 305.7750 bushels and Phil’s 110-day Shur Grow SG-720 produced 291.7814 bushels.

Herring Farms has been in the family since the late 1840s and has long been an ideal site for growing corn.

“People drive down our road to look at the corn every year,” Phil said. “It’s on good river bottom ground with a gravel base that we can always plant early, so this corn usually looks really good.”

Even with the extremely hot and dry year on the farm and throughout the state, the Herring yield contest plots were still looking pretty good in 2012. The brothers thought the river bottom ground could still produce respectable yields in spite of the tough conditions, but their combine yield monitor was still an unbelievable surprise this fall.… Continue reading

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Soybean rust making a late run in the south

By Anne Dorrance, David Dugan, Greg LaBarge, Ohio State University Extension

Soybean rust is making a late breaking appearance in many of the southern states, both those that border the Mississippi river as well as Georgia and South Carolina (http://sbr.ipmpipe.org/cgi-bin/sbr/public.cgi?host=All%20Legumes/Kudzu&pest=soybean_rust&language_sel=1).  Some of these developments were the result of Hurricane Isac back in early September and some were there before this storm.   have started to receive some samples of leaves — just to see if the spores could make it to Ohio on the back of a hurricane. This information is important to have for the year when a hurricane might hit in July, with the same level of rust in the south. It helps develop the models that can help us with management in the future. As of today, no soybean rust was found on these leaves collected from fields in Brown, Highland, Wood, Hardin, Hancock and Union counties. … Continue reading

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Armyworm issues

By Ron Hammond, Andy Michel

A few weeks ago we mentioned reports of armyworms in forages and the need for growers to check their stands for signs of insect feeding.  Over the past week or so, this concern has grown considerable, and problems are occurring in rangelands, forages, cover crops including rye, and wheat fields. Not only is Ohio experiencing problems, but numerous Midwest states are reporting similar instances of large numbers of armyworms feeding in fields, especially in newer plantings. An excellent article on the problem is available at the Kentucky Pest News site that was written by our colleague, Doug Johnson, that discusses the problem and answers various questions (http://www.ca.uky.edu/agcollege/plantpathology/extension/kpn/current.html). Until we get a few hard freezes, expect much of this feeding to continue. Make special note of whether armyworm feeding is killing off pasture or forages, or any newly sown planting.  Those plants might still be alive and continue to grow.… Continue reading

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Ohio’s Crop Progress – October 9th, 2012

FIELD ACTIVITIES AND CROP PROGRESS WEEK ENDING SUNDAY OCTOBER 7, 2012

Wet field conditions has limited planting, and subsequent emersion of winter wheat. In addition, the progress of the corn and soybean harvests has slowed due to rain.

As of Sunday October 7th, eighty-two percent of corn was mature, which was 47 percent ahead of last year and 11 percent ahead of the five-year average. Twenty-two percent of the corn was harvested for grain, ahead of last year by 18 percent and the five-year average by five percent. Sixty-eight percent of soybeans were mature, 43 percent ahead of last year and identical to the five-year average. Soybeans harvested were rated at 23 percent, compared to two percent last year and 30 percent for the five-year average. Winter wheat planted was rated at 19 percent, compared to four percent last year and 32 percent for the five-year average. Winter wheat emerged was rated at two percent, one percent ahead of last year, but four percent behind the five-year average.… Continue reading

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Closing the books on a tough 2012

By Kevin Cool, CCA, Beck’s Hybrids

We can finally begin to put 2012 to a close and look ahead to 2013. The drought of 2012 has raised several questions about possible management decisions for 2013 so let’s take a closer look at some of those questions.

One hot topic has been fertility for the 2013 crop. With lower than average yields in 2012, many growers have asked if they can cut back their fertilizer program for next year. It is true that with lower yields less fertilizer was removed from the field. For a farmer that applies fertilizer based solely off of crop removal, in theory less P and K could be applied this year and maintain current soil fertility. I recommend this only be done with VRT fertilizer maps utilizing yield data since there is variable nutrient removal and yield throughout the field.

For most, however, I would suggest that they continue with their normal fertilizer program and use this as an opportunity to build soil fertility levels.… Continue reading

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Mark Dowden-October 8th

“In the last two weeks we’ve had quite a bit of rain and we’ve been out of the fields. Just on Friday afternoon we got an inch.

“We’re about halfway through the corn. We’ve had field averages of 75 bushels to 180 bushels and we’ve had a wide spectrum of everything in between. I don’t think the heat hurt us as bad as the lack of water. The final average will probably be in the 115- to 120-bushel range, but we’re getting into our better ground. We’ve run all of our worst stuff so far.

“The corn looked rough and we wanted to get it out before it fell down. We have seen some ear drop. One of the neighbors was talking about problems with ear drop based on a couple of hybrids. You can pick out the refuge corn pretty easily in our fields. There are lower yields and more dropped ears.… Continue reading

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Billy Pontius-October 8th

Harvest is progressing quickly despite the rains.

“We’re just trying to get these beans off. We have probably 500 acres of beans left to run and probably 175 acres of corn. Corn yields have stayed right around 100- and 110- bushel range and beans have been right around 50 bushels.

“I am really pleased with my beans, but the beans died off early then started to green back up when it started raining. There are some beans shattering on the hills, but it hasn’t been as bad as I thought. I got a lot of my early beans off. I think the later beans will be right there around 50 bushels for an average too. I have had beans at 60 bushels but I also had some at 40 bushels.

“Some of the later corn is still a little wet, so we are going to finish up the beans and then finish the corn.… Continue reading

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Mark Thomas-October 8th

“Silage is done, fifth cutting hay is done and we got a heck of a frost this morning. We have about half of our wheat planted. We would like to get a bunch more beans off, but we have not had the weather. We’ve had plenty of rain the last couple of weeks that we could have used this summer. There are still green spots out in the bean fields. The beans we have run are wetter than we’d like.

“We have not yet shelled any corn. From everything I’ve heard, corn is 20% to 30% moisture with more guys in the upper 20s than lower 20s. The ears are still hanging on there so we’ll let nature take its course here and dry things down. If I see ears getting loose, we will get started, but it looks OK so far.

“Sand and gravel hillsides are producing beans in the 30-bushel range.… Continue reading

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Jim Herring-October 8th

“There are some surprising yields out there, but inconsistent is the word for the corn. It is all over the board. Even on every round we’re seeing numbers from one end to the other. The averages on corn are certainly down compared to beans. I took my worst field off and it was 100 bushels. Some of the better fields have averaged 180.

“We ran our National Corn Growers Association contest corn and 289.67 bushels and 282.51 are the two numbers I posted. The plots ranged from 240 to 290 dry, they were more than 300 bushels wet. Those were weighed, measured and certified by the NCGA. It was definitely accurate. If someone told me a month ago that we would have 180 bushel corn, I would have believed them — but not 100 bushels more than that.

“In the soybean contest plots, we posted a 77- and a 70-bushel yield and we haven’t run our best beans yet.… Continue reading

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Strong corn crop in China

The U.S. Grains Council 2012 China Corn Harvest Tour projects another good Chinese corn crop, driven both by higher yields and an increase in planted acreage. Persistent reports of weather and pest problems in some areas this summer, plus recent typhoon impacts in northeastern China, had raised concern about potentially significant yield reductions. The Council’s survey, however, suggests that the impact of these events is relatively small. While the final harvest will fall short of best-case expectations, it will be another record year for China corn.

“The U.S. drought and short 2012 crop is pressuring buyers in all sectors,” said USGC President and CEO Tom Sleight. “But corn trades in a global system, and the safety net is the capacity of other producers to step up.

“The United States is by far the world’s largest corn producer and exporter, but in a tough year for U.S. corn, it is a relief that the world’s number two producer is having a good year.… Continue reading

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USDA releases results of the 2011 certified organic production survey

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)-certified organic growers in the United States sold more than $3.5 billion organically grown agricultural commodities in 2011, according to the results of the 2011 Certified Organic Production Survey, released by USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS). NASS conducted the survey for USDA’s Risk Management Agency to help refine federal crop insurance products for organic producers.

“This is the first time we have conducted a survey focused solely on the USDA-certified organic producers,” said Hubert Hamer, Chairperson of NASS’s Agricultural Statistics Board. “With this survey’s results, policymakers will be able to better assess the Federal Crop Insurance program and its impact on the organic industry.”

Mirroring its conventional counterpart, corn leads organic field crops in sales and accounted for more than $101.5 million in 2011. The only other field crops to have more than $50 million in sales were alfalfa dry hay and winter wheat, accounting for $69.5 million and $54 million in sales respectively.… Continue reading

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Aquaculture supporting soy demand in Pakistan

An innovative Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS)-funded program in Pakistan is not only improving local diets, but is creating jobs, training workers and helping create a thriving aquaculture industry with U.S. soy.

The American Soybean Association’s (ASA) World Initiative for Soy in Human Health (WISHH) program began a three-year program last September called “FEEDing Pakistan.” ASA/WISHH is collaborating with the Pakistan Fisheries Development Board on portions of the program, which aims to enhance the country’s growing aquaculture sector through trial fish feeding using high–protein, floating fish feed produced from U.S. soybean meal. The program also provides valuable training to fish farmers, including those in rural areas.

Mohammed, a 23-year-old from a village in the Punjab province of Pakistan, was hired to serve as a FEEDing Pakistan field research officer for one of the program’s tilapia feeding trials. Mohammed was the only member of his family — and one of the few from his village —  to attend high school and college.… Continue reading

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International grain customers watching short crop closely

Despite an expected lower crop this year, the United States remains open for business to international customers. The U.S. Grains Council understands the challenges faced by international customers due to the short crop and is working aggressively to help customers through a challenging year.

According to Daniel O’Brien, an extension agricultural economist with Kansas State University, “it is likely that grain buyers will weigh the net cost of grain buying plus logistical procurement costs across a full spectrum of grains they could buy to accomplish their goals,” whether that is for feeding livestock, food use or building up grain stocks. As for strategies for buyers to lower costs, the options are relatively few — simply because grain futures and markets have already adjusted to the expected smaller U.S. corn crop.

Darrel Good, an economist at the University of Illinois, said buyers can work to reduce the quantity of grains they may need at this time by purchasing substitutes, operating more efficiently or by scaling back.… Continue reading

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Controlling volunteer corn before wheat

The relatively early beginning to corn harvest provided a good environment for the emergence of volunteer corn, said University of Illinois associate professor of weed science Aaron Hager.

“Emerged volunteer corn at this time of year is normally not a problem because the plants will winterkill,” Hager said. “However, if a killing frost does not occur soon, these volunteer plants could be an impediment to farmers who would like to sow wheat this fall.”

To provide a better environment for small grain establishment, volunteer corn plants should be controlled before sowing. Preplant tillage is effective, but what about using a herbicide to control established plants?

Glyphosate is very effective for controlling existing stands of sensitive corn. There is no waiting interval between application and sowing small grains, but overall control may be improved if at least 24 hours elapse between application and replanting.

Glyphosate will not control glyphosate-resistant volunteer corn. Alternative herbicides such as Gramoxone SL can be used.… Continue reading

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2012 tough on apples (and apple growers)

By Matt Reese

Eating an apple a day can keep the doctor away, but growing apples can be hard on your health, especially in a year like 2012.

It was a stressful year for apple producers in many orchards in the eastern U.S., including Sage’s Apples in Geauga County, just a few miles south of Lake Erie.

“Normally Lake Erie is frozen and that usually holds the warm weather back for us in the spring,” said Bob Sage, who runs the business with his brother, John, and son Ben. “This year the Lake never froze all winter and, because of that, we warmed up when everyone else did. That was about two weeks early.”

The early warm weather pushed the apple blossoms that suffered from spring frosts, leaving apple growers to stress over whether their crop was done before it even got started. Fortunately for Sage’s Apples, things turned out better than initially expected.… Continue reading

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Watch out for shattering soybeans

By Laura Lindsey, Ohio State University Extension soybean specialist

The extreme weather conditions this growing season are affecting soybean harvest. Soybean plants are shorter than normal resulting in pods that are closer to the ground. Additionally, some Ohio growers are also noticing soybean pod shattering during harvest.

Shattering is more likely to occur when pods are formed under drought conditions and re-wet later in the season. Short plants and shattering pods can increase harvest losses.

Four soybean seeds per square foot is approximately one bushel per acre yield loss. We found incidents of approximately 8 to 12 seeds per square foot (a 2 to 3 bushel per acre loss). Little can be done to prevent soybeans from shattering, but Iowa State University Extension offers some advice for harvesting shorter than normal soybeans at: http://www.extension.iastate.edu/CropNews/2012/0808hanna.htm .… Continue reading

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USDA grants support specialty crop producers

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced $101 million in grants to support America’s specialty crops producers, who provide the fruits, vegetables, nuts and other nutritious foods for millions of healthy American meals each day. Approximately $55 million of the total will be invested in 56 specialty crop block grants to states that fund 748 initiatives across the country to strengthen markets and expand economic opportunities for local and regional producers. An additional $46 million will go to support new and continuing research and extension activities to address challenges and opportunities for growers and businesses that rely on a sustainable, profitable specialty crops industry. Vilsack made the announcement before touring the Catholic Multicultural Center in Madison, Wis., which prepares food, including fresh fruit and vegetables, for delivery to local public schools.

Under Vilsack’s leadership, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has supported efforts to strengthen local and regional food systems for farmers of all types and sizes, helping them take advantage of new opportunities and succeed in today’s marketplace.… Continue reading

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