Crops



Harvest ahead of schedule

Harvest is progressing more quickly than average this year. With 6% of acres already complete nationally, many states are progressing well ahead of schedule, according to a U.S. Department of Agriculture report. Ohio has even been home to scattered harvest in a handful of fields around the state, though there was no recorded percentage from USDA.

Corn condition overall remains stable as the growing season nears an end, with no significant changes evident since last week.

“Farmers have faced many difficulties this year, with a long, intense drought impacting much of the Corn Belt in 2012,” said National Corn Growers Association President Garry Niemeyer. “After an early planting season and optimism surrounding the large numbers of acres planted, much of the Midwest saw corn that failed to reach its full potential due to unfavorable weather during critical periods. Despite these setbacks, farmers across the country are drawing upon their inner reserves, resiliently working to make this harvest as abundant as possible for our nation. … Continue reading

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Hot, dry summer heats up the battle over ethanol

Ethanol is the subject of hot debate as it is gobbling up corn bushels in the third consecutive year of tight supplies and high feed prices for livestock producers.

The U.S. Agriculture Department forecasted that corn production this year will drop 13% to a six-year low as a result of the historic drought nationwide, the calls to divert more corn for food versus fuel are likely to grow more urgent, Ohio State University Extension economist Matt Roberts said.

The USDA said it expects corn growers to average 123.4 bushels per acre, down 24 bushels from last year. In Ohio, those numbers translate into a projected 126 bushels per acre, which is down 32 bushels per acre from last year for corn.

For livestock producers already suffering because of poor pasture conditions and high hay costs from the historic drought, that means higher feed costs and the potential that more of them will be forced to sell their herds because they can’t afford to feed them, Roberts said.… Continue reading

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Mark Thomas-August 27, 2012

“Maybe 10 days ago we got four or five tenths of an inch of rain and we’re getting a nice rain right now. It is a nice soaker. A lot of guys are chopping. I’ve heard about guys getting in the fields and stopping and guys that wished they had started earlier. I’ve heard anywhere from 60% moisture to 80% moisture. We’re looking for 62% to 67%. Some of it is drier than you think and some of it is wetter. There is a little bit of everything. Some guys have been pleasantly surprised with 20 tons per acre and there are guys that are normally getting 25 or 30 tons per acre that are getting into the teens.

“A friend of mine is going to shell some corn this week. He planted some 88-day corn early and it is dry and hanging. We’re not even ready to do corn silage yet.… Continue reading

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Billy Pontius-August 27, 2012

“There is good corn and there is bad corn. Pollination is not really good, but it is better than I thought it would be. We are going to have small ears, which is a given, but the ears are pretty well pollinated. It will be tough to judge yields until we actually get out in it.

“I checked the moisture this morning. It was at 25% or 26% moisture, so I would say in 10 days or so we’ll start shelling some to see what it really is. I am a little concerned about ears dropping and falling off the stalks. The plants gave everything to the ear and I am hoping we don’t get a hurricane wind blowing on this stuff out here and bringing a bunch of moisture while we’re trying to harvest.

“We had some rains that helped the beans. I am really impressed with how the beans filled out, even the earlier beans.… Continue reading

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Mark Dowden- August 27, 2012

“We had a meeting last week and they are wanting to step up to 20,000 acres for Vistive low linolenic soybeans in Ohio. Ohio has the right climate and environmental conditions for the best oil and the crushing facilities that want to be on board for it. The Vistive yields look like they held up through the dry weather. Around us we were pretty fortunate and the rain has really helped all of the beans. I think there will be some surprising yields in beans. The rains really turned them on.

“The corn is going to be better than it would seem around here too. It seemed to come through it, though I don’t know how. West of Urbana there is some corn being shelled already. They started last week. The field looked dead. There wasn’t much green out there. I assume it was planted early with a short maturity.

“Our early corn is coming right along.… Continue reading

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Jim Herring-August 2, 2012

“We got a pretty good rain the first of the week. It was around .7-inch, which was enough to help the late beans and maybe the last of the corn, but too late for most of it. There were some other rains before that too.

“Spider mites and stink bugs have been in the beans but I think they have run their course. There was some damage to yields and some spraying in the area, but I don’t think it was widespread.

“For my harvest, I think it will be late September before we get started, but there are some beans in the area dropping leaves and they may be only a week or two away. Early varieties are really coming along. Most of mine are just getting a nice turn to them and they are several weeks away yet. For me it will be about normal, if there is such a thing as normal any more.… Continue reading

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Ohio’s Crop Progress Report – August 27th, 2012

OHIO CROP WEATHER HIGHLIGHTS

 

WEEK ENDING SUNDAY AUGUST 26, 2012

 

The average temperature for the State was 70.6 degrees, 0.2 degrees above normal for the week ending Sunday, August 26, 2012. Precipitation averaged 0.17 inches, 0.61 inches below normal. There were 141 modified growing degree days, 1 day below normal. Reporters rated 6.5 days suitable for fieldwork during the seven-day period ending Friday, August 24, 2012. Topsoil moisture was rated 41 percent very short, 37 percent short, 22 percent adequate, and 0 percent surplus.

 

FIELD ACTIVITIES AND CROP PROGRESS

 

There were isolated showers and enough precipitation to reach what is average for this time of year, but it did little to improve already draught-stricken crops. Field activities for the week included spraying for weeds and spider mites, tilling wheat stubble, applying fertilizer, and installing tile drainage.

 

As of Sunday August 26th, 92 percent of corn was rated in the dough development stage, compared to 67 percent last year and 79 percent for the five-year average.… Continue reading

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Japan urged to expedite port expansion

The U.S. Grains Council delivered a letter of request to the Japanese Parliamentary Vice-Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) Kunihiko Muroi, advising for an early launch of the Ministry’s project to expand its ports to accommodate Post-Panamax class vessels. Japan is the largest export market for U.S. corn and among the top for other U.S. agricultural products. The expansion of Japan’s import capacity is crucial for expanding U.S. markets and would also reduce transportation costs. This added capacity will become increasingly important when the Panama Canal expansion is completed in 2014.

Panamax vessels generally have an overall length of 950 feet and width of 106 feet, but their size is limited by the length and width of the available lock chambers, by the depth of the water in the Canal, by and the height of the Bridge of the Americas.

The Council’s corn mission visited the Port of Kushiro, Japan’s largest port facility.… Continue reading

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Resistant palmer amaranth found in Ohio

A weed known to many cotton and soybean growers in the South as “pigweed on steroids” has been spotted in Ohio, prompting Ohio State University Extension experts to warn Ohio growers to take measures to prevent its further spread statewide.

Palmer amaranth, which is a glyphosate-resistant weed that has had a substantially negative impact on crop yields and profitability for cotton and soybean growers in Southern states, has been spotted in a large field near Portsmouth in extreme southern Ohio,  said Mark Loux, an OSU Extension weed specialist.

The concern about glyphosate-resistant Palmer amaranth, which has caused entire cotton and soybean fields to be mowed down in some Southern states, is that if the weed takes hold in Ohio crop fields, it will be even harder to control than the glyphosate-resistant weeds already present statewide, he said.

“Not only is Palmer amaranth resistant to glyphosate, this weed’s rapid growth, large size, extended duration of emergence, prolific seed production and general tolerance to many herbicides makes it a much more formidable weed to deal with than the pigweed species we already have here in Ohio,” Loux said.… Continue reading

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Extended drought could lead to Aspergillus ear rot in corn, an unusual problem for Ohio growers

The ongoing drought afflicting most of Ohio has created conditions that are ripe for the development of a fungal disease corn growers in the Buckeye state typically don’t have to worry about — Aspergillus ear rot, according to an Ohio State University Extension plant pathologist.

The concern is that drought-stressed corn is more susceptible to infection by Aspergillus flavus, an ear rot fungus that produces a very potent group of carcinogenic (cancer-causing) toxins called aflatoxins that can be harmful for animals and for humans if used in corn for grain and human food consumption, said Pierce Paul, who is also is a researcher with the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center.

Already, the disease has been spotted in some corn in Indiana, which is experiencing severe and extreme drought over much of the state, so Ohio growers should start looking for signs of it in their corn fields, he said.

“Normally, aflatoxin contamination of corn is not a major issue in Ohio, but the dry conditions experienced across the state could lead to such a problem this year,” Paul said.… Continue reading

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NCGA supports greenhouse gas study

The National Corn Growers Association has supported a study that will be released this fall, reporting that supplementing cattle feed with corn stover actually decreases the amount of greenhouse gases created during corn ethanol production. This study, by Life Cycle Associates, was designed to assess the impact on the carbon intensity, as measured by greenhouse gas emissions, of a corn ethanol pathway by taking into account the replacement of a portion of corn grain for feed with corn stover. The project received NCGA funding as part of a greater organizational effort to help find the answers farmers need in order to run the most efficient, environmentally friendly operations possible.

“It only makes sense that farmers place an incredible priority of caring for the environment,” said NCGA Ethanol Committee Chair Chad Willis, a grower from Willmar, Minn. “Natural resources, such as healthy soil and clean air and water, enable us not only to make a living but also to continue what, for most, is a family tradition.… Continue reading

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2012 fall corn “watch-outs”

By Jonah T. Johnson, MS, CPAg, CCA, Southern Ohio Field Agronomist for DuPont/Pioneer

As many of you read farm related publications this fall, the common theme will probably allude to something of “how did we begin with such a good start and end up where we are today?” No one can foresee the future unfortunately, or no one would have planted corn in March and April. The 2012 drought has created quite the predicament for growing corn in Ohio.

As I walk corn fields in southern Ohio, the long-term excessive heat and lack of available water has paved the way for extreme variability in yield, test weight, and ear and kernel size within fields spatially.

 

 

Weak ear shanks

Many of the fields that were extremely stressed are exhibiting weak shanks and pinched ear butts. As husks are pulled back on ears, these weak shanks break, dropping ears to the ground.… Continue reading

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Stink bugs showing up in soybeans

By Ron Hammond, Andy Michel, OSU Extension entomologists

We have become aware of some soybean fields with much higher numbers of stink bugs than are normally seen, with some fields reaching a level that might need treatment. We have had reports of brown marmorated stink bug from a few of fields. With support from the Ohio Soybean Council, scouting trips have confirmed brown marmorated stink but in soybean. At this time only adults are being seen, but observations last year suggest that larger numbers of nymphs will start occurring within a few weeks. But we are also seeing greater numbers of the green stink bug and a smaller stink bug that is also green but with a reddish shoulder, this latter one being called the red shouldered stink bug. This is a new stink bug that has not been seen very much in Ohio. It is not the red banded stink bug that is causing significant concern in southern states, but it nevertheless might be a potential problem.… Continue reading

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Study shows need for infrastructure improvements

U.S. farmers depend on a 50-year-old highway system, a 70-year-old inland waterway system and a railway network build in the late 1800s to move their products from the fields to end users. This aging transportation system has been providing U.S. soybean farmers a competitive advantage in the global market, but a recent study funded by the United Soybean Board’s (USB’s) and soy checkoff’s Global Opportunities (GO) program supports the growing evidence that this advantage continues to be threatened by the deterioration of U.S. highways, bridges, rails, locks and dams.

The study, “Farm to Market – A Soybean’s Journey,” analyzed how soybeans and other agricultural products move from the farm gate to customers, highlighting weaknesses found in the system along the way. The study was recommended by the checkoff-funded Soy Transportation Coalition.

“The entire transportation network has been vital to the U.S. soy industry, not only in moving our product to domestic processors but also in delivering U.S.… Continue reading

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Cover crop day Sept. 4

Learn how cover crops can improve yields, reduce soil compaction and improve soil health all while fitting into a crop rotation. On Tuesday, September 4, the Darke and Miami Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) offices will be hosting a cover crop field day at Batdorf Farms near Covington. A free meal will be provided for all attendees, but only the first 100 registrants will receive a free copy of the Midwest Cover Crops Field Guide.  Registration opens at 4:45 p.m. with the speakers starting at 5:00 p.m.

Hans Kok, Coordinator of the Indiana Conservation Cropping Systems Initiative, will talk about how you can improve soil health through the use of cover crops.  Representatives from Byron Seeds and Center Seeds will be on hand to talk about types of cover crop varieties and mixes, along with cover crops that can be used for forage by livestock farmers. Attendees are invited to tour the cover crop plot to see 20 varieties and mixes available for maximizing soil health.… Continue reading

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Ohio hay directory

Ohio Department of Agriculture Director David T. Daniels is urging Ohio farmers to take advantage of resources that will help connect farmers who may have grown more hay than they need to farmers who don’t have enough to feed their herds.

Ohio’s Hay Directory, along with other drought-related information, is now available at:

www.agri.ohio.gov/TopNews/DroughtInformationAndResources/.

The directory is the result of an Executive Order signed by Governor John R. Kasich in July to help farmers through what is being called the worst agricultural drought in 50 years.  ODA is also scheduling informational meetings around the state to provide crop and livestock farmers with information on farming in a drought and on accessing available relief resources.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service Ohio Field Office, 53 percent of the state’s corn crop and 34 percent of the soybean crop is currently rated in poor or very poor condition.… Continue reading

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Corn ethanol waiver’s affect on corn prices uncertain

Corn prices pushed higher by the worst U.S. drought in half a century would not necessarily moderate if the federal government’s corn ethanol mandate were temporarily suspended, according to a report by Purdue University agricultural economists.

The report, “Potential Impacts of a Partial Waiver of the Ethanol Blending Rules,” suggests that corn prices could fall under some scenarios should the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency grant a partial waiver of the Renewable Fuel Standard’s corn ethanol provision – but only under certain market conditions. The EPA received a request by a consortium of livestock industry organizations to waive part of the mandate that effectively requires corn ethanol be blended with gasoline.

The Purdue report will be available Aug. 15 on the Farm Foundation website at http://www.farmfoundation.org/.

Farm Foundation NFP is an Oak Brook, Ill.-based not-for-profit organization conducting public policy education for food, agriculture and rural communities. The authors will discuss their report during a live webcast.… Continue reading

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Corn ethanol waiver's affect on corn prices uncertain

Corn prices pushed higher by the worst U.S. drought in half a century would not necessarily moderate if the federal government’s corn ethanol mandate were temporarily suspended, according to a report by Purdue University agricultural economists.

The report, “Potential Impacts of a Partial Waiver of the Ethanol Blending Rules,” suggests that corn prices could fall under some scenarios should the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency grant a partial waiver of the Renewable Fuel Standard’s corn ethanol provision – but only under certain market conditions. The EPA received a request by a consortium of livestock industry organizations to waive part of the mandate that effectively requires corn ethanol be blended with gasoline.

The Purdue report will be available Aug. 15 on the Farm Foundation website at http://www.farmfoundation.org/.

Farm Foundation NFP is an Oak Brook, Ill.-based not-for-profit organization conducting public policy education for food, agriculture and rural communities. The authors will discuss their report during a live webcast.… Continue reading

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2,4-D resistance found in weeds could limit the herbicide’s future usefulness

Even as crops resistant to 2,4-D herbicide are being developed, populations of weeds are also developing a resistance. A 2,4-D–resistant variety of the waterhemp weed has been found, and its spread could lessen the impact of an herbicide widely used in grassland and crop production. Despite worldwide use of 2,4-D since the 1940s, only 17 weeds were previously known to be resistant to it.

The journal Weed Science reports the discovery of 2,4-D–resistant waterhemp by a grower in Nebraska. Although scarce 30 years ago, waterhemp is now a major problem for crop production in the midwestern United States. This is the sixth mechanism-of-action herbicide group to which waterhemp has developed resistance.

After 10 years of treatment with 2,4-D, waterhemp was no longer effectively controlled in a Nebraska native-grass seed production field. The highest doses of 2,4-D that were used in an on-site field study, 33 lb ai/A, were insufficient to control 50 percent of the waterhemp population.… Continue reading

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National Corn Growers responds to RFS petition

National Corn Growers Association President Garry Niemeyer released the following statement in response to formal petitions filed this week with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for a waiver of the Renewable Fuel Standard.

“We are in the midst of a historic and devastating drought.  Its impact will be felt well beyond the farm sector.  We have great concern and empathy for not only our members who are suffering, but all who we supply.  This includes the domestic livestock sector, our export customers, the domestic food industry and the ethanol industry.  All are suffering because of the drought.

“We continue to believe in the value and efficacy of the open market system.  It is the most efficient and effective way of allocating resources.

“There currently is a lot of public discussion about the role and impact of the Renewable Fuel Standard.  Unfortunately most of this discussion is unencumbered by facts and reality. … Continue reading

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