Crops



Wheat research still a priority

By Matt Reese

Private industry has taken corn and soybean breeding efforts and run with them, but the same trend

has not taken place with wheat. While private interest in wheat is on the rise, public efforts such as the wheat breeding program at the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center in Wooster are still crucial to wheat variety improvement.

“We are seeing the USDA Agricultural Research Service dramatically cutting facilities and funding,” said Dana Peterson, with the National Association of Wheat Growers.

And, with the tight federal budgets, the funding situation does not look great for the necessary expanded continued research efforts in the future, but NAWG is speaking up for the nation’s wheat farmers about the continued importance of public wheat research in Washington, D.C.

“The message for the Hill on wheat research is that how vitally important these efforts are,” Peterson said. “It is hard for the staff people in Washington to connect the dots with this.”… Continue reading

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RFS a top priority for U.S. ethanol and corn industries

By Matt Reese

The oft-maligned Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) that mandates increasing levels of renewable fuel use in the U.S. is the topic of hot debate between some livestock and crop organizations.

Livestock and poultry organizations claim the RFS drives up feed costs, but Bob Dinneen, the CEO of the Renewable Fuels Association, does not mince words about the value of the RFS and the ethanol industry’s contributions to the economy and the livestock industry.

“We produced almost 40 million tons of DDGs last year, that is a significant portion of the total feed demand in this country,” Dinneen said. “The RFS has been a tremendously successful program. People have invested in the RFS. The worst thing in the world would be for the government to come in and change the game. Business cannot create jobs if Congress comes in and changes things all the time. We have to make sure that RFS stays in place.… Continue reading

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White mold poses significant threat to soybean and dry bean yields

Soybean and dry bean growers across the Midwest and North Central United States need to prioritize white mold when evaluating their ‘disease watch list’ for 2012.

White mold, also known as Sclerotinia stem rot, was first discovered in the United States in the late 1800s on tomatoes. Since then, the pathogen has been found on hundreds of other crops and by 1992 it had established itself as a wide-spread problem in geographies where climate provided optimum condition for disease proliferation.

When left untreated, white mold can cause yield loss or total crop loss depending on the infected crop, with the added challenge of lingering in the soil for up to 10 years.

The reason behind the rapid increase of white mold has yet to be determined, but it is thought to be related to changes in cultural practices that promote a greater canopy density. The increase in white mold also is believed to be influenced by changes in the genetic base of current soybean and dry bean varieties, or changes in the white mold pathogen.… Continue reading

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Corn market still unsettled

The 2011-12 corn marketing year is approaching the halfway point.

“At this  time of year,” said University of Illinois agricultural economist Darrel  Good, “prospects for marketing-year  consumption and ending stocks are often fairly clear and the market begins to  focus more on new crop prospects. This  year, consumption, stocks, and price prospects are far from clear.”

Good continued, “There is considerable uncertainty about the pace of consumption for the rest of year in each of the major categories. If anything, the uncertainty outlined two weeks ago has intensified.”

The surprisingly small estimates of feed and residual use during the last half of the 2010-11 and first quarter of the 2011-12 marketing years had created expectations of a “correction” to be revealed in upcoming USDA Grain Stocks reports. Now, the on-going year-over-year decline in broiler production, prospects for fewer numbers of cattle on feed later in the year, and the relatively mild winter weather to date point to some slowdown in feed use, whatever the pace actually is, he said.… Continue reading

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Why early planting usually pays

By Dave Nanda, 
Director of Genetics & Technology 
Seed Consultants, Inc.

It has been proven by many tests conducted by the universities and seed companies over the years that earlier planted corn typically yields more than the later plantings. It has been demonstrated that in the central Corn Belt, you can lose about one bushel per acre per day if you plant corn after May 10th. However, they seldom explain why. The reasons are as follows:

North of the equator, June 21st is the longest day of the year. Plants can trap most sun light during May 21st to July 20th period. Earlier planted corn has more time to capture solar radiation. That’s the main reason for higher yield potential.

Is heat more important than light for yield and maturity? You can’t grow crops without either heat or light. Fortunately, both come from the sun. Heat provides the energy and light is required for photosynthesis, a process that converts carbon dioxide into organic compounds, especially sugars, starches and proteins.… Continue reading

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Tips for preparing for a “normal” growing season

There may be no such thing as the “normal” growing conditions of old that many corn farmers have been longing for after enduring extreme weather in recent years, a Purdue Extension agronomist says.

Instead, Bob Nielsen suggested that corn growers should look at a variety of management techniques to give crops the best chance at success — regardless of the weather.

“Many of us have a nostalgic memory of growing seasons where the crops emerged quickly, grew vigorously and uniformly, pollinated successfully, filled out grain completely, and stood strong until harvested in the warm, sunny days of early fall,” Nielsen said. “I would suggest that maybe we have all been delusional with our nostalgia and that perhaps a more accurate definition of a ‘normal’ growing season is one that involves an unpredictable number of unpredictable extreme weather events, each occurring unpredictably with unpredictable severity.”

The first way farmers can deal with uncertainty is to identify what influences yield — both positive and negative — and manage it accordingly.… Continue reading

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Tips for preparing for a "normal" growing season

There may be no such thing as the “normal” growing conditions of old that many corn farmers have been longing for after enduring extreme weather in recent years, a Purdue Extension agronomist says.

Instead, Bob Nielsen suggested that corn growers should look at a variety of management techniques to give crops the best chance at success — regardless of the weather.

“Many of us have a nostalgic memory of growing seasons where the crops emerged quickly, grew vigorously and uniformly, pollinated successfully, filled out grain completely, and stood strong until harvested in the warm, sunny days of early fall,” Nielsen said. “I would suggest that maybe we have all been delusional with our nostalgia and that perhaps a more accurate definition of a ‘normal’ growing season is one that involves an unpredictable number of unpredictable extreme weather events, each occurring unpredictably with unpredictable severity.”

The first way farmers can deal with uncertainty is to identify what influences yield — both positive and negative — and manage it accordingly.… Continue reading

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ASA pushing two critical measures for biodiesel

Now is a critical time for two American Soybean Association (ASA) biodiesel policy priorities. ASA is asking members to contact their members of Congress and urge them to support the retroactive reinstatement of the biodiesel tax credit.

The biodiesel tax credit lapsed on December 31, 2011.  Retroactive extension of the biodiesel credit is a top priority for the ASA for continued development of the biodiesel industry. We urge enactment of a tax extenders package as soon as possible, including as part of the payroll tax relief package currently being negotiated by a Senate-House Conference Committee.

Also in December, Congress passed a short term extension of the payroll tax reduction.  That extension expires on February 29, 2012 and a formal House-Senate Conference Committee has been convened to negotiate a longer-term extension. Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) and other Members have called for the Conference Committee to add the expired tax provisions, including the biodiesel tax credit, to the package.… Continue reading

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Crop insurance change coming in 2012

By Matt Reese

The crop insurance industry is letting farmers know well ahead of time to expect an important change this year in the payment deadline.

“For years, the crop insurance bill was sent out on Oct. 1 and as long as it was paid in 30 days, there was no interest attached. For 2012, the billing date has been moved up to Aug. 15,” said Jason Williamson, with Williamson Insurance Agency. “With the Aug. 15 date, the bill is still due within 30 days. So, by Sept. 15 that bill will be due. We have gotten it to where, until Oct. 1, there will be interest attached. This change was a result of the 2008 Farm Bill and it is now taking effect in 2012.”

The concern is that a late harvest could create a cash flow crunch when the payment is due for crop insurance. Williamson does not want any surprises this fall when the crop insurance bill comes.… Continue reading

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Smelly cover crops are savory to soils

By Matt Reese

While the odor of rotting oilseed radishes may not exactly be pleasant to wintertime passersby, the life in the soil finds these and the other cover crops in Bret and Gene Margraf’s Seneca County fields to be quite delightful. The farm has a corn-soybean-wheat rotation that generally includes planting annual ryegrass ahead of corn and cereal rye ahead of soybeans.

“The annual ryegrass roots allow for more root growth in the corn and more water holding capacity in the soil,” Bret said. “We let the cereal rye grow as tall as possible before the soybeans to control weeds. Cereal rye is one of the most effective plants at moving lime down into the soil and pulling nutrients up. Right now we’re seeing a lot of nutrients in the top inch of the soil and we need to get them deeper into the soil profile.”

The Margrafs have also success with winter peas after soybeans.… Continue reading

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Bayer product gets a name change

By Mark Loux, OSU Extension herbicide specialist

Bayer recently made changes in the name, price, and some rates for glufosinate products.  The product “Ignite 280SL” has been renamed “Liberty” (it’s deja vu all over again).  The formulation has not changed — just the name. The price of Liberty has increased by about 20%, but there are apparently some rebates associated with the purchase of LibertyLink soybeans that make it more economical to use.

While the current label does not reflect this yet, Bayer is also recommending a minimum rate of 29 ounces per acre for POST applications in LibertyLink soybeans. The rates for burndown use or POST use in corn have not changed.

In our research with LibertyLink soybeans, the 22-ounce rate has often been adequate for POST applications where a broad-spectrum residual herbicide has been applied at planting. The higher rate should provide more effective control of giant ragweed and annual grasses, although it is not likely to overcome the weakness of Liberty on barnyardgrass, yellow foxtail, and certain other grasses.… Continue reading

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2011 NW Ohio silage trials

By Rich Minyo, Allen Geyer and Peter Thomison, Ohio State University Extension

In 2011, 50 corn silage hybrids representing 12 commercial brands were evaluated in a joint trial with Michigan State University (MSU). One Ohio location is combined with Michigan’s two southern (Zone 1) silage locations. The Ohio test site was located in our Northwest Region at Hoytville (Wood County). The two MSU sites are located in Branch and Lenawee counties, which are on the Ohio/Michigan state line. The test results from the three locations are treated as one region.

The 2011 silage plots were planted with 4-row air type planters and maintained by each respective state utilizing standard production practices. The center 2 rows were harvested with MSUs self-propelled forage harvester. Silage tests were harvested uniformly as close to half milk line as possible. Near Infrared Reflectance (NIR) Quality Analysis was performed by MSU using their current procedures. Silage results present the percent dry matter of each hybrid plus green weight and dry weight as tons per acre.… Continue reading

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Research confirms benefits of crop rotation

 

Recent research add strength to the long held belief that corn grown in rotation with soybeans requires less nitrogen fertilizer and produces better yields than continuous corn.

“Our research shows that corn residue acts like a ‘sponge’ immobilizing the fertilizer, making it temporarily unavailable to the corn plant,” said John Shanahan, Pioneer agronomy research manager. “Growers working with continuous corn need to be mindful of crop residue from the previous year and adjust (and likely increase) their nitrogen fertilizer rates accordingly.”

These findings are part of a long-term, multi-location study by Pioneer that began in 2006 to examine the response of corn in limited nitrogen environments. Evaluations have been conducted yearly at Pioneer research stations in Johnston, Iowa; Champaign, Ill.; Windfall, Ind.; and York, Neb.

“While many studies have tested corn response to nitrogen fertilizer, there has been limited information on corn hybrid performance in nitrogen-deficient environments,” Shanahan says.

The nitrogen treatments in the study were standardized to five rates as a percentage of university economic optimum recommendations (from 0 to 130%), applied to corn in continuous production as well as corn in rotation with soybeans, and positioned on the same plots from year to year.… Continue reading

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Tips for maximizing corn production in 2012

Farmers on the quest for record corn yields this spring may try to push the limits with higher seeding rates, narrower rows, more fertilizer and preventive applications of pesticides, but an Ohio State University Extension agronomist said the best way to optimize yields is to follow proven practices.

“A more practical and economical way to achieve high yields is to follow those practices that we know enhance corn performance,” said Peter Thomison.

His recommendations are included in the following “Eleven Proven Practices for Increasing Corn Yields and Profits.”

1. Know the yield potential of your fields, their yield history, and the soil type and its productivity.

2. Choose high-yielding, adapted hybrids. Pick hybrids that have produced consistently high yields across a number of locations or years. Select hybrids with high ratings for foliar and stalk rot diseases when planting no-till or with reduced tillage, especially after corn. Select high-yielding Bt rootworm resistant hybrids where there is potential for corn rootworm damage.… Continue reading

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Spray water quality matters in herbicide efficacy

A series of studies at Purdue University has shown that spray water pH and hardness can reduce the effectiveness of herbicides, making it vitally important for crop producers to test water sources.

Hard water or water with pH values as low as 4 or as high as 9 have been shown to lower the efficacy of herbicides, including glyphosate, nicosulfuron and saflufenacil, said Bill Johnson, Purdue Extension weed scientist and professor of botany and plant pathology. An ideal pH value would be 6-7.

“At this point, it seems to be specific to a limited number of compounds,” Johnson said. “It’s amazing how little we know about this topic, considering the number of acres of crops planted in Indiana each year.”

In his research with saflufenacil, Johnson said the herbicide is less soluble at a low pH.

“It’s similar to what happens when you put too much sugar in a glass of tea,” he said.… Continue reading

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Low-oil DDGS becoming increasingly available

Ethanol plants in the United States, which also produce the feed ingredient distiller’s dried grains with solubles (DDGS), continue to upgrade equipment to extract non-food grade corn oil during the ethanol production process.

While regular DDGS may contain 10-15 percent oil, the low-oil variety contains much less and has different characteristics and feeding values than regular DDGS.
Of the roughly 200 corn dry mills that produce ethanol, about 90 have oil extraction capabilities, and 105 plants will by this summer.

“On a production basis, about 40 percent of U.S. DDGS produced today is low-oil, and 58 percent will be low-oil by this summer,” said Randy Ives of Gavilon, LLC, and U.S. Grains Council Value-Added Advisory Team Leader.

Ives explained that low-oil DDGS has higher crude protein and higher levels of amino acids. The concentrated amino acid profile is positive for monogastric animals like poultry and swine, while dairy animals may be able to utilize more product thanks to the lower level of fat in low-oil DDGS.… Continue reading

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Weed resistance an increasing problem

By Jeff Rectenwald, Monsanto territory agronomist

Weed resistance to glyphosate is a growing problem. Making plans to incorporate residual herbicide chemistry into the upcoming season’s weed control strategy can be one of the keys to protecting yield potential.

Adding  diversity to weed management programs is key to reducing the development and spread of glyphosate-resistant weeds. Here are some tips to minimize the risk of weed resistance:

·  Start clean and control weeds early. Tank mix 2,4-D herbicide with glyphosate when possible.

·  Scout fields regularly, control weeds throughout the season and reduce the weed seed bank.

·  Apply glyphosate at labeled rates and the correct stage of weed and crop growth to reduce the risk of poor control.

·  Apply a residual herbicide before glyphosate or tankmix a residual herbicide with glyphosate.

·  Use cultivation and other cultural methods as appropriate with the cropping system to help control weeds.

·  Rotate glyphosate with herbicides with different modes of action.… Continue reading

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Plenish producing premium Power Show popcorn

Those who stop by the Ohio’s Country Journal/Ohio Ag Net display at the Ohio Power Show this weekend can test out the performance of Plenish in the complimentary popcorn. The oil makes great (and healthier) popcorn and the soybeans have been performing well in Ohio fields, despite challenging growing conditions.
 The popcorn was grown at the Farm Science Review site in Madison County and provided by Farm Science Review staff.         

“I’ve had great success with Plenish high oleic soybeans,” said John Motter, director, United Soybean Board and chair of the Ohio Soybean Council. “During this year’s harvest my Plenish soybeans yielded higher than my overall farm average at 55 bushels an acre, and agronomic performance was outstanding.”

Pioneer launched the high oleic soybean trait in its industry-leading lineup of Pioneer brand Y Series soybean varieties, with key defensive and agronomic traits such as soybean cyst nematode resistance, phytophthora and sudden death syndrome tolerance, and excellent field emergence and harvest standability.… Continue reading

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Crop residue for nutrient filters being considered

Aligning with the future of agricultural practices in Minnesota, the Agricultural Utilization Research Institute, an organization committed to providing scientific and technical assistance to Minnesota industries and entrepreneurs, is conducting a 15-month study testing the ability of crop residues to clean up water drained from agricultural lands. At a recent ceremony at the Minnesota Capitol, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson signed a memorandum, agreeing to the development of a new state program for farmers designed to increase the voluntary adoption of conservation practices that protect local rivers, streams and other waters by reducing fertilizer run-off and soil erosion.

AURI’s study is focused on bioreactors, also known as biofilters, which have historically been made from wood chips or straw. The high cost of these products encouraged AURI to research other available materials producers could use. AURI is evaluating and comparing the effectiveness of agricultural residues versus wood in bioreactors, offering a potential use for agricultural byproducts such as corn stover and wheat and barley straw.… Continue reading

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Ohio Weed Resistance Workshops

The Ohio AgriBusiness Association (OABA) and the Ohio Soybean Association (OSA) have joined forces to offer a one-of-a-kind event series: the Ohio Weed Resistance Workshops. The workshop program will be presented at three events across the state on, February 28, February 29 and March 1, 2012 and is being offered at no cost to participants.

“OABA is happy we could join with the Ohio Soybean Association and, along with the support of all of our sponsors, put on these workshops,” said Christopher Henney, OABA President and CEO. “This is a great opportunity for both farmers and custom applicators who have dealt with herbicide resistance in the past and farmers who might be experiencing it for the first time get up to speed on the current state of weed resistance in Ohio and get insight into future projections, as well as learn about how best to manage it and how to utilize latest technologies that can help.”… Continue reading

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